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Where Do the Most “Patriotic” Car Buyers Live?

Motorists in Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland most likely to buy Big Three, while LA loves imports.

by on Jul.06, 2011

Midwest buyers remain the most loyal to the traditional domestic auto brands.

“Buy American?” it’s not always easy to figure out what an American car is, these days, considering your Chevy may come from Korea, while your Kia may have been built in West Point, Georgia.  But if you’re looking for the communities where shoppers are most likely to purchase one of the Big Three brands, Midwest motorists remain the most loyal to domestic automakers, while those in California and other West Coast communities are overwhelmingly import oriented.

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The gap can be significant: in major Midwest markets, Detroit’s Big Three brands routinely capture more than two-thirds of new car sales, while three in four shoppers on the Left Coast turn to either Asian or European marques.

But domestic industry officials insist they’re seeing a shift in momentum, especially as they launch new small, fuel-efficient models that are beginning to gain traction even in import-centric California.

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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.

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Q&A: Volkswagen’s Jacoby & Hackenberg

Betting on something the consumer may not want.

by on Sep.25, 2009

Governments may force the industry to build battery cars, like the 2013 Volkswagen e-Up, but governments will also need to subsidize their sale, says VW's global technology chief, Ulrich Hackenberg.

Governments may force the industry to build battery cars, like the 2013 Volkswagen e-Up, but governments will also need to subsidize their sale, says VW's global technology chief, Ulrich Hackenberg.

“If you build it, they will come,” goes the oft-quoted line from the film, “Field of Dreams.”  That’s the guiding principle of the auto industry, though in the coming years, there’s no guarantee consumers really will come to showrooms for some of the products now on the industry’s drawing boards.

Take the “e-Up,” the little electric car that Volkswagen unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, earlier this month.  Based on the smallest car in the VW line-up, it’s designed to meet tough new emissions and fuel economy standards, but at a stiff price premium – and with a trade-off on range.

Your Global Auto News Source is Free!

Your Global Auto News Source is Free!

Whether there really will be a market for e-Up or any of the other plug-ins, E-REVS or battery cars is one of the questions TheDetroitBureau.com posed to two of Volkswagen’s top officials, global technology chief Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, and Stefan Jacoby, CEO of Volkswagen of America.

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Milestones: 50 years of American Honda

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

by on Jul.16, 2009

1959 Honda Enters U.S. Market, although this ad campaign came later.

First-year Honda motor scooter sales in the U.S. amounted to about 1,700 units.

A little over 50 years ago a handful of Honda associates led by 39-year-old Kihachiro Kawashima began signing up U.S. motorcycle dealers, working out of a small storefront office in Los Angeles, California.

The Honda Super Cub (50), Dream and Benly motor scooters were the initial Honda products sold in the U.S. First-year sales amounted to about 1,700 units.   

American Honda‘s Japanese parent company was only itself 11 years old when it decided to start  the first overseas subsidiary, in keeping with the philosophy of Japan’s Ministry of Trade and Industry’s export-driven industrial policy.

From this meager start, and because of a series of bold decisions that surprised much more conservative auto companies, such as Toyota and Nissan, Honda has grown to be a global giant, largely because of its steady expansion in the large, open and profitable U.S. market.

Today, American Honda employs more than 27,000 associates who are active in the design, development, manufacturing, sale and servicing of Honda and Acura products. The offerings now include automobiles, motorcycles, ATVs, personal watercraft, power equipment, and a light jet aircraft that is under development.

At the podium, Kazuo Nakagawa, 1st Honda of America Manufacturing (HAM) President.

At the podium, Kazuo Nakagawa, the first Honda of America Manufacturing (HAM) President.

Honda now operates 10 U.S. manufacturing plants, with two new plants under construction, along with 14 research & development facilities and more than 12 regional sales, parts and service, and finance offices around the country. 

The company’s network of U.S. parts suppliers has 545 companies in 34 states, with annual purchases exceeding $17.5 billion in 2008.

Like all other automakers operating in the ongoing Global Great Recession, Honda is currently struggling. The parent company lost almost $2 billion in the last quarter, and is under extreme pressure to stay profitable going forward, although, thus far, it is doing a better job of this than rivals Nissan and Toyota, which have been posting far deeper losses for longer periods of time.

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