|2001 Management Briefing Seminars index|
This helps keep costs low and increases productivity. Instead of retooling for a new model, Honda re-programs robots and trains assembly line workers, said Hirashima.
On sending the small, high-performance hatchback to the United States, Hirashima said: "It will be a profitable, high-quality model or we would not have made the decision." Prices will top out at $20,000 for a fully loaded model. Honda built the previous Civic Si model at its Marysville, Ohio, factory.
Hirashima said automakers with flexible factories that can tailor output to suit markets around the world will avoid overtime, incentives and shutdowns. He said Honda's strategy is to view capacity on a global basis and match its worldwide resources with the needs of local customers.
The decision to source the Civic Si from the Swindon, England, plant was made because that factory is running below capacity, he said.