Honda CEO on the future: ‘competitive’ next-gen CR-V, Accord; Civic Type R coming to Japan this autumn

Civic Type R Pan-European launch

In his first speech at the helm, new Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo has revealed a number of details regarding the company’s future direction and its upcoming models. The new “Team Honda,” he said, will pursue the advancement of the H brand’s six-region global operations structure, as well as the further development of “challenging products” that will be delivered to customers around the world.

First up, Honda will see its “unique” matrix management structure – building up production capacity and established sales, development and purchasing functions in the six regions, allowing them to develop exclusive models tailored to each region – expand to utilise regional production capacity for its entire global operations, with its main headquarters upgraded to facilitate inter-regional relationships.

This will leverage on the company’s flexible production system and optimise production allocation. We already know that the new NSX will be built at the Performance Manufacturing Centre in Ohio and exported worldwide, and that the British-built next-generation Civic hatchback (yes, including the Type R) will make its way Stateside.

Civic Concept

Now, it’s been divulged that Japan will be the source of some North American-market Fit (currently produced at the Celaya, Mexico plant) and European-market Jazz models, while Canada will be building next-gen CR-Vs destined for Europe. On the other side of the world, Nigeria will become the first African nation to assemble Honda vehicles, with local production of the Accord beginning this month; planned annual production is pegged at 1,000 units.

Even bigger news is that production of the current Civic Type R has begun in Swindon, UK (with a VTEC Turbo engine from Anna, Ohio, might we add), and the fiery 310 PS hot hatch will be sold in Japan starting this autumn. This raises the question about other export markets – could we perhaps see the return of the CTR through official channels for the first time since the departure of the sorely-missed FD2 sedan?

It’s all well and good talking about global production and exports, but it would be for nought without the new product to support it. To that end, Hachigo said that in addition to the upcoming tenth-gen Civic, Honda is also working on the next CR-V and Accord, which he promises will be “more attractive vehicles that feature more new technologies, higher competitiveness and innovative designs.”

Additionally, the company is also striving to bring to market its next-generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicle – the successor to the FCX Clarity and based on last year’s FCV Concept – in Japan before the end of the current fiscal year on March 31, 2016.

Elsewhere, the CRF1000L dual-purpose adventure motorcycle is set to go on sale in Europe end-2015 (and North America and Japan at a later date), while a Walking Assist Device for people with weakened leg strength is being pushed to make its Japanese-market debut before the end of the year.

“I believe in Honda’s people, technological strengths and potential,” Hachigo said in closing. “My job is to establish a system that connects the strengths we derive from the challenging spirit of each and every one of the 200,000 Honda associates around the world to the dreams of our customers. What drives me forward with my fellow Honda associates is The Power of Dreams.”

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Jonathan Lee

After trying to pursue a career in product design, Jonathan Lee decided to make the sideways jump into the world of car journalism instead. He therefore appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a car, but for him, the driving experience is still second to none.

 

Comments

  • Honda Workers VS Proton Workers on Jul 07, 2015 at 9:46 am

    See below and you will know why Proton is a failure. CEO of Proton also just a puppet and cannot give a long term plan

    Japanese Honda workers :

    “We must work hard. We must focus in our work. We take pride in our products and must deliver excellent quality. Only then, we can enjoy our remuneration for the hard work done. We must aim to be more hardworking than our other Japanese car plants”

    Proton Malaysia workers:

    “Rilak lah bang, buat apa nak keje ni. rilak lah, nanti boleh buat. Letih lah ni, mari meh tido sekejap kat bilik stor, boss takde ni. Eh tengok awek kilang cun tu, bess lah dapat kongkek dia. Syok. Jom lah, mari pegi kantin minum teh dan makan kuih lapis. Tak payah keje kuat ni, kerajaan nanti tolong. Buat apa keje kuat ni?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 20
    • Same L0rrrr on Jul 07, 2015 at 11:54 am

      Whatever you see oversea, don’t dream of having here in Malaysia, due to the AP, excise duty and import tax.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2
    • maodesong on Jul 07, 2015 at 12:08 pm

      yeah right…seems legit…u coming from proton factory?
      cool story bro

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1
    • Hor Shen Hau on Jul 07, 2015 at 8:27 pm

      Bro,I think not only to Proton workers,but to all workers in Malaysia,included you.I know what is your point there.Eventhough I’m Chinese must to admit that Malay people do job more good that other people.Don’t try to be racist here.And for your information,Proton engineers and workers are not like what you said.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2
    • PakCik Rosli on Jul 08, 2015 at 1:55 am

      Memang betul!

      Ini lah realiti proton sekarang…suka x suka, ini lah kebenaran..tak kisah apa bangsa..asalkan proton mmg byk suey kot..kilang melayu showroom cina india sama jugak..sume tak leh pakai…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • kopiais on Jul 08, 2015 at 9:36 am

      story based on his own experience..hahaha
      trap your self..

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • heybadigol (Member) on Jul 07, 2015 at 10:02 am

    That’s all good. But please do something about the F1 program, and do it quickly. Its an embarrassment for such a famous union (McLaren Honda) in F1 history to have 2 world champions driving slowly in the back of the grid.

    Also, when are they going to bring Acura to Malaysia? A buyer who has brought Hondas throughout his life (City, Civic, Accord) has no options to move up after that (the Odyssey is an MPV and not necessarily an upgrade from the Accord). Honda Malaysia is missing out on a golden marketing opportunity here. These long term Honda users have no choice but to migrate to BMW. No wonder BMW selling so many cars these days. At least Toyota loyalists (and there are many) can move up to Lexus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4
    • most Lexus buyers are actually ex-bemeers owners.
      they have owned and experienced the germany tech..

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  • kington on Jul 07, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Honda’s strength is now mostly in its packaging. While i feel the ride is a bit choppy and the drivetrain and engine combo a bit laggy, there’s no denying that the HR-V’s versatile packaging is making it a firm favorite not just in Asia but also in EU. Priced between the B and C segments it’s a very attractive proposition compared to similar junior cross-overs that has appeared in the market before it. Good job Honda.

    However i must point out that an old Honda-fan friend of mine is convinced that Hondas built in Malaysia during the Kah Motor days were better than the current DRB-HICOM units. He’s practically owned every single Civic and Accord since the 90s and it’s sad to note how Hondas of late tend to have NVH reduction materials that fade in effectiveness over time and that is new Accord 2.4 already feels “tired” after 2 years.

    He’s a careful driver and takes good care of his cars – His 1995 5th gen CD Accord still feels good and does generate lesser road noise, fitted with Michelin XM2 tyres.

    He has recently ventured into his first non Honda car, an S+ Ford Focus and he seems very happy with it. Born in the late 70s, we will always have a soft spot for Honda who gave us double wishbone suspensions, that dizzying DOHC VTEC and etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3
  • Lpost on Jul 07, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Honda malaysia owned by honda co 51%, drb-hicom 34% & oriental 15%. Honda co has more control on the JV.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • Kancil Hybrid on Jul 07, 2015 at 11:59 am

    For me the new CTR is ugly, and it got torsion beam suspension at the rear. Even Suprima S got independent rear suspension.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2
  • Bring back S2000, Integra Type R, Prelude please

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • sabahan on Jul 07, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    why am i still prefer that outlook of EK9 EP3 EG6 that sort…..

    its a sign of ageing i believe…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
 

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