Honda Dumps Trucks, Creates Cars
Remember how much people (OK industry wonks) sneered at the Honda Pilot and Ridgeline for being unibody designs descended from a minivan, which in turn was based on the Accord sedan? Well, Honda made some money on their trucks while the making was good. And now, along with everybody else, not. But while GM’s busy closing factories, Honda’s reaping the rewards of its investment in flexible manufacturing. They’re scaling down production of slow-selling Pilots and Odysseys, making room for more Accords. And they don’t need the United Auto Workers permission to do it. [The Wall Street Journal chronicles the swap.] The main U.S. Accord plant in Ohio will build more of the suddenly hot four-cylinder version. Honda also plans to cut back on Accord imports from Japan. One might think all this would be a plus for America’s balance of trade, but maybe not… Back in the day. the transplants used the U.S. to crank-out the new hotness, while letting Asia carry-on with the old. The new Honda Insight/Prius-fighter will be built in Japan.