Honda Manufacturing of Indiana LLC will Wednesday showcase its newest model produced at the Greensburg plant. The 2017 CR-V line is the result of a $50 million investment announced last year by the manufacturer. HMIN President Bob Nelson tells Inside INdiana Business the new production gives the company more flexibility as customer taste continues to evolve.
Nelson says the plant and its 2,400 employees have had to make adjustments. "Always that new technology that comes with a new product requires us to plan carefully for the installation and the processes and the testing of that technology," he said. "And, of course, all new processes for the associate, that’s the main thing." Nelson says the addition of building a light truck model in a facility that produces small cars like the Honda Civic Sedan requires line preparations to accommodate different components such as the CR-V’s tailgate and increases to painting capacity for the larger chassis.
A key component to the company’s investment was the addition of a $12 million Associate Research Center, which Nelson says has already been in use. "We have conducted quite a bit of training in that facility. We are continuing to grow that with large plans for our next fiscal year to continue to grow the utilization of that training facility," he said. The research center has been used so far to boost technical skills of its workers.
Nelson says "market demand does change between light truck and passenger cars, so we feel this is a wonderful blend for us to be able to flex our production according to customers’ demand." HMIN pumps out 1,000 cars per day and Nelson says measures have been taken to keep up the pace. The company says producing the Civic Sedan and the CR-V means the plant will have both the top retail-selling compact car and "the outright best-selling SUV" in America under its roof. The facility launched in Decatur County nearly nine years ago.
HMIN President Bob Nelson says the plant and its 2,400 employees have had to make adjustments.