Positive Terminals: Honda Announces EV Investment in Ohio

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

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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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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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).

  • Bkojote Allright, actual person who knows trucks here, the article gets it a bit wrong.First off, the Maverick is not at all comparable to a Tacoma just because they're both Hybrids. Or lemme be blunt, the butch-est non-hybrid Maverick Tremor is suitable for 2/10 difficulty trails, a Trailhunter is for about 5/10 or maybe 6/10, just about the upper end of any stock vehicle you're buying from the factory. Aside from a Sasquatch Bronco or Rubicon Jeep Wrangler you're looking at something you're towing back if you want more capability (or perhaps something you /wish/ you were towing back.)Now, where the real world difference should play out is on the trail, where a lot of low speed crawling usually saps efficiency, especially when loaded to the gills. Real world MPG from a 4Runner is about 12-13mpg, So if this loaded-with-overlander-catalog Trailhunter is still pulling in the 20's - or even 18-19, that's a massive improvement.
  • Lou_BC "That’s expensive for a midsize pickup" All of the "offroad" midsize trucks fall in that 65k USD range. The ZR2 is probably the cheapest ( without Bison option).
  • Lou_BC There are a few in my town. They come out on sunny days. I'd rather spend $29k on a square body Chevy
  • Lou_BC I had a 2010 Ford F150 and 2010 Toyota Sienna. The F150 went through 3 sets of brakes and Sienna 2 sets. Similar mileage and 10 year span.4 sets tires on F150. Truck needed a set of rear shocks and front axle seals. The solenoid in the T-case was replaced under warranty. I replaced a "blend door motor" on heater. Sienna needed a water pump and heater blower both on warranty. One TSB then recall on spare tire cable. Has a limp mode due to an engine sensor failure. At 11 years old I had to replace clutch pack in rear diff F150. My ZR2 diesel at 55,000 km. Needs new tires. Duratrac's worn and chewed up. Needed front end alignment (1st time ever on any truck I've owned).Rear brakes worn out. Left pads were to metal. Chevy rear brakes don't like offroad. Weird "inside out" dents in a few spots rear fenders. Typically GM can't really build an offroad truck issue. They won't warranty. Has fender-well liners. Tore off one rear shock protector. Was cheaper to order from GM warehouse through parts supplier than through Chevy dealer. Lots of squeaks and rattles. Infotainment has crashed a few times. Seat heater modual was on recall. One of those post sale retrofit.Local dealer is horrific. If my son can't service or repair it, I'll drive 120 km to the next town. 1st and last Chevy. Love the drivetrain and suspension. Fit and finish mediocre. Dealer sucks.
  • MaintenanceCosts You expect everything on Amazon and eBay to be fake, but it's a shame to see fake stuff on Summit Racing. Glad they pulled it.