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Both Honda and Acura vehicles exported to the United States last year accounted for less than 6 percent of its 3.1 million sales worldwide

Honda was recently the first Japanese automaker to admit that it is losing money on exports from Japan to the United States.

According to Honda, both Honda and Acura vehicles exported to the United States last year accounted for less than 6 percent of its 3.1 million sales worldwide.

"Under the current exchange rate of 80 yen per dollar, our export business doesn't make any profit," said Fumihiko Ike, Honda CFO. "Definitely, the absolute number of exports to the United States will be decreasing.

Honda plans to cut shipments of some of its vehicles to the U.S. in an effort to offset these losses. However, the Japanese automaker's long-term goal is to move more production to North America, where it will also buy the parts and components needed for its vehicles.

Honda Fit

Currently, Honda builds 85 percent of the vehicles it sells here in North America, but the need to increase this number is significant. Honda keeps selling the exports -- such as the Fit, Insight and CR-Z hybrids -- despite losing money because it wants to retain customers in the U.S. However, producing vehicles in the U.S. and then selling them in the U.S. will be cheaper for Honda and will allow the automaker to avoid what happened last year -- a shortage.

In 2011, Honda didn't have enough cars over in the U.S. to sell, so continued shipping money-losing exports for the sake of keeping customers.

Honda's solution is to shift production of its Fit car to a plant that the automaker plans to open in Mexico in 2014.

According to Ike, Honda currently doesn't make any profit on Fits sent to the United States, and because it's not profitable for Honda, it's also not profitable for car dealers. But the company keeps selling it here because it's a great car for younger generations and it wants to hold on to these customers. Once the plant in Mexico is complete, the Fit should be profitable. But for now, this particular vehicle is much more profitable in Japan where there are government incentive programs for fuel-efficient vehicles.

Honda CR-Z Hybrid

Honda is also looking to shift hybrid vehicle production to North America within a few years. The automaker is already looking for local hybrid component suppliers that carry lithium ion batteries.

The need to shift hybrid production is also significant, considering combined sales of the Civic Hybrid, CR-Z hybrid and the Insight hybrid totaled 31,582 units last year.

Honda will also build the Acura NSX sports car with a hybrid drivetrain in Ohio within a three-year period.

"We are not just simply shifting assembly from Japan to the United States," said Ike. "Of course, we have to expand local procurement, otherwise it's not cost-effective."

Source: Automotive News

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RE: Here's an idea...
By Spuke on 6/12/2012 1:57:50 PM , Rating: 2
200hp is enough for me in such a light car, and $25k is a sweet price.
Not enough for me. :) My cars weighs a little more (2900 lbs) but has 100 more hp and 200 lb-ft more torque now (funny what a simple ECU flash will do). Makes for a much more exciting drive than before and I was quite satisfied with stock performance (although that pesky manual trans Accord V6 coupe gave me a run for my money). Interestingly, the tires have no problem handling the extra power.

RE: Here's an idea...
By Manch on 6/12/2012 3:34:37 PM , Rating: 2
100hp & 200 lb/ft from an ECU flash? What car is this?!

RE: Here's an idea...
By Brandon Hill on 6/12/2012 4:01:40 PM , Rating: 2
Probably a VW 2.0T or something ;)

Or perhaps, 1.8T NEVAR LOSE!!! >:-)

RE: Here's an idea...
By Spuke on 6/12/2012 4:12:53 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry I meant 100 more hp/200 lbft MORE than the FR-S/BRZ twins taking a guess on drivetrain losses on my car. I have a Pontiac Solstice GXP, turbo 4 with DI. Gains on my car over stock were 65hp/110 lb-ft. I have the flash and an exhaust.

RE: Here's an idea...
By FITCamaro on 6/12/2012 6:07:12 PM , Rating: 2
That 2.0L Ecotec is a thing of beauty. I got the tune for my Cruze on sale. Added 30hp and 30-40 lb ft. Still not fast but the flick of a switch for a little extra power when I want it and better gas mileage when I don't for $300 ain't bad.

RE: Here's an idea...
By steven975 on 6/12/2012 6:42:15 PM , Rating: 2

My S2K has added boost...I have around 370/225, or 310/200 at the wheels. Only 5psi of progressively building boost, though. I'd bet due to the torque you're putting out 280HP for much of the rev range...I only put out that for split seconds.

RE: Here's an idea...
By Manch on 6/13/2012 4:28:31 AM , Rating: 2
lol, ok. either way, 65/110 over stock is pretty damn good for an ECU/exhaust. Being that its a turbo car, did you increase the boost any to get those numbers?

RE: Here's an idea...
By FITCamaro on 6/13/2012 9:01:29 AM , Rating: 2
How else do you think those numbers are gained? Unless you believe the sticker that is on the side of bolt on parts.

RE: Here's an idea...
By Manch on 6/14/2012 2:22:51 AM , Rating: 2
What?! You mean those numbers arent actual? So verifying the gains with my butt dyno is no good either? Damnit, I guess Ill take my car to the shop....

I figured he bumped the boost, or being that its a lil 4banger, his exhuast was a gigantic fart can the size of a 55gallon drum to make it sound like a dying giraffe. Car guys have a tendency to leave out certain details of there build. "What you got in it?" reply: "Bolts-ons, tune..."

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