Its cars might not be as American as apple pie, but Honda North America keeps the US appetite for Hondas sated. The subsidiary of Honda Motor coordinates the operations in North America that manufacture, market, and distribute Accord, Civic, and Acura cars, as well as Gold Wing, Shadow, and Valkyrie motorcycles. Of the 15 models made, Honda North America's best-selling cars include the Odyssey minivan and the CR-V SUV. Honda North America also markets hybrid versions of several of its sedans. New launches in 2009 include the Crosstour and Acura ZDX. Honda also makes jet and marine engines and power equipment. North America is Honda Motor's largest market, representing 45% of the carmaker's sales.
Approximately 1 million Hondas and Acuras are produced annually in North America. More than 80% of vehicles sold in the US are manufactured in one of seven North American plants -- four in the US, two in Canada, and one in Mexico. The company's $550 million Indiana assembly plant was completed in 2008 and began production of Civic sedans. Two new plants are being built for the production of the HondaJet and the General Electric/Honda HF120 turbofan engine. Testing on the engine, which is a product of a joint venture between GE & Honda, began in late 2009.
The automotive industry downturn that began in 2008 negatively affected Honda North America's 2009 revenues to a tune of almost 30%; unit sales were off by more than 20%. While the company responded in the usual manner -- reductions in workforce, limited production hours, and other cost-cutting measures -- it also answered the market contraction by introducing new models. It released the Pilot and the Fit in 2008 and the Insight hybrid in 2009. Acura also launched its TSX and TL in 2008.
In addition to global market challenges, Honda also faced a change in market demand due to increased fuel prices. The company made alterations to its manufacturing operations by paring back on vehicles with larger engines, such as the V-6 Accord, the Odyssey, and the Pilot, and increasing production of vehicles with four-cylinder engines.
American Honda Motor started in 1959 as a small motorcycle store in Los Angeles. Honda North America was established in 1987.
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