Positive Terminals: Honda Announces EV Investment in Ohio

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
positive terminals honda announces ev investment in ohio

It has been exactly 45 years since Honda announced it would put plans in motion to begin building vehicles in the United States. Given that important date in company history, we shouldn’t be too surprised it chose today to announce they are investing several billion dollars in Ohio, all earmarked for EVs.

Honda will establish an entirely new joint venture facility to produce battery modules, plowing an estimated $3.5 billion into this effort and bringing over two thousand jobs to the area in and around Fayette County. Plans currently call to begin construction next year and company spox say they expect the place to pump out the mass production of battery modules by the end of 2025. The company will be tag teaming with LG Energy Solutions as their EV battery partner.

In addition, Honda will transform Honda's Marysville Auto Plant (MAP), East Liberty Auto Plant (ELP), and Anna Engine Plant (AEP) with an eye to its electrified future. This will consume about $700 million in re-tooling costs, enabling AEP associates to produce battery cases which will be combined with the battery modules from the new Honda/LG plant. That marriage will happen on a sub-assembly line at MAP, with the complete battery unit then installed in EVs built by associates at both MAP and ELP.

Back when Honda first announced its intent to build cars in Ohio, surely there were few people who would have predicted the amount of success the brand would have in this country. Big H plants in Ohio have cranked out more than 20 million vehicles in the intervening forty years; combined with umpteen gazillion vehicles imported from Honda's other factories around the world, Honda's market share in America has risen from 2.5 percent in 1979 to roughly 9.0 percent today. If you’re wondering, GM’s slice has shrunk from about 45 percent to approximately 17 percent in the same time frame.

Editor's Note: We'll note here, thanks to one of our resident Ohioan's knowledge of local history, that this announcement comes shortly before the 2022 election in which current Ohio governor Mike DeWine is running for re-election, and politicians always try to benefit from announcements of potential job creation in their state. Sometimes, they benefit more directly -- though we can't prove any shady dealings, an old New York Times piece suggests that the then-current governor of Ohio seemed pretty tight with those who stood to profit off the land deal when Honda first came to town.

The alert amongst the B&B will note the hero image for this post is the Honda Prologue, a vehicle that has already been announced and will be built on the bones of GM’s Ultium electrified architecture. These facilities announced by Honda today will produce cars based on its new Honda e:Architecture. The type and volume remain unknown but it is safe to say, based on current market trends, most of them will be in the vague shape of an SUV or crossover.

Speaking of the Prologue, recall it is planned for those vehicles to be assembled by General Motors at an as-yet undisclosed factory, though popular opinion points to a GM’s facility in Mexico which began retooling for EV production earlier this year. The new, multi-billion dollar battery plant in the Buckeye State will permit Honda to wean itself off General Motors over the next number of years.

How many years? It’s tough to say when the Prologue will cease production (and it is odd to be speculating on the demise of a product that has yet to be officially launched) but suits at today’s event in Ohio suggested the company is aiming for “production and sales” of Honda e:Architecture by the 2026 calendar year. This means the Prologue is likely to sell side-by-each of whatever EVs Honda builds using its own gubbins – at least for a model year or two.

[Image: Honda]

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7 of 11 comments
  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Oct 11, 2022

    Wow, 45 years! Just a year after the Accord went on sale. There were waiting lists for Accords, with people paying $5000 for a $3500 car. I was in high school then, and a classmate's dad had paid $500 to a dealer, under the table, to get on a list to order one.

    I wonder how excited GM workers are about building cars for Honda? What will the quality be like?

    • See 3 previous
    • NormSV650 NormSV650 on Oct 12, 2022

      There are almost 4,000 new Accords for sake on autotrader. No one is waiting for a Honda Accord unless they ordered one.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Oct 11, 2022

    I hope the people of Ohio were generous with tax deferment offers for Honda's corporate welfare. Or else they could leave town.

    • Bullnuke Bullnuke on Oct 11, 2022

      When Honda was scouting Ohio all those years ago, they chose the locations of the proposed assembly plants carefully. Fayette County is very similar to the current counties (Logan, Union, and Shelby) in a couple respects. That last 45 years have been very successful for them and the careful selection of plant locations is a significant part of that. Likewise a couple major Honda-controlled suppliers are located in similar counties (Champaign and Darke).

  • MelanieRichardson GOOD
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