Honda is continuing to expand its production capacity in North America, opening a new plant in Celaya, Mexico. The plant has been designed to produce only subcompact models, such as the 2015 Honda Fit and an upcoming small Honda SUV. The automaker says the plant was built to meet increasing demand throughout North America for inexpensive and fuel-efficient vehicles. A kickoff party at the facility was attended by Enrique Pena Nieto, president of Mexico, and Takanobu Ito, president & CEO of Honda Motor Co.
Located in Celaya, Guanajuato, the new plant cost $800 million to build. Construction started in early 2012, with production of vehicles first starting on a limited basis less than two years later. Once the plant is up to full production capacity, it will produce 200,000 vehicles and engines each year, as well as employ 3,200 workers. Honda anticipates full production will be reached in the latter part of 2014.
“Our new plant in Mexico is based on the Honda Company Principle of maintaining a global viewpoint to supply products of the highest quality, yet at a reasonable price, for worldwide customer satisfaction. In Celaya, we can see these core values in action, with a commitment to the highest quality and efficiency and a focus on creating joy for our customers,” said Ito.
During 2013, 90 percent of all Honda and Acura models purchased in the United States were produced in North America. With the Celaya plant at full production capacity, that number is anticipated to shift to rocket past 95 percent.
The Celaya plant is not only the first subcompacts-only factory in North America, it also uses the latest production technologies and techniques formulated by Honda. The innovations in the manufacturing process promise to reduce production costs and at the same time reduce the plant’s environmental impact.