Why does Honda not have an A-sector (city) car in Europe? Do you have any plans to introduce one?
Currently we know we are not doing that well in Europe, but we believe we need to be there because it is the market that thinks most seriously about cars. We will continue with sales of the Jazz, and look at the CO2 issue with the low-emissions model (the hybrid). After that the next thing we will think about is the A-segment equivalent.
Honda’s SH-AWD prototype promises V8 power in a V6. Does that mean there will never be more than six-cylinder engines from Honda?
Honda has never had V8 engines. We did consider a V8 pick-up or passenger vehicle in the US, but what we wanted to do was offer a small engine with large performance. We know there are customers who like V8s but we believe it is better to put advanced tech into a V6.
Honda’s sports car focus at the moment is concentrating on electric power. Does that mean the S2000 will be the last Honda sports car with a petrol engine?
What we want to do is show that driving an EV can be enjoyable. That’s why we took the challenge of making a sports car out of an EV. We are studying whether to put the EV-STER to market. But maybe we could have an internal combustion engine with that styling.
Why is Honda “not doing that well in Europe”? And do you think designing cars in Europe would improve things?
We simply have not been earnest enough in looking at Europe. We have lacked attention. We have been too focused on emerging markets like China and Asia. But without Europe you do not have emerging markets. In terms of styling, Europe is the most challenging market. There is lots of diversity, competition is fierce. In order for us to be appreciated, we need to do some research there.