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Insight

Success for a Japanese Giant

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 11:42

Japanese auto dynamo Honda surpassed its Mexico production target in 2015 by leaps and bounds and is looking for more this year. The production of 203,657 units last year, topping its 165,000-unit target, was the result of demand for Honda products around the world. The use of the newest technologies, the particular focus the company places on customer satisfaction and aftersales services have landed the carmaker a leading place in the global market. In 2015, the company rejuvenated its product line with a more aggressive, modern and technological portfolio, which payed off with new customers. Honda hopes that will translate to sales this year.

Mexico plays a key role in Honda’s expansion strategy. The company’s plant in Guadalajara, Jalisco will be modified to replace production of the CR-V with the new HR-V model beginning in 2017. The update will be done according to a carefully planned schedule that will not interrupt current daily production. Production of the HR-V model in Guadalajara will help the company meet global demand for the vehicle. Honda’s Celaya, Guanajuato facility will keep its current production, including the Fit and HR-V models. The overwhelming demand for these particular vehicles and the efficiency of their production in Mexico makes it almost impossible for Honda to move manufacturing to a different location. President of Honda de México Hiroshi Shimizu says export destinations such as the US and Europe see value in its products manufactured in Mexico. “The Hecho en México (Made in Mexico) brand is highly appreciated by Honda’s customers,” he says.

In 2015, the company’s domestic sales grew 22.2 percent but for Shimizu the percentage is just an addition to Honda’s multiple strengths. “We are not interested in numbers such as 22.2 percent, which is only a result,” Shimizu says. “We are always thinking about our customers first.”

Still, the company expects its newly invigorated product line to build on 2015’s sales result. There are high expectations for Honda’s portfolio, particularly the introduction of the latest Civic Coupe to the Mexican market. Honda expects the car’s unique and strong features, as well as its equipment and dynamics, to captivate Mexican consumers. “The Civic Coupe is a model that will not disappoint, especially not brand fans, since it reflects Honda’s renewed image,” says Shimizu.

The new Civic Coupe is not the only introduction Honda has for Mexico. The addition of the HR-V in 2015 and a facelift for the Pilot, Accord and the new Civic sedan will provide a wide array of options for fans of the brand.

For its premium brand Acura, Honda is also presenting the new MDX 2017, which will come complete with the brand’s luxury and technology features. “The renewals in the Japanese manufacturer’s product portfolio are a vivid expression of the company’s passion for creating vehicles that markets everywhere will appreciate,” Shimizu says.

Though Honda is mostly known in Mexico for its vehicles, it has several successful business lines, including motorcycles, generators and engines. And now that Formula 1 is back in Mexico, fans will recognize Honda’s presence as a one of the sport’s main engine manufacturers. The company has focused on implementing technological advances in its Formula 1 engines. All technology used on the track is developed by Honda’s engineers and they have worked intensively to compete with the best in the world.

Honda