TOKYO (Reuters) -- Honda Motor Co. plans to adopt new design and assembly methods to make its vehicles lighter, the Nikkei business daily reported on Saturday.
Some of Honda's new manufacturing methods involve welding outer panels to the frame, rather than assembling the ceiling, side and other panels, to reduce the use of bolts and reinforcing materials, the Japanese newspaper said.
Honda plans to spend tens of billions of yen to revamp production lines in Japan and overseas, using the new methods on small vehicles initially, then on all models within several years, the Nikkei said.
The automaker has begun steps to scale back on materials, parts and processing steps for producing its minivehicle, the N Box, which was launched last Friday, the daily said.
Honda modified one of the two production lines that assemble the N Box at its Suzuka plant in Mie Prefecture, the Nikkei said. The move will help make the N Box 10 percent lighter and lower manufacturing costs, the paper added.
By making lighter and cheaper automobiles, the carmaker aims to fast track its advance into emerging markets, which is one of its top priorities, the newspaper said.