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Honda Builds Record 84% of 2009 U.S. Auto Sales in North America

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Honda associates Sam Whitaker, left, and Mark Wenger install a rear bumper during production of a 2010 Accord Crosstour, one of the vehicles produced in the U.S., at Honda's auto plant in East Liberty, Ohio.

TORRANCE, Calif.--An all-time high of 83.8 percent of the Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the United States in 2009 were produced* at the company’s plants in North America, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced today. American Honda has maintained a local production rate of approximately 75 percent or higher since 1996.

“Using our flexible manufacturing capacity, we plan to continue to maintain our local production levels at approximately 80 percent of our annual sales.”

Honda operates seven automobile plants in North America – four in the U.S., two in Canada and one in Mexico, producing fifteen different models, including the Civic sedan, coupe and GX (natural gas vehicle), Accord sedan, coupe and Crosstour, Odyssey, Pilot, Ridgeline, CR-V and Element, as well as the Acura TL, ZDX, RDX and MDX models.

Honda’s North American plants produced a total of more than one million vehicles in 2009, including those for export and currently in dealer inventory. Of the more than 1.15 million Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. in 2009, the 83.8 percent local production rate is the highest percentage in the company’s 27-year history of making automobiles in the region and by far the highest percentage for any international automaker in 2009.

“As part of our long-standing commitment to build Honda and Acura products close to our customers, we have steadily deepened our automobile manufacturing roots in the U.S. and the North America region,” said Tetsuo Iwamura, president & CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Using our flexible manufacturing capacity, we plan to continue to maintain our local production levels at approximately 80 percent of our annual sales.”

Honda began production of the fuel efficient Honda Civic sedan at its seventh North American auto plant, in Greensburg, Indiana, in October 2008. In 2009, the company added production of two new crossover vehicles – the Honda Accord Crosstour, manufactured in East Liberty, Ohio, and the Acura ZDX, manufactured in Alliston, Ontario – along with the addition of fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine production at a new engine plant in Ontario, Canada.

Honda has exported nearly 960,000 automobiles from its plants in North America to more than 100 countries around the world since 1987, including approximately 27,000 vehicles in 2009, as well as exporting more than 300,000 component parts last year to be used in the assembly of Honda products in other nations.

In addition to automobile production, Honda operates three automobile engine plants in North America – two in the U.S. and one in Canada – along with two U.S. plants for the production of automatic transmissions and gear sets; a power equipment and small engine plant, in North Carolina; and a plant producing Honda all-terrain vehicles, in South Carolina.

Two additional new plants, for the production of the HondaJet advanced light jet and the GE Honda turbofan engine, are under construction in the communities of Greensboro and Burlington, North Carolina, respectively.

About Honda

Honda began operations in the U.S. in 1959 with the establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Honda began U.S. production of motorcycles in 1979 and automobiles in 1982. The company has invested more than $12.1 billion in its North American operations with employment of more than 25,000 associates and annual purchases of more than $17.5 billion in parts and materials from suppliers in North America.