Honda Announces Dual-Source Production Strategy for Acura MDX to Strengthen Growth in Light-Truck Segment
- Move will increase flexibility to meet growing demand for light truck models produced in North America, including Acura MDX and 2016 Honda Pilot
- Honda Investing $85 million in East Liberty Plant to produce Acura MDX in Ohio beginning in 2017
- MDX production will continue in Alabama alongside Honda Pilot, Odyssey and Ridgeline
To further strengthen its position and growth in the light-truck segment, Honda today announced plans to add a second U.S. production location for the Acura MDX luxury SUV. This move will help meet growing demand for both Honda and Acura light trucks produced in North America, including the all-new 2016 Honda Pilot launching this summer. Leveraging its flexible manufacturing capabilities, Honda will add production of the Acura MDX to its East Liberty, Ohio plant beginning in 2017. Production of the MDX will continue at the company's Lincoln, Alabama plant, which currently makes both the MDX and its V-6 engine. Honda will invest $85 million in the East Liberty Plant for the addition of new welding equipment, the extension of vehicle conveyors and other changes required to support production of the MDX.
"This initiative will give us greater flexibility to meet growing customer demand for our Honda and Acura light truck models," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Increasing our flexibility and fully utilizing available production resources is critical to our future growth, which will be driven heavily by our light truck business and new models like the Honda HR-V crossover and redesigned Pilot SUV."
The announcement of the plan to dual-source MDX comes on the heels of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. having posted its second-best year ever in 2014 and, last week, reporting a new January record for Honda and Acura vehicle sales. U.S. sales of Honda and Acura light trucks were up 25.2 percent in January to 52,169 vehicles, a new January record. Acura light-truck sales rose 13.1 percent in January, while Honda brand light-truck sales rose 27.1 percent for the month.
The East Liberty Plant currently produces the 5-passenger Acura RDX sport-utility vehicle, the Honda Crosstour and the best selling SUV in America, the Honda CR-V. The Lincoln, Alabama plant is currently the exclusive production location for the Acura MDX, Honda Pilot SUV and Honda Odyssey. The plant will strengthen its light truck lineup when it resumes production of the next generation Honda Ridgeline pickup truck next year.
Now in its third generation, the MDX is the best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all time1. The current generation MDX has continued this success and has received multiple awards including a KBB.com Best Buy award in the Luxury SUV/Crossover category for the 2015 model year. The 2016 MDX features numerous enhancements, including a new 9-speed automatic transmission. Customers can view, build and price a 2016 Acura MDX at acura.com/MDX.
The redesigned, all-new 2016 Honda Pilot will debut Thursday, Feb. 12, at the Chicago Auto Show, when more details about the third generation Pilot will be available.
Honda established operations in America in 1959 and now employs more than 39,000 associates in its North American sales, R&D and manufacturing operations with total capital investment in North America exceeding $22 billion.
Based on its longstanding commitment to "build products close to the customer," Honda operates 16 major manufacturing facilities in North America producing a wide range of Honda and Acura automobiles, automobile engines and transmissions, Honda all-terrain vehicles, power equipment products, such as lawn mowers, mini-tillers and general purpose engines, and the HondaJet advanced light jet.
Eight Honda auto plants in the region, including four in the U.S., have the capacity to produce 1.92 million automobiles each year. In 2014, more than 97 percent of the Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were produced in North America. Those plants today manufacture 11 different models, including four passenger cars and seven light trucks. Honda and Acura vehicles are produced using domestic and globally sourced parts. A fifth U.S. auto plant, the Performance Manufacturing Center, is under construction in Marysville, Ohio, and in 2015 will become the exclusive global production location for the next generation NSX supercar.
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.
1 Sales numbers based on Automotive News Sales Database 1999-2014; manufacturer data for prior to 1994.
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