Honda engine plant workers assemble new Earth Dreams engines

Production of the "Earth Dreams" powertrains that will slot into the 2013 Honda Accord has begun at the Japanese automaker's Anna Engine and Honda Transmission Mfg. plants, both of which will supply the Ohio assembly lines where the Accord is built.

As one would expect with car as important to Honda as the ninth-generation Accord, the company has made a huge investment in the North American debut of its new direct-injected, 2.4-liter four-cylinder, a new CVT transmission, and a 3.5-liter V6 and its optional six-speed automatic. Honda has spent $220 million on expansions, casting operations and automated lines for its associates, and the plant is now able to make 1.8 million Earth Dreams engines annually.

The new engines are said to be good for a 10-percent improvement in fuel economy compared to current offerings, and the powerplants will eventually migrate to other models in Honda's lineup. Check out the press release below for more information.
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Honda Plants Start Producing 'Earth Dreams' Engines, Transmissions for All-new 2013 Honda Accord
9th Generation Accord Launches at Marysville Auto Plant on Monday, Aug. 20


ANNA and RUSSELLS Point, Ohio, Aug. 16, 2012 – Honda's engine and transmissions plants in Ohio today started mass production of Honda's new "Earth Dreams" powertrain series, a new generation of engines and transmissions that will make their U.S. debut on the all-new 2013 Honda Accord that will begin mass production this Monday at Honda's auto plant in Marysville, Ohio.

Along with a total redesign of the vehicle, the ninth-generation Accord is the first in North America to apply Honda's Earth Dreams engine and transmission technologies that offer improved fuel efficiency and fun-to-drive performance. This includes a new four-cylinder direct injection engine paired with a new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), and a new V-6 engine with 6-speed automatic transmission that provide an excellent combination of fuel efficiency and performance.

"This next generation of technological advancements in our powertrains will greatly enhance both driving performance and fuel efficiency," said John Spoltman, plant manager of the Anna Engine Plant. "Our associates have incredible experience and they are employing all of their skills to launching this exciting new series of engines for an Accord that will excel in all areas."

Honda is investing $220 million to launch the CVT production for the vehicles produced in North America, including $120 million at Honda Transmission Mfg. of America for the new CVT line that started mass production today, and nearly $100 million at the Anna Engine Plant for the production of the CVT's high-tech pulley components starting next year.

The expanded production will create 150 jobs at the two plants.

"Our continuing investments in Ohio illustrate how we intend to meet the needs of our global customers by implementing advanced technologies in our production operations and in our products," said Honda Transmission Plant Manager Gary Hand. "Our associates are looking forward to delivering best quality as we launch these new CVTs and six-speed automatic transmissions."

Associates at Honda Transmission are assembling the Accord CVTs on a new, highly automated assembly line constructed as part of a $70 million, 200,000-squre-foot plant expansion. An additional $50 million is being invested in a 75,000-square-foot expansion of the facility for additional aluminum casting operations to support the CVT assembly line.

At the Anna Engine Plant, construction is under way to utilize 84,000-square-feet of space for production of the CVT pulley components, which involves highly precise lathing, heat-treating, grinding and subassembly operations. Production of the CVT pulleys will begin at the engine plant next year, when that production will transfer from initial CVT pulley production in Japan.

Following assembly at Honda Transmission, the CVTs and six-speed automatic transmissions are shipped to the Anna Engine Plant, where they are joined to the engines at the end of the engine assembly operations. Then the powertrain components are shipped to the Accord assembly lines at the Marysville Auto Plant. With capacity to manufacture 1.18 million V-6 and four-cylinder engines annually, the Anna plant is the largest automobile engine factory in Honda's global production network.

The 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe will feature all-new powertrains, including the first U.S. application of the new Earth Dreams 2.4-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine. The engine will be paired with a 6-speed manual transmission or the new CVT that utilizes an innovative control system for excellent acceleration and responsive shifting. The Accord Sedan and Coupe also will be offered with a new 3.5-liter V-6 engine, paired to a new 6-speed automatic transmission or an available 6-speed manual transmission.

About Honda in Ohio
Based on Honda's longstanding commitment to "build products close to the customer," Honda began operations at its first U.S. auto plant nearly 30 years ago, on Nov. 1, 1982, in Marysville, Ohio. The Marysville plant currently employs approximately 4,400 associates. In addition to producing both the four-cylinder and V6 models of the Accord Sedan and Coupe, the Marysville plant is the sole manufacturing site for the Acura TL luxury Sedan. Honda and Acura vehicles are produced using domestic and globally sourced parts.

Honda also operates an auto plant in East Liberty, Ohio, that builds the segment-leading Honda CR-V compact sport-utility vehicle (SUV) and the Honda Crosstour crossover utility vehicle, and the Acura RDX luxury SUV. Honda has the capacity to build 680,000 automobiles annually at its two Ohio auto plants.

In addition to manufacturing, Honda has established substantial R&D operations in Ohio, along with other operations that support product development, manufacturing and sales of Honda and Acura products in North America. The company employs more than 13,500 Ohioans and tens of thousands more through its suppliers and other business partners.