MARYSVILLE - Honda associates on Tuesday celebrated the 40th anniversary of the historic start of production at Honda of America Mfg. Inc. in Marysville, in 1979, when the first 64 associates began producing the Elsinore CR 250 motorcycle, which began the rapid growth of Honda in America.
After Honda became the first Japanese automaker to build products in the United States, automobile production quickly followed on Nov. 1, 1982, at the adjacent Marysville Auto Plant in Ohio. Honda now has five U.S. auto plants and in 2018, nearly two-thirds of all Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the United States were made in America. With 12 major plants in this country, Honda also produces engines and transmissions, ATVs and sideby- side vehicles, a variety of power equipment products and the HondaJet in America. Honda’s initial $35 million investment in the Marysville Motorcycle Plant has grown to more than $11 billion in Ohio, and an investment of over $21 billion in Honda’s U.S. operations. Honda now employs more than 25,000 associates at its 12 plants in America. Honda also has steadily increased its local purchasing of parts and materials with more than 600 original equipment suppliers in America and cumulative parts purchases of over $440 billion.
“Honda’s success in Ohio has always been driven by the dedication and innovative spirit of our associates and this 40th anniversary milestone is a tribute to Honda associates, past and present, who have provided their energy, ideas and passion to create high-quality products for our customers,” said Mitsugu Matsukawa, president of Honda of America Mfg. “Based on the team we have in Ohio, and the opportunities ahead, I’m excited for the future of Honda in America.”
In addition to the commitment to local manufacturing, Honda has invested over $1.1 billion in Honda’s U.S. R&D operations, including major centers in Ohio, California, North Carolina and Florida. This year, Honda also marked the 60th anniversary of its business in the U.S., with sales operations established in Los Angeles, California, in June 1959.
Quick Facts: Honda in Ohio Since Honda began production in Ohio in 1979 …
· Employment has grown to 15,000 Honda associates in Ohio.
· Investment has surpassed $11 billion in its Ohio operations.
· Auto production totals nearly 20 million vehicles at Honda’s three Ohio auto plants.
· Engine and transmission production exceeds one million units per year.
· Purchasing of parts and materials has grown to $10 billion annually.
· Operations expanded to include R&D and parts procurement.
· Charitable contributions top $100 million to Ohio community organizations.
40 Years of Honda manufacturing in America
Honda marks its 40th anniversary of manufacturing products in America this month. Honda was the first Japanese automaker to produce products in America, beginning with motorcycles in 1979, followed by the start of automobile production in Marysville, Ohio, on Nov. 1, 1982.
Over the course of four decades, Honda has steadily grown its manufacturing capabilities in the region. Honda now employs more than 25,000 associates at 12 plants in America with the capacity to produce more than one million automobiles, three million engines, 400,000 power equipment products and 330,000 powersports products each year, using domestic and globally sourced parts. In 2018, nearly two-thirds of all Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were made in America.
Honda also manufactures the HondaJet advanced light jet and GE Honda HF120 turbofan engines in America. Cumulatively, Honda has invested more than $20.2 billion in its American manufacturing capabilities, including more than $5.9 billion over the past five years. The company also works with more than 600 original equipment suppliers in America with cumulative parts purchases of nearly $400 billion over 35 years.
Submitted by Honda of America Mfg. Inc.
By Kathy Fox, Urbana Daily Citizen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Representatives of Parker Trutec, on Upper Valley Pike, and Rosewood Machine & Tool Co., on Kiser Lake Road, said Honda’s plan to idle a second-shift production line at the Marysville assembly plant, as it slows production of Accords, may have little impact on their businesses.
Honda has said buyers’ interest in SUVs and small trucks is rising and interest in small cars is declining, hence the slowdown of the production line, which is to begin in August and may last a few years.
“The impact depends on the duration,” said Jeff Helman, a vice president of the Rosewood business.
Both local businesses manufacture products for Honda, but not only for its Accord line, and both businesses manufacture products for customers besides Honda.
“We do a lot of service parts for Honda not tied in with production lines,” said Brian Beatty, Parker Trutec plant manager. “We are unclear at this point,” he said of potential impact to his plant. “We need to research to see about the impact.”
He added, “Business is good otherwise.”
Beatty said he expects any impact to be minor for the plant, which has about 180 workers.
About 95% of Parker Trutec’s business is automotive, with orders coming from Honda as well as other vehicle manufacturers. “It can have an impact, but it’s not unprecedented,” Helman said. “They make these kinds of adjustments from time to time … “It’s no secret Accord sales are down … the public wants these little crossover SUVs.
“Honda’s been adept at changing tooling,” he added. “Their lines are designed to change to other models.”
He said the Rosewood business is a Honda supplier for tooling and equipment. “We make parts to make the cars.
“Honda’s been a very good customer, a good partner for us,” Helman said, adding that the local business manufactures products for Honda facilities besides its Marysville plant, as well as for businesses other than the automotive industry.
“Our objective has always been to be diversified,” he said, adding the company, which employs about 40 people, manufactures products for various types of customers, including those in the HVAC and food-processing industries.
“Honda has a huge impact on this area of the state,” Helman said. Noting that companies across the state manufacture products for Honda, he said it could take time for any impact to materialize.
“It’s not time to panic. It’s time to adjust to changes in the market,” he said, adding he thinks Honda has such a plan.
Honda has said there will be no layoffs, although voluntary buyouts will be offered.
Helman said if jobs are affected, people will find a “positive job market.”
“We’re all dealing with people shortages,” he said. “There are jobs out there. If we could find the right people, we could use a couple people.”
Although messages left at Honda supplier KTH Parts Industries Inc. were not returned, a June 2016 article in the Daily Citizen quotes a KTH spokesperson as noting consumers’ growing interest in SUVs over smaller vehicles and saying KTH, located on state Route 235, was making changes to adjust to this shift in interest.
Kathy Fox can be reached at 937-652-1331, ext. 1773.