Strong U.S. sales in December capped a remarkable year for the auto industry. U.S. sales of models manufactured in Indiana in 2012 by General Motors, Toyota, Honda and Subaru outpaced the national rate, rising 17 percent.
A deal struck 25 years ago brought Subaru-Isuzu to Indiana. Toyota followed in 1996, and Honda came in 2008. The three Japanese automakers now collectively employ 10,000 and support thousands more jobs at suppliers across the state.
The next model of the Honda Civic, due out by year-end, may need hefty changes to silence critics and ensure the company’s 2,000-employee Greensburg factory has strong demand for its signature vehicle for years to come.
Honda Manufacturing of Indiana LLC, a division of Japan-based Honda Motor Co., said on Wednesday that it will invest $40 million in its Greensburg plant and hire 300 employees later this year as it ramps up production of its compact cars.