Production of the Acura MDX sport-utility vehicle began Wednesday at the East Liberty Auto Plant joining the Acura RDX crossover on those lines. The Acura TLX and ILX sedans are built down the road at the Marysville plant, while the NSX supercar is assembled in a facility of its own also in Marysville.
The lone Acura not built in Ohio is the full-size RLX sedan, which is made in Japan. Honda Motor Co. announced the shift of MDX production from Alabama to Ohio earlier this year. The Lincoln, Alabama, plant will continue making the vehicle through the summer as well, but production will move fully to East Liberty by the fall. Honda (NYSE:HMC) invested $85 million in plant improvements to facilitate the move to Ohio, which also frees up the line in Alabama to increase production of the Honda Pilot SUV. The East Liberty plant, in addition to the two luxury SUVs, also builds the Honda CR-V crossover, which is the company’s best-selling car thus far through 2016. The plant, which opened 1989, originally produced the Honda Civic compact car.
“From our startup three decades ago producing small sedans to the three different light trucks we build today, our associated continue to demonstrate the skills needed for high quality and flexible manufacturing,” Plant Manager Tim Myers said in a release.
Sales of the MDX are down 9.2 percent through the first four months of the year to 15,008 units. It’s indicative of the Acura luxury brand overall where total sales are off 14.3 percent through the end of April to 45,894 vehicles.
Read more from Staff reporter, Columbus Business First, Dan Eaton here.