Honda of America Manufacturing has just announced a plan to temporarily suspend the second shift on all Line 1 of the Marysville Auto Plant. Officials at the company say that the suspension is expected to begin the first of August. Furthermore, they say that second shift is expected to resume within just a few years.
They also comment that this slowdown should help to enable the plant to align its supply along with the current market demand. In addition, the hope is that the slight hiatus will allow for more time and focus to update manufacturing capabilities in order to prepare the motor vehicle company to implement new technologies that will address consumer demand in the near future. This includes things like full electrification, of course, and perhaps autonomy as well.
Fortunately, Honda of America has reassured that even with a definite slowdown coming, it is not expected to impact employment. Or, rather, the company expects that workforce adjustments will help to manage employed so people can keep working. However, the change will definitely impact production at the Anna Engine Plant and Honda Transmission, as well as many other Honda suppliers and even related logistics firms.
According to Honda officials, “While market demand continues to shift from sedans to light trucks, Honda remains committed to a robust sedan business as passenger cars remain popular, particularly among young and multicultural car buyers, who are critical to Honda’s future.”
Indeed, a recent analysis of market trends and sales data supports what Honda describes. Details intimate that 55 percent of first-time car buyers are more likely to buy a passenger car, but with this youngest generation, those numbers jump to 70 percent.
Essentially, then, this slowdown will effect one assembly line that is typically responsible for about 55,000 vehicles every year. And these vehicles include what used to be some of Honda’s most popular models, like the Accord sedan as well as the Accord FHEV, the Honda CR-V, and Acura models ILX, TLX.
And the numbers support this: Accord sales might be up 4.6 percent through March of this but that still doesn’t accommodate the 10 percent drop, overall, last year. Similarly, sales of the Honda civic are also down about 5 percent, this year; adding to a 14 percent drop last year. CR-V sales are up, a little, but trucks and SUVs have surged nearly 70 percent in new vehicle purchases, over last year.