By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co’s U.S. unit said on Tuesday it would move production of its Accord sedan to Indiana in 2025 after assembling the model in Marysville, Ohio for more than 40 years, as part of its shift to electric vehicle (EV) production.Marysville will be Honda’s first U.S. auto plant to transition to making EVs.
The move comes after Honda and South Korea’s LG Energy Solution Ltd in October announced they would build planned $4.4 billion joint-venture battery plant at a site near Jeffersonville, Ohio and broke ground earlier this month.
The battery plant, to be completed by the end of 2024, will cover more than 2 million square feet (185,806 square meters) and aims for about 40 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of annual production capacity.
Honda said last year it was separately investing $700 million to retool three Ohio plants for electric vehicle production by 2026, including Marysville.
Marysville will begin preparing for EV production as early as January by consolidating its two production lines to one to enable it to begin building the EV infrastructure, the company said.
Honda began assembling the Accord at its Marysville in November 1982, making it the first Japanese automaker to produce cars in the United States. It has since produced more than 12.5 million Accords at the Ohio plant.
In 1989, the Accord was the first Japanese model to hold the title of best-selling U.S. car, with 362,700 vehicles sold.
In recent years, Americans have been moving away from sedans to sport utility and crossover vehicles. Honda sold 154,600 Accords in the U.S. last year, down 24% from 2021.
Honda said Accord production will be transferred to its Indiana auto plant, which builds the Civic Hatchback and CR-V.
Honda’s transmission plant in Georgia will dedicate one production line to e-axle production – a key EV component – and its Anna, Ohio engine plant will shift production of some engine components to a Honda engine plant in Alabama to prepare for production of battery cases for EV models, the company said.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Jamie Freed)