Honda plans to meet growing demand in China by boosting production at one of its two car assembly plants there, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

The plant that now produces the CR-V sport utility vehicle will add the Civic compact to its line-up and will quadruple output from 30,000 vehicles to 120,000 by early 2006, the Tokyo-based automaker reportedly said.

AP noted that the plant is a joint venture between Honda and Chinese automaker Dongfeng Motor and currently employs 930 workers. Staff will be boosted to 2,800.

The expansion involves an investment of about 2.8 billion yuan, or 36 billion yen ($US342 million; €263 million), Honda told AP.

The news agency noted that Honda has another plant in China that makes the Accord sedan, Odyssey minivan and Fit [Jazz] subcompact with production capacity of 240,000 vehicles.

According to the report, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan's leading business daily, said on Monday that Honda will construct a new plant in China to boost production - but the company said such a plan was still under study and no decision had been made.

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