Though many Japanese automakers have been building more plants out of Japan to protect against the fluctuating yen, Honda has announced it will build a new manufacturing facility a couple of hours outside of Tokyo. The plant is the first new Japanese factory Honda has built in nearly 50 years.
Located about two hours away from Tokyo, the small town of Yorii will be home to the new plant, which will have an annual capacity of 250,000 vehicles. The facility will use more efficient technology and build compact models such as the Fit. Yorii’s local government estimates that 3800 jobs will be created by fiscal-year 2017 thanks to the new plant, which Honda says is all part of domestic reorganization that includes alleviating production at local plant Sayama, which was the last Japanese Honda factory to open before Yorii, in 1964.
The new plant, which officially opens in July. is bold move for the automaker considering several Japanese car companies have opened many overseas plants because of the strong yen. Honda factories outside of the Japan account for about three-quarters of the company’s annual output, Bloomberg reports. In North America, Honda has several manufacturing plants, and the U.S.-spec Honda Fit will be made in Mexico.