Joining the more than 1,000 Honda associates for the event were Honda Motor Co., Ltd. President & CEO Takeo Fukui, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, U.S. Representative Mike Pence and Greensburg Mayor Gary Herbert.
Honda took the occasion of the Indiana plant opening to announce that it plans to transfer exclusive production of the world's only compressed natural gas powered passenger vehicle, the Civic GX, to Honda Manufacturing of Indiana in 2009.
"The entire world of Honda has great 'Civic Pride' in our team of associates in Indiana," Fukui said. "Each Honda associate here in Indiana plays a direct and important role in our ability to meet the needs of our customers. Our challenge is to continue to deliver products of the highest quality, produced with the highest efficiency."
Currently, Honda Manufacturing of Indiana is operating on one shift with plans to add a second shift in 2009. The Honda Civic Sedan produced in Indiana features the 140-hp, 1.8-liter, 16-valve, SOHC i-VTEC® 4-cylinder gasoline engine produced by Honda associates at a Honda engine plant in Anna, Ohio.
Yuzo Uenohara, president of Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, was joined in driving the first Honda Civic off the HMIN assembly line by three Honda associates: Daphna Tubbs of Greensburg, Willard Jones of Indianapolis, and Pam Manis of Sunman.
"The Greensburg facility reflects Honda's growing reputation for flexible and efficient auto manufacturing. It is Honda's fifth U.S. plant designed as a zero waste-to-landfill facility and will be the first Honda facility to feature an on-site parts consolidation center that is helping increase efficiency while reducing vehicle emissions and costs related to transportation and parts handling."
Fukui also recognized the cooperation Honda received from state and local government. "We did not accomplish this challenge alone. Over the past two years, the state of Indiana has become a great teammate along with our partners in Greensburg and Decatur County," he said. Governor Daniels said, "Honda is the kind of company Hoosiers admire and a company we welcome with open arms. We are thrilled by the thousands of jobs that Honda brings to our state and we are excited for the future of southeast Indiana and the opportunities ahead."
Honda announced plans to build the Greensburg facility in June 2006, and broke ground for the new production facility in March 2007. The new plant is a comprehensive production facility that includes metal stamping, plastic injection molding, subassembly and final assembly and other processes that will employ 2,000 associates at full capacity. It sits on a 1,700 acre parcel facing Interstate 74 in Greensburg.
Honda began operations in the U.S. in 1959 with the establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda's first overseas subsidiary. Honda began U.S. production in Ohio in 1979, and began U.S. automobile production in 1982 at its Marysville, Ohio, auto plant. The company has invested more than $10.6 billion in its North American operations, including 16 major manufacturing facilities employing more than 35,000 associates and producing more than 2 million products annually, including Honda and Acura automobiles as well as motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, personal watercraft, lawn mowers, general-purpose engines, and other power equipment products. Honda currently partners with more than 650 North American suppliers and purchased more than $18.8 billion in parts and materials from North American suppliers in 2007. Visit Honda's online multimedia newsroom at http://www.hondanews.com.
1Using domestic and globally sourced parts.
About the Honda GX: