ATLANTA -- Honda Motor Co. will start producing automatic transmissions in a new Georgia plant in spring 2006, half a year earlier than previously planned.
The Tallapoosa, Ga., plant can make up to 300,000 five-speed automatic transmissions a year at full capacity for the Odyssey minivan and Pilot SUV. Both nameplates are assembled in Honda's plant in Lincoln, Ala. The company is responding to robust demand for the two vehicles. For the first four months of this year, U.S. sales of the Pilot jumped 17.6 percent from a year earlier to 42,120, while Odyssey sales surged 22.8 percent to 55,466.
For this year, the Alabama plant expects to build 280,000 Pilot and Odysseys, up 55.8 percent from the previous year.
Lincoln started production of the Pilot in May 2004 and the 2005 Odyssey in August 2004.
Honda's automatic-transmission plant in Russells Point, Ohio, now supplies the Alabama plant. It will supply Honda plants in Ohio when the Tallapoosa plant gears up.
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