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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.


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.


Nissan Leaf Debuts in U.S. at $32,780 in December

Large Federal taxpayer subsidies reduce price to $25,280.

by on Mar.30, 2010

A question remains as to whether this is the beginning of a mass market for EVs?

Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) today announced that the 2011 Nissan Leaf electric vehicle, starts at $32,780 MSRP before a $7,500 federal tax credit, plus taxes, title and license fees. A Leaf lease starts at $349 per month.

The pure electric vehicle needs a charging dock, which Nissan says will cost another $2,200 on average, and require eight hours to fully recharge Leaf’s 48 lithium ion battery modules.

There are also other potential subsidies for the small car – 175 inches in length – with what is claimed to be a 100-mile range. There is $5,000 statewide tax rebate in California; a $5,000 tax credit in Georgia; a $1,500 tax credit in Oregon; and carpool-lane access in some states, including California. The charging dock and installation are eligible for a 50% federal tax credit up to $2,000.

Leaf will be at Nissan dealers in select markets this December, and roll-out nationwide in 2011. Nissan will begin taking consumer reservations for the Nissan Leaf on April 20 for a refundable $99 fee.

Leaf is powered by laminated lithium-ion batteries, which provide a power output of more than 90 kW with 24 kW hours of capacity – roughly $24,000 worth of batteries at current prices. Its electric motor delivers 80 kW/280 Nm.

Nissan hopes this pricing will make its EVs more than the limited volume technical curiosities that EVs are today. However, the small car faces stiff competition from larger and technically advanced hybrid vehicles, such as Toyota Prius and Honda Insight,  as well as simpler economy cars in the $10,000 to $17,000 range, including Nissan’s own Versa and Sentra models.

“Imagine the possibility of never needing to go to a gas station again, or of paying less than $3 for 100 miles behind the wheel, said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, NNA.


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.