Honda Fears Chinese Drivers Aren’t Interested in Green Cars

Out of anywhere else in the entire world, you would think China would be the biggest country to embrace green driving. It is so bad over there that according to the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) there were 1.2 million premature deaths in 2010 alone that were attributed to the outdoor air quality. Despite these dismal figures, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito can’t see that Chinese really care one way or another about the more environmentally friendly vehicles coming out. Instead, he believes that the drivers in China only want reliable cars that are easy to afford.

Mr. Ito told reporters in Shanghai on Saturday, “Overall, we have high hopes for hybrid technology. In terms of how important it is to the Chinese market we are slowly releasing products and looking at how they do. But we think there are still more Chinese consumers who want to simply buy a car that fits their needs rather than buy a hybrid. By needs I mean a good-quality car with an affordable price that doesn’t break down. At present, we think these take higher priority.”

With this in mind, Honda is working hard to not only build green cars including hybrids, but to also build them to be as reliable and affordable as what Chinese drivers demand. In this way, Honda hopes to encourage more drivers to become consciousness of the environment and have a car that they can be really excited about purchasing.

Currently the Honda Insight, Honda Fit Hybrid and Honda CR-Z is available for sale in China and there are ongoing plans to make components for an integrated motor assist hybrid system to help reduce the costs of hybrids. We should be able to expect that this new technology will also make its way into American hybrids and eco-friendly vehicles as well.

Source Wall Street Journal

Author: Ron Halpert

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