Friday, June 28, 2013

BRAZIL: Honda spending on new HQ, R&D centre, wind energy park

Honda South America (HSA) will consolidate operations at its site in Sumaré (76 miles northwest of São Paulo City), where the car manufacturing plant (Fit, City and Civic) was established in 1997, adding all board and corporate administrative operations.
Honda may out Urban SUV concept into production at new plant in Brazil
The move is based on the 'one floor' global concept already in use by the parent company in Japan. It calls for closer integration of industrial operations and suppliers to speed up decision making. All necessary restructuring will be done by second half 2014.
The automaker expects to be more agile and responsive.
Honda has been rumoured to be be considering a second plant in the inland state of São Paulo. Two models based on the new compact architecture for emerging countries, less sophisticated in other words, would be the likely products.
One of them is the urban, compact SUV shown as a concept at the Detroit show last January, a hatchback is the other. This has no ties to the Thai- and Indian-made Brio, deemed unsuitable for Brazil.
There are also two new, hefty spends on the way, in the order of BRL100m (US$45m) each.
The Sumaré facility will soon be one of Honda’s main R&D centres outside Japan and North America. About 100 engineers will develop products for Brazil such as the aforementioned compact hatch.
A wind turbine park will be built in the town of Xangri-lá in the state of Rio Grande do Sul to supply 100% of the energy needed by the manufacturing plant. It will be operational by the end of 2014 with an installed capacity of 27MW, enough to supply a town of 35,000 people.
For this, the automaker established subsidiary Honda Energy of Brazil, run by current, Sumaré plant managing director Carlos Miyakuchi, who is based 560 miles away at the factory.
The initiative is unique among the country’s automakers, althoughVolkswagen has already built two small hydroelectric power plants for alternate, clean energy.
Honda said the energy plant is part of its voluntary goals for reducing the environmental impact of its products and operations by 2020. By then its cars, motorcycles and respective plants should emit 30% less CO2 than in 2000.