By on March 14, 2011

Honda’s in better shape than its contemporaries after QUAKEOLOPNIKPOCALYPSE or whatever our friends in the biz are calling this particular disaster. Although production will be stopped this week in several Japanese plants, the bulk of Honda’s automobiles worldwide are built, and sold, in North America. A little bird told me that Honda has weeks of Japanese-sourced parts for US production. Things are so good that the Big H can afford to donate a thousand portable generators (and five thousand gas cans) to the relief effort.

Let’s say production takes a while to come back, however. Here in the United States, that means dealers will face short supply of the Acura RL (who cares), Acura TSX (might be a problem) and Honda Fit (Uh-oh). Honda has an alternative to supply the latter. Will they take it, and make history in so doing?

Although US-bound Fits are assembled in Japan, the rest of the world’s drivers often receive their “Jazz” from factories in China. Honda made a very quiet change a few years ago and began supplying Chinese Jazzes to most of Europe. The Fit is very profitable for American Honda dealers, even if it perhaps is not all that profitable for Honda itself, so it’s safe to say that if supplies dwindle the pressure will be on to do something. If that happens, the first Chinese-made automobile to be sold in the United States will have come from an unlikely source indeed.

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31 Comments on “A Thousand Points Of Light… And A Chinese Concern...”


  • avatar
    Zackman

    “QUAKEOLOPNIKPOCALYPSE” Ha ha ha! You HAD to work in a not-so-subtle jab in there, didn’t you Jack! Gotta love it! Honda Jazz – will it have a “Made in China” sticker on it? Very interesting.

  • avatar

    Really? Another dig at other car blogs?

    These keep coming off, to me, as really childish and petty. So the other blog doesn’t report the same way you do, so they use amusing nicknames for stuff. Big deal. First off, they published a “manifesto”saying they were goign to do what they liked and not what was necissarily expected of them. Whether it is working for them, or if it is hurting them, dissing on them for not being as much of a “real” car blog as you just comes across like petulant whining one-upmanship.

    It was past pettiness in the posts here that drove me away before. I came back because stuff here (linked from other car blogs, natch) seemed to show that the tone here had gone back to a mature content-focused one. And if it is going to devolve back into “TTAC is better than *other* so-called “car blogs” that happen to be way bigger than us.” I’m just going to leave again. And I doubt I’ll be back. No matter how many Murile Martin posts you have (which BTW are much more of the tone of the blog you are dissing than of how you imply it “should” be).

    Just be the sort of blog you want to be, and post the stuff you want to post. And if enough people like it you’ll get more readers. Trying to shove someone down to push yourself up is just immature and petty.

    • 0 avatar
      Lumbergh21

      I’ll continue to return to TTAC no matter how many Murile Martin posts you have, because you still continue to provide irreverent and entertaining no-holds-barred reporting on the car industry.

    • 0 avatar
      Tosh

      Also pretty classless to casually refer to the quake and tsunami as “this particular disaster,” but not unexpected from this particular man-child. Best for JB to stick to objectifying his woman and terrorizing other auto writers at the test track?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      For the record, I had two irreplaceable female friends who were placed at risk by this whole business, one who found herself basically locked in a Hawaiian elementary school for a whole day without food and another one who could have lost her home had the wave hit California a little bit harder.
      I have no patience with, nor respect for, people who adopt some bizarrely sanctimonious attitude towards whatever flavor-of-the-week event is happening at the moment. Tell your mommies to stop protecting you and try going outside to see if your thin skin will melt in the rain.
      Here’s a stat for you: Fifty-five MILLION people die every year around the globe. Each one of them was probably the most important person in someone else’s life. It is a statistical certainty that, the last time you were laughing at a movie, chuckling over something you’d read, or masturbating to your fetish or unattainable sex partner or choice, someone’s child, mother, father, or spouse was dying a painful, humiliating, and miserable death.
      Get over yourselves.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      While, in general, I agree with Jack’s point about sanctimony, whenever I read “I have (insert personal friendship/family reference here)” remarks, I find it hard to take the rest of a comment seriously. Either one is truly an “I don’t give a ****” type or, as is most often the case, one is just like everyone else, the center of their own universe.
       
      Having said all that, I would appreciate reading more of Jack’s exploits than his analysis. It’s more entertaining.

    • 0 avatar
      Signal11

      You’re a writer on a popular blog, Jack.  Grow a thicker skin and learn not to counter “bizarre sanctimony” with even more bizarre sanctimony.
       
      I like your writing, but countering criticism with your personal story about how you’re tangentially effected through two people who didn’t really suffer disaster doesn’t help you look less the tool.

    • 0 avatar

      The whaaaambulance is coming to get you! Ray Wert is a tool, I enjoy reading jabs at his blog. While the digs might drive you away, they keep me coming back.

    • 0 avatar
      grzydj

      I thought it was pretty clever jab, and Jalopnik appreciates and promotes snark, so Jack was spot on here. At least you were able to navigate your way here and post a response without getting lost in a completely idiotic user interface devoid of any logic.

    • 0 avatar

      Remind me not to get on Jack’s bad side.
      Complimenting Ray for throwing Jack’s dying mom a sympathy f*ck was the most cutting riposte I’ve heard in years. That one left a mark.
      I tell you Jerry, gold!

    • 0 avatar

      Hey, at least Jack doesn’t use Yiddish and Hebrew in a manner that shows that he doesn’t really know Yiddish and Hebrew.

    • 0 avatar
      scottcom36

      It was a parody, and I thought it was funny. But I guess you’d call it TTACky!

  • avatar
    Fugue

    Great info.
     
    Any chance you could do a model breakdown for Toyota? I would like to know which new models will be in short supply.

  • avatar
    L'avventura

    >>Although US-bound Fits are assembled in Japan, the rest of the world’s drivers often receive their “Jazz” from factories in China. Honda made a very quiet change a few years ago and began supplying Chinese Jazzes to most of Europe.

    No they don’t.

    Since the opening of the Swindon plant in late-2009 most of the European Jazz’s are built there, Honda only exported a small handful of Jazz’s before that back in 2005 but has moved all Chinese export production to Swindon.

    http://www.intellasia.net/news/articles/regional/111275919.shtml

    The Fit/Jazz is one of those cars that are built everywhere; UK, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Japan, and Brazil as well as China.  If Honda is going to export Fits to the US market they won’t be exporting to the Guangdong plant in China, they most likely will bring cars in from Thailand or Swindon first.  As CAAM data as shown, Chinese car exports are minuscule.

    Also, the Fit is produced at the Honda Suzuka plant, which is much farther south of where the quake hit.  While there are logistical issues that still will impact Japanese export of the Fit/Jazz, there should be no long term issue with export of Fits.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I’m not sure the Fit/Jazz issue is that clear-cut. I have reasons of my own to believe I know a bit about Honda’s production, but that’s about all I’m prepared to say :)

  • avatar
    DeadFlorist

    Wait, should I be reading this for the info on Honda’s production capabilities or taking sides on the latest internets melodrama?

  • avatar
    threeer

    Unless Honda likes to play fast and loose with qualifying their vehicles for the safety/emissions, etc., regulations…I doubt we’ll see Chinese-built Fits any time soon.  And I really don’t think they’d want the negative press associated with what would happen if the mainstream media discovered that they were sneaking in “Made in China” Hondas. 

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      I’m pretty sure that China assembled Hondas are just as good as those assembled in Japan, the US, Europe, etc.
       

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Don’t underestimate the Chinese. I was recently evaluating potential suppliers for parts I need for a prototype. The Chinese supplier as usual had the lowest price, but they also had an improved design and clearly better build quality than a European competitor. Even details like the connectors on the circuit board were improved and stronger.

  • avatar
    18726543

    I was under the impression that Volvo had been selling Chinese built Volvos here for a couple years now.  Have I been misinformed?

  • avatar
    obbop

    Sheesh……… Log in….. need to enter screen name.
    This article… Log in…. wants password this time.
    Will next request be for first-born son to be sacrificed to Moloch?
    Anyway…
     
    I am in a positive feedback loop.
     
    I comment and have to return to view any possible responses to comments.
    The return results in a “since I am here I need to view new posts scenario wherein I make another inane comment somewhere thus forced to return resulting in an endless cycle that does assist in increasing page and site hits.
    Ad stat logistics live for those such as I.
    Does anybody recall the constantly-appearing ads in days of old reminding the USA masses to use the at-the-time nearly-new Zip Code?
    And remember;
     
    Buckle up for safety, BUCKLE UP!
    Buckle up for safety EVERYBODY BUCKLE UP!
    keep your mind at ease
    in the driver seat
    Buckle up for safety EVERYBODY BUCKLE UP!
    Buckle up for safety, BUCKLE UP!
    Buckle up for safety EVERYBODY BUCKLE UP!
    If you’re in your car
    Traveling near or far
    Buckle up for safety EVERYBODY BUCKLE UP!
     
    Lyrics varied among locales and over time. In the public domain I believe due to the feds being behind the ad campaign.
     
    Oh, attractive generator. They are sure pretty in the retailer. Well-machined metal is prettier than any jewel to me, the Disgruntled One.

  • avatar

    >>>QUAKEOLOPNIKPOCALYPSE
    Jack & Jalopnik got beef. someone might get shot

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I thought Honda was building Fits in several places, and that the Thai plant was the most likely export source?

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Is there any hope that the Crosstour is produced solely in Japan?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      No such luck, Robert: I’m currently sitting about three miles form East Liberty, Ohio, where all Crosstours are produced, including ones for the Russian market with real burlwood trim and rear seat heaters.


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