Fitting In?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
fitting in

At this week’s LA Auto Show Honda’s vice president of corporate planning and logistics told Marketwatch that Honda is considering expanding production of its popular Fit to the United States. “We have about 19 days worth of supply, which is much too low,” said Honda VP Dan Bonawitz. “We can’t fill all our dealer orders.” Honda is “exploring all options” to ramp-up Fit supply, Bonawitz said.

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  • Nicholas Weaver Nicholas Weaver on Nov 24, 2008

    Why do people love the fit? Because it is the ultimately USEFUL car for not much money... There are only two trim levels (+nav), with even the base being a real car with real amenities, so buying it is simple. It is inexpensive without feeling cheap. It is comfortable for two easily, four happily for such a small car. It drives well. Not a sports-car mind you, but it does drive well. And the utility factor is off the charts. You can pack so much stuff in it... It is just a well designed vehicle for MAXIMUM utility at minimum cost.

  • GeeDashOff GeeDashOff on Nov 24, 2008
    Naturally, if all the parts in an engine are +/- .0005 the cumulative effect will lead to higher failures. This just is not true. If all the parts for an engine were designed to have 0.001 tolerances then the engine will work perfectly even if every single part is off +/- 0.001. If the engine could not operate with tolerances of +/- 0.001 the designers would call out a tighter tolerance. The real difference in Japanese vs US manufacturing is all about quality control. Its about making absolutely sure that all your parts are all within the stated tolerances. The Japanese are world leaders in stuff like high precision high accuracy measuring devices and quality control, re: Mitutoyo. My gut instinct is that there is zero quality difference between a Honda plant in Japan and a Honda plant in the US. If you institute the same quality control procedures in both places then the nationality of the workforce becomes meaningless. If your quality control is the same at both plants then the parts are either in spec or out of spec and it doesn't matter if the parts were made by Americans, Japanese, Chinese, Robots, Aliens, or my Dog Spot.

  • Poltergeist Poltergeist on Nov 24, 2008

    Olivehead...None of the N.A. market Odyssey's are assembled in Japan. From what I've seen (as a Honda tech, I look at a bunch of cars at PDI) none of the '08-up Accords are as nicely finished/assembled as the previous generation. Even the JHM Accords have their share of poor "fit" (pun intended) especially in the interiors. I think Honda is following Toyota into "cheaping-out" their interiors.

  • Canucknucklehead Canucknucklehead on Nov 24, 2008

    I for one am glad I have a 2008 Fit. The last year of a long production run is always the best. This car is made for a manual, the automatic sucks the life out of it. Regarding inventories, Honda works on a "pull" system, where the dealers order cars and Honda builds them. Toyota is the same way, so they never get caught with huge inventories. The domestics (if that term applies) work on a "push" system," where the cars are built and then sent to the dealers, who have to sell them. I have had my Fit a year. So far, it has been to the dealer for two oil changes and a tire rotation. I came out promptly, washed and vacuumed. The dealer staff was courteous. There was free coffee, newspapers and current magazines. There was even HDTV. I won't even get into my GM dealer experiences.