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Honda delaying HR-V launch amid production trouble in Mexico?

Japanese automaker continues to hit snags as it ramps up production at new $800M plant.

Honda has reportedly delayed its HR-V launch in the US market, pushing expected availability into 2015.

The holdup has been blamed on broader problems at the company's new production facility in Celaya, Mexico, where the Fit has already faced trouble as production volume continues to ramp up.

The new Fit has already been hit with five recalls, though the Mexico problems are viewed as a secondary issue. Foreshadowing the HR-V delay, the company initially rescheduled the Fit's US launch after quality inspectors discovered deficiencies in the first batch of vehicles built at the new plant.

The Celaya facility is said to use workers for many jobs that are handled in Japan by robots. The boom in nearby manufacturing expansion from a handful of rival automakers also may have led to a shortage in experienced workers.

Dealers who have talked to Honda representatives suggest the company is also having trouble getting assembled vehicles from Mexico to the US without thieves stealing parts during the train ride, according to Automotive News.

Facing harsh criticism over its handling of the Takata airbag recall, Honda earlier this week penalized top executives and created a new position responsible for quality assurance.

Dealers have reportedly been told to expect HR-V deliveries sometime in the spring.

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