MARYSVILLE, OH (Toledo News Now) - Honda of America Mfg., Inc. announced Thursday it will invest $23 million and hire approximately 50 new associates at its Marysville plant to add production of the new, two-motor Accord Hybrid Sedan, scheduled to go on sale nationwide this fall.
In another step toward bringing hybrid production to the U.S., this will be the third hybrid model built by Honda in America and the first in Ohio. Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, LLC in Greensburg, IN was the first Honda plant in North America to build a hybrid vehicle, and currently produces both the Civic Hybrid and Acura ILX Hybrid models.
The Marysville Auto Plant is undergoing an expansion of 95,000-square-feet to house assembly processes and logistics specifically for production of the Accord Hybrid. The project includes lengthening the main assembly line to accommodate the unique hybrid production processes, along with adding space for related parts receiving and sub-assembly operations. The project also will increase overall efficiency of the plant's parts logistics operations.
"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 Accord Hybrid Sedan joins the 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan in incorporating Honda's first two-motor hybrid system. Both the Accord Plug-In and Accord Hybrid 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.
All of the conventional, gasoline-powered 2013 Accords now on sale in the U.S. are equipped with a new Earth Dreams Technology powertrain, either a direct-injected 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine or a 3.5-liter V6 engine equipped with Variable Cylinder Management. Manufactured at Honda's automobile engine plant in Anna, OH, both of these new and efficient engines were named to Ward's 10 Best Engines list for 2013.
In the last three years, Honda has announced investments at its Ohio manufacturing facilities exceeding $800 million. They include projects to establish on-site parts consolidation centers, renovate auto assembly and painting operations, and major investments at the Anna plant, as well as its transmission plant in Russells Point, to manufacture continuously variable transmissions.
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 that the transmission plant in recent years now total $235 million.
Honda in Ohio
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 in Anna supplies engines and components to most of Honda's auto plants in North America, with production exceeding 1 million engines per year. The transmission plant in Russells Point manufactures more than 1 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. At its expansive R&D center in Raymond, OH, Honda's largest R&D center outside Japan, more than 1,300 associates are engaged in "complete product creation" of all-new products for Honda and Acura customers.
Among all its operations, Honda employs more than 13,500 Ohioans.