Created on Thursday, 10 January 2013 Written by JOEL E. MAST
Local Accord production soon will include hybrid models, the automaker announced today.
The 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid sedan is one of two models to use Honda’s new two-motor hybrid system. The Marysville Auto Plant will produce the Accord Hybrid model, slated to go on sale this fall. (PHOTO | HONDA)
Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. will invest $23 million to add another 95,000 square feet to its Marysville Auto Plant, which will be home to processes and subassembly work specific to hybrid production.
Around 50 new jobs will be added to fulfill the production demands for the new model slated to go on sale this fall.
Honda spokesman Ron Lietzke said the automaker’s sales arm has yet to set anticipated sales numbers or the cost of the sedan.
Marysville will become the second U.S. plant to build hybrid vehicles. Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, LLC in Greensburg, Ind. already produces Civic Hybrid and Acura ILX Hybrid models.
“Initially most of the parts and components needed for hybrid production will come from Japan,” Mr. Lietzke said. “But, in time, we will look at localizing production of those components.”
It is too early to say what impact the new model will have on future production at Honda’s Anna Engine Plant or its Russells Point transmission plant.
The Marysville addition will receive parts, engines and electrical parts and assemble the components for the plant’s assembly lines. The hybrid model will be incorporated into the current production of Accord sedans and coupes and Acura TLs.
“With more than 30 years of continuously building eight generations of the Honda Accord close to our customers, our team now is using its experience and flexibility to add this sophisticated Accord Hybrid model,” said Jeff Tomko, plant manager of the Marysville Auto Plant.
“At the same time, we are continuing with our commitment to manufacture new models in Ohio, along with the resulting growth in jobs.”
One of four efficient powertrains for the Accord lineup, the new hybrid joins the 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan to use the automaker’s first two-motor hybrid system.
Both team a new Earth Dreams Technology 2.0-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine with a powerful 124-kilowatt traction electric motor that can function as an electric continuously variable transmission and a 105-KW electric motor for power generation.
The plug-in hybrid will be produced solely in Japan.
This latest announcement continues three years of investment in Honda’s Ohio manufacturing. The current total investment exceeds $800 million and includes projects to establish on-site parts consolidation centers, renovate auto assembly and painting operations and expansions to the engine and transmission plants.
Recently, the transmission plant started a second phase of projects to expand CVT production. This new investment of $90 million includes an additional assembly line and new aluminum die casting and machining operations. Investments at the transmission plant in recent years now total $235 million.
Honda operates four manufacturing plants in Ohio, including auto plants in Marysville and East Liberty with the capacity to manufacture nearly 700,000 cars and light trucks per year.
Its engine plant supplies engines and components to most of Honda’s auto plants in North America, with production exceeding a million engines per year. And the transmission plant in Russells Point manufactures more than one million automatic transmissions per year, including the CVTs, for Honda’s North American auto plants.
In addition to manufacturing, Ohio is the center for vehicle engineering in North America. Its expansive R&D center in Raymond, Honda’s largest R&D center outside Japan, employs more than 1,300 associates.
Among all its operations, Honda employs more than 13,500 Ohioans.