As the yen rises significantly against the dollar, Honda Motor Co. may move production of the popular Fit small car to the United States. Honda’s President Takanobu Ito called the shift a “highly likely possibility.” Ito told Automotive News that “considering the foreign exchange, such a structural reform might be called for.”
All Honda Fit models are imported from Japan and the yen’s 8 percent increase in the value against the dollar since August has made profit margins smaller. Not to mention, sales of the Honda Fit were down 12 percent to 55,475 for the first nine months of 2009.
About 80 percent of Honda vehicles sold in the United States are made locally; the rest are imported. Ito said that he wants to keep that ratio but wants to import more hybrid vehicles.
“If we could shift this 20 percent to other, higher-value-added technologies, that would be good,” Ito said.
Ito did not say where the Fit would be built in the United States.
– By: Stephen Calogera