The Honda Accord Hybrid is returning to the market, a 2014 model that will be built at the automaker’s manufacturing facility in Marysville, Ohio. This manufacturing plant, opened in 1982, is Honda’s first US production plant. The company will add 95,000 square feet to accommodate the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid and plans to hire 50 new workers.
The new hybrid model joins two others built by Honda in the United States. The Acura ILX Hybrid and Honda Civic Hybrid are assembled at Honda’s Greensburg, Ind., manufacturing plant.
The Marysville upgrade represents a $23 million investment by Honda. The main assembly line will be stretched and more space will be made available for parts that are unique to the vehicle. Honda says that the expansion will make the assembly plant more efficient and enhance its parts logistics operations.
As the first Honda car assembly plant in America, the Marysville facility has produced at least eight generations of Accord sedans. This will be the first time that the Accord Hybrid was built there; the previous model was discontinued a few years ago and was imported from Japan.
Two hybrid Accord models will hit the market. A conventional hybrid will be joined by a plug-in hybrid, both employing a two-motor system. Each model will offer a 2.0-liter in-line four cylinder gasoline engine paired with an electronic continuously variable transmission. Its first motor is a 124-kilowatt traction electric motor that will work with the CVT. Its second motor is a 105-kilowatt electric motor designed exclusively for power generation.
Adding hybrid models back to the Honda Accord line gives this midsize sedan and coupe line additional credibility in an ultra-competitive segment. Right now, the Toyota Camry is the best-selling model with the Honda Accord following. Right behind it is the Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion and the Hyundai Sonata. The hybrids should help raise the Accord’s visibility further, while adding yet another measure of “green” driving to the Honda line.
The Honda Accord Sedan is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety “top safety pick” again for 2013. The new model also recently the IIHS’s best rating in an all-new front crash test, one of just two midsize sedans to achieve that distinction. The NHTSA has also given the Honda Accord Sedan its top 5-star rating for its exemplary performance in frontal crash, side crash and rollover tests. The Honda Accord Coupe has not been tested.