Think you know the difference between an import and domestic car? Cars like the Honda Accord don't make it very clear. In 1982, Honda took the bold step of producing Accords right here in the US. 28 years later the Marysville, Ohio plant is still cranking out Honda Accords to the tune of 10 million total vehicles. The 10 millionth car was an Accord sedan which is fitting because an Accord sedan was the car the factory started with.
To commemorate the occasion, Honda took the newly minted Accord sedan, dressed it up with a magnetic sign on the hood and parked it in the plant's West Cafeteria for display alongside the first generation of the Accord produced at the plant. If you've ever owned a Honda Accord, chances are it was built in Ohio; nearly all Accords sold in the US are built at the Marysville plant. In fact, about 84 percent of Honda and Acura vehicles sold in the US for 2009 were built in North America. While some V-6 Accord Sedans are manufactured at a Honda plant in Alabama, the Acura TL, RDX and Accord Coupe are produced exclusively at the Marysville plant.
For 2011, Honda has revised the Accord slightly. The grille is the most noticeable revision - it now has a slightly stronger look and borrows some styling cues from the Accord Crosstour. The front bumper cover has been redone as well. V6 models get new wheel choices for 2011 too. Fuel economy is also a little better thanks to better aerodynamics, revised gear ratios and improvements to the engine and transmission. The 2.4 liter Accord now gets 34 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg in the city.
In addition to the Marysville factory, Honda also does a significant amount of research and development in Ohio and operates other plants including engine and transmission facilities. More than 13,500 Ohio residents are employed by Honda and since the company began business here in the US in 1959, the total operation has grown to 14 manufacturing facilities in North America all producing a wide range of Honda and Acura automobiles plus engines and automatic transmissions, all-terrain vehicles, and power equipment such as lawn mowers.
Whether you consider the Honda Accord an import or not, Honda is clearly having a major impact on American workers and the US economy. Currently Honda employs 26,000 people in the US and does business with over 600 American suppliers, dropping more than 13 billion dollars into the US economy. Is the Honda Accord an import or domestic car? Given the jobs and money Honda is pumping into the US, maybe it doesn't matter.