Honda Sets U.S. and North American Automobile Production Records in 2007
TORRANCE, Calif., Jan. 10 -- Honda (http://www.honda.com/) automobile plants produced* a record number of vehicles in 2007 in the U.S. (1,015,462 units) and in North America (1,432,731 units) -- including all-time best performances by four of its six auto plants in the region. It was the third straight record result and fourth consecutive year of continuous production growth for Honda in the U.S. and North America, and the first time that U.S. auto production exceeded 1 million units in a single year.
As a result, production in North America totaled more than 76 percent of American Honda's record automobiles sales in 2007. The company is targeting local production equal to roughly 80 percent of its annual U.S. sales volume, with its seventh North American auto plant coming on line later this year.
Total North American production of Honda and Acura vehicles rose 3.4 percent in 2007 with individual plant records set by the Marysville, Ohio, automobile plant (up 2.3% to 458,842 units), the East Liberty, Ohio, automobile plant (up 1.9% to 242,475 units) and the Lincoln, Alabama automobile plant (up 9.1% to 314,145 units). Production at the company's two automobile plants in Alliston, Ontario, increased 0.9 percent to 390,580 vehicles, but was shy by a little more than 2,000 units of the plants' production record set in 2004. Production at Honda's El Salto, Mexico, automobile plant was up 10.1 percent to 26,689 vehicles for the year.
Honda's U.S. plants topped the one-million unit mark for the first time in 2007 -- in the same year that Honda celebrated the 25th anniversary of U.S. auto production. The 1,015,462 vehicles produced at Honda's three U.S. auto plants in 2007, was an increase of 4.2 percent from the previous year's record of 974,380 units.
Manufacturing Flexibility Key to Success
Production flexibility has been a key driver to the company's success -- enabling Honda to add production of new models and move production between plants to optimize capacity and meet the changing needs of its customers.
In 2007, Honda launched an all-new Accord and added production of two light truck models: the Honda CR-V at the East Liberty plant; and, the Acura RD-X at the Marysville auto plant. Production at the El Salto, Mexico plant was shifted from Accords to CR-Vs, and capacity was raised from 30,000 to 50,000 vehicles per year.
Honda also shifted production of the Honda Pilot SUV from Alliston, Ontario, to Lincoln, Alabama, making Alabama the sole source for both Odyssey and Pilot production and bringing the plant to its full capacity of 300,000 vehicles and engines per year. The move also enabled Honda to meet increasing demand for fuel efficient Honda Civics, by adding Civic production to the Alliston Plant 2 that also produces the Honda Ridgeline and Acura MDX. It was the first time the plant had built passenger cars since beginning production in 1998.
Honda will open its seventh North American auto plant this fall in Greensburg, Indiana, helping bring North American production capacity to 1.62 million units annually. Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, LLC, is slated to begin production of fuel-efficient Civics this spring with a planned annual production capacity of 200,000 units. A new engine plant is also being constructed by Honda of Canada Mfg. in Alliston, Ontario, that will produce 200,000 4-cylinder engines to supply production of Honda vehicles in Canada.
Honda began operations in the U.S. in 1959 with the establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda's first overseas subsidiary. Honda began U.S. production with assembly of motorcycles in America in 1979, and began U.S. automobile production in 1982 at its Marysville, Ohio, auto plant. The first Honda automobile to roll off a U.S. assembly line was a Honda Accord, on November 1, 1982.
The company has invested more than $9 billion to steadily expand its capabilities in the North America region to include 14 major manufacturing facilities employing more than 35,000 associates and producing more than 2 million products annually, including more than 1.4 million Honda and Acura automobiles as well as motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, personal watercraft, lawn mowers, general-purpose engines and other power equipment products.
Honda is also on track to produce its 15-millionth vehicle in the U.S. and 20-millionth vehicle in North America in 2008. This growing North American production has meant increased opportunities for North American suppliers. Honda currently partners with more than 600 North American suppliers and on a global basis purchased more than $17.6 billion in parts and materials from North American suppliers last year.
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* using domestic and globally sourced parts