Honda delays US rollout of 2015 Fit subcompact to June

Article by Andrew Christian, on May 26, 2014

Honda is delaying the roll out of its redesigned 2015 Honda Fit subcompact in the United States from late April to second week of June due to quality-control and transport issues. According to Honda spokesman Chris Martin who spoke with Automotive News, the issues were not major ones, noting that the 2015 Honda Fit has been available in Japan.

He remarked that since the Fit for the US market is being produced in a new plant by new workers, its ramp-up is slower than expected. He disclosed that even before the delay, Honda doesn’t expect full production to happen until fall.

Martin said that that the delay was caused by the discovery of deficiencies during quality checks by Honda engineers on the first batch of assembled units that have arrived at US ports and regional centers.

As a result, every assembled vehicle has to be rechecked and repaired if needed. Honda also implemented some running changes to the assembly line at the plant to make sure that all units will meet the quality standard, Martin said.

He said the Honda has also taken the measure of double-checking all Fits that have reached dealers. Martin noted the Honda could have shipped the vehicles to a dealer and could have the retailer check on the quality of the unit.

He, however, said that the carmaker doesn’t want to place that burden on the dealer. He noted that Honda’s Celaya site Mexico depends more on manpower than its more robotic Yorii site in Japan.

He added that that the Celaya site also is testing the Mexican rail system, which has slowed shipment from the plant to Mexican seaports. The Celaya site is expected to produce 200,000 Fit subcompacts and HR-V subcompact crossover every year for the US, Canada and Mexico.

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