Honda Motor Co. hopes to improve productivity and to improve the fuel economy of the models that were designed and assembled in North America. And to do that, it will spend $355 million to upgrade its plants in Ohio where it opened its first U.S. wind tunnel.
Ron Lietzke, spokesman for the company's assembly unit, said that the projects in Ohio include $166 million of improvements to the East Liberty plant and a $64 million stamping press at its Marysville facility.
Lietzke said that Honda wouldn't divulge the cost of its wind tunnel or the added projects in its engineering center in Raymond. He said, “The driver of the projects is to improve all our characteristics.”
He also didn’t say if the changes are expected to result to higher output. Honda’s facilities are getting renovations in preparation of a plan to resume normal operations in North America after it suffered delays and shortages as the result of the disaster in Japan.
Industrywide deliveries increased by 11% but its U.S. sales dropped 2.6% this year through July and its market share decreased from 10.6% to 9.3%.
Honda’s data shoed that the production at Honda's auto-assembly plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico fell by 26% to 559,981 from January to July from 754,807 units the previous year.