Honda has started the mass production of the all-new 2016 Honda Pilot at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama (HMA) on 21 May. The 2016 Honda Pilot is slated to go on-sale in June at Honda dealerships nationwide. HMA is the exclusive manufacturer of the 8-passenger Honda Pilot SUV and its direct-injected i-VTEC V-6 engine.

“Today we celebrate the incredible dedication of our Alabama team to delivering an outstanding new Pilot that will set the course for others to follow,” said Jeff Tomko, president of HMA. “I want to congratulate our associates for their unqualified commitment to building a new Pilot of the highest quality that exceeds the expectations of our customers.”

All three generations of the Honda Pilot have been designed and developed in America by Honda R&D Americas at its Los Angeles design studio and Raymond, Ohio R&D centre.

“Our US-based development team lives with the midsize family SUV everyday and we have applied our deep understanding into the development of this best ever, third-generation Pilot,” said Marc Ernst, chief engineer at Honda R&D Americas in Raymond, Ohio and development leader for the new Pilot. “We advanced Pilot’s dual-purpose character by increasing both family utility and personal sophistication to meet the needs of the driver and passengers in every dimension of their life.”

Honda says the Pilot is designed to achieve the highest safety ratings of any vehicle in its class, and offers Honda Sensing, a comprehensive suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies that can help drivers avoid a collision or mitigate its severity.

The new Pilot joins a Honda light-truck lineup that includes the 2015 Honda CR-V and the Honda HR-V crossover. The Pilot is produced alongside the Honda Odyssey. Honda’s Alabama-built light-truck lineup will be further strengthened when HMA begins production of an all-new Honda Ridgeline pickup early in 2016.