Honda announced it will invest approximately $215 million in its Ohio operations to add new powertrain technologies and a technical training center at its engine plant in Anna, Ohio, while also establishing a technical training center, heritage center that highlights Honda's history in Ohio and North America, and office space for the new Honda North America Services, LLC in Marysville, Ohio. These new investments bring to nearly $2.7 billion the amount Honda has invested in its North American operations in the last three years.
"For the 21st century of manufacturing, we believe our success will be defined by the successful interaction between our associates and technology," said Rick Schostek, senior vice president of Honda North America, Inc. "Even as we introduce more sophisticated technologies in our products and in our plants, we are working to ensure that our associates are equipped with the skills required for the manufacturing requirements of the future. We view this investment in Honda people as critical to our future success."
Honda is investing approximately $180 million at the Honda of America Mfg., Inc. Anna Engine Plant to expand capabilities in aluminum die casting and engine parts production related to the new Honda Earth Dreams Technology engines and transmissions. This brings total investment at the Anna plant over the last three years to more than $500 million. Previous investments have helped introduce new direct injection engines and to localize production of advanced pulley components for continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) assembled at Honda's transmission plant in Ohio.
The technical training centers for powertrains at Anna and auto manufacturing in Marysville will provide Honda engineers, equipment service technicians and line-side associates with unique opportunities to develop skills that will refine their technical know-how in a hands-on environment.
In addition, Honda has started construction on a new 160,000-square-foot building near its existing operations in Marysville. The new building will house the training facility, a heritage center and office space for Honda's new shared services company formed in April to reorganize existing support services in North America. This $35 million facility is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
The heritage center will highlight the products and significant milestones in the history of Honda in North America, with an emphasis on the role of Honda operations in Ohio. With plans to be open to the public, the center will showcase Honda's accomplishments during the 36 years since the company announced in 1977 that it would establish a production operation in Ohio.
"We're excited to highlight our more than 30-year history of manufacturing in North America," Schostek said. "The new Honda facility in Marysville represents an important link between our past achievements and our increasing responsibilities in the future that require advanced production skills and technologies."
In addition to major investments at the Anna Engine Plant, Honda also has been implementing advanced technologies and introducing new products at all of its plants in North America. In Ohio alone, the investments over the last three years now total more than $1 billion.
Honda established operations in America in 1959, and now employs more than 33,000 associates in its North American sales, R&D and manufacturing operations with a capital investment of more than $22 billion.
Based on Honda's approach of "building products close to the customer" Honda started local production of motorcycles in the U.S. in September 1979. In November 1982, Honda became the first Japanese automaker to begin automobile production in the U.S. Since then, Honda has continued to expand local production, and cumulative production volume of automobiles in North America through March 2013 was more than 25 million units.
Honda now operates 14 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda and Acura automobiles, automobile engines and transmissions, Honda all-terrain vehicles, and power equipment products such as lawn mowers, mini-tillers and general purpose engines, using domestic and globally sourced parts.
Seven Honda auto plants in the North American region, including four in the U.S., have the capacity to produce 1.63 million automobiles each year. In 2012, 90 percent of the Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were produced in North America. This will increase to 1.92 million vehicles per year in 2014, when the sales percentage of locally produced automobiles is expected to rise to more than 95 percent.
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