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Honda Motor Co. said Monday that it will start research next month on a new transportation system in Singapore under which people will share environmentally friendly vehicles.

The Intelligent Community Vehicle System will promote mutual use of electric cars and battery-assisted bicycles, Honda said. The program is aimed at protecting the environment and solving traffic problems such as limited parking space and road congestion, it said.

“Singapore is a likely candidate for an ICVS because its unique characteristics — small size and limited land — make common ownership and use of vehicles an appropriate concept,” it said.

Honda’s affiliate charged with leading the research activities — Honda ICVS Singapore Pte. Ltd. — will establish exclusive parking lots for ICVS vehicles at major destinations in Singapore. It will also be responsible for marketing the system to people most likely to make frequent trips between the designated parking lots, the company said.

Auto output down 3%

Domestic automobile production in February fell 3.1 percent from a year earlier to 897,787 units, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said Monday.

The association attributed the decrease to an estimated fall of nearly 10 percent in exports, mainly to the United States, against a 0.6 percent climb in domestic sales.

By category, car output dropped 2 percent to 750,665 units, trucks dropped 8.8 percent to 142,132 units, and buses rose 6.8 percent to 4,990 units, the industry group said.

Toyota Motor Corp., the nation’s largest automaker, assembled almost the same volume of cars as in February 2000, with its output up 0.1 percent to 301,952 units.

Production for Nissan Motor Co. dropped 2.6 percent to 119,450 units, while Honda Motor Co.’s output grew 4.8 percent to 109,869 units.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Motor Corp. reported a 8.6 percent drop to 94,826 units and Mazda Motor Corp.’s output was down 25.2 percent to 60,870 units.

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