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Hondas To Be As 'American' As Detroit Cars By 2015?

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A few weeks ago, we wondered whether U.S. consumers found it more important to buy a car that's "made in America" or one that's made by an American company.

The post generated some interesting discussion, with several readers pointing out -- quite rightly -- that in this day and age, it's become increasingly hard to find a vehicle that's truly "made in America" (meaning, "made in the U.S."). And while many consumers are likely to stick with Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors in the future, we have a hunch that others who were once Detroit loyalists may become a little more...flexible.

Those people will be prime targets for Honda. According to Wards Auto, 89% of the vehicles Honda currently sells in the U.S. are made in North America (including Canada and Mexico). But by 2015, that figure will rise to 96%.

That number is on par with Detroit's Big Three, which build about 97% of their U.S. cars in North America. And it's far ahead of other automakers, which generally manufacture 60% of their U.S. models in our region.

Why the shift?

One of Honda's biggest motivations for moving its activities here is the strong yen, which makes manufacturing in Japan an expensive proposition. The automaker has been investing heavily in upgrades to plants in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, with plans to boost production dramatically in coming years and to shift some models away from Japan entirely.

The last vehicle to jump the Pacific should be the highly popular Fit, which is expected to begin production at Honda's new factory in Mexico by 2014. However, depending on the financial markets, it's possible that Honda could move other vehicles to North America entirely -- vehicles like the Honda Civic and the Honda CR-V, which are now built both here and in Japan. If that happens, it could shift the number of North American-built Hondas sold in the U.S. to almost 100%.

Detroit loyalists: would this change your opinion of Honda? Or will you still swear allegiance to the Big Three? Drop us a line, or leave a note in the comments below.

[h/t John Voelcker]

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Comments (14)
  1. The profit on the Hondas still goes back to Japan (where Hondas healthcare costs are zero for Japanese employees). I want the profit from my sale to stay in the U.S.

  2. but where is the domestic Chrysler's profit going to?

  3. Why are you showing the Fit? As far as I know, Honda has no plans of building it in the US.

  4. Paragraph #6 above: Honda is moving production of the Fit to a new facility in Mexico, which will make it a "North American" vehicle. Detroit automakers currently build about 97% of their vehicles for U.S. consumers in North America. By bringing the Fit (and other models) to Canada, the U.S., and Mexico, Honda may match that figure.

  5. Pardon.

  6. No prob at all. Thanks for reading!

  7. Honda will have to improve the fun-to-drive element in their cars before we would consider buying one. Where a car is made isn't the only criteria. We drive Focuses (Foci?) now, a current Civic is just an appliance.

  8. Why does is sell so much better than the Focus? I checked out the Foci at the latest autoshows hoping the new models quality improved, I was very disappointed, the fit and finish is no where near a Honda.

  9. Yea...if u enjoy driving a car that feels like you're driving can of Pepsi...then yea...the Civic is for you!! The ONLY reason Civics outsell Focii now is due to consumer ignorance/laziness!!!

  10. The reason I drive a Honda Civic Del Sol is because it's not completely falling apart like EVERY American Automakers car at 200,000 miles. I beat the living snot out of it and it just keeps coming back with impressive mpg, fun driving, and not to mention a feeling of reliability that is trusted and acknowledged to even the most muscle headed auto buyers. Honda came into the shine in the 1970s due to the oil crisis and the fact is that they proved to me and millions of others that they make good, low-cost, and reliable cars.

  11. This makes me want to buy a Honda even more (or any other car built in the US with non-union labor. After Barack Hussein Obama gave billions of our tax dollars to GM and Chrysler and then bragged about their profits (who couldn't make a profit when given billions and be able to write off lossess on future tax returns?), the only US car I would even consider would be Ford.
    The Subaru I recently bought that was made in Indiana is the BEST initial quality of all the 6 new cars I have purchased in the past.

  12. I agree with you 100% but we do differ on one point.I wouldn't even buy Ford. I am a Honda loyalist and will buy their products regardless of country of origin. Personally I don't believe GM and Chrysler should have been "bailed out" as the problems they got themselves into were largely of their own doing/making (some, yes were out of their control such as world oil prices driving the price of gas sky high)but some were of GM and Chrysler making such as not building small 4 cylinder vehicles people wanted with gas going up instead building hundreds of their "cash cow" full size gas sucking trucks but they were "bailed out" so as to save the jobs specifically the union jobs and union workers which usually and (traditionally) vote democratic.

  13. Ford vehicles are manufactured by union members, for the most part.

  14. Since Honda stock is traded publicly as is GM and Ford nationality does not matter.Where it does matter is with the Koreans who don't have open market's and stock is publicly traded .Even though Hyundai's are built in Alabama .What is more important is that Americans can be involved in upper management Honda and Toyota have that latter open to anyone.

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