bikeheader

Honda will cease motorcycle
production in United States

Automaker says 13,000 workers at Ohio plants will get other duties

Associated Press

Honda Motor Co. plans to stop producing motorcycles in the United States next year and will transfer production to Japan, the automaker announced Wednesday.

Honda currently makes motorcycles at its plant in Marysville, Ohio, employing 450 workers.

Honda said there will be no layoffs when production ends in spring 2009. The workers will remain with the company, helping produce cars, trucks, engines and parts and filling other jobs at Honda's other operations in west-central Ohio.

The motorcycle plant opened in 1979 as Honda's first U.S. plant. Last year, it made 44,000 Gold Wing touring and VTX cruiser bikes.

Honda said motorcycle production at the Marysville plant and at the Hamamatsu factory in Japan will be consolidated at a new motorcycle plant in Kumamoto, Japan, in 2009. It is part of a global plan to produce certain larger motorcycles, Honda said.

''This move allows us to improve the competitiveness and appeal of our products by applying the latest technologies and production systems at one efficient location,'' said Akio Hamada, president and CEO of Honda of America.

Honda employs about 13,000 workers at five plants in Ohio — two in Marysville and one each in East Liberty, Anna and Russells Point. Besides motorcycles, workers make the Accord, Civic, Element, CR-V, Acura TL and RDX sport-utility vehicle.

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