More than 1,500 associates at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama (HMA) today celebrated the start of mass production of the all-new, thoroughly redesigned and reimagined 2016 Honda Pilot, slated to go on-sale next month at Honda dealerships nationwide. HMA is the exclusive manufacturer of the family friendly, up to 8-passenger Honda Pilot SUV and its advanced direct-injected i-VTEC V-6 engine.
"Today we celebrate the incredible dedication of our Alabama team to delivering an outstanding new Pilot that will set the course for others to follow," said Jeff Tomko, president of HMA. "I want to congratulate our associates for their unqualified commitment to building a new Pilot of the highest quality that exceeds the expectations of our customers."
Designed, developed and manufactured in America, the all-new 2016 Honda Pilot SUV is improved in every imaginable way – with dynamic new styling, an even more spacious and family-friendly cabin, a more powerful and efficient new powertrain, and more advanced technology and premium features than ever before.
All three generations of the Honda Pilot have been designed and developed in America by Honda R&D Americas, Inc. at its Los Angeles design studio and Raymond, Ohio R&D center.
"Our U.S.-based development team lives with the midsize family SUV everyday and we have applied our deep understanding into the development of this best ever, third-generation Pilot," said Marc Ernst, chief engineer at Honda R&D Americas in Raymond, Ohio and development leader for the new Pilot. "We advanced Pilot's dual-purpose character by increasing both family utility and personal sophistication to meet the needs of the driver and passengers in every dimension of their life."
The Pilot is designed to achieve the highest safety ratings of any vehicle in its class, and offers Honda Sensing™, a comprehensive suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies that can help drivers avoid a collision or mitigate its severity.
The new Pilot joins a reinvigorated Honda light-truck lineup that includes America's best-selling SUV and 2015 Motor Trend Sport Utility of the Year, the 2015 Honda CR-V, and the just-launched Honda HR-V crossover, the new gateway model in Honda's triple-threat SUV/CUV lineup. The Pilot is produced alongside the Honda Odyssey, which is leading all other minivans in sales to individual American retail car buyers in 2015. Honda's Alabama-built light-truck lineup will be further strengthened when HMA begins production of an all-new Honda Ridgeline pickup early next year.
Since its market debut in the 2003 model year, the Pilot has continuously advanced its unique combination of smooth ride comfort, accommodating interior packaging and overall efficiency that traditional SUVs lacked. The Pilot helped transform the SUV segment with better ride quality, top crash safety ratings, more interior space and increased fuel efficiency.
Honda has been producing automobiles in America for more than 30 years and currently operates 16 major manufacturing facilities in North America. Eight Honda auto plants in the North American region, including four in the U.S., have the capacity to produce 1.92 million automobiles each year, using domestic and globally sourced parts. In 2014, nearly 98 percent of the Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were produced in North America. Honda also operates 16 major research and development centers in the U.S. with the capacity to fully design, develop and engineer many of the products Honda produces in North America.
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