This past February, Honda announced that it will invest $98 million in its Anna, Ohio engine plant. The decision is connected to a $120 million investment, announced in 2011, that will aid the production of a new continuously variable transmission (CVT) in Russells Point, Ohio.
The Anna Engine Plant will manufacture advanced pulley components for Honda’s new CVT technology, which is a part of the automaker’s “Earth Dreams” powertrain technology lineup. This new CVT for midsize cars will improve fuel economy by approximately 10 percent compared with the current five-speed automatic transmission, and will be featured in the U.S. for the first time in the all-new 2013 Honda Accord. The Accord, which will come to market later this year, is exclusively built in Ohio at the Marysville Auto Plant.
“Applying Honda's new Earth Dreams Technologies in the production of engines and transmissions will greatly enhance the driving performance of Honda vehicles, and help us achieve fuel economy leadership in every segment over the next three years," explained Hide Iwata, President and CEO of Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc.
The CVT will be produced on a sophisticated new assembly line at Honda Transmission Mfg. of America, Inc., in Russells Point. This 200,000-square-foot expansion, along with the pulley component production in Anna, will create 150 new jobs. In the past two years alone, Honda has announced that it will invest more than $500 million in its two powertrain plants and two auto plants in Ohio.
To accommodate the new component production, the Anna Engine Plant will utilize 84,000 square feet of plant space for lathing, heat-treating, grinding and subassembly. The plant is the largest automobile engine factory in Honda’s global network, capable of manufacturing 1.18 million V6 and four-cylinder engines annually.
At Russells Point, an additional $50 million is being used to fund a 75-square-foot expansion for aluminum casting operations associated with the CVT assembly line. Both Russells Point and Anna Engine Plant manufacture four-wheel drive components and the precision steel parts for engines and transmissions.
"Our associates have incredible experience and we are counting on them to help us introduce an even higher level of powertrain technology for our customers," Anna Engine Plant Manager John Spoltman said. "The new CVT technology will be mated with Honda's new Earth Dreams 2.4-liter direct-injection engine, which will also be produced here at the Anna Engine Plant."
Honda Transmission Mfg. of America, Inc. currently employs 1,050 associates and has recently announced many other initiatives in Ohio:
- Onsite parts consolidation centers at Anna and East Liberty are being constructed.
- A new stamping press is being established at the Marysville Auto Plant.
- Expanded assembly lines and new paint technologies are being developed at East Liberty.
Honda’s recent big investments provide good reason for auto enthusiasts to get excited; along with such a major commitment comes the promise of more advanced vehicles and an enhanced driving experience for all.