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Honda CEO: Chinese Car Buyers Not Ready for 'Green' Cars

Honda Motor Co. CEO Takanobu Ito sees buyers in China want good-quality car with an affordable price that doesn’t break down; hybrids are not on their radar.

Published: 21-Apr-2013

Shanghai’s auto show is filled with hybrids and electric cars – a big industry theme in the months since massive blankets of pollution covered entire regions.

But Honda Motor Co. CEO Takanobu Ito doesn’t think Chinese consumers are looking for green-tech rides despite the new wave of eco-friendly cars unveiled during the show, or amid and the Japanese auto maker’s own push to strengthen its hybrid lineup in recent years.

“Overall, we have high hopes for hybrid technology. In terms of how important it is to the Chinese market we are slowly releasing products and looking at how they do,” Mr. Ito told reporters in Shanghai on Saturday. “But we think there are still more Chinese consumers who want to simply buy a car that fits their needs rather than buy a hybrid. By needs I mean a good-quality car with an affordable price that doesn’t break down. At present, we think these take higher priority.”

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