Welcome news from Honda
May 03, 2011 | 2981 views |  0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It’s welcome news that Honda is bringing production of its Acura MDX luxury sport utility vehicle to its Lincoln plant in 2013. That’s still far into the future, but this early announcement of those plans means Honda has big plans for the 4,000 people who now work in Alabama.

The production of the SUV is being moved from Canada to the U.S. It does not mean more jobs necessarily, but it does mean the parent company thinks highly of the Lincoln workforce and the addition of a fourth line to join the Odyssey minivan; the Pilot SUV and the Ridgeline pickup truck should offer more job security for the Honda workforce.

That announcement was paired with the somewhat unsettling news that the production levels now in effect will remain so at least through the first of July and possibly beyond that. The reduced production levels reflect the difficulty in getting parts in from Japan, which is still recovering from a massive earthquake and tsunami that has halted or slowed production in parts plants in Japan.

However, Honda is allowing its associates to continue working 40 hours per week even during times when production of automobiles is slowed or stopped. Maintenance and other tasks are performed to keep the employees working during a time when it is not possible to produce automotive products.

While full production would be nice, it speaks well of Honda that the company is trying to keep its associates drawing paychecks until the parts shortage ends. Spokesman Mark Morrison says that effort shows Honda’s commitment to keeping its team together.

That team obviously performs well. So well, in fact, that another product will be added in a couple of years. That’s good news.