Honda Motor Company has recently announced its plans to speed up its electrification efforts, which include the introduction of new battery electric vehicle (BEV) models in key markets such as North America, China, and Japan starting in 2024. They are also planning to enhance their batteries, software, and driver interface to catch up with industry leaders in the EV space. Furthermore, Honda is planning to build dedicated EV factories with revamped production systems, as well as a secure supply of semiconductors.
Honda’s CEO, Toshihiro Mibe, acknowledged that the company is lagging behind in the global race for electric vehicles and has vowed to accelerate its global reboot in 2025. During Honda’s annual business briefing, Mibe also made some interesting comments about their Chinese competitors, saying that Honda executives were surprised at the Shanghai auto show where local brands flooded the exhibition hall with advanced EVs, while Honda displayed only three electric SUVs due to launch in China in 2024.
Mibe stated that Chinese automakers are ahead of Honda, even more than expected, and that the company is thinking of ways to fight back. He admitted that they are slightly lagging behind and are determined to turn the tables. These blunt statements from high-ranking executives of companies that compete with the Chinese are rare.
The Shanghai auto show showcased more than 100 vehicle debuts, of which 70 were all-electric. The majority of the debuts were from Chinese carmakers, which garnered the majority of interest from media and influencers, leaving global brands’ exhibition stands much emptier than those of their Chinese rivals. For instance, BYD’s new Yangwang premium brand stand had high attendance, and the automaker had to create a queuing system to view the models.
In conclusion, Honda Motor Company is taking steps to accelerate its electrification efforts, but its CEO’s comments suggest that they have a long way to go to catch up with its Chinese competitors in the electric vehicle space.