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Report: Honda Building Parts Plant for New Small Hybrid

22 July 2006

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.

July 22, 2006 in Hybrids, Japan, Motors, Vehicle Systems | Permalink | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0)

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Great job Honda! Let's keep those hybrids coming.

The only problem is that Honda tends to use hybrid tech more, to boost power, and less to improve gas mileage. Yes, there might be a good argument for this strategy, but only a) for niche vehicles, like the Corvette b) if the consumer insists on power of a V-6 or V-8 from a 4-5 cylinder vehicle. Presently, it does not look like reason (b) is holding up in the market.

However, it may be possible to patch/mod the software (from Honda, or others) of those vehicles to maximize MPG rather than 0-100 mph. Additionally, specific profiles could be added to the software, like on some cars from BMW or Mercedes Benz that would dial in specific levels of power, handling, traction control, driving conditions, etc.

Power vs. economy is not true of the civic or the insight. True of the Accord, but don't know how you can generalize based upon the limited number of models introduced so far.

t is right--don't generalize from the Accord to all of their models. And don't forget--they got killed on the Accord. Its sales were terrible and then got even worse once people knew the Camry hybrid was coming. Honda will definitely learn from its mistake with the Accord and try to one-up Toyota in the "greener than thou" contest.

It will be a hybrid fit.

http://www.autoblog.com/2006/02/22/report-honda-to-market-hybrid-fit-globally-as-early-as-2007/

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/02/honda_planning_.html

"If you take the measurement from the wheel hub to the wheel hub of the Fit and the Insight, they are the same to the millimeter. The Fit is going to get the Insight engine. It's already a proven powertrain. It will probably get fuel economy in the low to mid-50s."

http://www.hybridcars.com/honda-fit-hybrid.html

if I'm right their technology is not conducive to plugin status. Is that right?

Would be nice if Honda did a CNG Civic hybrid.
Real clean car and you never have to go to the gas station when you commute.

t is right. the insight and civic hybrid are both real dogs in terms of performance, especially if you push them for a while and drain their batteries.

honda made the accord quicker because they know people are willing to pay for performance. as automakers push hybrid vehicles into the mainstream, they will probably lose their green devotees, who will no longer see hybrids as being green enough to suit their image. this core will move on to BEVs, FCEVs, or, most likely, PHEVs.

"honda made the accord quicker because they know people are willing to pay for performance."

Change "they knew" to "they thought".

The definition of "real dog" has of course changed significantly over the years as most of the efficiency gains have been turned into heavier and faster vehicles. I owned a civic hybrid and never thought of it as a dog, and I do a lot of mountain driving. But maybe that's because my first car was a '63 VW. I'll admint it's probably an age thing.

I have no problem with the Honda Accord hybrid other then the price. Its a little faster, it gets a little mpg but it costs a whole lot more. If it were just $2000 more I think the hybrid option would sell much better. Its just a mild hybrid after all, it should not be so expensive.

There's a lot of speculation as to what this new vehicle hybrid will be like, but if it's going to be cheaper than the current civic hybrid I can't see it being a big or a luxury car: it must be something small, and thus, my guess (and that's all it is here) is that it will be a car very devoted to fuel frugality and mileage/aerodynamics, etc.

Hopefully they will give the electric side much more power and priority for independent electric drive, and have their HCCI (or whatever that sparkless gas combustion technology is called they are fast-tracking: I forget now), added to the mix. Man, I am looking forward to this, but they better hurry, because the landscape is changing fast now.

I want a snarling 3rd generation prius killer! Go Honda!

I wonder if this new vehicle will be the impetus Toyota needs to make a hybrid Yaris, or perhaps just release the version they are testing in Japan with the start/stop lithium-ion system. Car buyers in the lower income bracket are going to be the first to really need affordable hybrids in the coming years as fuel prices skyrocket out of control, and so far there's nada to choose from.

will somebody, anybody, pls make a hybrid WAGON? 20+cubic ft of storage behind the back seat, w/ room for 5, 50 mpg. that's all I ask.

I think the problem as always is the price of batteries vs density of energy per kilogram.

The rest of the car is chocholate wrapping.
A new plant will solve nothing. World demand is not outstripping supply of hybrids to the extent that a new factory must be built, so what gives.

Not unless one of the two previously mentioned variables has been radically improved or is on the virge of being improved. Here's hoping it has :)

Hybrid of 5 Toyota models would be pretty much interesting. Mix and matching severaltoyota parts. That's SWEEET!

Check out this Honda Accord commercial (Flash6 required). According to Andrew Sullivan , no special effects were used. They actually set this thing up manually and filmed it hundreds of times before they got it exactly right.

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