For the first time in its multi-decade history of selling cars in the United States, Honda (NYSE:HMC) has exported more vehicles from tis facilities in the U.S. than it imported from its factories in Japan. Last year, Honda produced a record 1.3 million vehicles, a 7 percent increase over 2012.
Of that total, 108,705 vehicles were shipped out of the country. Honda brought just 88,537 vehicles into the United States from Japan, a meaningful sign that the company is serious about its investments in the American labor force.
“Achieving net-exporter status is a natural result of our commitment and investment in the U.S. and North America,” Tetsuo Iwamura, president and CEO of Honda North America, said in a statement. Honda has been exporting vehicles from its U.S. facilities since 1987. “The achievement of this tremendous milestone is a result of the efforts of the tens of thousands of associates in America who develop and produce our vehicles and those who manage the export of these products to customers in global markets.”
Honda was also the first Japanese company to begin building vehicles on U.S. soil, starting with the Marysville, Ohio, plant in 1982. Last year, Honda’s North American production rose 5 percent to 1.78 million Honda and Acura vehicles.
“In just a few decades, the expansion of free trade and growth in U.S. operations has transformed Honda from importing 100 percent of the cars sold in the U.S. to establishing the U.S. as an export and production hub,” said Rick Schostek, senior vice president of Honda North America. “Each vehicle we manufacture for global customers is unique to that country, and our associates are engineering and manufacturing automobiles that meet their expectations for quality and value.”
Some $2.7 billion in investments in its American facilities later, almost 95 percent of all the Honda and Acura cars and trucks that are sold in the U.S. are made locally in North America. Honda also pointed out that it is the only automaker to have three car lines — the Civic, CR-V, and Accord — that sold more than 300,000 units in the United States in 2013, all which are manufactured in North America.