Being a Clevelander, I had already heard about what's going on at the site of Ford's former Lorain Assembly plant. At one time it was producing more than 10,000 vans and SUVs per month, but that number dwindled until eventually the plant was shuttered in 2005 and the property sold to the California-based Industrial Realty Group. We've heard the facility has since been rented out to a number of companies and we've even seen advanced driving courses being hosted on its expansive and now weed-ridden parking lot.
While slow sales once led to the Lorain plant's demise, the same situation today has given it a new purpose. Honda, which operates a number of plants in Ohio and takes full advantage of the state's existing network of rail lines, is renting the plant's parking lot to store up to 10,000 units of unsold inventory. The Japanese automaker, itself not used to having an overabundance of unsold vehicles on hand, has taken over the giant parking lot with a sea of Civics built in Ohio and Ontario, Acura MDX crossovers from Canada and Odyssey minivans from Alabama.
We've heard plenty of news reports about ports on each coast overflowing with unsold vehicles, but this is the first we've heard of a plant formerly owned and operated by a domestic being repurposed by an import automaker just for the use of storage. It's a sign of the times that companies are using creative solutions to get by, and this one ranks right up there.
[Source: Blog.Cleveland.com | Photo by Marvin Fong / The Plain Dealer]