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Made in America: Honda

Operating eight assembly plants in the United States, Honda builds everything from lawn mowers to jet planes in this country. Among carmakers, it has the deepest history in American manufacturing, opening the Marysville Motorcycle Plant (MMP) situated just northwest of Columbus, Ohio in 1979.

Opened as an experiment to determine if Japanese quality levels could be duplicated in America, MMP went on to build hundreds of thousands of motorcycles and ATVs over the next 30 years. MMP paved the way for today’s total of eight U.S. assembly plants, as well as four additional plants building engines and transmissions.

Headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan, Honda Motor Company (HMC) established American Honda Motor Company (AHM) in 1959. Marketing primarily motorcycles for the first decade, in 1970, AHM began marketing a car in the U.S. for the first time: the N600. The rest, as they say, is history.

Honda no longer builds motorcycles in the U.S., but today does have five American plants assembling cars, trucks and crossovers. In 2016, it assembled nearly 1.3 million vehicles, or just about 70 percent of the cars, trucks and crossovers sold in this country in one of those five plants. It exported just under 53,500 of those units.


Marysville, Ohio is where it all started, and today it’s home to two plants: Marysville Auto Plant (MAP) is a $4.9 billion facility employing 4,000 workers, and Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) is a $58 million site employing 100 workers. Located just up Route 33 from Marysville, roughly 50 miles north of Columbus, the East Liberty Auto Plant (ELAP) is a $1.6 billion operation with 2,300 workers. About 45 miles east of Birmingham is Lincoln, Alabama, with its $2.4 billion facility hosting Honda Manufacturing of Alabama (HMA). It’s served by 4,500 workers. About 50 miles southeast of Indianapolis in Greensburg, Indiana is the $1 billion Honda Manufacturing of Indiana (HMI) plant with its 2,400 workers.


In 2016, the combined output of Honda’s five vehicle-assembly plants totaled 1,290,052 units.

MAP — built a total of 436,846 units, including the Accord, Acura TLX and Acura ILX.
PMC — built a total of 712 NSX units.
ELAP — built a total of 234,098 units, including the CR-V and Acura RDX.
HMA — built a total of 369,576 units, including the Odyssey, Pilot, Ridgeline and Acura MDX.
HMI — built a total of 248,820 units, including the Civic and Acura ILX.


MAP — began its assembly line in 1982, when it built 968 Accords.
ELAP — was AHM’s second plant, rolling 87 Civics off its line in 1989.
HMA — in 2001, this plant was Honda’s third in this country, producing 2,223 Odyssey minivans.
HMI — opened its doors in 2008, building 6,851 Civics that year.
PMC — assembles the revived Acura NSX, and built 712 of them for the first time in 2016.


Since that first Accord rolled off the assembly line in Marysville in 1982, 23.6 million vehicles have rolled out the doors of U.S. plants. Exports to other countries have totaled 1.2 million. In addition to the 1,290,000 cars and light trucks built here, 1.475 million engines and 1.274 million transmissions have been built in America. Not to mention, 82,000 ATVs, 58,000 side-by-side utility vehicles, 23 jets, 72 jet engines, 2 million general purpose engines and 580,000 products like lawnmowers, mini-tillers and snow throwers.

Honda directly employs 30,000 workers in the U.S. with more than 20,000 of those in manufacturing. The total U.S. payroll in 2016 was about $2.2 billion. Honda’s total capital investment in its U.S. operations is $18.5 billion.

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Russ Heaps
Russ Heaps is an author specializing in automotive, financial and travel news. For nearly 35 years he has covered the automotive industry for newspapers, magazines and internet websites. His resume includes The Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald, The Washington Times and numerous other daily newspapers through syndication. He edited Auto World magazine, and helped create and edit NOPI Street... Read More about Russ Heaps

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