Honda taps Chinese factories to boost European sales

Lionel Kong

Three Chinese-assembled Honda cars will join the lineup in Europe

Guangzhou, China

The Honda e:NY1, ZR-V, and upcoming CR-V hybrid are set to be exported from Honda’s Chinese joint venture production plant in Guangzhou, to be sold in Europe. 

This news was confirmed even as carmakers worldwide are increasingly re-configuring business plans to make full use of China’s mass production capability and to reposition their logistics plans, with the aim of making the country an export hub.

It also comes amidst news that Chinese carmakers are gaining mass acceptance in their home country, even as other car brands are losing sales in the domestic market there. China has also become accepted as the worldwide leader in EV battery technology, with BMW being one of the first major players to acknowledge this back in 2020 and centering the production of its iX3 EV there

Now in an effort to greatly reduce the supply chain costs of importing cars from Japan, Honda Europe will take advantage of the closer geographic location of China and its lower cost supply chain by importing directly from there to Europe, the first time that this is being implemented.

The brand has been looking to recover from the weak sales figures of the Honda HR-V crossover SUV, which was down 57 percent across Europe over the quarter. This contrasted to the fact that HR-V was Honda’s best-seller in the same time period in 2022.
Honda e:NY1

It hopes that the new e:NY1, which is also badged as the e:NS1 and e:NP1 in China, will reverse the trend. The electric vehicle is built on a modified HR-V platform, and features a 69kWh battery for 412km of range. European import models also feature a 15.1-inch centre entertainment touchscreen that is much larger than the present HR-V’s 9-inch screen.

Meanwhile, the new Chinese-assembled Honda CR-V PHEV will go on sale in Europe in the third quarter of 2023. 

2023 Honda CR-V
Honda CR-V e:PHEV

The new model will be available as a  standard petrol-electric and plug-in hybrid (PHEV), both with 2.0-litre petrol engines. The PHEV claims to have an electric-only range of 83 km.

2023 Honda ZR-V
Honda ZR-V e:HEV

Then there’s the ZR-V e:HEV petrol-electric hybrid, a crossover SUV that’s between the HR-V and CR-V in size and powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine. It’s a model that is unlikely to be made available in Singapore for now, on account of its large engine with no smaller option available. 

As to whether or not we will be seeing Chinese-assembled Hondas here, we think that for the immediate future this is still unlikely but once more Honda EVs start to enter the lineup, the shift could see production diverting to China to supply the rest of the Asia Pacific region. 


e:NY1 electric cars EV honda

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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