Honda CEO targets increased exports from the United States image

Honda Motor Company’s CEO Takanobu Ito said the Japanese carmaker wants to increase vehicle exports from the U.S. as part of its plan to escape effects of the strong yen.

“Our U.S. plants export just 6 percent to 7 percent of production. But they should be able to do more than that. If there’s enough demand from other regions for larger vehicles, then closer to 20% is conceivable,” Takanobu Ito was quoted as saying by The Wall Street Journal.

The strong Japanese yen is raising the cost of exports from Japan and erodes repatriated profits. This is why Honda, Japan’s third-largest automaker by sales, is adapting its domestic operations to focus on the small cars preferred by Japanese buyers.

Honda’s CEO labeled the company’s old strategy of relying on Japan as its chief export platform as „unnatural”. As part of its new strategy, Honda will relocate engineering responsibilities for its top-selling vehicle, the next-generation Civic compact sedan, to the U.S.

Takanobu Ito said the company considers doing the same for the larger Accord and maybe shift engineering responsibility for a future global car to China, the world’s largest car market.

Honda’s exports from Japan currently account for just 28 percent of its total global sales.