* Honda CEO says unable to make sudden changes to production
* Honda builds 260,000 cars,100,000 motorbikes in Mexico
(Adds comment, detail)
By Maki Shiraki
TOKYO, Nov 21 Honda Motor Co. will
stick with its North American production plans as it waits to
see if U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will follow through on
a campaign pledge to dump the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA) when he takes office, the automaker's CEO said
"It is still unclear what Trump's policies will be. We can't
suddenly make production changes and that is a problem not just
for us but for all automakers in the U.S.," Takahiro Hachigo
said at a briefing in Tokyo on Monday.
Doing away with the NAFTA, which Trump has described as a
jobs killer while attacking the outsourcing of American auto
jobs to Mexico, could result in tariffs on cars built in Mexico
that Honda and other makers sell in the United States.
Honda has two auto plants in Mexico, one in Celaya and the
other in Guadalajara that together build around 260,000 cars and
100,000 motorbikes a year. U.S. vehicle manufacturers and many
of their suppliers have based billions of dollars of investment
on relatively open trade with Mexico, China and other countries.
In April, Ford Motor announced plans to invest $1.6
billion to expand production of small cars in Mexico.
(Writing by Tim Kelly; Editing by Himani Sarkar)