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.