New flexible architecture will be used throughout the world, and will help to significantly reduce car development costs.

In a speech this week Takahiro Hachigo, CEO of Honda, gave a broad outline of the company's near-term plans, including a new global architecture, cost cutting, and electrification measures.

The headline announcement is the new Honda Architecture, which seems to be a scalable platform or module set similar to Volkswagen's MQB and Toyota's TNGA.

In time, Honda will be "increasing the number of models" built on the architecture, with the company estimating it will reduce the number of development man-hours by 30%, savings which will be used for advanced research and development.

Around 60% of the company's volume comes from just five models: Jazz/Fit, Civic, Accord, CR-V and HR-V.

The architecture will also help to strengthen inter-regional integration within Honda, while still allowing for the development of models targeted at particular regions, such as Japanese kei cars and large SUVs for the USA.

The first model based on the Honda Architecture will make its debut next year, but it's unclear which car it will be. It seems unlikely be to the next-generation Jazz/Fit (above), as that will make its debut at the 2019 Tokyo motor show.

Honda's electrification plans centre primarily around increasing the number of hybrid variants. With the next-generation Jazz/Fit, the company will launch a version of its i-MMD hybrid drivetrain suitable for smaller vehicles.

As far as pure electric vehicles are concerned, Honda will offer the Honda E in Europe and Japan. In China the company is developing models with its local production partners, while in the US it promises to "jointly develop battery components with General Motors and introduce highly-competitive battery EVs", although no specifics were given.

In order to improve Honda's profitability, the automaker wants to increase its global factory utilisation outside of China from 90% to 100% by 2022. This will no doubt be aided by the company's recent decision to close its factories in the UK and Turkey.