Following in the footsteps of Toyota, Japanese automaker Honda will reportedly manufacture components, including batteries and electric motors, for some of its hybrid vehicles in China, starting in 2012. The production shift is meant to reduce the cost of Honda's hybrid vehicles sold in China and, hopefully, boost sales there, too.
During a recent interview, Honda China's chief executive officer, Seiji Kuraishi, stated that it's difficult to reduce costs when importing electric motors and batteries from Japan. Local production of these vital components is a feasible way to cut costs and decrease the price of its hybrids sold in China.
In 2012, Honda will launch five hybrids in China: the Insight, CR-Z, Fit, Civic and an undisclosed gas-electric Acura. These tea leaves lead us to believe the reported timing of the production shift is spot on.