MARYSVILLE, Ohio, Aug. 21, 2007 – Honda of America Mfg., Inc. today unveiled the all-new 2008 Accord in Marysville, the town where Honda made history 25 years ago by becoming the first Japanese company to build a car in America.
“We have been building cars in Ohio since 1982. This has been possible because we have grown together with communities like Marysville,” Akio Hamada, president of Honda of America Mfg. Inc., said during the ceremony at the Union County Courthouse.
Ohio Governor Ted Strickland joined Hamada, Marysville Mayor Thomas Kruse, Union County Commissioner Gary Lee and other local dignitaries, and the Honda Accord project team, to unveil the two-door and four-door Accord models.
“Your belief in Honda, the foresight and planning of the local and state government leaders, and the hard work of our associates, suppliers, contractors and dealers has been a combination that equals success,” Hamada said. “That’s why I want to say thank you. Thank you to everyone who has played a role in our success.”
The first Accord produced in America – a silver-gray sedan with the license plate “USA 001” — rolled off the assembly line at the Marysville Auto Plant on November 1, 1982. The historic vehicle marks the achievement of Honda and its U.S. workforce in automotive history.
Today, Honda’s Marysville Auto Plant builds more than 1,800 cars and light trucks in a single day, from domestic and globally sourced parts. Associates at the Marysville Auto Plant have produced nearly 9 million vehicles since 1982, and the plant’s output is a key to making Honda Ohio’s top producer of automobiles.
Over the past 25 years, Honda has implemented continuous changes to increase capacity, flexibility and efficiency, and thus respond more quickly to changing customer demand. Virtually every major process inside the Marysville Auto Plant has been replaced or updated through investments totaling more than $3.6 billion since 1982. Among the highlights:
• Soon after production began in 1982, Honda added a second assembly line in 1985. This major expansion was followed by additional capacity and efficiency improvements that enabled the plant to reach its current production capacity of 440,000 vehicles a year.
• Starting seven years ago, Honda implemented its flexible New Manufacturing System at the Marysville plant. New flexible welding robots can be programmed to construct cars and light trucks of different body styles. The new system saves time and reduces costs when adding new models. In addition to the Accord Sedan and Coupe, the Marysville plant produces the Acura TL and last year launched its first sport-utility vehicle, the Acura RDX.
• A new paint shop constructed two years ago employs environmentally friendly water-borne paint while increasing efficiency.
• A new door assembly department sets the standard in ergonomics, flexibility and efficiency, while enhancing quality.
• Reconfigured assembly lines have increased quality in manufacturing processes, as well as plant efficiency.
The Marysville Auto Plant is among five manufacturing plants that Honda has established in Ohio since 1979. Honda also operates major R&D and engineering centers, a regional parts distribution center, and other support operations in Ohio.
Honda directly employs more than 15,000 Ohioans. In addition, approximately 140 Ohio companies supply parts to Honda. In 2006, Honda’s purchases from these companies totaled $6.4 billion.
The new Accord Sedan was unveiled by Honda of America President and CEO Akio Hamada, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland; Union County Commissioner Gary Lee; Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse; Tim Garrett, Honda of America vice president; Sam Harpest, plant manager of Honda’s Marysville Auto Plant; and four Honda associates who worked on development of the new car, Mark Lewis, John Kadlic, Rich Hauer and Debra Lehman.
Participants in unveiling the all-new 2008 Accord Coupe were Eric Phillips, executive director of the Union County and Marysville Economic Development Partnership; former County Commissioners Glenn Irwin and Max Robinson; Allen Township Trustee Ron Chapman; Marysville City Council Vice President David Burke; Bruce Daniels of the Honda Marysville dealership; Clement D’Souza, Honda’s engineering large project leader for the Accord; and three members of the Accord new-model team, Dana Baker, Karl Crook and Colin Wigney.