Why Honda is shifting auto output in Mexico

X Scalper

LOS ANGELES — Honda will end production of the HR-V subcompact crossover next year at its first auto plant in central Mexico and consolidate vehicle assembly at a newer facility in the same region.

Honda said in a press release that its original Mexican auto plant in El Salto, Jalisco, will stop building vehicles altogether and focus on other products made there, including motorcycles, power products and service parts.

The Jalisco plant opened for motorcycle assembly in 1988 and added the Accord sedan in 1995 as Honda’s first car produced in Mexico. Earlier this year, Honda said that it was reducing production in Jalisco due to softening demand for the HR-V in North America.

Beginning in early 2020, all local HR-V production will be done at Honda’s second Mexican plant, which opened in Celaya, Guanajuato, in 2014 to build the Fit and HR-V, which are the only vehicles produced in Mexico by Honda.

“With the consolidation of automobile production at the Celaya plant, Honda de Mexico will further increase the efficiency of automobile production, create highly competitive products and continue delivering highly attractive products to its North American customers,” the company said.

Honda’s auto production capacity in Mexico is 260,000 units per year at both plants combined, Honda said. Celaya accounts for 200,000 units of the total.

Honda de Mexico said that the consolidation of production in Celaya will not reduce the number of models offered by the automaker in North America. It also said that no workers would be laid off as a result of the production shift.

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