The very first production car from China has made it to North America, though it's not what you might think. In an effort to move more of its production out of Japan, Honda has begun manufacturing Fit models in the People's Republic and importing them to Canada. There's no indication that the vehicles will make their way to the U.S. in the future, however. While there are plenty of automakers who operate plants in China, only a fraction of the vehicles built there are made for export. Last year, only three percent were sent outside of the country's borders.

Honda and other Japanese manufacturers have begun investigating production facilities outside of the U.S. to combat the rising Yen, and Honda says that the company will begin producing Fit models in Mexico for U.S. customers soon. According to The New York Times, Honda may be reticent to test the American waters with a Chinese-built vehicle for fear of risking the company's reputation for quality and reliability. That's despite the fact that the company says Chinese-built Fit models are held to the same production quality standards as any Honda vehicle built elsewhere in the world.


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  • 84 Comments
      RaymondC
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think this is only a temporary situation until Honda has its new Mexico factory up and running to build the Fit for the entire North American market. People forget that the Fit is still a very hot-selling model in Japan and to meet North American demand, some of the output from Honda's factory in Guangzhou (Canton) is being shipped to Canada.
      ubobby
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's was just a matter of time!
      Alan G.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Another nail in the Honda coffin! I will absolutely not ever buy a car made in China.
        creamwobbly
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Alan G.
        But your Chinese TV, Chinese shoes, Chinese telephone, and the Chinese "American" flag on your gable end are okay? Got it.
          - v o c t u s -
          • 3 Years Ago
          @creamwobbly
          Chinese TV fails? You miss Leno and get a new TV. Chinese shoes fail? You take them off and buy a new pair. Chinese telephone fails? You hang up and buy again. Chinese U.S. flag... harsh irony, nothing more. IF YOUR CHINESE BUILT CAR FAILS AT 80 MPH YOU COULD VERY WELL DIE AND TAKE OTHERS WITH YOU. Got it?!?
          hevace
          • 3 Years Ago
          @creamwobbly
          How did you get that from what he said? Incidentally, I bought a pair of Chinese shoes. They are lousy.
          Famsert
          • 3 Years Ago
          @creamwobbly
          Voctus: Better not get on a plane or a ship either then because chances are, some of it was made in China.
      hevace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Chinese-built minibikes and ATVs are built like absolute crap. Chinese transmissions in Mustangs are absolute crap. Chinese-built cars are absoute crap -- just look at the crash tests on YouTube. BWM was having single-cylinder motorcycle engines built in China; they were absolute crap, depsite assurances about them being built to the same quality standards. Chinese-built iPads are not absolute crap, but then again, they are not motor vehicles. If Honda wants to piss away their hard-won reputation for engineering excellence and quality, the very best way to do it is to build their vehicles in China.
        A_Guy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @hevace
        Although I agree for the most part, I must note I have a cheap ATV from China I've had for 7 years with no problems. I hear horror stories about them, some probably true, but I'm sure there are horror stories about Japanese ATVs, but every time that happens it doesn't getting a sweeping generalization that 'Japanese ATVs are crap.'
        Mobis21
        • 3 Years Ago
        @hevace
        Lets get one thing clear, abundant, cheap labor, guaranteed by the Communist run Chinese government, is the MAIN reason why goods are being manufactured in Red China. Period.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Mobis21
          [blocked]
          Famsert
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Mobis21
          Wrong. India is cheaper and they still use child labor far more than China. China has the infrastructure and experienced workers needed.
        Famsert
        • 3 Years Ago
        @hevace
        Hilarious! What about airbuses made in China? There's plenty of chinese parts already in cars that aren't crap but for some reason you're focusing on the crappy ones that Ford specified. Oh and the oh so popular crash tests on youtube are all 5 years old for some reason. In the more recent ones, they've been doing pretty well on even euro standards. Not sure what that has to do with assembly though. Idiocy is a nasty trait.
      ken
      • 3 Years Ago
      I will check Fit off my buying list.
      lesanepcr0oks
      • 3 Years Ago
      Are you guys enjoying your chinese made macbooks, ipads, and north face jackets? I have to agree with you that there is chinese crap as well. But there are also products made to a much higher standard than the crap. There is a whole spectrum of quality, you racist f*cks.
        Dave
        • 3 Years Ago
        @lesanepcr0oks
        I was gonna give you a thumbs up until I read your last sentence.
        selder1958
        • 3 Years Ago
        @lesanepcr0oks
        Name calling is the last refuge of the ignorant.
        HH
        • 3 Years Ago
        @lesanepcr0oks
        You hit the nail on the head. What you said makes us uncomfortable, though, so we're going to focus on your *tone*...
      IBx27
      • 3 Years Ago
      Honda is dead. The Fit is the only half-decent car they make, although it trails the competition by some 10mpg, and now they've decided to kill it with this move.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Jake
      • 3 Years Ago
      "the company says Chinese-built Fit models are held to the same production quality standards as any Honda vehicle built elsewhere in the world. " Yes, but these standards are only as good as the integrity of the employees. I've dealt with Chinese manufacturing personnel. Honda is right to be concerned about damaging their reputation.
        Gorgenapper
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jake
        More like the integrity of the Chinese plant operators/managers. It's all about cutting corners to make an extra buck and looking for ways to over promise and under deliver. After all to these guys, if it looks like a car, goes when the gas pedal is pushed and honks when the horn is pushed, it's good enough.
          Gorgenapper
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Gorgenapper
          I cannot over estimate the vigilance Honda will have to exercise if it hopes that their Chinese plant will turn out cars of the same quality as those in Japan. I can honestly say that in Japan, factory workers take their job seriously not only because of the pay but because they don't want to fail their teammates and bring shame on themselves. Let's see if these Honda workers in China can say the same about themselves.
          Gorgenapper
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Gorgenapper
          @wobbly AB lacks an edit button. Surely you know this by now.
          creamwobbly
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Gorgenapper
          Your reply-to-self shows you *do* have a brain...
        Famsert
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jake
        Considering China builds airplanes now, I have no doubt in my mind they can build Fits properly. As always, YGWYPF. If you want a $5 toaster and pay Chinese employees $0.5 an hour to achieve that, you're going to get a poor quality product.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Famsert
          [blocked]
      Famsert
      • 3 Years Ago
      "According to The New York Times, Honda may be reticent to test the American waters with a Chinese-built vehicle for fear of risking the company's reputation for quality and reliability. That's despite the fact that the company says Chinese-built Fit models are held to the same production quality standards as any Honda vehicle built elsewhere in the world." I believe that comment refers to the fact that Americans are extremely anti-Chinese and not that a Chinese-built vehicle would be inferior just because Chinese labour was used.
        Polly Prissy Pants
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Famsert
        I believe that comment refers to the fact that Americans are getting burned out on buying shoddy and potentially dangerous products made with psuedo-slave labor by corrupt and unethical companies in China. That reputation is very well earned btw.
        hevace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Famsert
        Maybe that has something to do with the Chinese government-sponsored campaign of global cybercrime, their suppression of dissent, their censoring of the internet, their status as the world's biggest polluter, the lead paint on toys, the melamine in baby formula, the poisoned dog food, the drywall that emits toxic fumes, ad nauseam.
          Famsert
          • 3 Years Ago
          @hevace
          Oh you have proof that the cybercrime is government-sponsored? Oh wait you don't. NO ONE DOES. The world's biggest polluter PER CAPITA? Nope. Lead paint in toys? Have you seen the toxic crap that US companies put out? Oh they found that even american drywall emitted the same toxic fumes but the media barely picked that one up. I wonder why. Your entire comment is the perfect example of what it's all really about: American ignorance stemming from a ridiculously slanted media.
        throwback
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Famsert
        Considering how muchbuyers. If you are buying a Fit, you are buying an imported car regardless. goods we buy from China, i doubt a Honda built in China will matter to most
          Famsert
          • 3 Years Ago
          @throwback
          Nationalism has always played a role in the auto industry far more than any other. Have you heard people whine about Americans buying Korean smartphones or German vacuums?
          • 3 Years Ago
          @throwback
          [blocked]
          Famsert
          • 3 Years Ago
          @throwback
          Uh people still complain about Korean and Japanese cars here. Ever read an Autoblog article that is remotely relevant? All you'll see are comments about japcrap and giving jobs back to america. When Toyota got hit by the floormat recalls, all you saw were insulting comments about the Japanese and their culture.
      aatbloke1967
      • 3 Years Ago
      Perhaps all the China naysayers ought to be reminded of just how valuable and important the Chinese market is to a vast array of American corporations, ranging from General Motors to HJ Heinz. And the fact that so many shop for discounted goods at stores such as Wal-Mart to fit in with their living standards is essentially impossible without the Chinese themselves. Wait until the Chinese economy begins to command higher labour costs, you'll really be spitting nails then.
        ndec08
        • 3 Years Ago
        @aatbloke1967
        You are ignoring that Chinese products have a bad reputation in the US, and a car is the second largest purchase most people will make. Honda would be taking a significant risk bringing Chinese-built cars to this market, and the press would have a field day with it. As for China's value to world manufacturing, China's labor costs are on the rise. Between rising wages and rising shipping costs, China no longer has a wide advantage over the US and many US-based companies are repatriating jobs. China is increasingly ignoring intellectual property rights, which is surely giving pause to multinationals looking to relocate more production in China. Half finished buildings and recently constructed cities sitting empty seem to imply that under the surface China is in a bubble. The negatives of manufacturing in China are beginning to outweigh the positives.
        Gordon Chen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @aatbloke1967
        Jobs, known for giving jobs to Chinese, told Obama US has to ease off regulations if he wants to keep jobs here. i totally agree. The rising "BS" costs are why we lose American manufacturing jobs. We need to get rid of greedy unions, political correctness, generous benefit packages, etc. Regulations are great for safety of workers, but anything besides that should be reconsidered and possibly eliminated. I 'm a white collar guy (scientist), and i'd take 10% paycut if it results in my coworkers keeping their jobs.
        A_Guy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @aatbloke1967
        Maybe, or manufacturing will just go to the next cheap bidder (different country).
          LUSTSTANG S-197
          • 3 Years Ago
          @A_Guy
          History tends to repeat itself, whether we like to admit it or not. For now, I can see why we feel it is better to have China on our side than against us. I'd say China views the US in the same light. It's a balancing act if you will, where both sides stand to benefit.
      KingTito
      • 3 Years Ago
      Honda just needs to focus on making good cars again that people want to drive and like to drive. The new civic is an embarrassment. Focusing on extracting the most amount of profitability from the car isn't serving them very well at the moment. They would profit a lot more if the Civic was selling like it used to because people liked the stying, quality, and driving dynamics.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @KingTito
        [blocked]
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