Created on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 Written by THE BELLEFONTAINE EXAMINER STAFF
Honda today announced that it will invest approximately $215 million in its Ohio operations.
The company will add new powertrain technologies and a technical training center at its engine plant in Anna, while also establishing a technical training center, heritage center that highlights Honda’s history in Ohio and North America, and office space for the new Honda North America Services LLC in Marysville.
These new investments bring to nearly $2.7 billion the amount Honda has invested in its North American operations in the last three years. Of that, more than $1 billion has been in its Ohio operations.
This construction site east and south of the Marysville Auto Plant will be home to a 160,000-square-foot office building, technology training center and heritage center. (PHOTO | HONDA)
“Any investment by Honda and its local suppliers is always welcomed,” Logan County Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director and CEO Paul Benedetti said. “Our local economy is doing well thanks largely due to these types of investments.”
Mr. Benedetti has told local leaders there is increased interest and activity across the local economic spectrum, including retail.
He believes Logan County will see a tourism benefit from the heritage center which will highlight the products and significant milestones in the history of Honda in North America.
With plans to be open to the public, Honda announced the center will showcase Honda’s accomplishments during the 36 years since the company announced in 1977 that it would establish a production operation in Ohio.
Todd McCormick, curator and director of the Logan County Historical Museum, said Honda has been a big supporter of the local transportation museum currently under construction at the Bellefontaine museum, and he believes that relationship will flourish with the automaker’s own museum.
“They’ve been wonderful partners here in our project both with funding and with promises to loan us motorcycles and cars for our exhibit hall,” he said. “It’s great having their knowledge of how they have worked with other museums and what’s important in their history.”
Construction of the $3 million, 15,000-square-foot addition to the Bellefontaine museum is set to wrap up in December with a grand opening in April.
Honda’s heritage center will be part of a new 160,000-square-foot building near its existing operations in Marysville.
It also will house a technological training facility and office space for Honda’s new shared services company formed in April to reorganize existing support services in North America.
This $35 million facility is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
“We’re excited to highlight our more-than-30-year history of manufacturing in North America,” Rick Schostek, senior vice president of Honda North America Inc. said. “The new Honda facility in Marysville represents an important link between our past achievements and our increasing responsibilities in the future that require advanced production skills and technologies.”
The new office space will relocate about 50 associates to Ohio.
The Marysville training center received a $1 million JobsOhio grant and will employ 16 people.
Honda spokeswoman Stacey Pond said Honda previously had training facilities inside the plant, but the dedicated training areas will speed up the process for new and existing employees.
Mr. Schostek expanded on that theme, saying , “For the 21st century of manufacturing, we believe our success will be defined by the interaction between our associates and technology.
“Even as we introduce more sophisticated technologies in our products and in our plants, we are working to ensure that our associates are equipped with the skills required for the manufacturing in the future. We view this investment in Honda people as critical to our future success.”
The technical training centers for powertrains at Anna and auto manufacturing in Marysville will provide Honda engineers, equipment service technicians and line-side associates with unique opportunities to develop skills that will refine their technical know-how in a hands-on environment.
Honda is investing approximately $180 million at the Anna Engine Plant to expand capabilities in aluminum die casting and engine parts production for the new Honda Earth Dreams Technology engines and transmissions.
This brings to more than $500 million Honda has invested in the Anna plant over the last three years.
Previous investments have helped introduce new direct injection engines and to localize production of advanced pulley components for continuously variable transmissions assembled at Honda’s transmission plant in Ohio.
In addition to major investments at the Anna Engine Plant, Honda also has been implementing advanced technologies and introducing new products at all of its plants in North America.
Honda employs around 13,700 associates at its Ohio operations.
It operates 14 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda and Acura automobiles, automobile engines and transmissions, Honda all-terrain vehicles, and power equipment products such as lawn mowers, mini-tillers and general purpose engines, using domestic and globally sourced parts.