Today, Honda announced that it will be investing $470 million into a new transmission facility in Celaya, near Guanajuato, Mexico. This new transmission facility will be built next to another new production facility that's slated to begin building the Honda Fit in the spring of 2014. This new transmission facility is scheduled to begin pumping out a targeted 350,000 units starting in the second half of 2015. Honda says it plans for that number to double annually to 700,000 units. Once production begins firing on all (non-existent) cylinders, a total of 2 million CVT units are expected to be assembled, which will be more than enough for the estimated 1.92 million vehicles built in North America.
This latest transmission facility will be Honda's third in North America and will be responsible for placing continuously variable transmissions in all vehicles built in Mexico. Currently, the CR-V is produced in Mexico but before that, Honda assembled the Accord there. The Fit is slated to join the CR-V once its production facility completes construction in February of next year. Honda expects this new vehicle assembly facility to produce 200,000 units annually. This new transmission facility joins two others in the United States (Ohio and Georgia) and will push the annual output to over 2 million units by the end of the decade.
"We are establishing a production base with outstanding global competitiveness in CVT production in the same location as our new automobile plant in Celaya," said Tetsuo Iwamura, COO of Honda North American Regional Operations. "As we continue to advance our commitment to build products close to the customer, we appreciate the strong support we have received here in Mexico."
What say you? Do you prefer a CVT over a conventional transmission? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.