By on April 4, 2013

The days of having to wait for a new model to roll out across different regions may be over. Honda is using its regional R&D centers to help speed up introduction times for the next-generation Fit, something that could become the norm over the next few years.

Aside from strengthening R&D bases in emerging markets like Brazil, where Honda plans to double its staff from 100 to 200 workers, the move comes as consumers are able to instantly access information on new model launches across the globe, thanks to the internet. Consumers have apparently become impatient with having to wait for a new model roll out and are reluctant to purchase an older car if a new one is said to be around the corner. The unified rollout schedule will apparently solve that issue.

The last generation Fit was introduced in 2007, but it took until 2009 to be introduced across the globe. The lag time stemmed from making changes so that the Fit could be built at various assembly plants using locally procured parts. With the next generation Fit, different regions will draw up their own designs best suited for regional production and local parts suppliers. The changes will likely be a number of “under-the-skin” differences related to vehicle assembly rather than fundamental cosmetic or mechanical differences.

 

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12 Comments on “Honda: Localization Will Speed Up Development Times For Next-Generation Fit...”


  • avatar
    ant

    you mean they’re actually gonna update them “get off my lawn” door handles someday?

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    So, which region of the world is Fit’s sales biggest? You mentioned Brazil. Was Fit/Jazz a big seller there? I thought that the Fit/Jazz is primarily an Asian kind of a car, and sold well because of it.

    I do agree that unified worldwide model rollout is a good thing. It does put a damper on buyer’s enthusiasm when the shiny, attractive new model is already on sale elsewhere, and the one in the showroom is still the stale old model.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    So, Honda is taking its world wide production cues from GM of the nineteen sixties.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Anyone who is actually interested in how Honda manufacturing works these days and who is responsible for what should read this from the Society of Automotive Engineers:

    http://www.sae.org/mags/aei/manuf/11362

    Honda USA is responsible for manufacturing techniques worldwide in their 30 or so plants, Japan included.

    Go on, have a read, I dare you.

    Half of all Honda cars are made in North America, which is why they’re in charge. These folks in Brazil are local detailers to adapt the main process for local conditions.

  • avatar
    tedward

    Hey why not? The Fit’s complete and total lack of post 90′s technology means they face basically no threat of IP theft. I kid, and I also like the car (used to own one), but really, it’s a taller late 90′s hatch-back. Most technologically primitive car I can think of off the top of my head, at least in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      Whuffo2

      I noticed that, too. The Fit that the US gets is a stripped down car; what we get in the Philippines is called the Jazz – same body, larger engine and a much, much nicer interior. These come with standard features that you can’t even get as an option in the US.

      It’s a “city car” – perfectly adequate for a high speed run on the freeway, but ideally suited to dense city stop and go traffic. I’m thinking our next new car will be a Jazz. Peppy and fun to drive and it gets excellent gas mileage.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        What engine do you get? Everything I can find says the L15A used as the standard engine in the US is the biggest option anywhere else, and most other countries receive smaller engines with lower fuel consumption and less power. I’m not sure what features aren’t available here other than a sunroof and heated leather seats, but you can get navigation. The interior is Japanese Honda, which is pretty nice. It is possible that there are some features we don’t get because being Japanese makes it expensive, and Honda would rather sell profitable Civics built in Ohio and Canada.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        That’s because in the UK there are competitors like the Megane Scenic and… other French items. This mandates the nicer Jazz.

    • 0 avatar
      Brunsworks

      I’m a big fan of the Fit too (my wife bought one, and I drive it when driving my Scion xB would slurp up too much gas) for that reason and for the ridiculous amount of interior space for such a tiny footprint.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The problem is no current Fit owners will be able to buy a new fit, because they’re all still on their first interstate entrance ramp doing 45mph.

    Seriously, Fit drivers are always awful.


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