Fewer Honda Sedans Emerging From Midwest After Production Cut

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
fewer honda sedans emerging from midwest after production cut

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]

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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.

  • Jim Bonham Full EVs are not for everyone, they cannot meet all needs. Hybrids do a much better job of providing the benefits of EVs without most of the drawbacks. I have a hybrid sedan with plenty of room, plus all the bells and whistles. It has 360 hp, AWD, does 0-60 in just over 5 sec.(the instant torque is a real benefit), and I get 29 mpg, average. NOT driven lightly. I bought it used for $25k.Sure, it's a little heavier because of the battery, motor, etc., but not nearly as much as a full EV. The battery is smaller/lighter/cheaper and both the alternator and starter motor are eliminated since the motor assumes those functions. It's cool to watch the charge guage show I'm getting energy back when coasting and/or braking. It's even cooler to drive around part of the time on battery only. It really comes in handy in traffic since the engine turns off and you don't waste fuel idling. With the adaptive cruise control you just let the car slowly inch along by itself.I only wish it were a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). Then, I'd have A LOT more EV-only range, along with even more of that instant torque. The battery would be bigger, but still a fraction of the size of a full EV. I could easily go weeks without using much, if any gas (depending upon my commute) IF I plug it in every night. But I don't have to. The gas engine will charge the battery whenever it's needed.It's just not as efficient a way to do it.Electric companies offer special rates for both EVs and PHEVs which lower your operating cost compared to gasoline. They'll even give you a rebate to offset the cost of installing a home charger. You can still get federal (up to $7,500, plus some state) tax credits for PHEVs.What's not to like? My next daily driver will be a PHEV of some kind. Probably a performance-oriented one like the new Dodge Hornet or one of the German Hybrid SUVs. All the benefits, sound, feel, etc., of a gas vehicle along with some electric assist to improve fuel economy, performance, and drivability. None of the inherent EV issues of cost, range anxiety, long charging times, poor charger availability, grid capacity issues, etc. I think most people will eventually catch on to this and go PHEV instead of going full EV. Synthetic, carbon-neutral eFuels, hydrogen engines, and other things will also prevent full EVs from being 100% of the fleet, regardless of what the politicians say. PHEVs can be as "clean" (overall) as full EVs with the right fuels. They're also cheaper, and far more practical, for most people. They can do it all, EVs can't.
  • Ron rufo there is in WaSHINGTON STATE
  • ToolGuy @Chris, your photography rocks.
  • ToolGuy No War for Oli.If you have not ever held a piece of structural honeycomb (composite sandwich) in your own hands, try it.
  • ToolGuy You make them sound like criminals.