Honda Officially Breaks Ground for Indiana Plant

By: Jenny Mclane

Honda Motor Co. officially breaks ground for its $550 million-worth plant in Indiana. The groundbreaking ceremony of the new automobile plant, known as the Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, LLC (HMIN), was held yesterday. The new plant with 2,000 associates will produce the popular Honda Civic sedan and the mass production will start in fall next year.

The HMIN's first president will be Yuzo Uenohara, who previously held the position of senior vice president at the Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC. The company first announced its plans to build Indiana plant in June 2006. The building of a new plant is aimed at meeting the growing customer demand.

The HMIN will be the automaker's seventh auto plant in North America and one of 17 major Honda manufacturing facilities in the said territory. It is also aimed at bolstering Honda's total North American automobile production capacity from 1.4 million units to over 1.6 million units in 2008 as well as boost the employment in North America to more than 37,000 associates and capital investment in North America to more than $9 billion.

"In Indiana we will create an efficient and flexible manufacturing environment that is a great place for everyone to work," said Koichi Kondo, the president & CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., and chief operating officer of Honda's North American Regional operations. "In this way, we are breaking ground for more than an auto plant. We are breaking new ground in our relationship with the people of Indiana and our customers in America."

"Over the years, we will ask the associates of Honda Manufacturing of Indiana for their ideas to make our products better and the plant the safest place it can be," said Uenohara, the new president of Honda Manufacturing of Indiana. "This is the Honda way and this spirit will guide us at Honda Manufacturing of Indiana."

The hiring of the company for the Indiana facility will not start until late this year. Advertisements started February 21. The advertisements cover non-production positions like automotive engineering, information technology, purchasing and administration. Said advertisements received over 6,000 responses. Moreover, the hiring is expected to start in late 2007.

Indiana plant's major production processes include stamping, welding, painting, plastic injection molding, sub-assembly as well as final assembly operations. The assembly and mass production of Honda Civic sedan for the model year 2009 is set to begin in fall 2008.

In 2006, the automaker has manufactured more than 1.16 million Honda and Acura passenger cars and trucks in North America. In that same year, 77 percent of over 1.5 million Honda and Acura vehicles were purchased by American consumers. A number of purchasers consider auto add-ons like and other accessories to ensure utmost protection without compromising style.

The Honda Civic sedans to be produced in Indiana will be equipped with fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines manufactured in Anna, Ohio. Majority of the Civic sedan parts will be manufactured by the automaker's current base of over 600 North American suppliers. In addition, the automaker has purchased more than $17.6 billion in parts and materials from suppliers in North America in the previous year.

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