HDM, CelayaMexico – Honda de Mexico (HDM) has opened a new plant in Celaya to make the vehicle and help to meet demand from North America for fuel-efficient subcompact models.

The new $800m plant has been designed exclusively for the production of subcompact vehicles and features a number of advanced manufacturing technologies first introduced at the Honda plant in Yorii, Japan. These will increase quality and efficiency as well as reducing the environmental footprint.

A high-speed servo stamping press and die change process will boost stamping efficiency by 40%; a new general welder system will improve efficiency by reducing robot numbers while increasing weld points; and a three-coat/two-bake, water-based painting process will enhance finish quality while decreasing energy consumption by 40%. The time and space needed for assembly will be reduced by increasing in-plant sub-assembly, improving associate ergonomics and adopting new strategies for greater precision and efficiency.

Celaya will have a workforce of 3,200 and an annual capacity of 200,000 vehicles and engines when it reaches full production later this year. In addition to the Honda Fit, manufacture of a new compact SUV will begin later in 2014.