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Milestones: Marysville Produces 10-Millionth Honda; Anna Marks 25 Years of Engine Assembly

Honda went from motor scooters to a global auto, motorcycle and small engine leader because of its U.S. assembly plants.

by on Jul.21, 2010

Anna Engine Plant has grown to become Honda's largest powerplant factory, with an annual capacity of 1.18 million four- and six-cylinder engines.

The Marysville Auto Plant in Ohio has become the first Honda plant outside of Japan to assemble 10 million vehicles. This milestone passed with the production yesterday of an Accord sedan.

The Accord was immediately moved into the plant’s West Cafeteria for display alongside the first generation of the Accord produced at the plant. (See Driving the 2010 Honda Accord)

And just this morning, government and community leaders joined Honda associates at Honda of America Mfg.’s Anna engine plant to celebrate 25 years of manufacturing there.

In addition to producing the engines that power many Honda and Acura automobiles, Anna Engine has provided the basis for the creation of numerous supporting parts plants in Ohio.

Since starting with just 94 associates on 22 July 1985, the Anna Engine Plant has grown to become Honda’s largest auto engine factory, with an annual capacity of 1.18 million four- and six-cylinder powerplants, which Honda says is enough to stretch from Cincinnati to Cleveland and back again. The Anna plant supplies engines to five Honda assembly plants in Ohio, Indiana and Ontario, Canada.

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History!

The Accord, of course, was the first Japanese-nameplate car assembled in the United States starting in November 1982 when it was being made both in Japan and in what was then a brand-new automobile assembly plant in Marysville, Ohio.

The success of the Accord set a path for Honda’s huge American expansion, and proved that assembling cars in America was a viable proposition for Japanese makers, prompting Toyota and Nissan among others to follow. At Honda, seven more Accord generations followed, leading to the current eighth-generation Accord.

“Production of this 10 millionth automobile is the result of the shared commitment to our customers, demonstrated over the past 28 years by all of the associates who have worked at the Marysville Auto Plant,” said Hidenobu Iwata, president and CEO of Honda of America Mfg., and leader of Honda’s production operations in North America.

In its 28th year of production, the Marysville plant has undergone continuous updating, making it what industry experts say is one of the most flexible and efficient plants in North America. No arguments from me on this claim since I have personally observed the growth of the plant.

The Marysville plant ranked fourth in North America in the 2010 Initial Quality Survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates. In addition to the Accord Sedan and Coupe, the plant currently produces the Acura TL and Acura RDX models.

Nearly all Accords sold in North America are manufactured at the Marysville plant, with more than 8.5 million units produced at the plant on a cumulative basis. The TL, RDX and Accord Coupe are exclusively produced at the Marysville plant, and some V6 Accord Sedans are manufactured at Honda’s auto plant in Alabama.

Honda is as much an American company as a Japanese one by some accounts. Consider that more than 84% of all Honda and Acura vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2009 were produced in North America.

Honda says it uses nearly 600 North American suppliers, including 530 in the U.S. and 160 in Ohio, in the production of passenger cars and light trucks. Those purchases totaled $13.3 billion in North America last year, with $5.5 billion in parts coming from Ohio suppliers.

Also in Ohio, Honda operates another assembly plant in East Liberty, a major transmission plant in Russells Point and the Anna Engine Plant.

In addition to manufacturing, Honda has established R&D and engineering operations in Ohio, along with a regional parts distribution center and other operations that support Honda manufacturing and sales in North America. Among all its operations, the company directly employs 13,500 Ohioans and tens of thousands more through its suppliers and other business partners.

Honda began business in America in 1959 and today employs more than 26,000 associates. The company operates 14 manufacturing facilities in North America – about producing a wide range of Honda and Acura automobiles, engines and automatic transmissions, all-terrain vehicles, and power equipment such as lawn mowers and mini-tillers.

(See also Honda Predicts 2011 Accord Fuel Economy Increase and Milestones: 50 years of American Honda )

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