40 years with Honda


On this date in 1979, the first Honda Elsinore CR 250 motorcycle produced in America rolled off the production line. Pictured above some of the original 64 Honda associates pose with the first bike.

(Photo submitted)

Honda associates today celebrated the 40th anniversary of the company’s historic start of production.

On Sept. 10, 1979, Honda of America Mfg., Inc. and its 64 associates produced the first Elsinore CR 250 motorcycle, which began the rapid growth of Honda in America.

After Honda became the first Japanese automaker to build products in the U.S., automobile production quickly followed on Nov. 1, 1982, at the adjacent Marysville Auto Plant.

“Honda’s success in Ohio has always been driven by the dedication and innovative spirit of our associates and this 40th anniversary milestone is a tribute to Honda associates, past and present, who have provided their energy, ideas and passion to create high-quality products for our customers,” said Mitsugu Matsukawa, president of Honda of America Mfg. “Based on the team we have in Ohio, and the opportunities ahead, I’m excited for the future of Honda in America.”

Honda now has five U.S. auto plants and in 2018, nearly two-thirds of all Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were made in America. With 12 major plants in the U.S., Honda also produces engines and transmissions, ATVs and side-by-side vehicles, a variety of power equipment products and the HondaJet in America.

Honda initially invested $35 million in the Marysville Motorcycle Plant and while that plant closed in June 2009, Honda has invested more than $11 billion in Ohio, and more than $21 billion in U.S. operations.

Honda now employs more than 25,000 associates at its 12 plants in America. Honda also has steadily increased its local purchasing of parts and materials with more than 600 original equipment suppliers in America and cumulative parts purchases of over $440 billion.

In addition to the commitment to local manufacturing, Honda has invested over $1.1 billion in Honda’s U.S. R&D operations, including major centers in Ohio, California, North Carolina and Florida.

This year, Honda also marked the 60th anniversary of its business in the U.S., with sales operations established in Los Angeles, California, in June 1959.   

Since Honda began production in Ohio in 1979:

-Employment has grown to 15,000 Honda associates in Ohio.

-Investment has surpassed $11 billion in its Ohio operations.

-Auto production totals nearly 20 million vehicles at Honda’s three Ohio auto plants.

-Engine and transmission production exceeds one million units per year.

-Purchasing of parts and materials has grown to $10 billion annually.

-Operations expanded to include R&D and parts procurement.

-Charitable contributions top $100 million to Ohio community organizations.

Honda also manufactures the HondaJet advanced light jet and GE Honda HF120 turbofan engines in America. Cumulatively, Honda has invested more than $20.2 billion in its American manufacturing capabilities, including more than $5.9 billion over the past five years. The company also works with more than 600 original equipment suppliers in America with cumulative parts purchases of nearly $400 billion over 35 years.

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