Honda Civic Si Announcement Speech

4/11/2001 6:37:33 PM

TOM ELLIOTT, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, AUTOMOBILE OPERATIONS OF AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR CO., INC.

NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2001


GOOD AFTERNOON AND WELCOME TO THE FIRST PREVIEW OF THE CIVIC SI 3-DOOR HATCHBACK.

THIS IS A PRE-PRODUCTION VERSION OF THE 2002 MODEL THAT WILL GO ON SALE IN THE U.S. EARLY NEXT YEAR.

IT IS BASED ON THE EUROPEAN 3-DOOR MODEL THAT WAS INTRODUCED LAST MONTH AT THE GENEVA AUTO SHOW.

WITH A SALES TARGET OF ONLY 12,000 UNITS A YEAR, IT WILL PLAY A RELATIVELY SMALL VOLUME ROLE BUT A VERY IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE CIVIC LINEUP, MEETING CONSUMER REQUESTS FOR A HATCHBACK MODEL AND THE RETURN OF THE PERFORMANCE ORIENTED SI MODEL. IT FEATURES A BLEND OF EUROPEAN STYLING, HATCHBACK UTILITY AND SI PERFORMANCE IN A CAR LINE THAT HAS DEFINED THE SPORT-COMPACT MARKET IN THE U.S.

THE CIVIC SI HAS A LONG HISTORY, DATING BACK TO 1984 WHEN IT WAS FIRST INTRODUCED AS AN "S" MODEL. THE FIRST SI APPEARED IN 1986 AND CIVIC SI's HAVE BEEN THE LEADING FORCE IN THE BOOMING SPORT COMPACT CAR SEGMENT EVER SINCE. EXCEPT FOR THE LAST 2 MODEL YEARS, ALL SI's HAVE BEEN HATCHBACKS.

AS YOU CAN SEE, THE NEW SI BENEFITS FROM SPORTY EUROPEAN HATCHBACK STYLING. IT WILL FEATURE A MESH GRILLE, ALLOY WHEELS, DUAL TIPPED EXHAUST AND A SUBTLE ROOF SPOILER. THE SI WILL ALSO HAVE A STANDARD MOONROOF, ALTHOUGH THIS EARLY PRE-PRODUCTION MODEL DOES NOT.

THE DISTINCTIVE SI IMAGE CONTINUES INSIDE, WITH STANDARD SPORT SEATS WITH RED ACCENT STITCHING FOR OUTSTANDING DRIVER SUPPORT. THE SI WILL ALSO HAVE ITS OWN UNIQUE INSTRUMENT PANEL WITH DISTINCTIVE SILVER FACED GAUGES.

THE SI WILL BE POWERED BY A NEW TWO-LITER, DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM VERSION OF HONDA'S i-VTEC ENGINE, THE NEXT GENERATION OF ADVANCED HONDA ENGINES. THE ENGINE WILL PRODUCE THE SAME 160 HORSEPOWER AS THE PREVIOUS SI ENGINE, BUT WITH ALMOST 20% MORE TORQUE. A KEY CHARACTERISTIC OF THIS NEW ENGINE IS A MORE LINEAR POWER BAND, WHICH MEANS MORE TORQUE WILL BE AVAILABLE AT LOWER RPM LEVELS.

A CLOSE RATIO FIVE-SPEED MANUAL TRANSMISSION WILL ALLOW DRIVERS TO TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF THE NEW ENGINE. THE GEAR SHIFT LEVER IS MOUNTED, RALLY STYLE, ON THE CENTER CONSOLE OF THE INSTRUMENT PANEL FOR QUICK, PRECISE SHIFTS.

THE SI'S BEEFED UP SUSPENSION FEATURES FRONT AND REAR STABILIZER BARS AND FIRMER DAMPERS AND SPRINGS. FOUR WHEEL DISC BRAKES AND ABS ARE STANDARD. THE Si WILL ALSO HAVE LARGER TIRES AND ALLUMINUM ALLOY WHEELS.

WE EXPECT THE NEW Si'S PERFORMANCE NUMBERS WILL TOP THE MODEL IT REPLACES, WHICH MEANS IT WILL BE IN THE MID-SEVEN SECOND RANGE FOR 0-60 AND WITH ITS IMPROVED TORQUE BAND, PROVIDE A MORE DRIVER FRIENDLY PERFORMANCE ENVELOPE.

WE ALSO EXPECT THE SI WILL FOLLOW THE LEAD OF THE CIVIC SEDAN AND COUPE AND EARN A FIVE STAR NHTSA NCAP RATING. IT WILL ALSO BE AVAILABLE WITH SIDE AIRBAGS.

HONDA'S GROWING GLOBAL SUPPLY NETWORK PROVIDES US WITH A NEW LEVEL OF FLEXIBILITY TO MEET THE NEEDS OF OUR CUSTOMERS. WITH NA PRODUCTION STRETCHED TO THE LIMIT, WE CAN RESPOND TO MARKET CONDITIONS WITH ONE WORLDWIDE QUALITY STANDARD. HONDA'S ABILITY TO PRODUCE THE 3-DOOR SI IN THE U.K FOR OUR MARKET, ALONG WITH EUROPE AND JAPAN, HELPS MAKE THIS POSSIBLE.

JUST AS HONDA'S EAST LIBERTY, OHIO PLANT IS THE SOLE WORLDWIDE PRODUCER OF THE CIVIC COUPE, THE U.K. OPERATION WILL BE THE SOLE PRODUCER OF 3-DOOR HATCHBACK MODELS.

THE U.K. ALSO WILL BE THE SOURCE FOR ABOUT HALF OF OUR CR-V PRODUCTION BEGINNING NEXT YEAR, SO YOU CAN SEE THE FLEXIBILITY AND VALUE OF HONDA'S GLOBAL SUPPLY NETWORK.

IT WOULD BE AN UNDERSTATEMENT TO SAY WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO ADDING THE 3-DOOR SI TO THE CIVIC LINEUP. IT IS A SPORTY COMPLIMENT TO THE CURRENT SEDAN AND COUPE, AND RESPONDS TO THE YOUNG ENTHUSIAST BUYERS WHO ARE LARGELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PERFORMANCE COMPACT CAR MARKET. NOW I'D LIKE TO INVITE YOU UP FOR A CLOSER LOOK AT THE NEW 3-DOOR SI. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR JOINING US TODAY.