Honda marks 30 Years of U.S. Auto Production; new $200 million powertrain investment will create 200 local jobs (Audio & video included)
11/1/2012 7:48:39 AM
By Bill Tipple
The Marysville Auto Plant is celebrating a milestone today – it’s the plant’s 30th anniversary.
(Pictured: The 2013 Honda Accords roll off the assembly line before final inspection.)
Honda today marked its 30th anniversary of U.S. auto production by reaching cumulative investments of more than $1.2 billion in U.S. manufacturing operations in the last two years, including the announcement today of more than $200 million in new investments at Honda Transmission in Russells Point and the Anna Engine Plant, which will add 200 new manufacturing jobs at Anna. Honda has a cumulative investment in America of more than $12.5 billion.
“For 30 years, Honda associates in our U.S. auto plants have challenged themselves and set high standards to create products that meet the needs of our customers here and in markets around the world,” said Tetsuo Iwamura, president and CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., and chief operating officer of North American Regional Operations. “We continue to invest in our associates, helping to keep our operations in America on the leading edge of quality, efficiency and flexibility.”
Consistent with Honda’s longstanding commitment to build products close to the customer, on November 1st, 1982 Honda became the first Japanese automaker to produce automobiles in America (using domestic and globally sourced parts) when the first Honda Accord rolled off the assembly line at the Marysville Auto Plant.
Listen to Marysville Plant Manager Jeff Tomko reflect on the 30th anniversary.
Listen to Rob May, associate chief engineer in the production planning department, talk about the plant's milestone.
Listen to Logan County Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Paul Benedetti discuss Honda's economic impact.
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Watch a series of final welds performed on the ninth-generation 2013 Accord.
Honda builds automobiles, engines and transmissions in North America at seven auto plants, three auto engine plants and two transmission plants, with the capacity to produce 1.63 million cars and trucks per year. When combined with planned production increases at Honda’s U.S. auto plants, the 2014 start of production of sub-compact vehicles at Honda’s eighth North American auto plant, now under construction in Mexico, will increase Honda’s North American capacity to 1.92 million units.
(Pictured: Marysville associates work on the interior of a 2013 Accord.)
The company has steadily grown its U.S. manufacturing, research and development and sales operations, and today employs more than 26,000 associates and operates nine major manufacturing plants and 15 R&D facilities in the U.S., including four auto plants with an annual capacity of 1.08 million Honda and Acura vehicles.
“Honda’s U.S. responsibilities have matured into global capabilities for manufacturing, R&D and engineering,” said Rick Schostek, senior vice president, Honda of America Mfg., Inc. “As we begin to take on a larger role within global Honda to meet the needs of customers around the world, this is the right moment to reflect on the great accomplishment by our team of associates in Ohio in Honda’s first 30 years of U.S. auto production.”
In the coming years, Honda operations in North America will take on new responsibilities for the mass production launch of global Honda models. Honda associates in North America will help set the standards for production processes for key global products that also are made in other regions and then share their knowledge and expertise to support Honda plants all around the globe.
As part of this new global lead role, Honda also will increase exports from North America to global markets. Later this year, Honda will reach the one million mark in total automobile exports from the U.S. Honda also is increasing its export of major auto parts by almost 70 percent this year in support of Honda plants in South America, Europe and Asia. This will be a substantial increase in business for North American suppliers that will grow even greater in the coming years.
With the latest $200 million investment at the Anna Engine Plant and Honda Transmission Manufacturing, Honda’s U.S. capital investment exceeds $12.5 billion. In the last two years, Honda has invested more than $2 billion in new manufacturing capabilities in North America. The investments include:
- $400 million and 190 new jobs at its Lincoln, Ala., auto and engine plant to increase production by 40,000 vehicles per year (to 340,000) and the addition of Acura MDX production in early 2013 (transitioning from Honda of Canada Mfg. Plant 2).
- $299 million and 200 new jobs at the Anna Engine Plant to innovate and expand local production of powertains and components, including production of pulleys for continuously variable transmissions and a new 320,000-square foot parts consolidation center.
- $40 million and nearly 300 new jobs at the Greensburg, Ind., auto plant to increase production by 50,000 units per year (to 250,000) and to add Civic Hybrid production, the plant’s second hybrid model, by early 2013. The Indiana plant added a second production shift in October 2011, creating 1,000 new positions and doubling the plant’s capacity to 200,000 vehicles per year.
- $166 million at the East Liberty Auto Plant for a 195,000-square foot expansion including new door and instrument panel assembly lines, an extended final assembly line and a new vehicle-quality department.
- $175 million and 100 new jobs at the Russells Point transmission plant to increase high-pressure die casting operations and to add a third line for production of advanced, efficient continuously variable transmissions for the 2013 Accord.
- $64 million at the Marysville Auto Plant for a 24,000-square foot expansion and new metal stamping capabilities
- $800 million for a new automobile plant in Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico, with an annual capacity of 200,000 units for the production of subcompact vehicles. The plant will employ 3,200 associates at full capacity and is schedule to begin Honda Fit production in 2014.
In addition to direct investments, Honda also works with approximately 500 U.S. OEM parts and materials suppliers, and purchased $14.4 billion in OEM parts and materials from U.S. suppliers in 2011. Honda has more than 600 parts suppliers in North America, with purchases expected to exceed $20 billion this year.
The 30th anniversary commemoration began in August with the mass production start of the all-new 2013 Honda Accord at the Marysville Auto Plant. Better, not bigger, the completely new ninth-generation Honda Accord lineup includes the Accord Sedan and Accord Coupe powered by Honda’s new Earth Dreams technology powertrain series, including direct-injected 4-cylinder, V-6 and two-motor hybrid powertrains, teamed to new manual, automatic and continuously variable transmission (CVT) options. An all-new 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) Sedan is scheduled to debut in early 2013, followed by the new two-motor full hybrid, based on the same powertrain architecture, in later 2013.
The first Japanese car built in America – a silver-gray 1983-model Accord bearing Ohio license plate USA 001 – is on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.