A Brief History of Honda in the US

America’s automotive manufacturing history is long and storied. Henry Ford’s practically a household name with his Model T changing American life forever, and Americans still reminisce about Detroit’s automotive glory days even if they weren’t alive to live them. But what about Honda? What’s their American story? Well, it started as an experiment…

In 1979 Honda opened its first American manufacturing plant, the Marysville Motorcycle Plant located just outside Columbus, Ohio. It was opened as a test plant to see whether or not American manufacturing could duplicate Japanese quality levels. And it turns out that yes, yes they could. Just take a look at the numbers.

Over the next 30 years the Marysville plant produced hundreds of thousands of motorcycles and ATVs. Although, Honda no longer produces motorcycles in the U.S., Marysville is now home to two Honda plants: Marysville Auto Plant, a $4.9 billion facility that employs 4,000 workers, and Performance Manufacturing Center, a $58 million facility employing 100 workers.

To date, Honda has eight assembly plants based in the U.S. including, East Liberty Auto Plant, a $1.6 billion operation with 2,300 workers; Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, a $2.4 billion facility with 4,500 workers; and Honda Manufacturing of Indiana plant, a $1 billion facility with 2,400 workers. Additionally, Honda has four plants dedicated solely to the production of engines and transmissions.

To put those resources and manpower into perspective, chew on this: In 2016, U.S. Honda facilities assembled nearly 70% of the cars, trucks and crossovers sold in the U.S. and exported just under 53,500. (Seventy percent!) That’s a lot of Hondas. And if you’re wondering what’s driving (no pun intended) Honda’s automotive popularity, look no further than the first sedan that first came off the Marysville Auto Plant assembly line, the legendary Honda Accord.

In 1982, the folks at Marysville built 968 Honda Accords. In 2016, Marysville built 436,846 units including the Honda Accord, Acura TLX, and the Acura ILX. Since the Accord’s 1982 debut, Honda’s American facilities have rolled out 23.6 million vehicles and exported 1.2 million vehicles to other countries. They’ve built nearly 3 million engines and transmissions, 82,000 ATVs, 23 jets, 72 jet engines, 2 million general purpose engines, and 580,000 lightweight equipment pieces like lawnmowers, snowblowers, and tillers.

With output like this we think it’s fair to say Hondas are American as apple pie, right? Right. If you’re on the fence, take a look out the window. Do you see a Honda on your street? Most likely. Honda’s are ubiquitous because Honda engineers have always strived to build superior products that offer more for less. From advanced safety features to cutting edge infotainment technology, Honda leads the way in offering customers quality without the price tag.

Still on the fence? Come by our Dublin Honda dealership and take a 2018 Honda Accord out for a test drive because the sedan that started it all is also the 2018 North American Car of the Year. The Honda Accord, a prime example of the superior quality, craftsmanship, and design inherent in American-made Hondas.

Until next time!

Taz