Honda to build Civic Hybrid in Indiana, will boost plant capacity by 25%
Honda Motor Co. plans to boost capacity 25 percent, or by 50,000 units, at its plant in Greensburg, Ind., and launch production of the Civic Hybrid there early next year.
The $40 million investment will create 300 jobs by the end of the year, the company said today. The Civic Hybrid is made in Japan now, but starting next year the Indiana plant will be the sole global source of the model, Honda said today in a statement.
The strong Japanese yen is eroding profits on imports and forcing Honda and other automakers to shift output from Japan to overseas sites.
The Indiana factory, which opened in October 2008 to produce Civic sedans, will be able to assemble 250,000 vehicles a year. It also produces natural gas-powered Civic models and began assembling the Acura ILX and ILX Hybrid this spring.
The Acura ILX Hybrid is the first hybrid produced by Honda in North America.
The Indiana plant launched a second production shift last fall and now employs about 2,000 people, Honda said.
Honda said its seven assembly plants in North America have been operating since late 2011 at or above full straight-time capacity, or 1.63 million vehicles annually.
In addition to expanded output at the Indiana plant, Honda's factory in Marysville, Ohio, resumed second-shift output on Line 1 late last year.
This fall, Honda will boost capacity by 40,000 units to 340,000 light trucks a year at its plant in Lincoln, Ala.
The moves will increase Honda's North American auto production capacity to 1.72 million units a year as the company looks to boost North American exports as well. Honda is expected to export about 100,000 vehicles from North America this year, and it hopes to double that capacity in coming years.
The automaker's production capacity in the region will reach 1.92 million units when Honda begins building the Fit subcompact in Mexico in 2014.
American Honda Motor Co.-- hobbled by inventory shortages for most of 2011 after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan -- has seen its sales rebound 15 percent this year in a market that has also advanced 15 percent.
Honda said the Indiana expansion will allow greater flexibility to adjust production and model mix at other plants in North America.
The Civic also is manufactured in Alliston, Ontario, along with the CR-V and the Acura MDX and ZDX.
Through June, American Honda sold 4,894 Civic Hybrids, down from 5,660 vehicles through June 2011.
Overall, U.S. sales of the Civic have climbed 27 percent this year to 162,582 units — making it the second most popular car after the Toyota Camry.
Philip Nussel, David Phillips, Joe Lichterman, and Nick Bunkley contributed to this report.
PRESS RELEASE: Honda's Indiana Plant to Boost Production Capacity; Add Civic Hybrid
07/18/2012 - GREENSBURG, Ind.
Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, LLC (HMIN) announced today that it is investing $40 million to increase annual production capacity by 50,000 units to a total of 250,000 vehicles. The plant will hire approximately 300 new production associates later this year in preparation for the increased production that will start early next year.
Significantly, early next year, HMIN will add production of the Civic Hybrid, Honda's most popular hybrid model in the United States. Indiana was the first Honda plant in North America to build a hybrid vehicle when it started Acura ILX Hybrid production in April.
These latest announcements follow the start of a second shift of production last fall at Honda Manufacturing of Indiana that added approximately 1,000 jobs. HMIN produces the popular Civic Sedan and the Civic Natural Gas on the same assembly line with the Acura ILX. Considering current Honda Civic Natural Gas, Acura ILX Hybrid and future Civic Hybrid production, HMIN boasts the most diverse alternative-fuel production capability of any plant in North America.
"Our team in Indiana has successfully managed many challenges in its first four years, including the launch of three all-new models and the expansion of our production capacity is a result of their efforts," said Senior Vice President Bob Nelson. "We are excited about these new opportunities for our plant, because it shows that the customer is embracing the products we make here in Indiana."
Since late last year, Honda's seven automobile production plants in North America have been operating at or above their full straight-time capacity, which currently totals 1.63 million vehicles per year. In addition to the new second shift at the Indiana plant, Honda's plant in Marysville, Ohio resumed second-shift production on Line 1 late last year.
Last November, Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC announced that it will increase capacity by 40,000 units to 340,000 light trucks per year, starting this fall. This increase, plus the additional 50,000 units at Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, will increase Honda's North American auto production capacity to 1.72 million units per year. Additionally, Honda's capacity in the region will total 1.92 million units after its new Mexico plant starts production of the critically acclaimed Fit sub-compact in the spring of 2014.
"Increasing production in Indiana will provide us with increased flexibility to adjust model mix at our other plants in North America," Nelson said, noting that Civic models also are manufactured at Honda of Canada Mfg., in Alliston, Ontario, which is producing the popular CR-V. "All of our plants build multiple models on the same lines, so our ability to adjust between models and among plants allows us to optimize use of our production capacity."
The additional capacity at Honda Manufacturing of Indiana also will result in increased purchasing from among more than 200 suppliers that manufacture parts and components for the plant's production, mostly located in the Midwest. In addition, the engines and automatic transmissions for most of the plant's production are manufactured at Honda plants in Ohio.
In 2011, 85 percent of the Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were built in North America, using domestic and globally sourced parts, the highest rate of any international automaker. Honda expects this to grow to more than 90 percent local production in coming years.
Honda opened its first auto plant in the U.S. in 1982, in Marysville, Ohio, which will mark its 30th anniversary of U.S. auto production this year.
To apply for a position at HMIN, please visit www.Indiana.Honda.com. The 300 new jobs will support existing processes in virtually every major area, including stamping, welding, painting, plastic injection molding, sub-assembly and final assembly operations. Honda is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from individuals with diverse backgrounds.
Honda Manufacturing Indiana, LLC (HMIN) in Greensburg, Ind., became Honda's fourth auto plant in the U.S. and it's seventh in North America when it began production of Civic Sedans in October 2008. With employment exceeding 2,000 associates and capital investment exceeding $800 million, HMIN primarily manufactures automobiles for the United States, with some Civics produced for export to markets outside of North America. HMIN started operations as a zero-waste-to-landfill factory, meaning no waste is sent to landfills, and maintains one of the lowest environmental footprints of any automobile plant in Honda's global production network.