Honda to Close 58-Year-Old Plant to Focus on Electric Cars

Japanese carmaker Honda had previously stated that it will convert into an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer by 2040 but this shift will be impossible without radical restructuring for an all-electric future.

It ended the production of finished cars at its Sayama factory in the Saitama Prefecture with a line-off ceremony in December 2021, as reported by Nikkei. The decision is part of the cost-cutting measures announced last year, including the implementation of a new car development system and the cancellation of the company’s Formula One racing program.

The Sayama facility became operational in 1964 and manufactured iconic Honda vehicles such as the Accord and the Civic. It also produced the Step WGN, the Odyssey, the Legend, and the discontinued Jade and Clarity until December. It made 250,000 cars per year, adding to a domestic manufacturing capacity of around one million vehicles per year. This includes production at the Yorii (Saitama Prefecture) and Suzuka (Mie Prefecture) factories.

“Like you, I will miss it all,” Honda’s President and CEO, Toshihiro Mibe, remarked at the event, and added that the company “will continue to create cars that meet the needs of consumers at home and abroad”.

However, the Sayama plant will keep producing auto parts until it is completely shut down in two to three years. Its operations will be shifted to the Yorii plant, where many of Sayama’s employees will be reemployed.

Honda’s domestic capacity has dipped to 800,000 automobiles per year from its present Yorii, Suzuka, and Honda Auto Body (Mie Prefecture) factories subsequent to the restructuring. The figure is almost 40 percent lower than it was in the early 2000s when the automaker was able to manufacture over 1.3 million vehicles every year.

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