A new factory being built in the south of the country will begin taking over from Japan as the source of the Jazz supermini in Europe from the end of the year. And right-hand drive versions will start reaching UK showrooms from September 2005.
More than half of the 50,000 hatchback models to be produced at the new plant are due for the UK market.
Honda Automobile China general manager Shunji Miyajima said: 'It makes sense for us to do this because manufacturing costs are less here. But customers will not be able to notice any difference because the quality will be identical to the Japanese product.'
However, Miyajima said it was unlikely the sourcing switch would apply to other models.