Created on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 Written by THE BELLEFONTAINE EXAMINER STAFF
American Honda became a net exporter for the first time — shipping abroad 108,705 U.S.-made Honda and Acura vehicles versus the 88,537 vehicles it imported from Japan in 2013.
With sustained growth, Honda achieved record production of automobiles in 2013, both in North America (1,781,213 units) and in the U.S. (1,309,917 units), enabling this first-ever net exporter achievement.
At Honda of America Manufacturing Inc., the Marysville Auto Plant shattered its previous all-time high by producing 492,409 vehicles last year, up 12 percent from 2012, and besting the previous annual mark, set in 2008, of 459,700 vehicles.
Honda’s East Liberty Auto Plant produced 242,363 light trucks last year, resulting in record production of 734,772 Ohio-made vehicles at the two plants in 2013. This includes 69,680 vehicles for export to more than 40 countries, an increase of 69 percent compared with 2012.
“Achieving net exporter status is a natural result of our commitment and investment in the U.S. and North America,” said Tetsuo Iwamura, president and CEO of Honda North America Inc. “The achievement of this tremendous milestone is a result of the efforts of the tens of thousands of associates in America who develop and produce our vehicles and those who manage the export of these products to customers in global markets.”
Over the past three years, Honda has invested more than $2.7 billion to expand its U.S. and North American auto production operations.
As a result, nearly 95 percent of the Honda and Acura cars and trucks sold in the U.S. are made in North America.
Supporting the net exporter milestone, Honda set new calendar year records for automobile production at its plants in North America and the U.S., as well as at its plants in Ohio and Indiana.
Production in North America of 1,781,213 Honda and Acura automobiles in 2013 represented an increase of 5.3 percent from the previous year's record-setting total.
In the U.S., Honda plants produced a record 1,309,917 automobiles in 2013, an increase of 7.4 percent from the previous record in 2012.
Honda was the only automaker to have three car lines — Civic, CR-V and Accord — sell more than 300,000 units in the U.S. in 2013, and all are manufactured in North America.
“In just a few decades, the expansion of free trade and growth in U.S. operations has transformed Honda from importing 100 percent of the cars sold in the U.S. to establishing the U.S. as an export and production hub,” said Rick Schostek, senior vice president of Honda North America. “Each vehicle we manufacture for global customers is unique to that country, and our associates are engineering and manufacturing automobiles that meet their expectations for quality and value.”