Honda’s chief executive said this week the automaker plans to export around 40,000 Fit [Jazz] units to North America this fiscal year (ending 31 March, 2016).
The Wall Street Journal said the new plant in Mexico, which also makes North American specification Fit models, will continue to do so but will also focus on making the popular HR-V subcompact SUV [which shares the same platform.
Honda Europe’s versions of the HR-V, launched to local media this week, are sourced from Mexico but the redesigned European specification Jazz, launching this month, will come from Japan, officals told just-auto.
The WSJ said Japanese vehicle exports are flat this year with exports to China off 47% by vehicle volume in the first five months of the year. Shipments to Russia, hit by a weaker economy, fell 37%, according to data from the Japan Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.
In 2010, Honda made 27% of its vehicles in Japan, and exported around a third of that. Four years later in 2014, it made around 21% of its vehicles in Japan, and exported just 3% of that, the WSJ said.
“We have pushed for each region to be independent by being capable of producing, selling and developing vehicles as well as procuring parts locally,” CEO Takahiro Hachigo told the Wall Street Journal this week. “Now what we want to do is to make use of the production capacity we’ve built regionally in a more global manner.”
The report said Toyota’s exports from Japan fell 4% on year in the January-May period. Shipments to North America rose 5%, while those to China fell 48% due to excess inventory.
Nissan said this week it was adding up to 100,000 units of Rogue SUV capacity for North America at a plant in Kyushu, supplementing current output in the US and Korea.