ALLISTON, Ontario -- Although Honda Motor Co. is well-positioned in the United States with fuel-efficient vehicles, the Japanese automaker is concerned about the psychological impact that the financial and gasoline crises are having on its customer base.
Fortunately, in the case of Honda, our product lineup tends to be more fuel efficient compared with the industry, so we are receiving good acceptance by the customers for fuel-efficient vehicles, Satoshi Aoki, chairman of Honda Motor Co., told Automotive News.
So compared to maybe the industry average, we are doing better. But naturally, the psychological impact on our traditional buyers is something which we are rather concerned about.
Aoki was here Thursday, Sept. 25, to open an engine factory that will feed Honda of Canada Manufacturing Inc.s two assembly plants.
The $154 million engine plant will produce 200,000 four-cylinder engines annually for Civic production, in response to growing North American demand for fuel-efficient vehicles.
The new engine plant is in the same complex as Alliston Auto Plant 1, which assembles the Honda Civic and the Acura CSX, the latter a model produced for Canada. Auto Plant 2, on the same site, builds the Civic, Acura MDX crossover and Honda Ridgeline pickup.
Honda has no plans to build an engine plant at its new Civic assembly complex in Greensburg, Ind., Aoki said. The new plant, just southeast of Indianapolis, will be fed four-cylinder engines from Hondas Anna Engine Plant in Ohio. The Greensburg plant is building test models. In October, it is expected to begin producing Civics for sale.
When the Indiana plant begins Civic production, it will be the third Honda plant in North America to produce the Civic. Honda also builds the small car in its East Liberty Auto Plant in East Liberty, Ohio.
Honda has no plans to build the Honda Fit small car in the United States, Aoki said.
Always we are studying various possibilities, he said. The market situation is always changing, but we havent made any decision. We dont have any concrete plan to have this other model.