Official release from www.acuranews.com:
03/19/2012 – EAST LIBERTY, Ohio
Launching its second major new model in only three months, the East Liberty Auto Plant today started mass production of the all-new 2013 Acura RDX. The popular luxury crossover SUV will go on sale at Acura dealerships nationwide next month.
Acura dealers, local community leaders and public officials joined associates at the plant today as the first mass-produced 2013 Acura RDX rolled off the assembly line. Also on hand for the line-off event was John Mendel, executive vice president of sales at American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
“Acura is a brand for luxury customers who aspire to the highest levels of quality and value, and the East Liberty team is going to play a very important role for us as we move forward with production of this exceptional new Acura RDX,” Mendel said. “We know the East Liberty plant is one of the best in the world, as is evident by your high quality rankings.”
Located northwest of Columbus in Logan County, the East Liberty plant was the recipient of a Silver Award from J.D. Power and Associates for its outstanding quality in 2011. The plant will produce the second-generation Acura RDX for the U.S. and export markets, using domestic and globally sourced parts. In December, 2011, the plant launched the all-new 2012 Honda CR-V, America’s most popular SUV in January and February of 2012. The East Liberty Plant is the sole production source for the new Acura RDX and is responsible for manufacturing the majority of Honda CR-V models for U.S. customers.
“We are proud to be the exclusive global manufacturer of the luxury Acura RDX,” said East Liberty Auto Plant manager, John Mayberry. “Our associates work hard to exceed the expectations of every customer, and as a team we are committed to producing the best products in the world.”
In addition to the finished product, the engines and automatic transmissions for the Acura RDX and Honda CR-V also are made in Ohio, at the Honda of America engine plant in Anna, and at Honda Transmission Mfg. in Russells Point.
The Acura RDX also is an important product for domestic suppliers in Ohio and the rest of North America that manufacture parts and components for its production. More than 80 suppliers in Ohio manufacture parts for the 2013 RDX. Overall, approximately 150 suppliers in Ohio and 600 in North America produce parts for Honda’s seven auto plants in North America. Honda’s parts purchases from Ohio suppliers totaled nearly $6 billion in 2011, and $16 billion in North America.
The East Liberty Auto Plant began producing automobiles in 1989 and currently employs approximately 2,500 associates. In addition to the RDX and CR-V, the 1.9-million-square-foot plant also produces the Honda Crosstour for the U.S. and export markets.
In a major innovation of its operations, Honda is investing $166 million at the East Liberty Plant. Construction currently is under way on a 155,000-square-foot expansion for new door and instrument panel sub-assembly lines, and for the extension of the plant’s final assembly line. Additionally, construction began last year on a 396,000-square-foot parts consolidation center. This center will significantly reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions associated with the shipment of parts to the plant, including CO2 emissions that contribute to global warming.
These projects are among the more than $500 million in new capital investments that Honda has announced at its plants in Ohio over the past 16 months.
About Honda in Ohio
Based on Honda’s longstanding commitment to “build products close to the customer,” Honda began operations at its first U.S. auto plant nearly 30 years ago, on November 1, 1982, in Marysville, Ohio. Honda now has the capacity to build 680,000 automobiles annually at its two Ohio auto plants.
In addition to manufacturing, Honda has established substantial R&D operations in Ohio, along with other operations that support product development, manufacturing and sales of Honda and Acura products in North America. The company employs more than 13,500 Ohioans and tens of thousands more through its suppliers and other business partners. The company’s total investment in its extensive operations in the state exceeds $8 billion.
The East Liberty Plant and both assembly lines at the nearby Marysville Auto Plant, along with Honda’s Indiana auto plant, comprised four of the five highest quality assembly lines in North and South America in 2011, according to J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Survey.
Honda has seven auto plants in North America with the capacity to manufacture 1.63 million automobiles annually, using domestic and globally sourced parts. More than 85 percent of the Honda and Acura products sold in the U.S. are built in North America.