Fewer Honda Sedans Emerging From Midwest After Production Cut

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Two Honda plants in Indiana and Ohio bear the brunt of a decision made last spring to tap the brakes on Civic and Accord production. At the start of the month, Honda of America suspended the second shift on one of two lines at Ohio’s Marysville Assembly Plant, the result of flagging sales that show no signs of reversal.

While Honda categorizes the move as temporary, the second shift’s return will have to wait “a few years.”

Details of the shift cut come from Honda spokesman Chris Abbruzzese. In a message to Motor1, he claimed the shift cut will not impact production of the Acura TLX and ILX, which also call Marysville home.

“While the one line that was affected by the temporary shift reduction did manufacture Accord, CR-V, ILX and TLX, the production adjustment will primarily affect Accord and Civic, built at the Marysville Auto Plant and Honda Manufacturing of Indiana (HMIN), respectively,” he wrote. “This impacts HMIN because both MAP [Marysville] and HMIN build CR-V, so we have the flexibility to shift some production of CR-V to HMIN. This does not impact Acura production at this time.”

Two shifts will continue on Marysville’s Line 2, Abbruzzese said, adding that the decision is all “about maintaining Honda’s sales discipline and smart management of our business by aligning supply with current market demand.” The automaker plans to maintain “a robust sedan business,” he said.

Civic production also takes place at a plant in Ontario, Canada. While Honda’s assertion that the second Line 1 shift at Marysville will return could be viewed with suspicion, the automaker has promised to move production of Civics currently built in the UK and Turkey to North American plants in 2021. That has everything to do with streamlining and achieving a 100 percent plant utilization rate.

In February, Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo said the move would mean North Americans will source all of their Civics from within the region.

In the U.S., Accord sales fell 5.9 percent through July, mirroring declines seen by other players in the segment. The model’s post-recession high water mark came in 2014. The Civic, on the other hand, had a boffo month of July, with sales rising 10.9 percent, year over year. This summertime performance wasn’t enough to budge its year-to-date tally into the black, however — Civic sales are down 2.1 percent through the end of last month. The best sales year in the model’s U.S. history was 2017.

[Images: Chris Tonn/TTAC, Honda]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Hamtrelvis Hamtrelvis on Aug 09, 2019

    The colors of remaining 2019 Touring inventory in my neck of the woods are mostly black, a few silver, and a few white -- so darn boring. I love driving my 2003 Accord EX six cylinder automatic but, as it's starting to rust around the wheel wells, I've been looking at new sedans. The only one that really turns me on is the Lexus ES350, other than the touchpad which is the spawn of hell.

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    • SPPPP SPPPP on Aug 13, 2019

      The metallic gray "Modern Steel" is pretty nice in person, even if it looks bland in photos. The lighter "Lunar Silver" is nice too, if a little bland. More variety in colors would certainly be nice.

  • TomLU86 TomLU86 on Aug 09, 2019

    I hope Joe Brick is wrong, but I think he is correct. GM is cutting Equinox production also. The stock market is the fattening of the calf...before the slaughter. We are drowning in debt at all levels...it's not sustainable. Get your old car in great shape now...

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    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Aug 11, 2019

      @sgeffe "If I had to choose one of the Chevy CUVs..." Personally, were I confronted with this choice I would take that long, hard look in the mirror and seriously evaluate my life choices.

  • RobbyG $100k+...for a Jeep. Are they selling these in fantasy land?Twin turbo V-6 paired to an 8-speed transmission. Yet still only gets 14mpg.Whatever money you think you would save over a V-8 will be spent 2-3x amount fixing these things when they blow up.
  • Alan Well the manufacturers are catching up with stocks. This means shortages of parts is reducing. Stocks are building around the world even Australia and last year had the most vehicles ever sold here.
  • Larry You neglected to mention that the 2024 Atlas has a US Government 5-Star Safety Rating.
  • Alan Why is it that Toyota and Nissan beat their large SUVs (Patrol/300 Series) with an ugly stick and say they are upmarket? Whilst they are beating the vehicles with an ugly stick they reduce the off road ability rather than improve it.As I've stated in previous comments you are far better off waiting for the Patrol to arrive than buy an overpriced vehicle.
  • Alan How many people do you see with a 4x4 running mud tyres? How many people do you see with a 4x4 running massive rims and low profile tyres? How many people have oversize mirrors for towing once in a blue moon? How many 4x4s do you see lifted? How many people care what tyres they run to save fuel? The most comfortable tyres are more or less the most economical.
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