The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that Honda plans to build a new manufacturing plant to produce key components to be used in its hybrid cars, including a new small hybrid targeted for a 2009 release.
Due to come online in 2008, the new plant will enable the automaker to quadruple its annual output capacity for electric motors to 200,000 units and reduce the cost of making the new 2009 hybrid.
In May, Honda CEO Takeo Fukui confirmed that Honda is developing a new dedicated hybrid vehicle that would be offered at a price lower than that of the Civic Hybrid. The worldwide sales plan is approximately 200,000 units per year, including projected North American sales volume 100,000 units. (Earlier post.)
Expected to cost about ¥ 8 billion (US$69 million), the plant will be built on the grounds of Honda’s Suzuka factory in Mie Prefecture. Honda currently produces hybrid cars based on the Civic in Suzuka. The new plant will build engines on the first floor and mass-produce electric motors on the second.