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Old 10-19-2009, 02:07 PM   #1
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Default Honda may shift Fit production to U.S. as yen rises

TOKYO -- In an effort to alleviate losses from the yen's rapid rise against the dollar, Honda Motor Co. may move production of the popular Fit small car to the United States.

President Takanobu Ito called the shift a “highly likely possibility.”

“Considering the foreign exchange, such a structural reform might be called for,” Ito told Automotive News in an interview today. “That is the sort of direction we are considering.”

The fuel-efficient Fit has weathered the U.S. market slump better than its bigger counterparts in Honda's lineup. Sales of the hatchback were down 12 percent to 55,475 units for the first nine months of the year, compared with a 25 percent drop for all of American Honda's lineup.

But all Fits are imported from Japan. And the yen's 8 percent increase in value against the dollar since August has made their already small profit margins even smaller. A higher yen reduces the value of dollar-denominated revenues that are repatriated to Japan.

About 80 percent of the cars Honda sells in the States are made locally; the rest are imported. Ito said he wants to keep that ratio. But he wants imports to be more high-tech models such as hybrid vehicles, which require the special suppliers and manufacturing plants found in Japan.

“If we could shift this 20 percent to other, higher-value-added technologies, that would be good,” Ito said.

He did not say where in the United States the Fit might be built.
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:46 PM   #2
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That would be a good idea and shave about $2k off its price.
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Eyeflyistheeye View Post
That would be a good idea and shave about $2k off its price.
Do you think it would be passed down to us?

The pessimist in me says no.
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:00 PM   #4
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The only way it would save the consumer money would be possible lower destination fees.
The bringing more jobs to the US thing is good too.

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Old 10-19-2009, 05:34 PM   #5
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Eyeflyistheeye View Post
That would be a good idea and shave about $2k off its price.
It might shave some off its COST (to the manufacturer) but the PRICE (the consumer pays) would probably remain the same. Currently, the yen's rise is probably throwing their profit projections off by quite a bit and this move will simply allow some of that imbalance to be corrected.

Either way, I am happy with my 09 Honda Fit Sport Manual Trans, and hope to have it around for a while.
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:34 PM   #7
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If I recall, the plant in Ohio recently stopped making motorcycles, so perhaps there?
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:49 PM   #8
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I figure it will go into one of the Civic plants.


Toyota has most of their high volume models (Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Rav4, Tacoma, and RX) being built in North America. It makes sense to build it where you sell it.
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:15 PM   #9
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It's not to lower the price, it's to keep it down. Japanese built cars are getting more expensive due to the exchange rate. They've been reluctant to raise prices as much as they need to though.

But check Japanese motorcycle prices. They've gone up faster than the cars.
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