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Honda's Marysville, Ohio plant (Honda).
Honda is leaving the glam of Los Angeles where it is currently headquartered for the heartland of Ohio where it builds some of the most "American" cars consumers can buy today.

Many car buyers may not know it, but Honda's largest car building complex in the U.S. is in Marysville and East Liberty, Ohio area, about 45 miles from Columbus. The Marysville plant, which opened in 1982, builds Honda Accord and Acura TL, and employes 4,200 people. The East Liberty plant builds the Honda CR-V, Accord Crosstour and Acura and RDX. Besides building cars for the North American market, Honda also builds cars at the facility for export. Honda, in total, employes 13,500 people in Ohio, building cars, parts and motorcycles.

What is remarkable for Honda is that it has been able to build up jobs and such a big presence in Ohio, a union state in the hart of the United Auto Workers base of operations without its workforce voting to join the union. Honda's wages are competitive with UAW wages, and thus far the workers, building vehicles that are top sellers in their categories every year, have seen no reason to organize.

The move goes along with the promotion of Tetsuo Iwamura who will serve as Honda's global chief operating officer of automotive operations as well as COO of Honda North America.
"These organizational changes will improve the speed of decision-making and the efficiency of our business operations," said Iwamura.

About 50 positions will shift to the new headquarters from the maker's long-standing base of operations in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance. But the California facility will continue to house Honda's sales and marketing group.

The move, say officials, will help the people who are most closely involved with Honda's manufacturing and product development to operate more efficiently. Honda also has a technical center in Ann Arbor, MI, much closer to Marysville than Los Angeles, where it develops and tests the cars built at its U.S. factories.

The parts for Honda's U.S. built vehicles are so well sourced from the U.S., as well as being built here, that Cars.com ranked the Honda Accord the third "Most American"car in America last year just behind the Ford F150 pickup built in Michigan.

Honda is undergoing a lot of changes to try and improve its position in the U.S. In 2011, it launched a replacement for its big selling Civic sedan, only to have the auto press and Consumer Reports bash it for a sluggish engine and cheap materials. The company rushed an improved design to dealers for the 2013 model year. Honda has also botched several recent models--The CRZ, Ridgeline and Insight--which have sold very poorly.

There is an idea at Honda, say officials, that the company needs to get closer to its customer base in the U.S., and produce more hits and fewer misses. Honda is the second Japanese automaker to move out of California and into the middle of the U.S. where their factories are located. Nissan left Los Angeles for Nashville a few years ago.

Honda is also considering new ad agencies to help its image after having the same California ad agency represent it for 32 years.

Honda has three major manufacturing centers in the U.S.--Marysville-East Liberty Ohio, Greensburg, Indiana, and Lincoln Alabama.


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  • 95 Comments
      Audrey De Jesus
      • 2 Years Ago
      Taxes are killing home owners and businesses in cal.
      luv427vettes
      • 2 Years Ago
      Another example of a company leaving the Communist state of California, and I live here! See what I have to put up with.
        investrman
        • 2 Years Ago
        @luv427vettes
        North Carolina has been that way for decades too, and recently, voted its first republican Governor into office as this state is broke and lost so much industry to costs to live and operate here. They lure wealthy retirees from northern states (many former union people) who rant about it, but if any of them had to try to earn a living here locally, they would be singing a different tune! This State's Insurance Industry and Bar Association are in bed together and strong supporters of Liberal Obama's agendas and have suppressed the citizenry here financially for years. NC has been run like a socialist State for years and why Obama keeps coming here and the DNC was held here last year. The "Education Lottery" is a joke and unemployment is bad and average wages range around $10.00/hour mainly.
        tony
        • 2 Years Ago
        @luv427vettes
        Thou does not have to put up with it.
      hardinggmc
      • 2 Years Ago
      All businesses should leave California. Who really wants to do business in a Socialist/Marxist State hell bent on becoming Mexico North?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @hardinggmc
        Clearly you are clueless about those of us that live in California.
        mikeam91
        • 2 Years Ago
        @hardinggmc
        Wow... I would hate to know what sorry state you hail from. When your state's GDP is about the size of India's and your population is 38 million people strong with one of the highest median incomes in the country than you can criticize until than shhhh!
      gary365
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have found Hondas to be very reliable, very capable vehicles. I bought my first ones in 1985, a CRX and a Civic Station Wagon (sold my Cortina and my Renault R-5, both excellent cars, by the way). I've owned two more CRX's (Have one now) and a 08 civic (all my civics have been si's) I also own Ferraris, Ford and Chevy pick up trucks, SUV's by Nissan, Toyota, and many other, and an Abarth Zagato Coupe ('59 - my second). I like the Hondas. Now, if I could squeeze the 08 civis si engine into a crx, WOW!!! G
      richard
      • 2 Years Ago
      So, some people think this is great - -more low wage temp jobs for the heartland, and our middle-class takes another hit. Buy American, stay away from Hondas. Honda - -go back to Asiafornia.
      alfredschrader
      • 2 Years Ago
      We need to let these companies operate here in the US tax free, and I mean the hidden taxes too like occupatonal licenses, utllity taxes on their phones, water, gas, electric. Property taxes, all of it. Why ? They will hire 4,200 people who will pay income tax. 4,200 people will pay around $84,000,000.00 in income tax into our treasury. If they locate the plant in Brazil, we get nothing. Do the math.
      thosholzel
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Hinda execs are not going to like this. LA hqas got a big asian population, and the infra structure to support them--excellent sushi and various weirdo asian foods Ohio has---what--Big Macs?
        bobdaily99
        • 2 Years Ago
        @thosholzel
        OHIO has all those things too! At 1/2 the LA prices! Columbus Ohio is 3.44% asian
        ccdae5
        • 2 Years Ago
        @thosholzel
        Are you envious? I would leave Hollyweird too!
      wayharley
      • 2 Years Ago
      cali wanted obama you got him now deal with it
        • 2 Years Ago
        @wayharley
        Has nothing to do with Obama. Grow up and stop blaming everything that happens in this world on Obama. Or are you one of those that NEVER takes responsibilty for your own life and always looking for someone to blame? Probably so.
      phd
      • 2 Years Ago
      Isn't the recent California tax hike the REAL hidden reason for this move??
        bennett975
        • 2 Years Ago
        @phd
        Which one?
        investrman
        • 2 Years Ago
        @phd
        Hey similar thing done here in NC under former Democratic Gov. Bed Purdue's reign... NC has largest State tax per gallon of gas in entire SE region of USA today.
      slaytonc
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just a few employees now, the rest will follow. The writing is on the wall. Went to the World Ag Fair in Tulare last week. Largest in the world. Speaker said that an average farmer with over 50 acres in California is answerable to an average of 84 agencys, just to farm. This is Federal, State, County, and City. If he is in the dairy business, the State sees fit to tell him how much he can charge for milk, but puts no caps on what the feed producers can charge him for feed. Huge farms are going bankrupt. Thank you California.
      Terry
      • 2 Years Ago
      I live in a sad, sorry state. I used to love it here...now it's depressing. I have all my family and friends here, so I can't just pack up and move. Intel (based in the bay area) just built two new factories...one in Oregon, one in Arizona. Gee, I wonder why that is.
        gary365
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Terry
        I understand, Terry. I have a beautiful home in the mountains of the Tahoe National Forest, where my family live, but I am working in Colorado. I am a legal resident of CO and my taxes are paid here in colorado. If you can live in CA without having to engage the gov't, it's great. (Let me tell you, in Nevada County, CA, you don't hear much about Sacramento, about 60 miles away).
      bobcouchman
      • 2 Years Ago
      why call all the japanese cars american made. the profits all end up in japan .
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