Honda Motor Co. plans to manufacture its hybrid cars outside Japan for the first time in a “knockdown production” in Thailand.
The Fit subcompact was exclusively produced in Japan because of the advanced technologies required before Honda, eyeing potential markets in Asian countries, marked out Thailand.
The Fit subcompact will be locally assembled at a factory in Ayutthaya Province while key components such as motors and batteries will be imported from Japan. The 1.3 liter car, released locally as the Jazz Hybrid, is the most popular Honda hybrid with 86,00 units sold in Japan, US, and Europe in 2011.
The model was introduced in Malaysia in March. Honda began assembling a hybrid Acura XLI in North America last month to curb high production costs as demand for environmentally friendly cars consistently grows in Asia. Honda plans to improve the car’s engine performance while promoting its low-cost hybrid system.