The Nikkei reports that Honda Motor Co. plans to assemble the hybrid version of its Fit subcompact in Thailand starting this summer—its first production in Asia of hybrids outside of Japan.
Knockdown production, a method in which local sites assemble imported parts, is to take place at a factory in Ayutthaya Province using key components shipped from Japan, including the motors and batteries. The 1.3-liter car is to be released locally as the Jazz Hybrid as early as the summer.
The Fit Hybrid is Honda’s most popular hybrid, with some 86,000 units sold in 2011, mainly in Japan, the US and Europe. Currently, all Fit Hybrids are manufactured in Japan. In Asia, Honda introduced the model in Malaysia in March. The company decided to assemble the vehicle in Thailand, its key production site in Asia, with an eye on exporting it to neighboring nations.