Honda Motor Co. is spending $50 million to expand a transmission factory in Ohio as Japan’s third-largest automaker upgrades U.S. assembly operations and works to restore full production slowed by the March earthquake.

This latest project brings Honda’s total new capital investment in its Ohio operations to more than $400 million, and more than $8 billion since the company started manufacturing in the state in 1979.

Honda Transmission Manufacturing of America Inc. said Wednesday that the 75,000-square-foot expansion at the plant in Russells Point will house high-pressure die-casting operations. A new melting furnace is expected to reduce waste and energy consumption.

When the projects are complete, Honda Transmission’s operations will encompass 1 million square feet.

“This latest investment in Ohio is another example of 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 President Yuji Takahashi.

“It also demonstrates our commitment to Honda’s Ohio production operations to reduce the environmental impact of our facilities while positioning this facility to compete at the highest levels on a global basis.”

The investment also includes construction of a new associate entrance, along with a new lobby entrance and activity center, at the south end of the facility.

Honda Transmission currently employs approximately 1,000 associates who manufacture transmissions and four-wheel-drive assemblies for automobiles produced at the Marysville and East Liberty auto plants in Ohio, as well as other plants in North America.

The impact of Honda Transmission’s production extends to some 50 domestic suppliers that provide more than 500 parts for the plant’s production.


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