MEXICO CITY -- Honda Motor Co. has increased production capacity of the CR-V crossover from 30,000 to 50,000 units a year at its assembly plant in El Salto, in western Mexico.
The Mexican-made CR-V already is sold in the United States and Mexico. It will be exported to Brazil and Argentina in January, according to Honda spokesman Eduardo Aragon.
Honda started assembling the CR-V in El Salto in September after phasing out production of the Honda Accord sedan.
The El Salto plant also is raising its production of parts for the Accord and the CR-V and will add an all-terrain vehicle to its lineup of vehicles shipped to the United States.
The El Salto plant has produced bumpers for the Accord since 1996. It began producing bumpers and instrument panels for the CR-V this year.
The parts are for the United States and Mexico, and from January theyll be sent to Argentina and Brazil. We make parts for the same markets to which the vehicles are exported, Aragon said.
Hondas production of injection molded bumpers and instrument panels at the plant will increase from 550,000 units to 1 million a year.
Honda CEO Takeo Fukui visited the plant on Thursday, Nov. 22, with Mexican President Felipe Calderon. Fukui said in a speech that between 2006 and 2008, Honda planned to invest $140 million in El Salto. Honda assembled its first passenger car in Mexico at El Salto in 1995.
Fukui, who was in Mexico to mark the 20th anniversary of the start of Honda retail operations in the country, also said that Honda would assemble a two-seater ATV called Big Red in El Salto. It will be exported exclusively to the United States, going on sale next summer.
Aragon said Honda current employs about 2,120 people in El Salto and another 130 will be hired for the assembly of Big Red, so the plant's employment will total about 2,250 next year.