Honda will re-start production of the Accord Hybrid from Japan next year and may move the manufacturing of the model to U.S. by 2015 in order to cut costs, Automotive News reports, citing an interview with Honda chief engineer Chitoshi Yokota in the Japanese business daily Nikkei Nangyo.
The relatively expensive yen makes the prospect of producing the Accord Hybrid in the U.S. a cheaper one than in Japan. Yokota said the model needs all the help in can get because hybrids that are sold as variants of conventional models – like the Accord and Civic Hybrids – are harder to market than standalone hybrid models like, say, the Toyota Prius.
Honda will start delivering an Accord Plug-In Hybrid, which will have an all-electric range of as many as 15 miles, early next year. The conventional Accord Hybrid will debut later in 2013. The Japanese automaker hopes the variants will spur hybrid sales, which have been lagging this year. Through September, Honda sold 14,204 hybrids and EVs, down 47 percent from a year earlier. Honda discontinued the Accord Hybrid in 2008 after four years of production.
Earlier this week, we reviewed the 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid, and you can find our First Drive impressions are here.