Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Honda expands Indiana plant

 Honda Motor expects to double its exports of finished vehicles from the United States  to other parts of the world by the middle of the decade, a senior Honda official said Wednesday.
 Rick Schostek, senior vice president of Honda of America Mfg., Inc., said during an appearance the Automotive Press Association honda will export about 100,000 units this year to market in Europe, South America and Asia. “That number will double in the next couple of years,” he said. Last year, Honda’s operations in the U.S. exported 53,000 units beyond North America, he said.
  In addition, 2011 was the first year since honda began building cars in North America  in 1982 that in actually built more cars  more cars in the U.S. than in Japan.
  Honda’s production surpassed  in the U.S was 823,000 units, compared with 710,000 Japan units where the tsunami had a major impact on production. In 2010, they were nearly even but Japan was slightly higher and Honda is expanding production in U.S. and North America, which is taking on a larger roll in Honda’s production plans.
 “Nine of the 10 Honda and Acura vehicles we sell in the U.S. will be built here,”  added Shostek, who said the company’s North American operations will also take on a larger role in the development of key models such as the mid-sized Honda Accord
 As part of the continuing expansion of capacity in the U.S. and North America, Honda  it was  investing $40 million to increase annual production capacity by 50,000 units to a total of 250,000 vehicles.  The plant will hire approximately 300 new production associates later this year in preparation for the increased production that will start early next year, Shostek said.
 As part of the expansion, will add production of the Civic Hybrid, Honda's most popular hybrid model in the United States. Indiana was the first Honda plant in North America to build a hybrid vehicle when it started Acura ILX Hybrid production in April.
These latest announcements follow the start of a second shift of production last fall at Honda Manufacturing of Indiana that added approximately 1,000 jobs.
 In addition, Honda announced last spring it planned to build a new assembly plant in central Mexico, which is slated to open in 2014. The expansion in Mexico and Indiana will raise Honda’s total production capacity in North America, including Mexico and Canada, to 1.92 million units by the middle of the decade. By Joseph Szczesny


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