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Refreshed Product Lineup To Boost Honda's North America Market Share 27-06-2014

Honda Motors has invested nearly $3 billion in its U.S. operations over the last three years. As North America takes on greater importance in Honda business, a major investment was required in order to make improvements to the production processes in the company U.S.-based factories. Earlier this year, Honda also opened a factory in Mexico, where it will produce its highly popular Fit hatchbacks, and a new small SUV. The plant will make 200,00 cars a year and take Honda North America production capacity to 1.92 million. Last year, the Japanese automaker produced a record 1.3 million vehicles in the U.S. and exported nearly 8% (108,705) of these. In the future, the company expects the export figure to increase to 200,000 a year. Honda is not the only Japanese automaker to undertake significant investment in its North American operations: Toyota is undertaking a $2 billion investment in order to add 145,000 vehicles to its annual production capacity and Nissan is moving the production of models like its Murano SUV to the U.S. The efforts to improve production capacity in the U.S. highlight the growing importance of this market to Japanese automakers. Following the fall in demand in the U.S. and Europe brought about by the global recession, emerging markets grew in importance to these companies. Rising demand for vehicles in China, Southeast Asia and Latin America helped to offset the dip in U.S., European and Japanese sales. But during the past year, demand from emerging markets has slowed as doubts over their growth prospects have emerged. The U.S. auto market, on the other hand, rebounded sharply in 2011 and 2012, and continued on the same trajectory by recording a 7.9% growth in 2013. Moreover, spurred on by the depreciation of the yen against the dollar, Toyota, Nissan and Honda registered excellent sales volumes in the past two years
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