What Henry Ford learned from Isaac Singer—to make products where you sell them, rather than export them to foreign markets—Soichiro Honda learned from Henry Ford. Only a year after its establishment in 1903, Ford opened an assembly plant in Canada; and a decade after Honda sold the first U.S-market Civic in 1972, it started building cars in North America.
Though a distant number three to Toyota and Nissan in Japan, Honda’s most important market is North America. Now, nearly 40 years after Honda’s Marysville, Ohio, assembly plant started production, the 20 millionth Ohio-built Honda, a 2020 Platinum White Pearl Accord Hybrid, rolled off Marysville’s production line.
In addition to the Marysville facility, which started production in November of 1982, Honda of America added its East Liberty Auto Plant in 1989 and Acura’s Performance Manufacturing Center, which builds the Acura NSX supercar, in 2016. As well as doing final assembly in the Buckeye state, Honda also assembles engines and transmissions at its factory in Anna, Ohio. All in all, Honda employs about 15,000 people in its Ohio facilities.
In the past 40 years, the Japanese automaker has invested more than $13 billion in Ohio, out of a total of more than $21 billion put into Honda’s American facilities, which now also include assembly plants in Alabama and Indiana. In that time, Honda has made 27.3M vehicles in the United States. The first automobile Honda assembled in Ohio was a Slate Gray 1983 Accord sedan; as of that 20 millionth sparkly white Accord hybrid, Ohio-built Hondas account for roughly 75 percent of Honda vehicles currently sold in the United States since 1982.
Celebrating the accomplishment, Mitsugu Matsukawa, president of Honda of America Manufacturing, says, “Honda associates in Ohio have played a significant role in our U.S. operations, and today we celebrate the production of 20 million high-quality cars and light trucks for our customers in Ohio, America, and around the world. This milestone not only showcases the success of our products, but the dedication, capability, and collaboration of our 15,000 Honda associates in Ohio.”