Honda Ends U.S. Motorcycle ProductionBy Michelle Krebs July 30, 2009
In a strange juxtapositioning of the auto and motorcycle industries -- and a business decision that marks the end to an era -- Honda Motor Co. Ltd. this week said that after three decades, it ended production of motorcycles made in the U.S.
The Honda of America Manufacturing Marysville, Ohio, motorcycle assembly plant was in 1979 the start of the company's manufacturing footprint in the U.S. The HAM site eventually expanded to auto and engine production as well as major stamping and casting activities.
At the time of its closing, the motorcycle plant was exclusively building Honda's flagship motorcycle, the Goldwing. The reported capacity was about 70,000 units and Goldwings sold in the U.S. now will be imported from Japan.
But with U.S. motorcycle consumption on a steady decline for the past four years, Honda is said to have decided the advantages of localized production had diminished. The move is a contrast with Honda's recent automotive endeavors, which have created a dedicated North American research and development and engineering operations and the steady expansion of U.S. manufacturing capacity, including the construction of a second automotive assembly plant near Marysville in East Liberty, Ohio.
In 1982, Honda began making the Accord in Marysville and in 1985 started production of motorcycle engines. A year later, a plant in nearby Anna, Ohio, began assembly of auto engines, the first being a four-cylinder for the Civic; the same year, the company added a second auto assembly line in Marysville.
Honda continues with U.S. production of various off-road powersport vehicles and power-equipment pieces, but none of the powersports models are two-wheelers. -- Bill Visnic
Photo by Honda
Honda Goldwing no longer to be produced in the U.S.