Complete independence. It's a wonderful thing.
Nissan-Renault has just taken control of Mitsubishi while Toyota and Suzuki are in talks to form some sort of partnership. But what about Honda? Is it interested in joining forces with another one of its Japanese rivals? A foreign automaker, perhaps? Nope. According to Automotive News, Honda’s CEO, Takahiro Hachigo, claims his company is perfectly happy on its own despite the fact that its rivals are selling more cars. These days Honda is selling around 5 million cars annually while other Japanese brands are on a quest to sell double that.
“We don’t have any aspirations to make it to 10 million,” Hachigo-san stated. “We want to draw a line between those who want to do that and ourselves. We want to stay within the 5 million range. I’m not jumping at the news of other partnerships.” None of this is surprising, considering Honda has had a long history of cherishing its independence. But unlike Mitsubishi and Suzuki (which no longer has a US market presence), Honda has always been very well managed and has consistently delivered solid product. Hachigo further added that by 2030 he expects electrified drivetrains, specifically hybrids, plug-ins as well as pure EVs, to account for more than two-thirds of US sales volume.
And he’s prepared to make a massive investment in order for Honda to be at the forefront of that. For example, Toyota investments roughly 55 percent of its profits into R&D, and CEO Akio Toyoda outright admits that properly predicting future tech is a daunting task. And yet Toyota is planning to sell nearly twice as many cars as Honda in the coming years. Point being, Honda has something of an uphill battle to climb but history has proven it knows how to succeed in the end.