Honda Motor

InfluenceMap Score
D+
Performance Band
55%
Organisation Score
51%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Automobiles
Head​quarters:
Tokyo, Japan
Brands and Associated Companies:
Accord, Honda Aircraft Company, Civic, CR-V
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Honda has been engaging with climate regulations in the US, UK and Japan with mixed to negative positions in 2021-22. While the company generally appears to have positive top-line statements on climate policy, it has strongly opposed legislation that explicitly favors battery electric vehicles (BEVs) over hybrid vehicles, including opposing multiple ZEV mandates. Honda also retains memberships to numerous obstructive trade associations.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Honda has generally positive top-line messaging on climate policy. The company appears to support GHG emissions reductions in line with the 1.5°C target, as suggested in its 2022 Sustainability Report. It also recognized the transport sector's role in responding to climate change in a September 2021 US consultation response. In an August 2021 joint statement, the company advocated for the goals of the Paris Agreement, and in an April 2021 media report, Honda’s CEO, Toshihiro Mibe, appeared to support Japan becoming carbon neutral in 2050, referring to the goal as a “feasible target”. Moreover, a September 2021 Honda consultation response, found via FOI request, stated support for the UK's 2050 net-zero target, yet appeared unsupportive of some near-term actions to implement such targets, emphasizing economic concerns.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Honda has consistently engaged with US policymakers on regulations to decarbonize road transport. In a September 2021 US consultation response, Honda appeared to support the EPA's mid-range federal GHG emission standards, while directly opposing higher-range standards. Additionally, Honda formed part of a group of companies that wrote a letter to President Donald Trump in June 2019, advocating against freezing federal CAFE standards, and instead supported proposed standards weaker than those set under the Obama Administration. More recently, according to a June 2022 Reuters report, Honda was among a group of automakers that supported efforts by President Biden's administration to restore California's authority to set its own stricter GHG emissions standards, that was withdrawn under former President Donald Trump.

Moreover, in April 2021, Honda’s CEO, Toshihiro Mibe, appeared to endorse Japan’s raised 2030 46% economy-wide GHG emissions reduction target, stating that it was “feasible”, but “extremely difficult”.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Honda appears opposed to regulation that directly incentivizes BEVs over hybrid vehicles, including directly opposing a zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) mandate in consultation responses in California in May 2022, and the UK in September 2021. In a March 2021 testimony to Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Honda also stated opposition to the introduction of a ZEV mandate in Japan.

In the US, a May 2022 consultation response indicated that Honda strongly opposed California's proposed Advanced Clean Cars II regulation, which would require an increasing percentage of new light-duty EV sales each year until a 100% ZEV mandate in 2035, while also advocating for flexibilities to weaken the policy’s stringency. Similarly, Honda appeared to oppose the UK’s plan to phase out ICE and hybrid vehicles by 2035 in a November 2020 Financial Times article, referring to the plan as “too narrow”. An April 2021 UK consultation response from Honda stated support for a later 2035 phase-out date for hybrids in the UK, and emphasized the need for "technology neutral" policies to promote hybrid vehicles over battery electric vehicles alone. A September 2021 UK consultation response, found via FOI request, similarly appeared to advocate for the UK government to include sales for “a full range” of hybrids, including non-PHEVs, from 2030-35 in its ICE phase-out policy. In the same September 2021 UK consultation response, Honda appeared supportive of policies and incentives to promote EVs, including a plug-in grant, alongside policies to promote the use of e-fuels over prioritizing battery electric vehicles.

However, while former Honda CEO, Takahiro Hachigo, announced in March 2020 that the company would prioritize hybrids over EVs, communications from Honda US in June 2021 suggested an evolving position for the wider electrification of transportation. In July 2021, Honda’s current CEO, Toshihiro Mibe, suggested that its electrification plan could be accelerated in response to the proposed EU 2035 ICE vehicle ban, stating that the company must comply with the growing international trend. Furthermore, in August 2021, media comments from Honda in Newsweek appeared supportive of policies promoting the electrification of US transportation. However, an op-ed in CNN Business from a Honda America executive in November 2021 stated opposition to a proposed EV tax credit for union-made electric vehicles in the US Build Back Better Act, while appearing to support a general EV tax credit.

Industry Association Governance: Honda does not have a dedicated, centralized disclosure of its membership of and engagement with industry associations, nor has it completed an audit of a potential misalignment with its trade associations on climate policy. Honda CEO, Toshihiro Mibe, is a vice chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA). Honda North America’s Executive Vice President, Rick Schostek, is on the board of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and President of Honda Europe, Katsuhisa Okuda, is on the board of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA). The company is also a member of several obstructive trade associations, including the US-based Alliance for Automotive Innovation, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), and Japan Business Federation (Keidanren).

InfluenceMap collects and assesses evidence of corporate climate policy engagement on a weekly basis, depending on the availability of information from each specific data source (for more information see our methodology). While this analysis flows through to the company’s scores each week, the summary above is updated periodically. This summary was last updated in Q3 2022.

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DATA SOURCES
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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
39%
 
39%
 
49%
 
49%
 
56%
 
56%
 
44%
 
44%
 
48%
 
48%
 
29%
 
29%
 
32%
 
32%
 
36%
 
36%
 
54%
 
54%
 
75%
 
75%
 
67%
 
67%
 
71%
 
71%
 
54%
 
54%
 
64%
 
64%
 
54%
 
54%
 
60%
 
60%

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.