Honda to Increase Exports From North America
The U.S., Honda's strongest factory network outside Japan, is about to become a major export hub for the automaker. Honda Motor Co. President Takanobu Ito said he wants to export 20 to 30 percent of Honda's output in North America to other markets, up from 5 percent currently. Honda will focus North American exports on larger cars like the Accord sedan and Pilot SUV that are popular in other markets including the Middle East. Ito said while 20 to 30 percent is "the ideal," it is a flexible figure. But he said the plan will help considering that his major struggle is "to grow Honda globally in a well-balanced manner." "So far we have not been able to deliver cars in a timely manner that truly meet the differing needs of customers in the various regions," Ito told Automotive News. Although it has a ways to go, Honda made significant progress in increasing exports from North America this year. Last year, Honda produced almost 1.7 million cars in the U.S. and Canada, as well as an undisclosed amount in Mexico, but it only exported 77,309 of those units. Through September of this year, Honda already exceeded last year's total exports, moving over 83,916 units from the region to other countries worldwide. The strong value of the yen against other worldwide currencies including the U.S. dollar has prompted Honda to expand its manufacturing elsewhere. It now has over 30 major operations facilities in the U.S. And unlike Toyota and Nissan, Honda manufactures the majority of its luxury products in North America, further helping the automaker keep a large presence on this side of the world. Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)
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