DETROIT - A good production system lets automakers accomplish what used to be impossible - a 'running change' in the assembly line for an all-new model, said Ron Shriver, vice president at Honda of America Manufacturing Inc.
He said the launch of the 1998 Accord showed the benefits of training.
'We actually produced the old model and the new model on the same line for about three weeks,' Shriver said.
Honda sent 40 manufacturing engineers to Japan two years in advance to model the manufacturing process. An additional 400 key Marysville, Ohio, employees followed. They became the teachers and production leaders in the complex change.
'One of the key Honda strengths is managing people,' said Shriver.
The Marysville plant makes 1,750 units a day with two shifts on two assembly lines.
Though they share only two components (door handles and headlights), Accord sedans and coupes are built on the same line.