Making New Parts for the Old Honda Beat Is Hard Work

A handful of automakers keep parts in production for their older cars. Nissan, Mazda, and Toyota have all recently started new-parts programs for some of their Nineties icons, and Porsche and Mercedes-Benz have done similar work for years. It’s a great way for automakers to support enthusiast communities and keep classics on the road. And when you learn how much work it takes to reproduce old parts, you’ll appreciate the automakers who do so even more.

Japanese Nostalgic Car highlighted an article published last month by Japanese site Car Care Plus detailing Honda’s efforts to restart parts production for the Beat. According to JNC’s translation of Car Care Plus, Honda typically keeps making parts for 15 years after a car ends production, but the company found that there was still a demand for Beat parts nearly 20 years after the last one rolled off the line, in 1996.

But it’s not enough for Honda alone to simply want to support its oddball 1990s mid-engine Kei roadster. Getting parts back in production means working with a number of suppliers, convincing them to take on what is ultimately a low-volume project. For example, it took a year and a half for Honda to get the Beat’s dampers back in production. That seems like a long time, until you learn that the damper is made up of 12 components, and presumably, not all of those components come from the same supplier.

People who sourced parts for the Beat back when it was in production are working on this project, too. At the moment, Honda offers 92 reproduction parts for the Beat, and more are coming in the next few months. There’s everything from the trunk release to wheels in production now, though parts production may not continue indefinitely. The company making the brake calipers only agreed to do so until 2023.

These parts are available through Japanese Honda dealers. We’re not sure if they can make it to the U.S. easily to support the growing Beat population here.

In any case, this should give you not just a new appreciation for Honda, but for all the car companies committed to causes like this. It shows there are still some enthusiasts making business decisions.

via Alex Núñez on Twitter.

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