By on October 26, 2018

2018 Honda Fit Sport 6MT in Orange Fury - Image: Honda

It’s rumored that Honda is considering reallocating production of its U.S.-market Fit subcompact to Japan from Mexico in a few years. According to reports, this is partly due to everything that’s going on with the North American Free Trade Agreement, or whatever they’re calling it now.

The new arrangement, which replaces NAFTA, is set to raise the minimum North American content for cars to qualify for duty-free market access to 75 percent from 62.5 percent, while simultaneously raising Mexico’s auto workers’ minimum wage and giving them the right to union representation. 

That might make things tricky for a budget model with relatively slim profit margins. According to Reuters, sources at the company say Honda is trying to decide whether or not it’s worth it in the long run. The discussion is said to be highly confidential, necessitating the sources’ need for anonymity.

A Fit assembly swap could be a predictor for how other automakers might react under the new trade deal. One of the employee said if Honda decides to shift production out of Mexico, it would wait until the company launches its fourth-generation model. The next-gen Fit is rumored to arrive sometime in 2021.

U.S.-bound Fits are presently assembled at Honda’s plant in Celaya, Mexico, alongside the HR-V crossover. A Honda spokesman informed Reuters that the company had not made any final decisions on vehicle production.

[Image: Honda]

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15 Comments on “Adios, Amigo? Honda Considering Moving Fit Production Out of Mexico, Report Says...”


  • avatar
    APaGttH

    So much winning, not to mention the B-segment is dying and if CAFE is held or gutted, American buyers will care even less — until gas goes to $5 or $6 a gallon due to some event.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    They should make Acura CUVs in Mexico – they don’t sell anywhere else except North America anyway and much higher margin that the dying Fit segment.

  • avatar
    Prado

    So, they are essentially saying that there is no business case to build cars in Mexico other than as a cheap labor source for US bound products. I would have thought a product like the Fit would be popular in Latin America. Good riddance then!

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      In Central America never saw a lot of Hondas. I remained utterly amazed at how few Jeep Wranglers of any vintage I saw in Nicaragua in particular. It would seem like the ideal vehicle for the country and it isn’t about a lack of presence of US automakers – Chevy was pretty common. I saw more imported FCA (and pre-FCA) minivans than Jeeps. Weird! In Nicaragua a ton of Nissan products – I would say the middle-class (by Nicaraguan standards) is the Nissan Versa sedan (Tilda there).

      Never saw a ton of Honda products in Central America outside of Mexico.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        The modern Wrangler isn’t a cheap vehicle, unless you use rich person money math (where the the depreciation matters more than the price, because you have $18k that can be tied up in the car for a few years).

        The technical aspects of the vehicle are only part of what matters to a buyer. (As an engineer, it took me about 20 years and a master’s degree to fully wrap my head around this.). The cost, reliability, and local expertise on the platform matter too.

    • 0 avatar
      Magnusmaster

      Honda doesn’t like selling their cars cheap, except in Brazil, and as a result Brazil is the only market in Latin America where Honda has had some success. And Honda already makes the Fit in Brazil anyway.

  • avatar
    tmport

    Mexican-made Fits have had pretty poor quality control, so it’s probably for the best.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Weren’t Fits for the Canadian market assembled/manufactured in China for a while?

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    This is exciting news, but I thought most Fits have been coming from Japan ever since demand for HR-Vs pushed most of their production out of Mexico a year or two ago.

  • avatar
    King of Eldorado

    I’m considering a new Fit EX to replace my 2011 second generation one. For some reason there are only 5 Fits in inventory among the 3 dealers within 75 miles of my home: 4 LX and one Sport. Anyone know why this might be?


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