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Honda to add wagon, Acura sedan in U.S., analyst says
 Date: July 31, 2002 02:34
 Submitted by:  Anonymous
 Source: Bloomberg News
 Credibility Rating: N/A


July 29, 2002

BY ALAN OHNSMAN
BLOOMBERG NEWS

Torrance, Calif. -- Honda Motor Co. will expand its vehicle lineup next year in the U.S., the automaker's biggest market, by adding a Honda-brand wagon and an Acura sports sedan, a new-product analyst said.

Japan's second-largest automaker will add the Latitude small wagon, based on the Stream model it sells in Japan and Europe, and the four-door Acura TSX sedan, said analyst Joseph Langley at AutoHorizon, a Massapequa Park, New York, consulting firm that provides information on new vehicles to suppliers. He said he expects both models to go on sale next year as 2004 models.

The Tokyo-based automaker filed for trademarks on both names, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Honda spokesman Yuzuru Matsuno declined to discuss its plans.

Honda this year is adding five new or redesigned vehicles to try to maintain U.S. growth, including the gasoline-electric Civic Hybrid small car, Civic SI hatchback, Pilot and Element sport-utilities and Accord sedan. Honda's first-half U.S. sales fell 0.9 percent to 594,703 from a year earlier and it's counting on the new models to help boost full-year sales 2 percent.

The automaker also is developing a small pickup truck-style vehicle that may be introduced in the U.S. as early as 2005, Langley said. The analyst in February was the first to report that Toyota Motor Corp. planned to use Scion as the name of its youth-oriented auto brand.

Honda's U.S. operations are based in Torrance, California. The company's American depositary receipts, which each represent half of an ordinary share, fell 71 cents to $20.90. They have gained 2.6 percent this year.
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