Honda Has Been Quietly Making Old Kei Truck Parts for Years

Better still, many of the parts fit the truck's van counterpart, too.
1988-90 Honda Acty kei pickup
Honda via Favcars

When car companies resume production of parts for classic models, they usually do so loudly and to much fanfare. However, when Honda expanded its catalog to include parts for its beloved—and still widely used—Acty kei truck, it mostly kept the good news to itself.

It finally revealed so at the International Auto Aftermarket Expo 2022, where it showcased reproduction, second-generation Acty parts alongside those for the Honda Beat, according to Japan’s Body Shop Report Web. Honda’s reportedly been making new parts for the Beat since 2017, catering to a tiny customer base of just 17,072 cars registered in Japan, plus a handful exported abroad. Its parts program has reportedly been so successful that 15 items remain out of stock.

But for some reason, Honda skipped announcing that it had also been reproducing parts for the old Acty kei truck, and had been since 2020—basically two years. According to Japanese Nostalgic Car, it offers 61 parts for the tiny classic workhorse, reportedly ranging from piston rings to throttle cables and turn signal housings.

1990 Honda Acty kei truck. Honda via Favcars

Kei trucks don’t quite have the enthusiast following of mid-engined oddities like the Beat, but Honda’s motivation for supporting the old Acty is surprisingly straightforward. Yohei Kanda, head of Honda’s parts division, told BSR Web in March that huge numbers of Actys are still in regular service, specifically over 128,000 second-gen models, per JNC. Businesses and municipalities still rely on them, so there’s still a huge demand for parts.

“The owners of Acty trucks are prominent people in their communities,” Kanda reportedly said. “Not only do they own multiple units, they often introduce new customers to us. Since the Acty trucks have been discontinued, if they fall into disuse due to a lack of parts, we will lose these important customers to other companies.”

Better yet, because the Acty has a van-bodied sister model called the Street, many reproduction parts fit both vehicles. Now all we need is for more carmakers to follow in their wake, by expanding their legacy parts catalogs. That way, we might be able to stop even more classics from ending up in salvage yards. Or worse, the crusher.

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