Freeman Cebu Business

No More VTEC Yo!

STANDING START - Lord Seno - The Freeman

It was announced by the Japan Times website that Honda Motor Corporation will be permanently shutting down their engine manufacturing plant in Mooka, Tochigi Prefecture in 2025 to improve efficiency through factory consolidation. Honda aims to sell only electrified vehicles globally by 2040. With this, the Tochigi Powertrain Unit Factory that produces precision high performance Honda parts also will be shut down by 2025.

The closure is part of an effort by the automaker to restructure its vehicle manufacturing operations that has been underway since 2017.

As part of the effort, Honda has already announced a plan to close an assembly plant in Sayama, Saitama Prefecture.  The Saitama Factory is responsible for leading Honda's automobile production around the world.

The shutdown in Mooka Plant is also linked to a move by the automakers to cut back development of the internal combustion engine as the auto manufacturers race to electrification of vehicles. The company will move some 900 workers at the Mooka Plant to new locations in order to keep them employed.

This is sad news to the fans of the ever popular VTEC innovation that Honda introduced in the early 90s. VTEC was first installed in the 1989 Integra, equipped with the DOHC/VTEC engine, was introduced to the market in Japan. The VTEC technology drew considerable praise as the world's first valve mechanism capable of simultaneously changing the valve timing and lift on the intake and exhaust sides. In addition to its impressive output and high-revving energy, the VTEC powerplant boasted superior performance at the low end-including a smooth idle and easy starting-along with better fuel economy.

It soon was introduced to the US in 1990 and became a global hit in the subsequent years after.  The VTEC Technology in the Honda Engines offered a completely new driving experience for motoring enthusiasts around the world.  In the Philippines, VTEC was introduced both in the 1996 SOHC engine of the Honda Civic and the B16 DOHC equipped Civic SIR>

The DOHC/VTEC engine was subsequently adapted the VTEC for use in the mid-engine Sportcar, the NSX, the luxury sedan, the Accord and the famous Civic. Following the SOHC/VTEC engine, and then the VTEC-E in 1991, this technology evolved into the three-stage VTEC engine introduced in 1995, which demonstrated an even greater degree of efficiency in output control.

The VTEC innovation became a global craze amongst motoring enthusiasts and became synonymous to Honda’s success in Formula One as an engine supplier to the Mclaren Team.  This brand soon had a VTEC Global cult following.

It seems like the days of the high revving VTEC engines are moving closer and closer into the pages of history books.

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