Honda Motor Co. is expecting to export more cars and light trucks from North America than it imports to the region within two years. In a statement, Honda said it will be a "net exporter," as its assembly sites in the United States, Canada and Mexico assume more responsibility for developing global models for sale in several countries.
The automaker has just marked the production of its 1 millionth export vehicle, a 2013 Accord sedan to be sold in South Korea, at its Marysville plant in Ohio. The carmaker commenced exporting vehicles from its US plants in 1987. According to President Takanobu Ito, "quality for the world, made in America” has been an important Honda commitment for the past 25 years.
It has been three decades since Honda started building in Marysville, and the carmaker is opening a new site in Mexico to produce Fit hatchbacks starting in 2014. The carmaker’s Honda and Acura brands posted a 24-percent increase in sales for the January to November 2012 period in the US, boosted by a 57-percent increase in vehicle output at its North American plants.
In 2011, the carmaker’s sales dropped 6.8 percent in the US, due to production interruptions brought about by the natural disasters in Asia, which slackened output at Honda’s North American plants due to lack of components.
According John Mendel, Honda's US executive vice president, Honda expects to sells around 1.46 million Honda and Acura brand vehicles this year in the US, from 1.15 million in 2011. The carmaker sold around 1.29 million vehicles in the US for the period from January to November 2012.