Honda to Launch 3 New Hybrid Models & 1 EV in China in 2012

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Toshihiro Mibe of Honda announced on October 12th that it would be introducing 3 new hybrid models into the Chinese market in 2012. At first, these hybrid cars will be manufactured and imported from Honda Japan, but Honda is indicating that in the future, it would like to produce these models locally in China itself. Local production of hybrid Honda models could happen as early as 2012. Honda is increasingly focusing on the Chinese market, as it is also planning on introducing a locally-produced EV there at the end of 2012.

The three hybrid models destined for China will be based on the Insight, the Fit Hybrid and the sporty CR-Z. Reports indicate that the EV model will be based on the Honda Fit EV. This model will be produced and marketed by a joint venture company in Guangzhou, Canton province in Southern China and will be tested in local conditions starting at the end of this year. A Beijing-based Honda PR source indicated that this EV model will be eligible for grants from the Chinese government.

Honda also says that by producing the EV model in China may well lead to the rare earth metals used in the magnets in the electric motors also being sourced locally in China. Not really surprising as China is a major supplier of these materials on the world market.

Sources: Bloomberg, Nikkei, Reuters (all Japanese language)

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