Honda Delays Hybrid Production in China

Posted: June 17, 2013 at 2:00 am Honda Motor Co., which had planned to begin building hybrid cars in China next year, now says it may not do so until 2016.

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Posted: June 17, 2013 at 2:00 am

Honda Motor Co., which had planned to begin building hybrid cars in China next year, now says it may not do so until 2016.

In a statement updating its technological strategies in China, Honda reiterates that it is preparing local development, production and parts sourcing of hybrid models. But the company offered no specifics.

Last year Honda said it intended to introduce three hybrid models in China: the CR-Z sport coupe, Insight sedan and Fit Hybrid. It also mentioned a separate hybrid system for larger vehicles and a plug-in hybrid model. None of those models is mentioned in its current strategy statement.

2014 Honda Jade

Honda does say its China operations will debut its fuel-efficient Earth Dreams engine technology in September in the Accord sedan and all-new Jade wagon. Honda debuted the Jade as a production-ready concept at the Shanghai auto show in April.

The company previously indicated it plans to shift all its vehicles in China to Earth Dreams powerplants, which are lighter and at least 10% more efficient than the engines they replace, by 2015..

The new Accord also will be the first Honda model in China to offer adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring and active cornering lights.

The company says it will introduce 12 new models in China by the end of 2015. Five of those models will be designed specifically for the market, beginning with the Crider midsize sedan due this month.

Honda hopes to boost annual sales in China to 1.5 million units in 2015. Last year the company sold about 590,000 vehicles there.