Honda Motor Company has announced organisational and operational changes at its car making business aimed at strengthening and speeding up electrification.
Effective April 1, 2023, Honda is creating a new division suggestively called Electrification Business Development Operations, aimed at consolidating the company's electrification strategy across its automobile, motorcycle and power products divisions.
"This operation will consolidate the business strategy and BEV product development functions of automobile business and electrification-related strategy and development functions of motorcycle and power products businesses to further strengthen and accelerate Honda's electrification business."
Honda Motor Company press release
In addition, the automaker said it would streamline its regional operations by cutting them from six to three: North America, China, and Associated Regions. The latter will combine four of Honda's current regional operations: Japan, Asia & Oceania, South America and the Europe, Africa and the Middle East Region.
"With this change, Honda will execute electrification strategies and strengthen operations for each region based on its global strategy," the company said in the press release.
The main goal of shifting from six to three regional operations is to "rapidly develop the implementation of resource shifts in accordance with the future lineup strategy in line with the electrification acceleration," a Honda spokesperson said in a briefing according to Reuters.
The representative added that Honda anticipates its vehicle lineup in North America and China would be mid- to large size, compared to small- to mid-size in the rest of the sales regions.
The shake-up is part of Honda's efforts to catch up with EV segment leaders Tesla and BYD in North America and China. Honda last year announced a target to launch 30 EV models worldwide and build about 2 million EVs a year by 2030, including 800,000 in North America.
Gallery: 2024 Honda Prologue
That goal seems overly ambitious at the moment looking at the automaker's lineup. Honda is yet to launch its first EV in North America – the 2024 Prologue based on GM's Ultium platform is set to debut early next year – and has only one EV on sale in China at the moment under two different nameplates, e:NS1 and e:NP1.
As for Europe, a version of the subcompact electric crossover sold in China is expected to arrive this year in Europe as the Honda e:Ny1 and join the Honda e subcompact hatchback.
Honda plans to launch its first EV-only platform, dubbed e:N Architecture, in 2024, at first on the Chinese market. Models underpinned by this platform will start rolling out in 2024 from two EV-dedicated plants that are currently under construction with joint venture partners Dongfeng Motor and GAC.
Honda said last year it would launch a total of eight EV models based on the e:N Architecture, some of which will be exported globally.