Honda is reportedly moving production of 400cc and larger motorcycles to Thailand from Japan to reduce production costs and overcome the rising value of the yen.
According to Japanese news outlet Daily Yomiuri, Honda plans to produce 400cc and 500cc models at a new factory to be built in the suburbs of Bangkok, Thailand. Honda currently produces small displacement models such as the CBR250R in Thailand, with larger models coming out of Honda’s factory in Kumamoto, Japan.
Low production costs allowed Honda to offer the CBR250R to North America at a competitive price compared to models such as Kawasaki’s Ninja 250R. If Honda had produced the CBR250R in Japan instead of Thailand, the entry-level model would likely have carried a higher price, and may not have even been a viable option for the North American market.
The Daily Yomiuri reports the new Thai factory will be Honda’s new base for overseas exports, though production and staffing numbers at the Kumamoto plant should remain unchanged.
While shifting production to Thailand has its benefits, it does come with some risks. Thailand has been beset with heavy rains and flooding since late summer, with flood damage temporarily halting motorcycle production in November. Honda’s automobile production in Thailand was more heavily affected, with production to remain suspended until at least Oct. 4.
[Source: Daily Yomiuri]