Honda Leader Recognized as 2023 Rising Star


Automotive News today recognized Molly Popilowski, a leader at Honda Development & Manufacturing of America, LLC (HDMA), as a Rising Star in the U.S. automotive industry. Popilowski was recognized for her role as Manufacturing Planning and Control Division Lead at the Marysville Auto Plant in Ohio, which is Honda’s first auto plant in North America that will transition to EV production.

In August 2023, Popilowski assumed a new role as the leader of HR Strategy and Transformation for HDMA, where she leads the planning and implementation of various strategic workforce programs and initiatives.

The Automotive News Rising Star awards annually honor automaker and supplier leaders, based in the U.S. and under the age of 45, who have the talent and dedication necessary to become the auto industry leaders of tomorrow. Automotive News has published the list of the industry’s up-and-comers annually since 2014. Popilowski was one of 24 honorees from a variety of disciplines — from executive management to purchasing, engineering, mobility, and design.

“The key to our success in the electrified era is an engaged and passionate workforce, and I look forward to helping prepare our Honda associates for this next chapter of Honda manufacturing in America,” said Popilowski.

Popilowski joined Honda in Anna Engine Plant’s Market Quality department 20 years ago, after graduating with an engineering degree from the University of Dayton. She transitioned to Purchasing Operations and steadily rose through the organization. Popilowski then moved into a manufacturing role at the East Liberty Auto Plant and joined the Marysville Auto Plant team in 2021, where she was responsible for managing plant business strategies.

Honda Manufacturing in America
Honda has been producing automobiles in America for over 40 years, beginning in November 1982 with the start of automobile production at the Marysville Auto Plant.

In 2022, more than two-thirds of all Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were made in America, using domestic and globally sourced parts. Honda’s cumulative auto production in America now exceeds 30 million vehicles.

Honda established manufacturing operations in America in 1979 with the start of motorcycle production in Marysville, Ohio, and today has one of the largest and most diverse U.S. manufacturing footprints of any international company. More than 23,000 U.S. associates support the company’s 12 manufacturing plants in America, supporting operations that have an annual capacity of more than 1.27 million automobiles, 1.52 million engines, 500,000 power equipment products, and 300,000 power sports products, as well as the HondaJet advanced light jet and GE Honda HF120 turbofan engines.

Cumulatively, Honda has invested $19 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations, including more than $3.6 billion over the past five years alone. The company also works with 600 U.S. original equipment suppliers, with U.S.-sourced parts purchases of approximately $492 billion since 1979.

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