Honda Motor Co. (7267), reliant on U.S. vehicle sales for more than half its profit, said it’s investing $40 million at its Greensburg, Indiana, plant that produces the Civic compact and will hire 300 more workers later this year.
The investment will increase the factory’s capacity by 50,000 vehicles to 250,000 a year, Honda said in a statement on its website. The plant will add production of the Civic Hybrid.
Honda, rebounding from product and part shortages last year, is on pace this year to break its 2007 record for North American output. More than 87 percent of the Honda and Acura models sold in the U.S. through June were made in North America, up from 85 percent a year earlier. The 2011 shortages stemmed from natural disasters in Japan and Thailand.
“We’re getting to the point where in North America we can build the whole line of Honda products and that is a big step toward flexibility,” Rick Schostek, senior vice president of the company’s Honda of America Manufacturing unit, told reporters at an Automotive Press Association meeting in Detroit.
The company is assembling vehicles at a rate that would result in 1.7 million produced in North America this year. In 2007, it built 1.43 million units. Tokyo-based Honda assembled a record 894,196 cars and light trucks in North America in the first half, up from 510,658 a year ago.
Honda has nine automobile assembly lines in seven plant sites in North America. Its annual capacity in the region is 1.63 million Honda and Acuras, which will expand to 1.92 million units in 2014.
Honda’s American depositary receipts rose (HMC:US) 0.9 percent to $31.65 at the close in New York.
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