While Honda builds nearly every vehicle it sells in North America, there are still a few stragglers that are imported from Japan. However, the rising value of the Japanese Yen could force the Big H's hand in moving production to the United States sooner rather than later.
"Under the current exchange rate of 80 yen per dollar, our export business doesn't make any profit,"1 explains Honda CFO Fumihiko Ike. The profit that Honda is seeing from importing models is shrinking now more than ever, and the easiest fix is to cut the cost of shipping assembled vehicles all together.
But which Honda models are we talking about specifically?
The three vehicles that Honda still imports into the U.S. from Japan include the Honda CR-Z sports hybrid coupe, Honda Fit hatchback, and the Honda Insight hybrid. All three are big sellers for Honda, as they each offer impressive fuel economy at a time when gas prices are fast on the rise.
Of course, increased demand doesn't mean that this is something Honda is willing to rush. They've committed to taking their time and doing the production move right. See, assembling vehicles in America requires more than just constructing a factory and hiring workers; Honda has to find reputable parts suppliers as well. And with two out of three of the aforementioned vehicles being hybrids, you can bet that this is a move that will likely require some time to make.
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