Future CR-Vs for Europe will be built only in Japan. Honda also will stop exporting the HR-V subcompact SUV to Europe from Mexico when the model is face-lifted in 2019. Production will move to Yorii, Japan.
Honda has already shifted production of European versions of its Jazz subcompact hatchback to Japan from Swindon and China after it decided to make the Swindon factory the global production hub for the five-door Civic hatchback, exporting the compact car to the U.S. and Japan, as well as EU markets. Its plant in Turkey builds the four-door sedan version for European markets.
Honda and other Japanese automakers are addressing the loss of production from falling sales in their home market with more exports, especially of higher-value models, said Masatoshi Nishimoto, Japan/Korea vehicle production forecasts manager for IHS Markit.
IHS expects Japanese production of light vehicles to fall below 8.5 million by 2020 from 9.2 million units now. Last year, Japan exported 4.6 million vehicles, according to figures from country’s vehicle manufacturers’ association, JAMA.
In 2016, Japan was the biggest exporter of vehicles to the EU by value, figures from the European automakers’ association ACEA show. A total of 577,703 vehicles came from Japan, up 20 percent on the year before.