Honda car production slows at Ohio plant; company shifts to SUVs

Local News
2018 Honda Accord_489297

MARYSVILLE, Ohio (AP/WKBN) – Honda is slowing production of Accord sedans as car buyers continue to favor SUVs and trucks.

The Japanese automaker says it will temporarily idle a second-shift production line in August at its Marysville, Ohio, assembly plant. The shift is expected to resume production in several years.

Honda says the line being shut down produces about 55,000 vehicles a year, most of which are Accords.

A company spokeswoman says that there will be no layoffs, but that Honda will offer voluntary buyouts to some employees.

Honda says the reduction also will affect production at its engine and transmission plants in Ohio.

Sales of the Accord this year are up 4.6% through March but fell nearly 10% last year.  

Trucks and SUVs have made up 70% of U.S. new vehicle sales this year.

The production slowdown mirrors steps General Motors took with the Lordstown facility years ago, which is now closed. 

The third shift at GM Lordstown was eliminated in 2017 and the second shift in 2018. At the time, there was talk that both shifts could return, but they never did.  

GM announced late last year that they were ending production at the Lordstown plant in favor of building more SUVs and concentrating on autonomous vehicle production. The plant was closed in March. 

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