HONDA DEALER CONFERENCE 2005

January 14th 2005.

Honda Release on the Honda Dealer Conference 2005- Cheltenham Racecourse, 11 January:

Honda's dealer network was praised by general manager, Mark Davies, for its 2004 performance in difficult trading conditions which saw the overall UK motorcycle market contract for the fourth consecutive year. Honda sales have increased during in each of those years, last year by 13% - total sales of 30,000 units - giving a UK market share of 24.6%. Solus Honda dealers accounted for 85% of sales volume in 2004. Parallel registrations fell to 3.9%, which is small enough not to affect Honda or its dealer network.

For the last 12 months, Honda has concentrated on attracting new riders and focused on scooters and 125cc machines. Its market share in scooters now matches long-term market leader, Piaggio, with a 58% increase in scooters sales in London. The gap between this sector and 125cc+ machines continues to decrease.

Honda's Aftersales department has been working hard on improving the customer experience and from end-March 2005 every technician in the network will have been assessed to a minimum maintenance level, with at least one technician in each dealership trained to diagnostic level.

Half of Honda UK's 160 dealers are now running with the Corporate Identity programme and Honda is on track to have a completley solus network by March 2007, with all dealers running the CI programme by the end of 2007. New franchise manager, Simon Read, is developing 12 franchise openings currently available across network.

Honda believes the overall UK market will see another small decrease in 2005 although its registrations of custom, adventure, scooters and 125cc machines will continue to grow. There will be no change in current dealer margins or bonus payments and no price increases on the existing range. The new CBR600RR, available now, will be priced at the same level as the 2004 model. Other 2005 model prices to be announced at time of launch. Delivery charges, however, will go up by £8 per unit, due primarily to increased fuel costs.

In approximately 12 months, Honda Finance will be fully available across the network as Honda's own finance company becomes entirely 'in-house'. Dealers will be consulted throughout 2004 to tailor the finance operation to the network's requirements.

Honda's 2005 marketing activities will again concentrate on customer experience with ongoing focus on local marketing activities at dealer level. Three million people were reached last year through a series of 150 'experience' events across the UK. The company will also continue promotion of training, safety and environmental issues.