Takeo Fukui’s speech this week was a bit on the gloomy side as the company adjusted its profit forecast by 67% in the wrong direction. Slumping auto sales and a sagging U.S. dollar were the main factors for Honda’s third profit forecast cut this year.
But Honda’s take on the motorcycle industry was much more positive (at least, if you overlook the status of its American road racing team). Two-wheeled Hondas are picking up the slack from their four-wheeled cousins.
To get out of its funk, Fukui says Honda will continue to develop more fuel-efficient technologies. Gone is the planned NSX and its V10 engine; in it’s place, hybrid cars such as the upcoming Honda Insight, and a new battery-powered electric motorcycle.
Last month, we wrote about Honda’s plans to produce lithium-ion powered bikes. In his recent speech, Fukui reiterated Honda’s electric bike plans to release the bike in two years.
On the same day as Fukui’s speech, We don’t know what this new bike is going to look like, so instead, Honda also announced the launch of a joint venture with battery maker GS Yuasa Corporation. Honda and GS Yuasa will establish a new company that will develop, manufacture and sell lithium-ion batteries based on GS Yuasa’s EH6 battery.
Honda says the new venture will have a central focus on producing batteries for hybrid vehicles, but Fukui also said in his speech that “the characteristics of a battery can be better utilized in the area of motorcycles”, so we can expect the new joint venture to help in the development of Honda’s electric bike.
We don’t know what Honda’s new battery-powered bike is going to look like, so instead, here’s something else that’s electric and Japanese: a 49-foot robot!