• Aug 15, 2006
In the same Ward's Auto World article that saw American Honda's John Mendel nix the idea of a Honda full-size pickup, he also took some time to discuss the hot-selling Fit subcompact. Released in the US at the perfect time, the Fit and its gaudy fuel economy numbers have won over customers to the tune of 15,922 since its Spring launch, according to Ward's. Unfortunately, the demand for the hatchback is so high that Honda is looking at supply problems that are throttling back total sales.

Today, the US-spec Fits are all imported from Japan. Mendel suggested that if Honda were to try to increase US supply, a very real possibility would be the importation of Chinese-built Fits to the States. China already exports the car to Brazil, India, Russia, and Australia, and has even begun shipping some cars to Europe as well. According to Mendel, there would be no quality drop-off if China-built Fits made their way here, and he feels that customers would be indifferent towards the car's point of origin, especially when you consider the number of products we buy that are made in China anyway.

Our feeling is that if the cars are built to the same standard as the Japan-built models, where the they come from won't matter. Would some people shy away from the Fit if they knew they would be getting a Chinese model? Probably, but the majority of customers would never see past the "H" badge and happily plunk down a deposit on one.

Technically, this is all hypothetical, since Mendel told Ward's that no such plan is in the works at this time. The fact that he discussed it at all, however, indicates that the idea has been (and probably still is) discussed at length internally. If Honda -- or any other automaker, for that matter -- were to look to China to supply the US market, would that influence your purchasing decision? We'd like to hear your feedback.

[Source: Ward's Auto World]


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  • 32 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      If only gas is just $1.20 a gal., I would not consider getting a " FIT ".I don't care where they are made. As long as they run like a car, it's fine with me.The same as medicines that a lot af people buy from Canada and Great Britain. It's cheaper...........
      • 8 Years Ago

      "So, it's becoming very much like the Electronics Industry...a Sony is a Sony, regardless of whether their product is build in Japan or China or Malaysia"


      Sony has bombed in quality since 1995. They're focusing on only their media division.

      I sure do agree with the NUMMI turnaround.
      • 8 Years Ago
      No commie cars for me. When the east is no longer red, and the government stops running over their own citizens with tanks, then maybe we can talk.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "and he feels that customers would be indifferent towards the car's point of origin"

      He figures wrong, for the same reason that I will never (again) touch a Mexican-made car.
      • 8 Years Ago

      "Now, back to those Mesican built GMs...NO WAY HONCHO. Que Passa, Hombre?"

      So don't buy a Rendezvous or HHR. Big deal. Buy a VUE 2.2L (or hybrid) instead. What else does GM sell here brand new that is Mexican made?

      • 8 Years Ago
      Does the Chinese made Fit come with a leather option?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I would be very interested to find out what their labor practices are and what these China sourced Honda factories are doing to uphold measures set in other industrial nations to curtail pollution.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I just got back from Shanghai - a lot of complaints by people there about fit and finish of chinese built cars - including Toyota and Honda.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Lithous, let me introduce you to

      招商.

      Go to his website and get to know him. I'm sure 招商 is a very nice and smart individual.

      This is the future, there Lithous. Get used to it.



      • 8 Years Ago
      I'd be very nervous about buying a Chinese-designed and manufactured vehicle. But the "H" on the front of a Chinese-built Fit means the car embodies Honda's 30-year history of designing & selling excellent vehicles in the US. The Honda brand would alleviate any concerns. And you're right ... the vast majority of users won't know. Already some US-built "Japanese" cars have more US content than some US-built "American" cars. It's a global industry, and many (if not most) consumers understand that. There may be a disproportionately shrill minority, but they'll be tiny. And ignored.
      • 8 Years Ago
      You can be sure that Honda wouldn't build a plant in a place if they didn't think they would have top notch quality control. If Honda builds in China, you can be sure they will build a car as good as one built in Japan.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hey if Honda can build a quality car in the USA plants, then I wouldn't doubt a car made in China.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Here goes: I live in Beijing near the Drum Tower (HoaHai Park) I am a American. A honda in China costs $400,000.00 yuan about $58,000.00 USD a chinese built car costs $30,000.00 yuan about $4,300.00 USD with the same quality.

        As for a skilled worker??? Where does this skill come from? With all the new automated machinery and etc cars are basically built the same the world over. My daughters Mustang I found out one day was built in Mexico, but it was still a Mustang.

        With respect to quality? If the brand name manufacturers quality assurance engineers are doing their job then the car should be no different than those built elsewhere in the world.

        Just think about Matel toys and their quality engineers who did not do their job and we ended up with toys with toxic paint. They wanted cheap and China obliged them, but the falt should have been Matels quality engineerings falt. Look at the congressional records on that matter after their hearings with Matels CEO's.

        China has a minimum wage law. You fail to realize the money difference. If they are paid 10.00 yuan per hour this is only $1.43 USD per hour. Then you adjust this to the cost of living in China with free health care and if a itenerate worker, housing must be provided. We keep saying they only make $475.00 USD per month, but that is $3125.00 yuan per month in their money.

        You can check it, but GM did 1.1 billionin China in sales last year. The new trendy young chinese use a Buick,Chevrolet, Caddilac or SUV as a status symbol and there are 1000 new cars on their highways each day.

        Can you imagine one of those slave labor people driving a BMW and looking to buy a Caddilac Escalade for weekend trips with the family. They like the styling but otthe fuel economy.

        Wake up America and be part of the real world, I DID AND DRIVE A SKODA 65+ MPG

        I think we should get to know and understand China before condeming it.
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