Honda invests $355 million in mpg-increasing wind tunnel, other upgrades at Ohio sites

Honda Motor is making $355 million worth of upgrades at two facilities in Ohio and has opened its first-ever U.S. wind tunnel. The end goal here is to eke out more fuel efficiency gains from vehicles designed, built and sold in North America.
The Ohio projects for the first Japanese automaker to manufacture vehicles in the U.S. include $166 million of improvements to its factory in East Liberty and a $64 million stamping press at its Marysville site, according to Ron Lietzke, spokesman for Honda's assembly division. Honda didn't disclose the cost of the wind tunnel or other specific modifications that will be made to its engineering center in East Liberty.

Lietzke says the upgrades will "improve all our characteristics," even though boosting output is not the main goal. Lietzke did say that, "If we end up increasing production capacity as a result, that's fine."

Honda is refurbishing its factories as it prepares to return to full production in North America next month following parts shortages triggered by Japan's March quake that left the company with only a limited amount of vehicles to sell.

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