CELAYA, Mexico, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Honda North America said the first shift employing 1,600 workers in a plant near Celaya, Mexico, is only the start of local work opportunities there.
Honda said it would open a second shift later this year. In addition, Honda said it would add 1,500 workers in 2015, when it opens a new transmission plant near Celaya.
"Mexico is the proper place for us to build a subcompact vehicle," said Senior Vice President Rick Schostek.
The Detroit News reported Saturday that the plant's first shift began operating this week. The first production run will be Honda Fit subcompact vehicles. Later this year, Honda will begin production of a small SUV at the plant, as well.
Prior to this year, Fit vehicles for the U.S. market were made in Japan. But that contributed to supply problems, the News said.
Honda sold 52,944 subcompact Fit vehicles in the United States in 2013, a 7.5 percent increase from the previous year.