Pictured above is an aerial photo of the Honda manufacturing plant west of Marysville. (Photo submitted)
Questions remain on impact to area
Honda has announced plans to combine all of its automobile manufacturing facilities and related engineering and purchasing operations in the U.S. into one new company.
The company will be named Honda Development & Manufacturing of America, LLC (HDMA).
The unification of Honda’s manufacturing operations and merger with auto product development will be effective April 1, 2021.
Auto-related Honda companies to be wholly or partially consolidated into HDMA include:
•Honda of America Mfg.
•Honda Manufacturing of Alabama
•Honda Manufacturing of Indiana
•Honda Transmission Manufacturing of America
•Honda Precision Parts of Georgia
•Honda Engineering North America
•Honda R&D Americas
•Honda Accessory America
“Today, we are announcing a number of changes to our business operations that continue the journey we began last year, to become a more lean, nimble and unified company in North America,” Shinji Aoyama, chief officer of North American Regional Operations of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and president and CEO of American Honda, said in a release. “Each change is vital to our ongoing effort to make Honda in America stronger and more responsive to the customer, better able to invest in advanced technology and prepared to meet future market needs.”
These changes will effectively bring all auto development, planning, purchasing, strategy and manufacturing into one company.
Pictured above is an entrance to the Marysville Auto Plant. (Photo submitted)
Company spokesman Chris Abbruzzese was asked what the change means for local Honda associates.
He said that, “from the standpoint of production and work on the plant floor, all operations will work as peer operations.”
“Anytime a company undertakes a major organizational change there will be a period of adjustment, but ultimately, all of our associates identify as ‘Honda’ associates united to serve the needs of the customer,” Abbruzzese said. “While our company is changing, our values and philosophy are not.
He added that, “nothing will change our shared purpose of creating products of the highest quality that exceed the expectations of our customers.”
Officials said the process strengthens what Honda calls a “one-floor” approach to the product development process.
The “one-floor” approach includes centralizing key business functions to become more efficient and eliminate redundancies, executing new product development with increased speed and accuracy and improving manufacturing characteristics with a focus on quality, cost competitiveness and the ability to deliver vehicles that appeal to customers in a timely manner.
According to a release from the company, “Honda will unite all auto creation functions into HDMA with a focus on achieving seamless development of new products with improved efficiency and quality, thus positioning its North American operations for the future.”
Abbruzzese said headquarters of HDMA will be based in Ohio. He said the leadership for new model development will be based at the HDMA headquarters.
In addition, with the move of auto product development functions to the new HDMA company, the automobile product design and certain market research functions currently part of the HRA Los Angeles Center will be integrated into the Regional Operations of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., based in Torrance, California.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. in Japan announced a similar restructuring in February.
Separately, in what officials called “a significant move related to its Auto Sales and Parts & Service Business Units” American Honda announced plans to streamline its Auto Sales and Parts and Service Field operations. According to the release, the move will “enable a more agile response to local market needs.”
In January, Honda and Acura zone offices will be restructured to improve communication between dealers, zone management and national sales and parts and service management. The change includes four new Regional Manager positions that have been created to provide oversight of Honda sales, Acura sales and parts, service and technical field operations.
According to the release, “the regional managers will become the key link between the company’s national and field operations, ensuring better alignment among all staff who call on Honda and Acura dealers and pushing decision making authority down to local staff to more quickly address dealer and customer needs.”
Honda companies in the U.S. responsible for powersports business, including motorcycle, ATV and side-by-side products, began restructuring earlier this year to unite the functions of sales, manufacturing, product development and purchasing,
As part of the Friday announcement, it was noted that Honda of South Carolina Mfg., responsible for powersports manufacturing in the U.S., will formally become part of the power sports business unit within American Honda.