Honda Investing $857 Million In Ontario Plants
About 4,300 of Honda’s Alliston, Ontario workers can feel safe about the future of their jobs. Honda Motor Co. has announced that they plan to invest $857 million into their Alliston manufacturing plants over three years. The facility includes two assembly plants and one engine plant. This investment will not only secure the Honda workers’ future, but will lead to millions of dollars of new business for Ontario-based auto parts companies that supply the plants.
The investment will be spend on upgrading the plants, which are set to become the global lead for production of the next generation of the Honda Civic. The company said that this is the first time that a plant located outside of Japan has been designated a “global lead plant.” Up to $8.57 million will come from a conditional grant offered by the province of Ontario. This provincial support helped Alliston to beat out other Honda plants around the world competing for this project. The government support is conditional on the company meeting job and investment targets, which are closely monitored to protect taxpayers’ investment; and will be rolled out over five years.
Once upgraded, the plant, located north of Toronto, will develop the manufacturing processes and tooling trials for each of the Honda plants worldwide that will build the upcoming generation of the Honda Civic. The assembly plants will receive modernization and new technologies and processes.
“I don’t think there’s any area of the factory that won’t be touched by this investment, when you’re tooling for a new generation Civic with all of the welding equipment, all the tooling – even our suppliers need to develop new tooling,” said Jerry Chenkin, president of Honda Canada Inc..
“With today’s $857 million investment, Honda is pleased to extend our commitment and deep manufacturing roots in Ontario. In 1986, we became the first Japanese auto company to manufacture in Ontario. Today, we employ more than 4,000 highly-skilled Ontarians in our three plants, have built over 6 million vehicles in this province and our total manufacturing investments in Ontario will now reach nearly $3.9 billion. I would like to thank the Government of Ontario for supporting our efforts to innovate and remain competitive in an increasingly aggressive global automotive market.”
Making the plants more efficient will help to insulate the Canadian plants from currency exchange-rate fluctuations which can make the factories uncompetitive with plants elsewhere making the same vehicles. “Our challenge is to become exchange-rate neutral so it doesn’t matter what happens, we can run a good business here” added Chenkin.
The Honda Civic has reigned as the best-selling passenger car in Canada for the past 16 years. The Alliston facilities produce as many as 390,000 Civic and CR-V models and 240,000 four-cylinder engines each year.
Since 1986, Honda has invested over $3.9 billion into their Canadian manufacturing. They were the first Japanese automaker to build a manufacturing plant in Canada.
By Linda Aylesworth – car-news.ca