We’re now focused on producing dissimilar things in a similar fashion,” said Rick Schostek, Honda’s senior vice president for North America, at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars (cargroup.org), referring to the $180-million facilities expansion that Honda is undertaking at its powertrain plant in Anna, OH. They make four engines there now. When the expansion is complete, they’ll be producing 12 different engines. Twelve different engines, all made in a similar way.
The bulk of the multimillion-dollar investment is for aluminum die casting and engine part production at Anna for the Earth Dreams engines the company is rolling out, which combine fuel efficiency with performance.
Honda is spending an additional $35-million to build a 160,000- ft2 training and heritage center near Marysville. The center will teach Honda workers how to stay “efficient” as vehicle technology becomes more sophisticated, Schostek said. The heritage center will showcase Honda’s three-decade plus history in North America with the hope, in part, of attracting young people to the automotive industry, Schostek said. The center is scheduled to open to the public in the fall of 2014.
In the past three years, Honda has invested $2.7-billion in North America. Included in this massive investment is the $70-million Performance Manufacturing Center, also in Ohio, where the Acura NSX super car will be built. Schostek said this small volume production facility should be a “lab for future innovation.” He also added that Honda plans to do more R&D in North America in the future.—ZP