Honda to build $70 million plant

Company that employs thousands locally will make new sports car.

Honda, which employs 2,700 people from the Dayton-Springfield area, will invest $70 million in Ohio and transfer 100 current employees to build a new high-end sports car in Marysville.

The company hosted media and government officials Tuesday in what will become its new manufacturing plant — the former North American Logistics building next to the company’s current operations Marysville operations.

“It’s a home run for our state,” said Gov. John Kasich at the event. “It won’t just capture the attention of the Midwest, and not just the attention of our nation, it will get the attention of the whole world.”

Spokesman Ron Lietzke said when the project was initially announced last year, he had interest from as far away as Russia and Brazil.

Honda announced the new Acura NSX in 2012 and said later at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit that the sports car would be built in Ohio.

The NSX, which was on display at the event, will feature Honda’s latest technology, such as a V6 engine that is connected to a 3-motor hybrid and a new all-wheel drive system.

The sports car is meant to be both “a great road car and a great car on the race track,” said Ted Klaus, chief engineer and the NSX large project director.

Now that the announcement has been made, Honda will select 100 people from across Ohio’s Honda plants to build the car.

“It will be two years until we start making the NSX, but we’re getting the associates earlier because they’re the experts and will help us decide the process and how we want to set up the facility,” said Clement D’Souza, associate chief engineer and manufacturing project leader.

Honda will pull the employees from its area plants, including Marysville, East Liberty Auto Plant, the transmission plant in Russells point and the Anna Engine Plant, which will produce the NSX engines.

About 1,500 people in Clark and Champaign counties work for Honda, which employs about 1,200 others in the rest of the Miami Valley.

Honda has invested about $300 million in Ohio in the last year and has more than 13,500 workers in the state.

Honda of America president and CEO Hidenobu Iwata said Marysville was chosen for production because of its staff.

“The location of this facility is in the midst of one of the greatest collections of engineering talent in the world,” Iwata said at the plant. “We have an outstanding team of (Research and Development) engineers just down the road who will lead the development of the NSX. And they will work closely with a team of manufacturing engineers who have more than 30 years of production experience in Ohio.”

The original Acura NSX was built in Japan starting in 1990, and it changed plants several times within the country.

Now, Ohio will be the base for the Acura NSX. Lietzke said the company has been touring with the NSX globally.

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