A Brief History
On November 1, 1982, Honda Motor Company of Japan started making cars in the United States. The gasoline shortages of 1973 and 1979 pushed American drivers into the seats of imported cars that got better gas mileage than American land yachts, and with better quality for good measure.
Honda took advantage of this trend by opening a manufacturing plant in Marysville, Ohio, starting with their Civic subcompact car. Honda’s American growth has been spectacular and now, four decades later, 2/3 of their vehicles are built in the US at a total of 12 automotive plants that employ 22,000 Americans.
The Marysville Motorcycle Plant, opened in 1979, originally made motorcycles, which was the core of Honda’s business for many years, before branching out into automobiles. Honda has now produced over 30 million cars in the US!
Japanese car companies today operate 10 assembly plants in the US making 2.5 million cars annually.
Question for students (and subscribers): Have you ever owned a Honda? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Perucci, Robert. Japanese Auto Transplants in the Heartland: Corporatism and Community. Routledge, 2017.
Shook, Robert. Honda: An American Success Story. Prentice Hall Direct, 1989.
The featured image in this article, a photograph by Nyttend of Marysville Auto Plant, Honda of America, in Allen Township, Union County, Ohio, northwest of the city of Marysville, has been released into the public domain worldwide by the copyright holder of this work.
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