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Honda to Launch Civic Hybrid in India in 2008

Honda Motor Co said Thursday it will launch a gasoline-electric hybrid model of its Civic sedan in India this year, becoming the first automaker to roll out hybrid cars in the country.

The latest move reflects Honda's commitment to the development of environmentally friendly products, the company said.

The company stressed that protection of the environment is a global issue, and one that includes India, a rapidly growing auto market where low-priced products are drawing strong interest.

Honda is boosting its hybrid strategy with the aim of increasing the proportion of hybrids in its annual global four-wheel vehicle sales to 10 pct, or 400,000 units, by 2010.

The company hopes to raise its green profile in India by becoming the first to launch hybrids, even though hybrid sales in the country are expected to be initially only around several hundred units a year.

Honda sold 50,000 hybrids worldwide between January and November 2007.

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