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Honda Scales Back Marysville Production Amid Lagging Sales

Workers on the Honda assembly line in Marysville, Ohio.
Steve Brown
/
WOSU
Workers build Honda Accords at the Honda factory in Marysville,ohio

Honda is slowing down production of the Accord and Civic cars at its factory in Marysville as car buyers eye trucks and SUVs.

There’s nothing wrong with the Honda Accords rolling off the assembly line in Marysville.  The 2018 model won North American car of the year honors, but sales of the flagship sedan have been slipping since 2015.

In a statement Honda officials explain they’re shuttering the second shift on one of the Marysville production lines temporarily starting in July with an eye on resuming it in a few years.

The change will impact engine and transmission production as well. Honda officials aren’t planning layoffs, saying instead they expect ordinary attrition will even out the workforce.

The production line facing reductions produces two Accord models, the CR-V, the Acura ILX and Acura TLX. A second line, which is devoted to building Accords exclusively, will continue production as usual.

While the current auto market is shifting from sedans to light trucks, the statement notes younger and more culturally diverse buyers still favor passenger cars. Honda considers that market segment “critical” to its future, and says it “remains committed to a robust sedan business.”

Sales of the Accord this year are up 4.6 percent through March but fell nearly 10 percent last year. Civic sales are down nearly 5 percent so far this year to 78,185, according to Autodata Corp. They fell almost 14 percent last year.

CR-V sales, however, are up 6.4 percent through March to 87,280. Trucks and SUVs have made up almost 70 percent of U.S. new vehicle sales this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.