Honda to Share Hybrid Technology with Chinese

Via its joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Co. Ltd, Honda has announced that not only will it develop hybrid vehicles for the Chinese market; it will also provide access to its core Integrated Motor Assist technology to a number of local automakers.

This represents a bit of an about turn from Honda’s previous stance on the subject, which showed a general reluctance to allow Chinese companies access to proprietary hybrid technology. This was largely due to fears that Honda could end up losing out long term in the green vehicle marketplace against Chinese rivals.

However, in order to spur currently sluggish growth of its vehicle sales in China, Honda believes it can boost demand by allowing local companies access to hybrid technology, as well as setting the benchmark for hybrid vehicles in China. “We hope that other automakers will use our IMA technologies,” remarked one Honda executive.

Do you think this represents a wise strategy on Honda’s part or does it appear it could result in a short-term gain, but long-term sacrifice for Japan’s third largest carmaker, especially given China’s past record on intellectual property rights? Feel free to share your views in the comment section below.

Green Car Congress


  • Capt. Concernicus

    I believe that this will inevitably lead to another mistake by Honda. Given the past history of IPR theft by Chinese companies Honda’s short term gain will be offset by long term loss not only in terms of IPR, but financially when regarding market share and lost sales. The only thing Honda seems to be doing these days is resting on its past laurels. Just look at some of the vehicles they have out there. The thing that bugs me the most is that they continue to put 5-speed automatics in their cars. Everyone else is moving from 6-speeds to 8-speeds. I call this the classic GM syndrome of the 90′s and early 2000′s. Even their hybrid tech is only average. Toyota is smacking them around with the Prius.

    I believe there needs to be a shake up in management. Yes Honda builds quality cars, but Honda needs to revamp their hybrid tech, bring out a sports car like the S2000 again (my personal opinion really), dump the 5-speeds in favor of 6, 7 or 8-speed autos and figure out what to do with their ILX and TSX lines. I think those two lines overlap. Kinda the way the new Altima seems to encroach on the Maxima at Nissan.

  • Chaz

    China is the GREATEST polluter in the “world”. When China “capitalizes” on this; pollution will be reduced, as compared to the “trend” of today. There is always a price to pay for improvement. Face it: China is “the” mass producer in the world today. We in the USA are too much in “grid-lock” to change anytime soon enough.

  • Nelson Lu

    Honda sharing its hybrid technology would be the automotive equivalent of, hypothetically, Microsoft sharing its Windows 98 technology. It’s inferior, outdated technology.

  • Collin Burnell

    Actually, It’s more like Windows XP. Not the latest technology but a proven and solid platform.

  • Shines

    I agree with Collin. Honda’s IMA technology works best on smaller vehicles/engines where the electric motor isn’t wasting too much of its energy “cranking” the ICE while doing its job. Most first time buyers (as is the case in China) will probably be buying a small car. I sure hope Honda is coming up with better technology for the larger vehicles that Americans prefer.

  • Capt. Concernicus

    @ Shines,

    Honda’s IMA is decent, but should be better. Not could or would be better. Should be better.

    Toyota has trounced all over Honda in terms of hybrid technology and has proven to bring the price point down to $19k, which is affordable enough for almost every average John and Jane Doe. While still averaging 53 mpg’s in the city.

  • larry68

    I am so glad to see that they are passing on this technology. So many more countries need to pass on this technology. We have to get away from gas in the future. plastic surgery Toronto

  • altonalvin

    This represents a bit of an about turn from Honda’s previous stance on the subject, which showed a general reluctance to allow Chinese companies access to proprietary hybrid technology. This was largely due to fears that Honda could end up losing out long term in the green vehicle marketplace against Chinese rivals. motorbike games

  • Dilipkumar007

    I think that this type of decisions are taken by in depth thinking and understanding the future trend.Any company will not perform these type of acts in a hasty way.

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  • arthurarnold

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  • william cormeny

    I feel the Chinese road system and traffic favors electric bicycles,or tricycles with trailers.
    Whatever vehicle they select it must have very high ground clearance,or have short wheelbases.
    Honda,Toyota,Nissan,Hyundai,the Big Three,Volkswagen know the end is coming nearer as Chinese bankers will soon be able to purchase large US and EU dealerships,or major shareholdings in outside automakers.
    In addition the $400 billion in Indian savings accounts will be available to enterprising automakers in Africa or South America,the logical choices for cheap vehicles which can be recharged with solar power.

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