Head of Honda Latin America Issao Mizoguchi anticipated yesterday “a steep increase” in vehicle output in Argentina and highlighted the decision to start manufacturing in the country the new HR-V model, which required an investment of US$250 million to manufacture 15,000 units per year.
“We want to produce where there’s demand and Argentina is one of the leading countries in Latin America. We want to increase the added value of Argentina,” Mizoguhi said after a rally with President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. “We have many expectations on this project, we have been working on it over the last five years.”
The new phase of production of Honda is part of a larger investment plan in the vehicle sector for more than US$2.5 billion, including the recent announcement of Nissan to start producing in Córdoba its Frontier NP300 Pick-Up. General Motors is also planning to invest in its plant in Rosario as well as Mercedes Benz, which will start manufacturing its Vito van and axles for trucks in La Matanza.
“Our wish is that Argentine suppliers satisfy not only national demand, but also international demand so as to compete with the rest of the world. It would be good that the government maintains its support of the whole production process, from the raw material to the final details of the product,” Mizoguhi said. “We carried out a lot of research and our objective was doing this project in Argentina.”
The HR-V model is the first of its kind to be manufactured in Argentina. The first shipment of vehicles will be sent to Brazil on April 28 and from the second semester of the year it will be available in the domestic market. The vehicle will be made with 21 percent local parts, a figure expected to grow gradually. Honda will increase its foreign sales 41 percent thanks to this specific model.
“We worked hard to add new local suppliers for the production of not only this specific vehicle but also of other models. We are satisfied with the amount of Argentine auto parts we will be using,” head of Honda Argentina Hideky Kamiyama said yesterday. “The government is committed to having dollars available for the local production. We haven’t seen any problems importing auto parts so far.”
Honda obtained 3.8 billion pesos last year and has two main factories in Campana and Florencio Varela, employing more than 1,200 people work. The company expects to start manufacturing two new motorcycle models, which will be exported to Peru, Mexico, Uruguay and Bolivia.
Date: April 15, 2015