Honda Invests in Greener Auto Plant

Honda Invests in Greener Auto Plant

Honda of America has unveiled plans to construct a $123 million paint facility at its Marysville Auto Plant. It is the largest single investment among a series of renovations and expansions at Honda's two auto plants in Ohio, according to the company.

This is the largest single investment among a series of renovations and expansions at Honda's two auto plants in Ohio. Honda's 25-year commitment to manufacturing in Ohio has grown to more than $6 billion over the years.

"This project is the latest step to keep us competitive in the global vehicle business and ensure the future of our operations," said Koki Hirashima, president and CEO of Honda of America.

"It is fitting that, in our 25th anniversary year of U.S. manufacturing leadership, we will build an industry-leading paint facility," Hirashima said. "Our goal is to keep our original American automobile plant among the most efficient, clean and flexible in the industry."

Construction begins this month on the facility, which replaces the oldest of the plant's original paint lines. The Marysville Auto Plant was the first Japanese auto plant in America when it began producing Accord sedans in November 1982. Honda began U.S. manufacturing with a motorcycle plant in 1979.

Housed in a 234,000-square-foot expansion, the paint facility will introduce waterborne paint systems to the Marysville plant when it goes into full operation in mid-2006. This, along with new paint systems developed by Honda, is expected to reduce emissions by 41 percent. Investment in high-efficiency ovens, air recycling systems and highly efficient variable drive motors should reduce energy use by 34 percent.

"Our associates have always been the key to our success, along with our suppliers, state agencies and communities where we have operations," said John Adams, Honda of America senior vice president and general manager of manufacturing. "This investment represents a commitment to our associates, business partners and the communities in which we live."

Honda of America also announced today that it is constructing a 20-million-gallon pond system behind the Marysville Auto Plant that will recycle rainwater to cool the plant in warm-weather months. The 7-acre pond will save tens of thousands of dollars in energy costs and significantly reduce the use of groundwater. The pond will be filled with runoff from parking lots and roofs.

"Honda's green factory concepts date to the earliest years of our company and represent a daily commitment by Honda around the world," Marysville Auto Plant Manger Tom Shoupe said. "We reuse parts containers, and recycle steel scrap and other materials on a continuing basis. The new paint facility and the cooling pond are examples of our continuing environmental leadership."

Employing 5,600 associates, and with a capacity to produce 440,000 vehicles per year, the Marysville Auto Plant produces the Honda Accord sedan and coupe, and the Acura TL luxury sedan from domestic and globally sourced parts. Honda's investment in the 3.6-million-square-foot facility has grown to $2.8 billion since the plant began production in 1982.