With New Honda CEO, Possible FCA Partnership?
New Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo told media Monday that the automaker wouldn’t aim for a specific global sales figure to drive growth and would be open to partnerships with other automakers, Automotive News reported.
The speech also emphasized sharing global manufacturing resources within Honda’s six regional divisions and to create “challenging products.” (Which may or may not — probably not — mean “Challenger.”)
The speech was Hachigo’s first public address since taking the reins of Honda last month. In a sustainability report released in June, Hachigo signaled that the Japanese automaker would adopt English as its official language by 2020.
The news yesterday is particularly interesting as speculation ramps up around FCA and Sergio Marchionne’s plan for consolidation with General Motors. Any alliance with Honda could help FCA gain a sales foothold in Japan and could revitalize FCA’s hybrid program. In turn, Honda could capitalize on FCA’s European market share and network.
In the speech, Hachigo outlined several different initiatives Honda will undertake in the next few years, which include building a smaller, turbocharged Civic and other production efficiencies. For example, the CR-V, which is produced in Canada, will be exported worldwide. Civics produced in England will be shipped to Japan, and Japanese-built Fits will be sent to the U.S. In addition to those announcements, Hachigo said Honda will begin building Accords in Nigeria for African markets. More than 80 percent of Honda’s car building is outside Japan.
Honda could replace its weak V6 transmissions with FCA's balky 9-speed. Or maybe not.
Hopefully, one of these days a billionaire investor from the US--who just so happens to love Mopar--buys the Chrysler division from FCA and brings it back to America. If I were in the position to buy out Chrysler from FCA, I would. Then I'd immediately get some engineers together to revive the cab-forward LH platform. RAM would be Dodge Ram.
To my way of thinking a much better synergy for Honda isn't FCA but Mazda! Think about it, Mazda that scrappy little company offers excellent design, innovative engineering and outstanding handling is hanging on by their fingernails. An allegiance with Honda is the perfect (forgive the pun) fit. Imagine Honda drivetrains and supplier resources combined with Mazda style and handling. Combining their engineering talents could make for some interesting vehicles...
well... bleak prospect for honda perhaps, or they are really that desperate to fend of the complaints about how they car looks ( not how they perform ) and thinks perhaps some Italian know how in car styling would help them... On the upside and perhaps its a wishful thinking, we can finally have an alfa romeo with honda reliability sort of italian exotic looks with japanese temprament