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Posts Tagged ‘auto transplants’

10 Millionth American-Made Honda Accord Rolls Out

Maker now producing 1.3 mil vehicles North America annually.

by on Mar.20, 2014

The first American-made Honda Accord rolls off the assembly line on November 1, 1982.

There have always been skeptics.  They thought man couldn’t fly, or go to the moon.  They expected Columbus to fall off the edge of the Earth. And they didn’t expect Honda to do much better when it opened an assembly plant in the middle of Ohio nearly 32 years ago.

But that plant in the one-time farming community of Marysville has – like Columbus, Neil Armstrong and the Wright Brothers – proved the skeptics wrong. And sometime today the 10 millionth American-made Honda Accord will roll off the assembly line.

We're There!

It’s a significant milestone, but not the only one the Japanese maker has set lately.  It recently produced its 20 millionth vehicle in North America where it now operates an expansive array of production facilities, including its newest plant in Mexico which recently began producing the latest-generation of the little Honda Fit.  Honda also became a net exporter in 2013 and, going forward, expects to be shipping more vehicles out of its North American plants than it imports to the market.


Hyundai Mulls Adding To U.S. Production Capacity

Maker may tweak Alabama plant to build more vehicles.

by on Jun.24, 2013

Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik.

Despite a harried sales pace for the year featuring a record-setting performance in May, Hyundai is still pondering whether to add more assembly capacity in the United States.

Hyundai Motor America Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik said during a visit to Detroit that automaker isn’t sure it’s the right time to add more production capacity in the U.S.

Charging Up Your Car Knowledge!

The maker’s U.S. plant in Montgomery, Ala. is running three shifts. Hyundai added the additional shift last September, which bulked up production by 20,000 units annually.


Auto Talks Begin: Future on the Line for Both Big Three and UAW

Makers must satisfy workers while remaining competitive.

by on Jul.25, 2011

Not this time. The UAW is barred from striking GM and Chrysler and hasn't walked out at Ford in decades.

With smiles and handshakes for the cameras, negotiators for the United Auto Workers Union and Chrysler Corp. will today begin the challenging task of coming up with a new contract for more than 20,000 hourly U.S. autoworkers. Later this week, the situation will repeat itself at both Ford and General Motors.

The scene may be familiar – occurring every three to four years for the last three-quarters of a century – but seldom has so much been riding on the outcome.  Still struggling to emerge from the domestic auto industry’s worst downturn since the Great Depression, the viability of Detroit’s Big Three is a lot less certain than recent profits might suggest.  But the UAW itself has to worry about the future.

Consider Chrysler where there are now about 23,000 UAW-represented workers – a decline of nearly 50,000 in less than a decade.  A recent filing with the federal government revealed total membership dropped to 376,612 at the end of 2010 – including union-represented jobs in non-automotive industries.  The UAW’s ranks peaked in 1979, when it counted 1.53 million dues-paying members.

“The current situation is not sustainable,” warns Harley Shaiken, a long-time student of the UAW and a professor at the University of California – Berkley.

Your High-Mileage News Source!

So, both sides know that their fates may ride on what happens between now and mid-September, when talks are scheduled to wrap up.  The question is whether these negotiations can produce settlements that keep Detroit competitive while also satisfying the workers who will eventually have to approve the agreements.  What we may see, many observers are betting, will be contracts that contain expanded profit-sharing packages that more closely link workers’ remuneration to the health of the automakers than ever before.


How Detroit Helped Give Its Market Away

Transplants increasingly dominate U.S. production.

by on Sep.14, 2009

Detroit dared the Japanese to "build cars where you sell them." Initially reluctant, makers like Honda -- which opened the first Japanese auto "transplant," in Marysville, Ohio, in 1982 - soon embraced the idea.

Detroit dared the Japanese to "build cars where you sell them." Initially reluctant, makers like Honda - which opened the first Japanese auto "transplant," in Marysville, Ohio, in 1982 - soon embraced the idea.

Be careful what you ask for, goes the old axiom, as you just might get it.  Someone should have told that to Harold “Red” Poling, the former Ford Motor Co. Chairman, who liked to taunt the Japanese, back in the early 1980s, to “build them where you sell them.”

Back then, the imports were still a relatively modest, if fast-growing force, and buoyed by a lopsided exchange rate, makers like Toyota and Honda were able to sharply undercut their Big Three foes.  Eliminate the yen from the equation, went the conventional Detroit wisdom, and the imports would lose their competitive edge.

It was an era when the mantra, “Buy American,” still resonated with some buyers, especially when spoken by the likes of Lee Iacocca, the Chrysler chairman and consummate TV pitchman.

Transplant to

Transplant to

But what really mattered to the Asian makers was the passage of so-called “voluntary” restraints on Japanese automotive imports.  The severe limits initially appeared to provide a real advantage for Detroit, immediately reducing both the sales and share of brands like Toyota.  If there weren’t enough Corollas, import-oriented buyers would have to settle for Ford Escorts and Chevrolet Cavaliers.  Better yet, Detroit could raise its prices – by hundreds of dollars per vehicle, according to research of that era, since it didn’t have to compete so hard.