President and Director of Honda R&D Co. Ltd., Mr. Tomohiko Kanawabe, interviewed at Geneva

Motor Show 2011

On Honda’s R&D Strategy:

Honda has always been in the forefront of developing technologies which provide a positive contribution to people’s lives and to society as a whole and this will never change.

So in our R&D activities, Honda will always strive to be a world leader in all manner of technologies which are really useful for mankind. This is nothing new – it was the philosophy of our founder Sochiro Honda – and it will continue to shape the direction of our R&D in the future.

On how Honda’s sporting/racing heritage be incorporated in future models:

Motor racing and sports cars have always been an essential part of Honda’s DNA. It’s too early to talk about specific replacements for sporting models such as the Civic Type R, the S2000 and the NSX but you can be sure we are actively involved right now in evaluating and analysing just how our sporting DNA can be incorporated into our future model range.

On safety:

Honda has always been a leader in the field of safety technology and we intend to continue to lead in the future. Last year we received a Euro NCAP Advanced award for our CMBS – Collision Mitigation Brake System and of course this is a great honour. But for the future we believe that what we call "intelligent technology" will become more and more important in terms of automobile technology and so we have established the Honda Research Institute near Frankfurt whose specific brief is to develop these fundamental new technologies in collaboration with outside institutions such as Universities. So this is where we are directing our efforts in the field of automobile safety for the future.

On Honda’s vision for sustainable mobility:

The whole concept of sustainable mobility is vitally important. In the short term our approach is to improve the efficiency of the internal combustion engine – both petrol and diesel engines – but this is not enough to really talk about sustainable mobility.

For that we need to think about renewable energies and also renewable energy carriers such as electricity or hydrogen to ensure that we can provide the most appropriate energy source for different requirements.

So therefore Honda is also putting a great deal of effort into developing these renewable energy technologies in an environmentally friendly manner. For example, Honda is already producing solar panels so we can produce electricity from solar energy and this energy can then be used to produce hydrogen very efficiently. We are also working on technologies to produce Ethanol as an energy carrier. So our approach is that it’s not just the engine and powertrain that need to be optimised but we also have to think about the energy production side of the equation. When we reach that point, then we can really start talking about sustainable mobility.

Bucuresti, 02.03.2011

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