North America Regional Operations
Honda celebrated 50 years of serving its customers in the United States in 2009. Since the incorporation of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., as Honda’s first overseas subsidiary, on June 11, 1959, Honda has steadily deepened its roots in the region, investing more than $15 billion in its manufacturing, R&D, and sales and service operations in North America. The company has grown its local product-creation capabilities to include 14 major manufacturing plants and 14 R&D facilities in the region, with two all-new manufacturing plants under development.
More than 83% of the Honda and Acura cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. in 2009 were built in North America, using domestic and globally sourced parts, the highest percentage for any international automaker operating in the region. Increasingly, many of these products are also conceived, designed and developed by Honda’s R&D operations in North America, which is marking 35 years of local research & development in 2010. Fully one-third (7 of 21) of the Honda and Acura models sold in America in model year 2010 were designed and developed locally by Honda R&D Americas, Inc.
Honda’s seven North American auto plants, producing 16 distinct Honda and Acura models with an annual capacity of 1.62 million units, comprise the highest volume manufacturing network in Honda’s six-region global structure.
Honda‘s newest auto plant in the region, a $550 million facility in Greensburg, Indiana, began producing fuel-efficient Civic Sedans in October 2008 and manufactured its 100,000th Civic in February 2010.
In 2009, Honda of Canada, Mfg. began producing fuel-efficient 4-cylinder automobile engines at a new $140 million engine plant in Alliston, Ontario. The new engine plant, with an annual capacity of 200,000 units, builds engines made primarily of recycled aluminum for use in Civics manufactured at Honda’s two Canada auto plants.
As Honda has expanded its N.A. manufacturing capabilities, it has also maintained a strong focus on quality, evidenced by continued high ratings in a number of industry quality studies, including J.D. Power and Associates’ Initial Quality Study, which rated Honda’s East Liberty, Ohio, plant as the highest quality auto plant in North America for 2009.
Over the past three years, the company demonstrated the value of its flexible manufacturing system in being able to quickly and efficiently respond to changes in market demand with a series of production shifts. This included the shift of Ridgeline truck and Pilot SUV production from Canada to Alabama, the transfer of Civic Sedan production from East Liberty, Ohio, to the new Indiana plant, and the addition of CR-V and Accord Crosstour production to East Liberty. In addition, the bulk of Accord V6 Sedan production was moved from Marysville, Ohio, to Alabama, as Marysville assumed responsibility for production of the new Acura RDX. And further, in 2009, Honda Canada added the all-new Acura ZDX while the Alabama plant prepared for production of a redesigned 2011 Honda Odyssey, scheduled for introduction in the latter half of 2010. This unprecedented level of flexibility has played a critical role in Honda’s ability to control cost and make optimal use of its production capacity in North America in the midst of a global economic downturn.
Honda Aircraft Company, Inc., completed construction of its new world headquarters and R&D facility in Greensboro, NC, and is working toward completion of its 250,000 square-foot HondaJet production plant, on the same campus, for a total of more than 500,000 square feet under roof. With a total investment of more than $100 million in buildings and equipment, and employment of 600 associates once the production facility is completed, the company will begin deliveries of HondaJet to customers in late 2012.
In neighboring Burlington, NC, Honda Aero, Inc., has taken up residence in its new headquarters and is completing construction on a new production facility with a total investment of $27 million. The facility is expected to employ more than 70 associates and will produce the fuel-efficient GE Honda HF120 turbofan jet engine, which will power HondaJet.