Honda wants a big role for its European unit

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 16, 2011

Honda CEO Takanobu Ito said that instead of giving a fixed platform for the future projects of its six global business units, each region will get a toolbox of component sets that would be used to develop products that would suit their individual markets best. Ito explained that regions will be permitted to come up with their own technologies.

Honda is set to revamp its entire engine lineup in Europe within the next few years. Ito said that recently, Honda has “transformed" its methods for product development.

He said that Honda’s current practice is to develop new technology in Japan and disseminate it to the U.S. and Europe, according to Autonews. Honda is now urging its regions to make use of the best materials in developing technologies. As an example, he cited that the regions may have their own idea on how to optimize the Fit or Jazz subcompact hatchback.

As a result, local customers will get a vehicle that’s more tailored to their preferences. It would also mean that launches could be done simultaneously throughout the globe.

Presently, Japan launches two years ahead of U.S. and Europe. At the Frankfurt auto show, Ito said that it’s “necessary” to have this type of evolution. Honda will also get more suppliers from outside Japan in response to the impact that the March earthquake in Japan had on its supply chain.

Ito said that a 1.6-liter diesel engine that will arrive in 2012 will be the first to come out from its renewed engine and transmission lineup in Europe over the next three or four years. Ito explained that the interest in hybrids is rising but there still is a high demand for diesel engines in Europe and so it was willing to use up a lot of money to keep it in the lineup.

Topics: honda, europe

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