The third largest Japanese automaker, Honda Motor, recently announced that its Canadian division would be in charge of building the upcoming generation of the popular CR-V compact crossover for the European markets.
The decision puts the Canadian manufacturing operations for the first time in charge of producing a model designed for export markets in Europe. The company detailed the plan saying its strategy has been made possible by its previous investments into factories and would not yield another major investment for the new CR-V. Honda added that its decision will also have no significant impact on new jobs. “The negotiation of a free trade agreement with Europe by the Government of Canada under CETA (the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) was a catalyst for our decision to export CR-Vs,” commented Honda Canada Chief Executive Jerry Chenkin in a statement released to announce the decision.
In 2014 Honda said it would invest C$857 million over the 2014 – 2016 period to retool and upgrade its existing manufacturing facilities in Alliston, Ontario – turning them into the global hub for production output of the next generation CR-V sport utility vehicle. Honda’s Canadian manufacturing business has a total production output capacity of 390,000 Civic and CR-V vehicles, together with 260,000 four-cylinder engines each year. The crossover segment has taken off both in North America and Europe – two major markets for the upcoming generation of the CR-V, with Honda also adding support from below by introducing the new HR-V subcompact sport utility vehicle.