Re-tooling planned for local plants, along with new EV battery plant in Fayette County
COLUMBUS — Forty-five years ago in 1977, Honda leadership visited the Ohio Statehouse for an important economic announcement — the company would be building its first vehicle production facility in the U.S., the Marysville Motorcycle Plant.
Tuesday, on the same date — Oct. 11 — Honda representatives and state officials once again joined together at the statehouse to share news regarding the company’s future of automotive production, with Honda making another large-scale investment in Ohio as it moves toward its electrified future, along with a new partner, LG Energy Solution.
Honda and LG Energy Solution confirmed that their combined investments of at least $4.2 billion will create a total of 2,527 new jobs in Ohio between the establishment of a new electric vehicle battery plant in Fayette County and the retooling of existing Honda plants in Logan, Union and Shelby counties for electric vehicle production.
Gov. Mike DeWine said the historic gathering in 1977 featured then-Gov. Jim Rhodes making the announcement with Honda officials.
“Gov. Rhodes had the conviction and core belief that Ohioans dream big and Ohioans can make anything,” DeWine said.
“Ohio and Honda have worked very closely together ever since then. Now our bond is stronger than ever before.
“What a great way to celebrate 45 years of working together. Ohio workers for over 40 years have powered Honda, and now will produce electric vehicles and EV batteries. We will build the future together.”
Since Honda’s initial investment in the Marysville Motorcycle Plant more than four decades ago, local associates have helped to power the company’s growth and development, now with five Honda plants located in Ohio, officials highlighted at Tuesday’s gathering.
“We’re here today because of the tens of thousands of Honda associates,” said Bob Nelson, American Honda Motor Co. Inc. executive vice president. “For those in Union, Logan and Shelby Counties, we thank you for your support. Your communities have helped to power Honda.”
The Marysville Auto Plant produced the very first Honda Accord on Nov. 1, 1982, and the Anna Engine Plant, which opened in 1985, now produces more than 1 million four-cylinder, V-6, and turbo engines for Honda auto plants throughout North America.
In Logan County, the East Liberty Auto Plant opened in 1989 and has manufactured over 4.5 million Honda and Acura vehicles since its inception.
In 1992, Honda opened a major product development center in Raymond, that now creates many of the vehicles built in Ohio.
With Tuesday’s announcement, a total of $700 million will be invested by Honda to retool its East Liberty Auto Plant, Marysville Auto Plant in Union County and Anna Engine Plant in Shelby County, creating 327 new jobs on top of its current workforce.
Honda and LG Energy Solution will invest $3.5 billion in the new Fayette County battery plant, which will create at least 2,200 new jobs.
Once transformed for EV production, the power source for the vehicles made at the Marysville, Anna, and East Liberty factories will come from the new battery plant in Fayette County.
Honda previously had announced plans to begin production and sales of Honda electric vehicles in North America in 2026, based on its new Honda e:Architecture. As part of its goal to achieve carbon neutrality for all products and corporate activities by 2050, Honda announced a vision to make battery-electric and fuel cell electric vehicles represent 100 percent of its vehicle sales by 2040.
“In another major step toward electrification, LG Energy Solution’s innovative battery technologies will not only power Honda’s brand-new EV models but support Ohio’s green economy. We extend our gratitude to everyone who played a role in making this happen,” said Dong-Myung Kim, Executive Vice President of Advanced Automotive Battery Division at LG Energy Solution.
“With our commitment to building the world-best quality products, together with Honda, we look forward to not only creating thousands of quality jobs here in Ohio, but growing together with the community.”
In April 2022, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced that it was exploring the possibility of creating a joint venture company for battery production in North America, and that the battery plant would be established near a dedicated EV production line to be created in North America. The joint venture with LGES represents the fulfillment of this strategy.
“Honda and LG Energy Solution had many other states vying for this historic investment, and they chose Ohio,” said Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “Ohio’s talented workforce and strong business environment, along with Honda’s commitment to quality, continue to be a winning combination for the company and this state.”
Construction on the Fayette County battery plant is expected to begin in early 2023, with a goal of starting mass production of advanced lithium-ion battery modules by 2025.
The site, at Interstate 71 and U.S. Route 35, offers more than 1,500 acres with access to utilities, including water, sewer, electricity and natural gas.
“Honda is proud of our history in Ohio, where our U.S. manufacturing operations began more than four decades ago. Now, as we expand Honda’s partnership with Ohio, we are investing in a workforce that will create the power source for our future Honda and Acura electric vehicles,” Nelson said.
“We want to thank the leaders of the state of Ohio, as well as in Fayette County, Jefferson Township, Jeffersonville, and Washington Court House for welcoming this new joint venture between Honda and LG Energy Solution and giving us another Ohio community to call home.”