AUTOS

Times Staff and Wire Reports

Honda Considering North American Minivan Plant: The auto maker may decide within weeks whether to build a new assembly plant to produce minivans, said Richard E. Colliver, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co. The company does not plan to increase imports of the Japanese-built Odyssey, a small minivan based on its Accord sedan and introduced in the United States this year. By the end of this month, the company will have sold about 25,000 in the United States. If Honda wants to be a significant player, it will have to offer a product that is closer than the Odyssey is to the market leaders, Colliver said. If Honda replaces the Odyssey for the lucrative U.S. market, it will want a van tailored to American tastes and built in North America by the 1999 model year, Colliver said.

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