Honda today honored its outstanding suppliers at the annual Honda Supplier Conference, while challenging its entire supplier network to give back to their communities with the establishment of the first Honda Corporate Citizenship Award.
The annual conference recognized 77 suppliers for outstanding performance in the areas of quality, cost and delivery, and corporate citizenship. In all, Honda has 600 North American suppliers with purchases last year totaling $16 billion.
Honda presented its first Corporate Citizenship Award to U.S. Engine Valve Corp. of Westminster, S.C. The award recognizes the company’s leadership in the areas of environment, diversity, government relations, community involvement, health and safety, and ethics and compliance.
“Just as Honda sets high targets for customer satisfaction, we also set high targets for our relationship with society,” said Akio Hamada, Honda of America Mfg. president and CEO. “Our goal is to be viewed as a company that society wants to exist. This means very specific expectations for ourselves and our suppliers. To emphasize the importance of this area, we have established a new supplier award.”
Larry Jutte, Honda of America senior vice president and leader of Honda’s North American parts purchasing, emphasized the important role corporate citizenship plays in Honda’s business. “What we gain from the community must be commensurate with what we give to the community,” Jutte said, encouraging suppliers to pursue involvement with their local communities.
“Our responsibility as a corporate citizen is to be aware of issues that impact our business and our associates, to communicate our opinions about these issues to government and community leaders, and to be actively involved in making our local communities better places to live and work,” Jutte said.
This was the second time Honda’s annual conference has been held in Alabama.
Honda sold 1.6 million cars and light-duty trucks last year in North America as well as 650,000 motorcycles, ATVs, and personal watercraft — the majority made in North America.
Honda’s U.S. manufacturing operations began in 1979 with Honda of America Mfg.’s motorcycle plant near Marysville, Ohio. Today, Honda operates 12 manufacturing plants in Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Canada and Mexico. Including sales, distribution, R&D and engineering, Honda employs more than 30,000 associates in North America.