By on April 21, 2012

Hybrids are a tough sell in China. Honda and Toyota want to change this.  Honda wants to change it so bad that it will provide its core hybrid car technologies to other Chinese automakers, in addition to its joint venture partners, The Nikkei [sub] learned today.

The story is not official yet. Honda will have a press conference in Beijing on Monday morning, maybe there will be more. The conference is one of more than eighty (we kid you not) that day. Toyota will also produce hybrids and hybrid technology in China.

By making the technologies available to more makers, Honda hopes that hybrids will be accepted quicker in China. Also, higher quantities mean lower cost.

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26 Comments on “Honda Sells Hybrid Systems To Chinese Automakers...”


  • avatar
    28-cars-later

    Seems Honda wants to get in early and become the Buick of Chinese hybrids.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Providing the technologies, or just the systems made from them? (yes, I know there is a fine-line here, ESP. If being done via a JV.)

  • avatar
    cdotson

    Maybe Honda recognizes that their IMA hybrids aren’t suitable as hybrids for markets in the developed world and are essentially giving up on it. If it won’t play in Peoria anyway what’s the point in preventing Beijing from building it.

  • avatar
    mic

    Hybrids are too expensive for the average man. they’re a niche for tree hugging folks with money. The average Chinese make about $3500ish a year. The Chinese will make them cheaper to compete with the Elantras and Focuses out there.

    • 0 avatar
      Campisi

      The average man buying an F-150 could easily afford a Prius or Insight were they interested in doing so. As far as new cars go, hybrids aren’t all that expensive anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        mic

        But my point being most people who buy hybrids are folks who do so because it makes them feel like they are leaving a smaller “carbon footprint”. Folks that want to actually save money buy Fiestas and Versas because you you would have to drive a hybrid till the wheels fell off to get your moneys worth. From a strictly financial perspective, hybrids aren’t worth it.

      • 0 avatar
        Toucan

        > But my point being most people who buy hybrids are folks who do
        > so because it makes them feel like they are leaving a smaller
        > “carbon footprint”. Folks that want to actually save money buy
        > Fiestas and Versas

        It’s the hight time to cut this BS, really.

        No midsize or large diesel car or SUV around the world would have ever been sold if you were right. Everyone would have bought a very small gasoline car. It actually does save you money! Unfortunately not everyone wants to drive a small car.

        You get some 50-50 split of gas and diesel from crude oil. The technology to save fuel in both of these shares is just as necessary. In the future, every non electric and non PHEV car will be a hybrid.


        @TTAC, Bertel – do hat tips work here? I think the entire motoring press, including you, is missing a complete game changer that came from Mercedes: the E class 300 Bluetec Hybrid, the first REAL diesel hybrid.

        It costs LESS than the V6 diesel E class, is only some 1 second slower to 60 slower (around 7,5 seconds, completely adequate) but it is WHOPPING 30% MORE EFFICIENT. It’s more efficient than even least powerful 4 cylinder diesel in the E class.

        It’s as much of a game changer as Prius C/Aqua is, or even more. It basically renders the V6 diesels obsolete.

        I’m amazed why this Benz gets so little coverage.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        This is the first time I actually heard of it, so thanks for the info

    • 0 avatar
      Dragophire

      The MB E class D/H wont be a game changer until its sold in all major parts of the world. Same with the Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 104g thats far less expensive. This is the set up that I wished Lincoln would use throughout their line up to make it different from Ford. Unfortunately nothing is a game changer if it doesnt sell in large numbers. Just look at the original Prius vs the second gen. took the second gen to be the real game changer.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    HMC is savings up for Civic Hybrid owner lawsuits as almost 2,000 opted out of class action suit.

    http://www.autoblog.com/2012/04/21/honda-headed-back-to-court-over-civic-hybrid-fuel-economy/

    • 0 avatar
      Norma

      Not sure if you are aware of this, probably the only auto reporter who is actually inside the court:

      “Mr. Brown appears virtually alone among the automotive media in his willingness to genchi-genbutsu. Ironically, that’s a Honda catchphrase, meaning “go to the actual spot, see the actual situation”

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/honda-hybrid-lawsuit-may-not-be-able-to-run-on-battery-alone-so-to-speak/

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    The Chinese automakers would have copied it piece by piece anyway.

    The Chinese automakers are enticed by no engineering, no tooling, and faster time to market.

    Honda gets to set the standard, get economies of scale, and Chinese consumers are smart enough to figure out that Honda is still the brains behind it all.

    It even plays into the China government hands of wanting these technologies shared.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Makes sense. Honda’s IMA is more a stopgap solution than Toyota’s, it’s amenable to existing power trains, so you don’t have to develop a whole new transmission to make it work. Don’t underestimate how important fuel economy will be in China, in a country that size, they will get serious about it much faster than we will.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    makes sense, IMA except for the first gen Insight should be considered a failure.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Honda’s hybrids stink. They’ll get more revenue selling the technology than they ever did selling hybrid cars.

  • avatar
    alluster

    Hopefully they will have better luck selling hybrids in China. They barely sell 2000 a month here between three models. If a $40,000 Volt outsells all of your three hybrids combined, costing less than half the Volt, then maybe its time to cut your losses and leave the hybrids to Toyota.

    • 0 avatar
      Norma

      1) Between Jan to Mar, Honda sold 50% more hybrids than (the one-month-wonder) Volt in the U.S.

      2) Honda’s hybrid is actually selling very good, taking into account of supply chain disruptions caused by the Japanese triple disaster (quake+tsunami+nuclear dissater) and Thai flooding. The hybrids are selling at around 80% of full production capacity last year.

      3) For example, in december 2011, 45% of Honda’s sales in Japan were hybrids.

  • avatar
    NateR

    Look for all new, totally original and not-copied-from-Honda-or-Toyota-at-all hybrid powertrains to hit the Chinese export market in 2014.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Soon Chinese industrial spies will be out of business

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    I can’t help but thin of the situation in Argentina with Spain’s YPF.

    What’s to stop Chinese from doing the same thing? To put it bluntly I don’t trust the Chinese government and I think they are acting as internationally in their relations as if everything is Zero-sum.

    This to me is like giving the Devil a gun and then wondering why he shoots you with it later.

  • avatar
    Otterpops

    Everywhere in Beijing inside the 3rd ring, and all of the surface streets and a lot of the arterials inside the 5th are basically the ideal conditions for hybrids.

    Still haven’t seen a Prius around here, but Toyota is flogging the CT200H pretty hard, and I’ve seen a fair number of them downtown that didn’t appear to be there for promotional purposes. That’s about it as far as hybrids go around here.

  • avatar
    Herm

    The advantage of Toyota’s and Ford’s powersplit hybrids is lower cost since they replace a transmission, starter and alternator with a single unit.. I think GM’s eAssist is a better low cost solution also.

    • 0 avatar
      Norma

      Is GM’s eassist a reinterpretation of IMA, only driving thru’ a belt?

      P.S. I seriuously doubt hybrid systems of Toyota or Ford have any cost advantage than Honda’s IMA. The starter, alternator are replaced by two motor/generators: MG1 & MG2, MG2 is larger than any typical starter/alternator, therefore should be more pricey.

  • avatar
    Norma

    In the meantime, Reuters reports that Honda denied the Nikkei report.


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