Honda might add Accord, Fit at Greensburg

January 21, 2008
The new Honda Manufacturing of Indiana plant in Greensburg will make the Accord full-size car and Fit subcompact in addition to the Civic sedans already announced by the Japanese company, a research group predicts.

In a report last week, the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich., said that the site would assemble the Accord beginning in 2009 and the Fit a year later.

Honda has only said it will make the Civic sedan. Yet, the Japanese automaker has boasted that the flexible nature of the plant will allow it to turn out a number of models.

The $550 million plant, which is slated to open this fall, sparked one of the nation's biggest economic development announcements when plans were made public in summer 2006.

When production runs at full-tilt in 2011, the site could turn out about 220,000 vehicles a year, the not-for-profit center said.

Honda has said some production of the CRV sport-utility vehicles might be moved to Greensburg from two plants in Ohio, but further projections are "speculation," said Honda spokesman Andrew Stoner.

Honda has started hiring 2,000 production workers, but is still advertising for a few positions, including jobs that ensure production equipment runs smoothly.

The center anticipates the plant making one of every five cars assembled in the state when it is brought to full production.

The $550 million plant will make 15.4 percent of the cars in 2009, the first full year of production, the think tank said. Then production will ramp up to about 222,000 vehicles - nearly 23 percent of all production in the state - in 2011.

That's about the same number of vehicles as General Motors Corp. turns out of its full-size pickup truck plant in Fort Wayne and slightly more than Subaru assembles in Lafayette.

But the plant will pale alongside Toyota's site at Princeton, which is projected to make 323,000 of its Sienna minivans, Tundra pickup trucks and Sequoia sport-utility vehicles.

Over the weekend, the positions were reposted on the Indiana Department of Workforce Development Web site because Honda received too few quality applications, Stoner said.

The plant needs more than 50 of the workers. The jobs are hard to fill because they require advanced knowledge and the ability to help improve flow of production, Stoner said.

Unlike the production jobs, the maintenance applications are not limited to the 20 counties surrounding Greensburg. Instead, the jobs are being advertised statewide.

Production applications were taken only from 20 counties, including Marion, because, Honda said, it wanted workers to have short commutes.
Source: XMLFULL/XMLFull10102.xml

Recent Articles by Norm Heikens

Comments powered by Disqus