But the JDM Legend and Odyssey aren't so lucky.
Honda recently announced plans to close its factory in Sayama, Japan, by March 2022. This news impacts three important Honda models: the Odyssey minivan, Clarity plug-in-hybrid, and Legend sedan, though the effects on the US market aren't quite as severe. The 2022 Honda Odyssey offered in the US market is built in Lincoln, Alabama, and differs greatly from the Japanese model sold in other markets. A US Honda spokesperson confirmed to CarBuzz, "the Odyssey is staying" in the US market, though the nameplate will be discontinued in markets like Australia and Japan.
As for the other models manufactured in Sayama, they aren't as lucky. The Honda Legend, previously sold as the Acura RLX in the US, will not live past 2022. This is somewhat surprising news, as the Legend was recently facelifted with advanced Level 3 semi-autonomous driving technology. Honda has not announced any plans to introduce the Level 3 tech on any other models.
Though most of the news relating to the Sayama plant closure doesn't impact the US, there is some important information to note on the 2021 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid. Honda already killed off the EV, and now it looks like the plug-in and fuel cell model will join it.
"The entire Clarity series played a valuable role in advancing Honda's portfolio approach to electrification, which is an important aspect of our commitment to reduce CO2 emissions," Honda said in a public statement. "Now, with a commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050, Honda has set a target to make 100% of our vehicles sales battery-electric (BEV) or fuel cell electric (FCEV) by 2040. We are evolving our strategy with a focus on increased application of our two-motor hybrid system to core models in advance of the introduction of our first volume BEV models in 2024."
Honda has already announced a partnership with General Motors, which will yield two new electric crossovers, one badged as a Honda and the other branded as an Acura.
"Consistent with this strategy, Honda will conclude production of the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Clarity Fuel Cell in August 2021. This will ensure we have the Clarity Fuel Cell available for lease through 2022, and Honda will continue to support our Clarity customers in the marketplace. FCEVs will play a key role in our zero-emissions strategy, which is being advanced by our joint manufacturing and development agreements. We continue to make significant investments in fuel cell infrastructure and battery technology."
This announcement is good news for prospective Clarifty buyers, as the model won't die off immediately in the US market. In the same statement, Honda reaffirmed its commitment to fuel cell technology, meaning we could see a new model to rival the Hyundai Nexo and Toyota Mirai in the future.