Honda celebrates milestone


MARYSVILLE – Honda’s Marysville Auto Plant (MAP) held an event on Jan. 5 marking 40 years of U.S. auto production for the company and the start of production of the 2023 Honda Accord and Accord hybrid. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine attended the event to provide remarks and chat with Honda employees.

The first Hondas made in the U.S. started with the 1983 Accord made at MAP, making Honda the first international automaker to successfully establish auto production in America. The Accord is now on its 11th generation and has been deemed “America’s best-selling car over the last five decades,” according to a Honda news release. Since the first Accord was produced, MAP has built more than 12.5 million Accords.

“A little over 40 years ago Mr. Honda picked Ohio, and he picked Ohio I’m sure for a number of reasons; we have an abundance of water, we have space, we have transportation, and we could go on and on. But the other thing that I have found when I’m talking to CEOs that is always the most important thing is can they find good workers, can they find people who are dedicated to work and to make a difference. So Mr. Honda’s faith in Ohio I think has been certainly rewarded for the last 40 years and with all of you,” DeWine said to the hundreds of Honda employees gathered for the event.

Among the employees were Rick VanGundy and Mike Rausch who have both worked for the company since 1982 and were commemorated for their service. They both participated in the unveiling of the 2023 Accord from under a tarp. Rausch works at MAP and VanGundy works at the Anna Engine Plant.

According to the news release and MAP lead Jun Jayaraman, Accord hybrid production will grow to represent about 50% of Accord sales. Jayaraman said hybrids only made up 23% of production last year. This is in line with Honda’s vision to have 100% battery-electric and fuel-cell electric vehicles by 2040 in North America.

“This new Accord will essentially serve as a bridge to electrification for MAP,” Jayaraman said. “Even though we are Honda’s oldest plant in the region, that hasn’t stopped the company from looking to us to build exciting new products like the Acura Integra, which we launched back in May, and the new 2023 Accord.”

“Ohio has historically been an auto parts state. We’ve been an automobile state, and Honda’s reinvestment in Ohio says that that is going to continue,” DeWine said regarding Honda’s announcement in October to retool three Honda plants in Ohio – including MAP, the East Liberty Auto Plant and the Anna Engine Plant – for electric vehicle production and to start a joint venture battery plant in Fayette County.

Engineering Project Lead Scott Roe shared features of the new Accord that customers will enjoy, like the power of the engine, overall comfort, and a built-in Google assistant for hands-free driving. With all of these perks plus high EPA fuel economy ratings, the starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is $27,295 for the turbocharged Accord LX and $31,895 for the hybrid-electric powered 2023 Accord Sport.

One feature in particular that is a first for Honda globally and will add to the comfort of the vehicle is a new one-piece, two-layer carpet design that covers the entire cabin floor for a quieter and more comfortable cabin.

“One thing that an Accord does, I think it always makes sure it remembers who it is. We had the best-selling car over the last 50 years. We kind of understand who our customers are, and we understand what they want. So we try to keep that true to form and everything. So we want to make sure we’re pleasing that Accord crowd,” Roe said. “When you get into the Accord, I think people will feel like this is comfortable, I can go on a long trip with this.”

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

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