Honda Canada Inc. has announced that it would continue to be the lead plant in Honda’s expansion into the light truck market. The Honda manufacturing facility in Alliston, Ontario, has been selected to build a new and innovative sports utility truck. Since the opening of the second facility in September of 1998, Honda of Canada Mfg. has been the lead facility for Honda’s entry into the light truck business. “Honda of Canada Manufacturing produced the benchmark Odyssey minivan in 1998, and this was followed by the Acura MDX sports utility vehicle in 2000,” said Shigeru Takagi, President and CEO of Honda Canada Inc. “Today’s announcement of production of the all-new sports utility truck further reinforces the ‘Spirited Independence’ of Honda and its Associates in Canada,” said Takagi. Honda’s manufacturing facilities in Canada have allowed Honda to move into new market segments while fulfilling a global mandate. Products from this facility are exported to over 10 countries including the United States, Japan and Australia. “Honda’s flexible manufacturing capacity and the ability of our Associates to launch four unique light truck products has also provided us with the opportunity to share our Canadian expertise with Associates of other North American facilities,” said Takagi. “We welcome Honda’s decision to build this new sports utility truck in Canada,” said Lucienne Robillard, Minister of Industry. “Honda’s decision attests to the quality of its employees in Alliston, and reaffirms that Canada has what it takes to attract new automotive investment.” “Honda’s decision to build its new sports utility truck is tremendous news for the people of Alliston and all of Ontario,” said Joseph Cordiano, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade. “Our government congratulates Honda on its new model. Their decision to build its newest product at the Alliston plant demonstrates the company’s strong confidence in Ontario as a great place to do business.” Production of the Honda sports utility truck will commence early in 2005. Honda began its operations in Canada in March of 1969 with the establishment of Honda Canada Inc. In 1986 Honda automobile manufacturing started in Alliston, Ontario. Honda of Canada Mfg. currently produces the Civic, the Acura 1.7 EL, the Acura MDX, Honda Odyssey, and the Honda Pilot. Total production capacity is 390,000 units per year with over 50 Canadian suppliers supporting their efforts.