US: American Honda builds first ninth generation Accord
Smaller and claimed to be more fuel efficient: American Honda's 2013 Accord sedan
American Honda's Marysville manufacturing operation in Ohio has begun building the new Accord, with engines supplied from the nearby Anna powertrain plant.
As is traditional, the US market is first to see the latest Accord. Likewise, there are again sedan and coupe body styles for North America. The five-door hatchback from the previous model series, the Honda Crosstour, continues to be sold as a separate model. It was originally launched as the Accord Crosstour.
The usually smaller and narrower Accord sedan for markets in Europe and Asia Pacific is yet to be seen. In fact, there are rumours which suggest that a new Accord might not even be offered in Europe due to poor sales of the current generation sedan and wagon.
The new, 2013 model year Accord is American Honda's most important vehicle launch of recent times - the outgoing model is the second best selling mid-sized car in the US behind the Camry for the year to the end of July (but only 114 units ahead of the Altima). A hybrid sedan to come should also help the new model in its battle with the Nissan.
As well as new engines and transmissions, the ninth generation car features other novelties such as LaneWatch blind-spot display, Lane Departure Warning, and Forward Collision Warning. New technologies that are standard on all model grades in the US market include a rearview camera, Expanded View Driver's Mirror, Bluetooth, HandsFreeLink phone interface, Multi-Information Display (i-MID), SMS text messaging function and Pandora internet radio.
Manufacturing innovations for the Marysville-built car include a one-piece instrument panel, which is claimed to reduce road noise. Making this one change required three new machines, two new welders and the installation of a special seismic floor six feet deep into the plant floor. American Honda says the latter was to eliminate vibrations which might otherwise cause variations with an ultrasonic knife used to score perforations that enable deployment of the front passenger airbag.
The powertrain facility at Anna, Ohio supplies the so-called 'Earth Dreams' engines and transmissions which go into the new car. A new direct injection 2.4-litre four-cylinder unit comes as standard for the 2013 Accord, with a new 3.5-litre V6 optional. This strategy is in contrast to some of American Honda's fast-rising rivals such as Hyundai and Kia which offer turbocharged four-cylinder engines instead of V6s in the Sonata and Optima twins. There is a new CVT for the Accord 2.4, while the V6 is offered with a six-speed automatic.
Marysville has been building Accords since the start-up of production of the second generation model in November 1982. Since then, almost nine million units have been made at this factory.
Honda has seven auto plants in North America which it says have the capacity to manufacture 1.63 million vehicles annually. The company continues to state that its North American auto production capacity will reach 1.92 million units by 2014.
It is thought that the strategy of selling two Accord sedans might have been abandoned with the launch of this new, smaller model. At almost five metres from stem to stern (in V6 form), American Honda's outgoing sedan was way too large for many buyers in other parts of the world. Its 2,800mm wheelbase contrasted with the 2,705mm for the sedan built in Japan, Thailand and China.
Author: Glenn Brooks
Honda Marks 30 Years of U.S. Auto Manufacturing With Production Start of All-new 2013 Honda Accord
8/20/2012 6:00:00 PM
Associates at the Marysville Auto Plant today started production of the all-new 2013 Honda Accord, marking 30 years of automotive manufacturing in the United States. With sophisticated styling, premium features and unique technologies that make Accord more fuel efficient and fun to drive, the ninth-generation Accord will go on sale next month.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich along with other government and community leaders joined Honda associates at the plant today as the first mass-produced 2013 Accords rolled off the assembly line. The Accord has been in continuous production at the Marysville Auto Plant since it started operations as the first Japanese automaker in the U.S. on Nov.1, 1982 with production of the second-generation Accord Sedan. The plant has produced more than 9 million Accords during the past three decades.
"This new Accord excels in all areas, and it's being built in a plant that excels in all areas as well – including flexibility, efficiency and quality for the customer," said Hide Iwata, president and CEO of Honda of America Mfg. "For 30 years, the Accord has been the signature vehicle from Honda, and it remains the industry benchmark in a very competitive segment."
Located northwest of Columbus, the Marysville Auto Plant redefined the American automobile industry over the past 30 years with its highly skilled workforce, top quality, production flexibility and environmentally responsible performance.
During the line-off event, Jeff Tomko, plant manager of the Marysville Auto Plant, hailed the high degree of quality and craftsmanship achieved by the Honda associates building the new Accord.
"The styling is outstanding, the features are impressive and the technology is unlike any other vehicle in this segment," said Tomko. "But what really makes this vehicle great is the hands-on craftsmanship that each of our associates have put into building this new Accord."
With its full-model change, the 2013 Accord has a sculpted and aerodynamic exterior, all-new engines and transmissions, and innovative features that include the LaneWatchä blind-spot display which enhances visibility of the passenger-side roadway; Lane Departure Warning; and Forward Collision Warning. New technologies that are standard on all Accord models include rearview camera and Expanded View Driver's Mirror. Also standard are popular technologies including Bluetooth®1 HandsFreeLink® phone interface, Multi-Information Display (i-MID), SMS text messaging function and Pandora® Internet Radio interface2.
"Together, we worked hand-in-hand to ensure that every detail of this vehicle could be manufactured with the highest levels of quality," said Mike Fischer, manufacturing new-model leader for the Accord. "We have been very successful at taking an exciting design concept for the 2013 Accord and turning it into a segment-leading product for our customers."
One example is the Accord's seamless, one-piece instrument panel, which reduces road noise and makes for a much more quiet and luxurious ride. Making this one change required three new machines, two new welders and installation of a special seismic floor six feet deep into the plant floor to eliminate vibrations that could cause variations with the ultrasonic knife used to score perforations that will enable deployment of the front passenger airbag.
"This new Accord will be very fun to drive, will offer great fuel economy, and will feature a comfortable cabin with a very quiet ride," said Tomko. "Our team at the Marysville Auto Plant is ready to build it, and we are committed to manufacturing it with the best quality and reliability in the business."
Honda's engine and transmissions plants in Ohio on Thursday started mass production of Honda's new "Earth Dreams" powertrain series, a new generation of engines and transmissions that will make their U.S. debut on the all-new 2013 Honda Accord.
Along with a total redesign of the vehicle, the ninth-generation Accord is the first in North America to apply Honda's Earth Dreams engine and transmission technologies that offer improved fuel efficiency and fun-to-drive performance. This includes a new four-cylinder direct injection engine paired with a new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), and a new V-6 engine with 6-speed automatic transmission that provide an excellent combination of fuel efficiency and performance.
Honda is investing $220 million to launch the CVT production for vehicles produced in North America, including $120 million for the new CVT line and nearly $100 million at the Anna Engine Plant for the production of the CVT's high-tech pulley components starting next year. The expanded production will create 150 new jobs at the two plants.
The Accord also is an important product for domestic suppliers in Ohio and the rest of North America, which manufacture the vast majority of the parts and components for its production. More than 200 parts suppliers in the U.S. manufacture parts for the Accord.
Honda's parts purchasing will exceed $20 billion this year in North America from more than 600 parts suppliers in the region, including 500 in the U.S. and 150 in Ohio. Parts purchasing has continued to grow in the region as Honda's production has increased in North America, and due to increasing exports of parts from North American suppliers to Honda plants in other parts of the world.
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 Nov. 1, 1982, in Marysville, Ohio. The Marysville plant currently employs approximately 4,400 associates. In addition to producing both the four-cylinder and V6 models of the Accord Sedan and Coupe, the Marysville plant is the sole manufacturing site for the Acura TL luxury Sedan. Honda and Acura vehicles are produced using domestic and globally sourced parts.
Honda also operates an auto plant in East Liberty, Ohio, that builds the segment-leading Honda CR-V compact sport-utility vehicle (SUV) and the Honda Crosstour crossover utility vehicle, and the Acura RDX luxury SUV. Honda 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.
Honda has seven auto plants in North America with the capacity to manufacture 1.63 million automobiles annually. Honda has announced that by 2014, the company's North American auto production capacity will reach 1.92 million units. More than 85 percent of the Honda and Acura products sold in the U.S. are built in North America.
Original source: http://www.honda.com/newsandviews/article.aspx?id=6805-en