Honda begins construction on plant in Mexico to build Fit

(March 29, 2012) CELAYA, Mexico — Honda has started construction on a new manufacturing plant here that will built the sub-compact Honda Fit for the North American market when it begins operation in 2014.

The new Honda de Mexico plant is expected to employ approximately 3,200 associates at its full annual capacity of 200,000 units.

"Considering the needs of the Mexican market, which is expecting continued growth in the future, and also serving as a global production base for the North American region and beyond, we decided to make the Fit the first product to be produced here," said Takanobu Ito, president & CEO of Honda Motor Co.

"Also, we will create a highly efficient production system that allows us to provide high quality products at an affordable price both by expanding the use of local parts and by utilizing global parts sourcing," he said.

The new plant will occupy 5.66 million-square meters near Celaya, Guanajuato, about 210 miles east of two existing HDM plants in El Salto and Jalisco, which build automobiles, motorcycles and auto parts.

The new plant will be the company's eighth auto plant — and its 10th auto assembly line — in North America. The new plant will boost Honda's capital investment in its North American operations to nearly $21 billion.

Honda employs more than 33,000 associates in North America. Production operations related to automobiles include four auto plants, two auto engine production facilities and two transmission plants in the United States. In addition, Honda has two auto plants and an auto engine plant in Canada, and an auto plant in El Salto.

The new plant in Mexico will increase Honda's automobile production capacity in North America from 1.63 million units to 1.87 million in spring 2014. In 2011, more than 85 percent of the Honda and Acura cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. were produced in North America. In addition to region-specific models, including the Honda Odyssey, Pilot and Ridgeline, and the Acura TL, MDX and RDX, Honda produces key global models such as the Honda Civic, Accord and CR-V in North America.

The addition of Fit production in Mexico means Honda will produce all four of its global models in North America.