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The S600 Coupe on the assembly line at Sayama Factory

Honda to cut Japanese production as domestic sales slow

Honda Motor prepares to end production by 2022 at its Sayama plant in Japan, cutting domestic capacity by around 24 percent as it moves focus to electric vehicles (EVs) and other latest technologies.

The automaker has observed stagnant domestic sales and stated on Wednesday it was enhancing its Japanese operations as it takes a more active approach to development and production in the face of strong competition from automakers and technology companies to make electric vehicles and self-driving cars.

“As we focus more on embracing electrification and other latest technologies, we wish to sharpen our vehicle producing expertise in Japan and expand it worldwide,” CEO Takahiro Hachigo informed.

Hachigo has been aiming to revive a culture of innovation at the automaker, after numerous significant product recalls in the last few years in addition to uninspired product offerings, partly due to the fact that it focused so much on boosting volumes and revenue.

Honda stated it would end production at the aging Sayama plant in Saitama Prefecture north of Tokyo, combining output at its Yorii plant in the same prefecture by the end of the 2022 financial year. The majority of employees currently at Sayama would be moved to the Yorii center, it stated.

The relocation would cut total domestic annual production capacity to around 810,000 units, similar to Honda’s present output levels, which are around 76 percent of its present production capacity of 1.06 million vehicles.

“Domestic sales haven’t boosted as much as we were expecting and it has become hard to boost exports,” Hachigo stated.

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