Honda has hammered out a new three-year expansion strategy aimed at boosting car sales 64% in Spain by the end of 2007, a company spokeswoman told just-auto.

She added that Honda also plans to boost its market share in Spain - Europe's fifth-biggest car market -by 1.5% from 1% now, by the end of the period.

Spain is Honda's fourth-largest market in Europe, where it intends to have a 2.7% market share in three years.

To meet its targets, Honda plans to introduce new diesel versions of its FRV crossover and (UK-built) Civic models, the spokeswoman said. The diesel-powered FRV will reach dealers by the summer while Honda will offer both petrol and diesel versions of its new Civic models, expected to debut in Spain early next year.

Honda hopes Spaniards will snap up 25,000 of its cars by 2008, up from 15,251 purchased last year. The firm intends to sell 17,500 units in 2005 and 20,000 in 2006.

Honda general manager for Spain Marc Serruya recently told local reporters that Honda's 60 Spanish dealers are capable of meeting the goals.

"Our network is appropriate for our size," he told Spanish daily Cinco Dias.

To win sales, Honda has been going head-to-head against a slew of Asian competitors eager to dominate Spain's lucrative market, where a record of 1.5 million units were sold last year.

The company recently chose Spanish star Penelope Cruz to headline a major European advertising campaign touting the Jazz super-mini.

Ivan Castano