Honda CEO sees partnerships as key to tackling fast change

TOKYO — Honda Motor Co., ever the go-it-alone carmaker, is confronting an period of fast business change, and CEO Takahiro Hachigo is pioneering a technique for it.

Japan’s No. three automaker is forging partnerships to deal with every part from next-generation drivetrains to autonomous automobiles and synthetic intelligence.

Hachigo, 58, needs electrified automobiles to account for two-thirds of Honda’s international gross sales by 2030. And that can imply an enormous ramp-up of hybrids, plug-ins and EVs in the USA.

The U.S. stays Honda’s largest and most vital market. However as we speak, electrified automobiles make up solely 2 % of its U.S. quantity.

In the meantime, Honda has competing U.S. priorities, together with boosting light-truck gross sales. Crossovers and pickups accounted for simply 51 % of American Honda’s gross sales by means of November, whereas the red-hot phase drove 64 % of complete quantity industrywide.

Via an interpreter, Hachigo spoke this month with Asia Editor Hans Greimel about plans to extend light-truck provide, ideas on partnerships and the outlook for EVs.

Q: What’s Honda’s outlook for the general U.S. auto market in 2018?

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