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ID10T
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I thought this article was interesting...

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005 All reproduction and presentation rights reserved.


MARYSVILLE, Ohio, Oct 7 (AFP) -

A major cultural shift has taken place at Japanese automaker Honda, which is for the first time using its US employees to help launch a new vehicle.

Employees from Honda's Civic plant in Ohio have been brought on board to develop new plants in China and Vietnam where production is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2006.

"It wasn't easy. We communicated through translators and sometimes the translators had translators but everyone wanted to manufacture the best-ever Civic," said Chris Poland, who led the team of Americans that traveled to Japan to prepare for the launch of Civic production first in Japan, then North America and Europe.

In the past, the Japanese executives and engineers set the rules for US operations based on their experience in Japan. US automakers struggled for decades to match the efficiency of their production lines and high quality of their vehicles.

The original subcompact Civic, with became popular because of its relatively low price and reliability, was one of the cars that helped put Japanese automakers on the map during the energy crisis of the 1970s.

Nowdays the Civic is critical for Honda, accounting for 20 percent of the three million vehicles it sells worldwide.

Considered a compact car in the US but a midsized vehicle in the rest of the world, the Civic will be built in 13 different countries, including the new plants in China and Vietnam.

The company's Ohio operations are one of the pillars of the company's global manufacturing operations, said John Pleiman, plant manager for the East Liberty assembly facility.

"With 26 years of experience, our Ohio associates have taken on increasing levels of responsibility and have demonstrated how Honda's corporate culture can take root throughout North America," Pleiman said.

"This culture serves as the foundation of our operations here and globally."

Honda's operations in and around Marysville now include two automobile assembly plants and an engine plant, as well as the original motorcycle facility, concentrated on 8,100 acres (3,237 hectares) about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of the state capitol Columbus.

The Japanese automaker also has placed a research and development center and an engineering center in Marysville that is gradually assuming more responsibility for the design of the vehicles Honda sells in the United States. Honda employs over 16,000 people at its operations in Ohio.

One of Honda's great strengths is its ability to get employees from diverse cultures and backgrounds to think as a team, said Sean McAlinden, an analyst with the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Honda's approach is very discplined, McAlinden said.

"Everyone at Honda seems to have the same goals," he noted.

The three-door version of the Civic will be the first Honda automobile built in Vietnam where the company has built motorcycles near Hanoi since 1996.

Dongfeng Hond Ltd. which is based in Wuhan, China, began operations in 2003 and now operates an engine plant and components plant as well as the new assembly plant, which will soon build the Civic.
 

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Acorns!
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Shemmy said:
I thought this article was interesting...


Considered a compact car in the US but a midsized vehicle in the rest of the world, the Civic will be built in 13 different countries, including the new plants in China and Vietnam.


Dongfeng Hond Ltd. which is based in Wuhan, China, began operations in 2003 and now operates an engine plant and components plant as well as the new assembly plant, which will soon build the Civic.

nice article shemmy. That answered a few questions as well. People were asking where the new civic was going to be built. 13 countries! I had no idea some were going to be assembled in china.
 

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Just to clarify, none of the cars we will see in North America will be built outside of Japan, Ohio, or Canada.
 
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