Honda Motor Co., Japan's No. 2 carmaker, plans to launch more than 10 new models in the growing South Korean market, the company's global CEO said Wednesday.
Takanobu Ito said in a meeting with reporters that South Korea has become an important market for the Japanese carmaker and said all available resources will be used to boost competitiveness here.
He did not give the names of the car models Honda wants to sell in South Korea or a time frame for their release but said the launching of the 2012 ninth-generation Civic is testament to the automaker's resolve to make inroads in Asia's fourth largest economy.
The new Civic marks the first time that Honda has released the model in the Asia-Pacific region.
Ito stressed that while there is criticism about Honda losing its passion for making consumer-inspired cars, such accusations are not true.
He said looking at the progress made by South Korean companies in recent years has provided stimulus to do better.
The executive also said that although there is no immediate plan to buy automotive components and parts from South Korea, he expressed a desire to do so in the future.
On the effects of the massive earthquake that rocked Japan in March and the recent record floods that paralyzed Thailand, the CEO conceded that Honda operations have been affected.
He claimed that despite automobile production being halted by the Thai flooding, the overall damage is expected to be less than in the aftermath of the massive quake that caused the release of radioactive materials into the environment.
Ito is in Seoul to take part in the new Civic's launch and to celebrate Honda Korea's 10th anniversary. The carmaker, the sixth-largest in the world, has sold a total of 40,800 cars and 28,900 motorcycles in the country since 2001.