Honda Auto Production Rises in U.S.

Noria news wires

Honda recently announced that its U.S. automobile production increased by 2.7 percent in 2018 to 1.24 million cars and light trucks. Record production levels of light trucks were reported in Alabama, Ohio and Indiana, along with record numbers of electrified vehicles in Ohio and Indiana. However, total North American auto production fell 1.7 percent with the Honda plant in Celaya, Mexico, losing four months of production while recovering from flooding that struck on June 28. Production at Honda's two auto plants in Canada rose 0.6 percent to 432,771 vehicles for the year.    

Honda leveraged its manufacturing capacity to shift its production mix toward sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) and achieve record production of light trucks in America. Last summer, the company added production of the CR-V to its plant in Marysville, Ohio, and in late 2017 completed the transfer of the Acura MDX from Alabama to Ohio, which resulted in increased supplies of the Pilot from the Alabama plant. 

With the transfer of Acura MDX production to the East Liberty auto plant, the company has now consolidated U.S. production of Acura vehicles in its three Ohio auto plants – the Marysville auto plant, the East Liberty auto plant and the Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville.

The introduction of the new Indiana-made Insight hybrid sedan along with the Ohio-made Accord Hybrid, Acura MDX Sport Hybrid and Acura NSX led Honda to a new record for U.S. electrified vehicle sales in 2018. This included innovations for production of electrified vehicles and powertrain components, including $61.5 million in Indiana and at Honda's transmission plant in Russells Point, Ohio. This marks the first time Honda has manufactured key components of its two-motor hybrid power unit in America. In addition, the hybrid battery packs for both the Insight and Accord are assembled at the Marysville auto plant.

More than $174 million in expansion and innovation activities were completed at Honda’s U.S. plants in 2018, totaling $5.9 billion in new capital investments over the past five years. Along with the $65 million invested in U.S. electrified vehicle and powertrain production, new U.S. production investments in 2018 included $54 million in the company's auto plant in East Liberty, Ohio, a $10.5 million expansion of the power equipment plant in Swepsonville, North Carolina, and a $45 million expansion of the powersports plant in Timmonsville, South Carolina.

Production has also begun on two new U.S.-made Honda products slated for launch early in 2019. The 2019 Honda Passport SUV went into production in December 2018 at the company's plant in Lincoln, Alabama, alongside the Honda Pilot SUV, Odyssey minivan and Ridgeline pickup. In addition, the Honda plant in Timmonsville, South Carolina, began production of the new Talon sport side-by-side.

In September 2019, Honda will mark its 40th anniversary of manufacturing products in America. The company was the first Japanese automaker to produce products in America in 1979, followed by the start of automobile production in Marysville, Ohio, on Nov. 1, 1982.

Over the course of four decades, Honda has steadily grown its manufacturing capabilities in the region. The company now employs more than 25,000 associates at 19 plants in North America with the capacity to produce more than 1.92 million automobiles, 3 million engines, 400,000 power equipment products and 330,000 powersports products each year, using domestic and globally sourced parts.

Cumulatively, Honda has invested more than $22 billion in its North American manufacturing capabilities, including more than $5.9 billion over the past five years. The company also works with more than 650 original equipment suppliers in North America, with total parts purchases exceeding $415 billion over 35 years.

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