Honda is turning to Indiana for a significant first step in an ambitious goal – to have two-thirds of its global auto sales involve electrified vehicles by 2030. The 2019 Honda Insight, being produced at Honda Manufacturing of Indiana in Greensburg, is a key component of the Honda Electrification Initiative.
In May, the automaker announced it is pumping more than $30 million in new investment into the Decatur County plant as it begins production of the hybrid sedan. The project includes a nearly 20,000 square-foot physical expansion to make room for the vehicle’s assembly. It’s all to support Honda Manufacturing of Indiana’s first time producing an electrified vehicle.
Honda Manufacturing of Indiana Senior Vice President Tim Myers says the operation, which was founded in 2008, is well-prepared for this moment.
“Over those 10 years, we’ve demonstrated an ability to produce high-quality vehicles,” says Myers. This was the next step for us. We’ve got an experienced team that has a lot of capabilities, and this is sort of our first step into environmental vehicles. We have demonstrated capabilities to launch successfully in the past.”
Honda says the Insight has a projected 55 miles-per-gallon rating in city driving. The company says the vehicle’s design reflects a key component of its electrification strategy moving forward. The automaker plans to put electrified powertrains into virtually all of its core models in the coming years.
Myers says it’s no surprise Honda looked to Indiana to play a key role in the electrification initiative, which it launched at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. He says Greensburg has been a “success story” for the company, and gives much of the credit to the workforce and their continuing input.
“They get a chance to voice issues and concerns,” says Myers. “They are actively involved in the development and implementation of new model launches and new technology.”
Honda employs more than 2,400 in Decatur County.
He also credits the plant’s flexibility. With the new production, the Greensburg operation is producing the Insight, Civic and CR-V, marking the first time the facility has produced three different vehicles under one roof. Myers says, with the new investment, the plant’s capacity is now about 250,000 vehicles per year.
The electrification goal is just part of Honda’s green efforts. The automaker has also set a goal to cut its total company carbon dioxide emission level from the year 2000 in half by 2050. In addition to the $32.5 million spent in Indiana, Honda has brought additional investment to three Ohio plants that manufacture the Insight’s powertrain. The automaker says it pumped a total of $29 million into plants in Russells Point, Marysville and Anna, Ohio plants.
The 2019 Insight launches at Honda dealerships this summer. The release is just the latest sign of a growing trend of manufacturers going green with their operations, and turning to the Hoosier workforce to make it happen.
Honda Manufacturing of Indiana Senior Vice President Tim Myers says Indiana has been a success story for the automaker.
Honda Manufacturing of Indiana Senior Vice President Tim Myers says Greensburg is a natural site for the investment.