Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co, the automobile production and sales joint venture of Honda and Dongfeng Motor Group Co in China, yesterday announced the completion of the construction to expand its automobile plant in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China.

The annual production capacity of the plant was quadrupled from the previous 30,000 units to 120,000 units.

Construction for this capacity expansion project, with a total investment of RMB2.8bn (US$348m), began on January 24, 2005.

In spring of this year, Dongfeng Honda will begin production of the Civic, the global Honda car with cumulative worldwide sales of 16m units. In the meantime, sales of CR-V, currently being manufactured by Dongfeng Honda, reached 26,244 units in 2005, and CR-V's market share in the SUV segment in China jumped from 6.7% in 2004 to 13.0% in 2005. Moreover, Dongfeng Honda's CR-V received the CCTV (China Central Television) SUV Award for two consecutive years and has won raves as the most welcomed SUV in the Chinese market.

"In the area of sales, Dongfeng Honda plans to increase the number of its exclusive dealer locations to 140 by the end of this year. Through the establishment of manufacturing operations with an annual capacity of 120,000 units, Dongfeng Honda will further strengthen production and sales of passenger cars, including CR-V and Civic, in the years to come," a statement said.