While other automakers shed parts businesses to become more efficient, Honda Motor Co. - already one of the industry's most nimble automakers - bought one.
Last year, Honda quietly acquired the automotive business of NEC Corp., the diversified Japanese electronics producer. The automotive unit supplies vehicle control electronics for engines, brakes and other advanced safety components.
Honda created a subsidiary called Honda Elesys Co. Ltd. in Japan and a U.S. subsidiary, Elesys North America Inc., in McDonough, Ga.
The move has implications for Honda's fast-growing North American manufacturing operations. The close working relationship with Elesys could hasten the introduction of high-tech advances in Honda vehicles.
But it also reveals something about the changing world of parts making. According to the Elesys model, you don't have to manufacture to be a key parts supplier these days.