A Perfect Fit – Honda’s Growing Auto Production in North America

3/28/2012 9:45:00 PM

Nearly 30 years after we began building the Honda Accord in America, the news that Honda will build the fuel-efficient Honda Fit in our new plant in Mexico is an important addition to the existing portfolio of passenger cars and light trucks we already produce in North America.

Along with the announcement in January that we will build the Acura NSX in Ohio, the news about Fit means Honda will soon produce everything from subcompacts to super cars in North America - increasing our ability to more quickly meet the needs of our customers for fuel-efficient and affordable products.

Last year, more than 85 percent of the Honda and Acura models sold in America were built in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, using domestic and globally sourced parts, and this will reach more than 90 percent in the coming years.

We are investing $800 million in the new plant in Mexico - building upon our longstanding commitment to our existing operations in North America. And we are currently investing virtually the equivalent amount to expand and innovate our existing production operations in Ohio, Alabama and Indiana.

For example, in Ohio, we are investing more than $500 million at four different plants. This includes expanding our engine and transmission plants to produce the new, more fuel-efficient Honda Earth Dreams powertrain series. This series includes an all-new direct injection engine and highly fuel-efficient CVT transmission that will debut this fall on the all-new 2013 Honda Accord.

In Ohio, we also are expanding the assembly line, adding new vehicle painting technologies and constructing an on-site parts consolidation center at our East Liberty Plant. We have added a sophisticated new stamping press at the Marysville Auto Plant as well. We also returned the Marysville plant to full 2-shift production on both lines for the first time in the more than two years since the economic recession began.

In Alabama, we are investing $275 million to expand our auto plant and add a third stamping line that will help increase capacity by 40,000 units. This will add 140 jobs and introduce production of a fourth model next year, the Acura MDX, to go alongside the Honda Odyssey, Pilot and Ridgeline models.

In Indiana, 1,000 new jobs were created with the addition of a second production shift that doubled annual production volume to 200,000 units. This will lead to production next month of the all-new Acura ILX and ILX Hybrid sedans - the first hybrid car we will build in North America, and the first Indiana-built Acura.

And in Canada, we recently added production of the Honda CR-V to the lineup of products built there to help us meet demand for America's most popular SUV, which we also produce in Ohio and Mexico.

Together with the new plant in Mexico, these investments will increase our annual auto production capacity in North America from the existing 1.63 million units to 1.87 million units, enhance our flexibility and increase our ability to satisfy the needs of our customers in this ultra-competitive marketplace.

At the same time, this ongoing commitment to our North American manufacturing operations places the 33,000 Honda associates who live and work here, and the more than 600 suppliers who support our efforts, right in the middle of Honda's global strategy. That's a great place to be - and a perfect fit.

Rick Schostek
Senior Vice President
Honda of America Mfg., Inc.