Honda recently marked the 30th anniversary of production at its auto plant in East Liberty, Ohio. Built seven years after the company established its first U.S. automobile plant in Marysville, Ohio, the East Liberty Plant (ELP) was designed to be highly flexible and capable of handling different models on the same production line. Since its launch in 1989, the plant has produced 5.9 million vehicles.
With an initial investment of $380 million, the facility began production with 1,800 associates and an annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles. Today, the plant represents an investment of more than $2 billion with employment of more than 2,800 associates and an annual production capacity of 240,000 vehicles.
The facility has served as the North American manufacturing lead for the launch of the 2017 Honda CR-V and currently builds the Acura RDX crossover SUV and Acura MDX. During its 30-year history, ELP has also manufactured the Honda Civic, Accord, Element, Crosstour and Acura CL.
"Honda’s success at the East Liberty Plant has been achieved due to the innovative and passionate associates who have advanced technology within the plant to ensure our customers receive high-quality products," said Nari Hirase, general manager of the East Liberty Plant.
Among the facility’s most recent innovations is a new stamping press, which began full operation in August 2019. The 5,700-ton F-Line servo press features state-of-the-art vision and robotic transferring systems for forming steel and aluminum parts. A 60,000-square-foot expansion was completed to accommodate the new press area.
"This new stamping press showcases our flexibility at the East Liberty Plant, giving us the capacity and space to renovate other stamping capabilities for future innovation here at ELP and the Marysville Auto Plant without any downtime," said Keith Strickland, division manager. "The press provides a whole set of new technologies to enable Acura styling, and it gives us the ability to stamp aluminum panels, which is a first for ELP."
With the new press and other investments over the last three decades, Honda’s capital investment at the plant exceeds $2 billion since 1989. Combined with the company’s other manufacturing and research facilities in Ohio, Honda’s total investment in the Buckeye state surpasses $13 billion since 1979.
For more information, visit www.honda.com.