Last updated: February 12. 2014 7:51AM - 513 Views
By - lmihm@civitasmedia.com

Honda of America | Submitted photoThe East Liberty Honda Auto Plant celebrated production of the plant's 1 millionth Honda CR-V in December.
Honda of America | Submitted photoThe East Liberty Honda Auto Plant celebrated production of the plant's 1 millionth Honda CR-V in December.
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ANNA — The Honda Engine Plant in Anna continued its growth in 2013 with several major investments in 2013, according to Stacey Pond, of the Honda of America Manufacturing Communications Department.

Pond said the Anna plant celebrated a mass production startup of a high-precision pulley component for its Continuously Variable Transmissions in Shelby County on Aug. 15. The CVT is part of Honda's Earth Dreams Technology series.

The line is part of a more than $100 million investment in the Anna plant that was announced in 2012. The parts were formerly sourced from Japan prior to the new line at the Anna plant.

“Approximately 175 new machines were installed at the engine plant for the highly technical processes,” Pond said.

A 93,000-square-foot expansion is currently underway at the Anna plant. Currently 1,400 pulley components are produced, and the expansion will add the capacity to produce an additional 1,400 pulley components per day. Pond said the CVTs are featured in the popular four-cylinder version of the 2013 Honda Accord.

“It helps the vehicle achieve both high fuel efficiency and a fun-to-drive performance at a high level,” Pond said.

Pond said the CVTs helped make the Accord the most popular car in America, based on its industry-leading sales over the first six months of 2013.

“For almost three decades, the Anna engine plant has met challenge after challenge,” said Honda North America Regional Operations Chief Operating Officer Tetsuo Iwamura. “The successful start-up of the production of these high-tech components in Ohio is a major step in our ongoing effort to play a lead role within Honda's global operations.”

The CVTs are produced on an assembly line at a transmission plant in nearby Russells Point.

Pond said Honda also announced in August an additional investment of $180 million to expand its capabilities in aluminum die-casting and engine parts production related to the Honda Earth Dreams Technology engines and transmissions. The investment also included the establishment of a technical training center for powertrains to provide engineers, equipment service technicians and line-side associates opportunities to develop skills to refine their technical abilities in a hands-on environment. These investments brought Honda's total investment in the Anna plant to more than $500 million in the last three years.

“Production of these high-precision pulleys required our associates to draw on their existing skills and apply them to a new technology,” said Anna plant manager John Spoltman. “Tremendous demand for the Accord also means we had to ramp up production very quickly. I am proud of what our team has accomplished in working to meet this challenge.”

The $500 million in investments at the Anna plant have made up nearly half of the more than $1 billion invested in all Ohio Honda plants in the last three years. Overall, Pond said Honda has invested $2.7 billion in its manufacturing facilities in North America in the last three years. Honda operates seven plants in North America, including four in the United States. Honda reports that 90 percent of its Honda and Acura automobiles sold in 2012 were produced in North America.

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