Honda targeting 2/3 of unit sales from PHEVs, HEVs and ZEVs by ~2030; PHEVs the core of electrification
At a press event in Tokyo to lay out his future vision and direction for the company, Honda Motor President & CEO Takahiro Hachigo said that the company will strive to make two-thirds of its overall unit sales from plug-in hybrid/hybrid vehicles and zero-emissions vehicles such as fuel cell vehicles and battery EVs by around 2030.
Hachigo said that Honda will will position plug-in hybrids at the core of electrification in the future and will introduce an all-new plug-in hybrid model in North America by 2018. After that, Honda will make a plug-in hybrid type available for the major models and increase the number of models sequentially.
Honda will begin sales in Japan of the Clarity Fuel Cell in March 2016. The next-generation fuel cell system which is being developed jointly with General Motors will move on to the next stage that includes production and purchasing, aiming at a product launch around 2020.
On the motorcycle front, Honda will introduce the EV-CUB, a mass-production model developed based on the EV-CUB Concept electric motorcycle (earlier post), to the Japanese market about 2 years from now, and then subsequently in main ASEAN countries, which has been the largest market for the Honda Cub Series.
Hachigo said that Honda will start a project that will further advance the S-E-D (sales, production (engineering) and development) system to the next level. At the same time, it will introduce a new approach to automobile manufacturing which requires consideration of electrification beyond the concept of a “platform.”
Hachigo is initiating a major organizational change in April. He said that Honda will establish a structure where development teams at the spot can concentrate on creating automobiles and focus on the development of one whole vehicle as one product under a consistent concept.
Honda will add some new positions, including new positions in charge of the area of product development, a new position in charge of conducting evaluations from the standpoint of the entire vehicle consistently for all models and new positions in charge of supervising design creation of Honda and Acura models, respectively, on a global basis.
The roles and responsibilities of each area such as production, purchasing, quality, service and sales will be further clarified, he said. At the same time, Honda will establish a new structure enabling simple and speedy decisions.
In addition to leveraging global models and production, Honda will strengthen production and sales of regional models in each region to accommodate local needs.
In North America, in addition to the Pilot, the all-new Ridgeline, and the next CR-V and Odyssey are scheduled to be launched. In order to accommodate these new model introductions and high demand for light truck products in North America, production of large-sized SUVs which have been concentrated at the plant in Alabama will be expanded to another plant. The East Liberty Auto Plant in Ohio will start producing the Acura MDX in 2017 as the second plant to produce light truck models in North America.
In China, production will be expanded along with the introduction of key new models such as a large-sized SUV which is scheduled to be announced this year under the Honda brand and an all-new Acura compact SUV.