• Kyodo

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Honda Motor Co. plans to increase automobile engine production capacity in China from the current 120,000 units a year to 290,000 units, Honda President Hiroyuki Yoshino said Tuesday.

The move is designed to meet an expected increase in car production at Honda’s plant in Guangzhou and to provide engines to a new export-oriented Chinese plant, Yoshino told reporters.

The Guangzhou plant produces Honda’s Accord passenger cars and Odyssey minivans. The other car plant is expected to start turning out 50,000 vehicles a year in 2004.

Commenting on competition in the Chinese market, Yoshino said local Chinese automakers will not survive unless they have business ties with Japanese, U.S. or European firms.

“Unlike with electric products, it’s hard to produce auto parts even if you have the schematics,” Yoshino said. “I don’t think (Chinese) makers without business ties to Japanese, U.S. or European automakers will pose a threat.”

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