Dec 24 Honda Motor Co plans to
adopt new design and assembly methods to make its vehicles
lighter, the Nikkei business daily reported.
Some of Honda's new manufacturing methods involve welding
outer panels to the frame, rather than assembling the ceiling,
side and other panels, to reduce the use of bolts and
reinforcing materials, the Japanese newspaper said.
Honda plans to spend tens of billions of yen to revamp
production lines in Japan and overseas, using the new methods on
small vehicles initially, then on all models within several
years, the Nikkei said.
The automaker has begun steps to scale back on materials,
parts and processing steps for producing its minivehicle, the N
Box, which was launched last Friday, the daily said.
Honda modified one of the two production lines that assemble
the N Box at its Suzuka plant in Mie Prefecture, the Nikkei
said. The move will help make the N Box 10 percent lighter and
lower manufacturing costs, the paper added.
By making lighter and cheaper automobiles, the carmaker aims
to fast track its advance into emerging markets, which is one of
its top priorities, the newspaper said.