Honda Recognizes Hoosier Supplier

Honda (Greensburg), an Indiana Chamber member, recently announced:

Honda leaders shared their direction for overcoming the difficult economy at the company’s annual supplier conference Thursday, saying that this time of challenging business conditions provides a unique opportunity to increase flexibility and make significant operational improvements.

Honda also recognized 60 of its suppliers for their top performance last year in the critical areas of quality, on-time parts delivery and productivity improvements. With one triple and 10 double award recipients, Honda presented 72 awards to its North American parts suppliers, including Ryobi Die Casting (USA), Inc., Shelbyville, Ind., recognized for outstanding Delivery Performance. Ryobi provides engine brackets for Honda production in Ohio. (Ryobi Die Casting was the only Indiana company recognized in this year’s awards from Honda.)

Several other suppliers to Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, LLC, based in Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, and Tennessee were also recognized.

Timing of the annual conference in the middle of a difficult economy is not easy, but does provide opportunities, said Hidenobu Iwata, president and CEO of Honda of America Mfg., Inc., and leader of Honda’s North American manufacturing. He added his appreciation for the strengthening partnership with suppliers to improve production characteristics.  “Our ultimate commitment is to our customer,” Iwata said.  “This has served us well in North America over the past 50 years and will continue to lead our way for the coming 50 years.  I would say this commitment is more important than ever before.”

It is important to move forward with a long-term viewpoint, while also taking action with speed and decisiveness in the current market situation, added Larry Jutte, Honda of America senior vice president.

“Here in North America, Honda has implemented a variety of measures . . . step by step . . . that would have been unimaginable even six months ago,” he said.  “But no matter how wrenching these changes may seem, the decisions we have made are the result of careful and strategic management. . . . The concept of speed and flexibility is an undercurrent running throughout our entire production network in North America."

In 2008, Honda plants produced 1.42 million passenger cars and light trucks in North America, including 987,000 in the United States, 383,000 in Canada and 51,000 in Mexico.  The company purchased a record $19.5 billion in parts and materials from 620 North American suppliers in 2008 as well.