After two years of construction, Honda’s new factory in Celaya, Mexico, has officially begun production of the all-new 2015 Fit in North America. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Honda President and CEO Takanobu Ito both attended the opening and watched the first Fit roll off the line at the $800-million plant. Later this year, Honda will add production of its new Vezel small crossover to the new facility, though the latter is expected to be marketed in North America under a new name.
The Celaya factory will specialize in building subcompact cars by employing cutting-edge tech to use less material and less energy during production. Honda is still constructing a $470-million transmission plant on the campus to build continuously variable transmissions in the second half of 2015. When it’s finished, it is expected to have an annual capacity of 200,000 vehicles and employ 3,200 people.
With the facility’s completion, Honda now has a 1.92-million unit annual production capacity in North America, and it claims that when Celaya reaches full production, 95-percent of vehicles sold in the US will be built in North America. The new Fit has already proven quite popular in Japan, and now we will have to wait and see if North American buyers embrace it as well. The first new Fit customer cars will hit the roads later this spring, and as Honda spokesman Steve Kinkade tells Autoblog, all Fit models sold in North American will be built at the plant. Scroll down to read the full press release about the Fit and its new Mexican home.
Louisville Kentucky Honda Dealer, Bob Montgomery Honda, http://www.bobmontgomeryhonda.com