Honda, after its losses from the recent earthquake in Japan and flooding in Thailand, is clearly on the rebound. On the other hand, Coda Automotive is on teetering on the edge of financial problems that is affecting its manpower complement.
In a recent statement, Honda has opened its Marysville, Ohio plant to begin assembly of the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid within 2013. The Accord Hybrid is the redesigned 2013 accord but utilizes the more complex plug-in hybrid propulsion system. The vehicle would go on sale by the fall, according to Honda spokesperson Ron Lietzke.
The Marysville plant is currently manufacturing the Accord Coupe and Sedan, together with the Acura TL. There are 4,400 employees in the plant and an additional fifty employees as well as an increase of US$23 million in investments.
There are two other hybrid models currently being built in the United States, namely the Civic Hybrid and the Acura ILX Hybrid, both in the Greensburg, IN. The first Accords were built in the Marysville plant back in 1982 amidst skepticism from consumer experts as to the capacity of American workers ability to meet the high quality demands of the vehicle. This was clearly addressed after a number of reliability studies have shown that it was the assembly methodologies that created the quality vehicle and not the nationality of the workers. Overall, there are four plants for Honda in the state of Ohio employing 13,500 individuals and comprising nearly U.S. $800 million in total investments in the country. In these plants engines and transmissions are built, as well as the research and design center where engineers can design new models.
This is a far cry from the landscape that Coda Automotive is currently in. Last December 26, 2012, the company announced through its Facebook page that its Coda Experience Center, located at the Westfield Mall in Century City, would be closed down. This was soon followed by layoffs last January 4, 2013, after laying off fifteen percent of its total staff last December alone.
In a statement, Coda said, “(Coda) furloughed a number of employees as the Company takes necessary action to bolster its financing and better position the business going forward.” It added, “The Company has kept in place a sufficient number of staff to keep the Company operational and remains committed to the continued development and distribution of its products.”
The company reassured that it will continue to provide services to its dealers and customers and termed that this is “a temporary action to allow the company to strategically direct resources towards critical operations and put the Company on a more sustainable path.”