Honda Announces Production Expansion
Date: July 09, 2002 12:21
Honda Announes Production Expansion
By MARK NIESSE, Associated Press Writer
LINCOLN, Ala. (AP) - Honda Motor Co. announced plans Tuesday to double its production capacity and add 2,000 workers to its plant in Alabama, part of an expansion that will increase vehicle production in Ohio and Canada as well.
Honda Manufacturing of Alabama will build a new $425 million unit at its Lincoln site that will increase annual production of Odyssey minivans and V6 engines from the projected 150,000 in September to 300,000 in 2004.
The number of workers at the plant will nearly double to 4,300, Honda officials said.
The Japanese firm also said it will increase annual production capacity in North America from 1.22 million to 1.4 million units by late 2004.
Along with the Alabama expansion, it will increase production at Honda of Canada Manufaction and its Anna Engine Plant in Ohio.
Alabama is expected to offer Honda about $90 million in incentives, mostly in tax breaks and worker training ? about $45,000 per new employee ? to help bring about the expansion.
The expansion boosts the number of automobile manufacturing and supply jobs in Alabama to 36,000 and more firmly entrenches the state as one of the South's automotive capitals.
Five major auto manufacturers have located in Alabama in recent years: Honda in Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz in Vance, Toyota in Huntsville, Navistar in Huntsville and Hyundai in Montgomery.
Entry-level production jobs at the Lincoln plant pay $14.23 an hour, said company spokesman Mark Morrison. After two years, most of the plant's 2,300 workers earn $22 to $24 an hour, he said. The average hourly wage in Alabama is $13.72, according to state labor statistics.
The company announced plans for its Alabama plant in May 1999, getting $158 million in tax breaks, land improvements and worker training. Production started in November 2001.
In December 2001, the company said it was increasing its investment in Lincoln to create an additional 800 jobs and turn out 150,000 Odyssey minivans and engines a year instead of the 120,000 it originally projected.