Honda’s Alabama assembly plant has been a trailblazer for the Japanese automaker. Late in 2014, Honda’s Talladega County plant launched production on a new, $71.4 million engine assembly line with highly automated systems that perform a wide range of parts handling and installation tasks. A robotic station on the line can assemble 9,000 pistons a day, and there’s a fully automated piston installation process – breakthrough technology for Honda.
The new automated engine assembly line symbolizes Honda’s commitment to keeping its Alabama plant on the leading edge of technology and productivity. During the past three years, Honda has invested more than $510 million in the Lincoln assembly plant, adding 450 workers in expansion efforts aimed at improving flexibility and output. The automaker has invested a total of $2.2 billion in what has become its largest light truck production facility.
Located 40 miles east of Birmingham, Honda’s Alabama assembly plant produced its first vehicle – an Odyssey minivan – on Nov. 14, 2001. Since then, it has turned out just under 3.5 million vehicles and V-6 engines. Last year, the 3.7 million-square-foot facility produced more than 363,000 vehicles, along with the V-6 engines to power them.
Beside the Odyssey, the plant’s 4,000 workers assemble the Pilot sport utility vehicles and the Acura MDX, a luxury SUV. A redesigned Ridgeline pickup, along with an all-new Odyssey, is scheduled to return to Honda’s Alabama production lineup in 2016.