Back in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s, some people thought that if Japanese-based automobile companies were to produce their vehicles in the U.S--vehicles that were becoming increasingly popular among consumers, particularly because those cars tended to be more fuel-efficient than those from the then-Big Three—then the Japanese companies would not be as successful in the market as they were becoming.
But a funny thing happened.
On November 1, 1982, the Honda of America Manufacturing plant in Marysville, Ohio, had job one. That was the first car factory opened in the U.S. by a Japan-based company.
Today, March 20. 2014, the 10-millionth car—an Accord—rolled off the line in Marysville.
Manufacturing in the U.S., as well as in other countries around the world, isn’t a burden for companies like Honda. It has become a strategy of building where you sell. This works to the advantage of both the company as well as to the consumer.
Now Honda has four assembly plants in the U.S. In addition to Marysville, they are in East Liberty, Ohio; Lincoln, Alabama; and Greensburg, Indiana. The plants produce 11 different models, including four car models and seven light trucks.
Next year, there will be a fifth U.S. plant, the Performance Manufacturing Center. It is being built in Marysville. It will become the home of the next-generation Acura NSX.
The NSX will be exclusively built in Marysville. For the world. (How does this align with “build where you sell”? Part of the equation is based on volumes. When you are selling cars at a rate like the Accord and the Civic—366,678 Accords and 336,180 Civics in 2013—compared to what the rate is likely to be for the NSX, which will be a slight percentage of either of those numbers, then a single plant makes sense. But it is interesting—and important—to note where that plant is being located, as the sales will undoubtedly occur around the world.)
Congratulations to all of the people who back in 1982 and to those of today who have and are contributing to the advancement of manufacturing technology (to say nothing of engineering and design, as Honda has that in the U.S., too) here in America.
*Taking into account all four plants, the company has produced 20 million vehicles in the U.S.