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Honda breaks ground on Mexico transmission plant

Keywords: Tags  Honda Motor, Honda de Mexico, transmission plant, continuously variable transmissions, Corinna Petry

CHICAGO — Honda Motor Co. Ltd.’s Mexican subsidiary has broken ground on a $470-million transmission plant in Celaya, the company said.

The facility, which will be adjacent to an assembly plant that will begin mass production early next year of the 2015 Honda Fit, will begin producing continuously variable transmissions in the second half of 2015 at an initial annual production capacity of 350,000 units.

Honda de México SA de CV expects to at least double annual output of continuously variable transmissions produced in Celaya, it said. In addition to supporting the adjacent assembly line, this plant will ship transmissions to Honda automotive plants outside Mexico.

By placing a transmission plant on campus with the new $800-million assembly operations, Honda de México said its production structure will be very efficient, sourcing content in Mexico, the rest of North America and globally. Honda will employ 4,700 people in Celaya when the assembly, engine and transmission plants are in full operation.

The Tokyo-based automaker already makes transmissions in Ohio and Georgia, and will increase its annual North American production capacity to more than 1.7 million units in 2016 from 1.4 million units, and will surpass 2 million units when the Mexican plant reaches full capacity.

With the new 200,000-unit Celaya assembly plant scheduled to begin operation early next year, Honda de México’s annual vehicle production capacity will increase to 263,000 units. Honda sold 54,000 units in Mexico last year, more than double 2011 levels, and sales volumes are expected to rise steadily.

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