COLUMBUS, OHIO – Honda today honored 10 suppliers that provide Maintenance, Repair and Operational (MRO) services and products to its manufacturing operations in Ohio and Indiana with its Supplier of the Year award. Honda also recognized another six suppliers with its Special Recognition Award at its annual MRO Supplier Conference.
Honda’s MRO purchasing for the company’s Ohio and Indiana manufacturing operations totaled almost $950 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013. This is up substantially from the $737 million in the previous fiscal year, due primarily to increasing production levels to meet customer demand for Honda and Acura automobiles. Nearly $100 million went to minority and women-owned companies in the last fiscal year, representing more than 10 percent of the total.
More than 5,000 MRO suppliers provide Honda plants with a wide range of goods and services that support the manufacturing of automobiles, as well as their engines and transmissions. They include local businesses as well as national companies, and many have grown along with the expansion of Honda manufacturing operations during the more than 30 years the company has produced cars in America.
Addressing representatives from nearly 150 companies attending the event, Pam Heminger, division manager of purchasing for Honda of America, Mfg., Inc., expressed appreciation for the role they have played in the growth of Honda in North America, and the important role they are continuing to play as Honda implements new production technologies.
“Together, we have faced a never-ending series of challenges as we grew from one plant to the 14 that we have in North America today,” Heminger said. “And we’re building not only cars and light trucks, we’re increasing production of the engines and transmissions that power them as well.”
The Supplier of the Year Award goes to the top companies in various business categories that primarily support Honda automobile manufacturing facilities, based on excellence in safety, quality, cost, delivery and management. The Special Recognition Award is presented to suppliers that demonstrated the ability to overcome uncontrollable circumstances, perform admirably on a major project or demonstrated exceptional effort to exceed customer expectations.
During the annual MRO Supplier Conference, leadership from Honda also provided an overview for the upcoming year, and direction on what Honda and its suppliers need to do to meet high customer expectations in a challenging business environment.
“Last year, we produced the most cars and trucks in North America we have ever made in a single year,” said Jim Wehrman, senior vice president of Honda of America Mfg. with responsibility for supply chain, production engineering and environmental management strategies. “After 30 years of building cars in America, we are shifting into even higher gear, as we grow our capabilities and assume a much larger global role within Honda.”
Honda established operations in America in 1959, and now employs more than 33,000 associates in its North American sales, R&D and manufacturing operations with a capital investment of more than $22 billion.
Based on Honda’s approach of “building products close to the customer” Honda started local production of motorcycles in the U.S. in September 1979. In November 1982, Honda became the first Japanese automaker to begin automobile production in the U.S. Since then, Honda has continued to expand local production, and cumulative production of automobiles in North America is now more than 25 million units.
Honda now operates 14 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda and Acura automobiles, automobile engines and transmissions, Honda all-terrain vehicles, and power equipment products such as lawn mowers, mini-tillers and general purpose engines, using domestic and globally sourced parts.
Seven Honda auto plants in the North American region, including four in the U.S., have the capacity to produce 1.63 million automobiles each year. In 2012, 90 percent of the Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were produced in North America. This will increase to 1.92 million vehicles per year in 2014, when the sales percentage of locally produced automobiles is expected to rise to more than 95 percent.