Patience in assembling an industrial site, a history of workforce productivity and a global pendulum swing back to manufacturing in America have paid off for Ohio. On the 45th anniversary of Honda’s monumental decision to manufacture in Ohio, the Japanese auto giant was once again at the Statehouse beside an Ohio governor to announce a new factory, this time in Fayette County.
Since company founder Soichiro Honda stood beside Ohio’s longest-serving governor, James A. Rhodes, to announce the first Japanese plant in the United States at Marysville, 15,000 jobs have been created and 20 million cars produced from the partnership.
Honda’s decision to build a $3.5 billion battery plant on a 1,500-acre site within easy commuting distance from Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, and Chillicothe is just the latest dividend from that seminal economic development success. More than 2,200 new jobs will spring from the battery plant being built in partnership with LG Energy Solution. An additional 300 jobs and $700 million will be spent making Honda plants in Marysville, Anna, and East Liberty capable of EV production.
Tiny Fayette County, with 28,000 citizens, has waited two decades for Ohio’s largest “certified jobs ready site” to land a large employer like Honda. Ironically the property was pieced together from 10 family farms for a Honda site selection derby in 2002 that ultimately went to Greencastle, Ind.
It is great to see Fayette County finally reap the benefits of many years of hard work. One of the 10 electric vehicle battery plants going up in America will dramatically change the community. General Motors, Ford, Stellantis and Toyota have all announced battery factory site decisions before Honda.
General Motors is working with LG Energy on battery production at the former Lordstown Assembly Plant near Youngstown. The Toledo Propulsion Plant has been selected for a $760 million upgrade to become the hub for electric drive systems, protecting the future of 1,500 local jobs.
In each of these decisions, the high quality of our workforce, tested over time, has prompted automakers to increase their investment in Ohio. Combined with Intel’s decision to build as many as five semiconductor fabrication plants in Licking County, the investment in Ohio has never been greater.
State and national politicians are basking in the success and angling for all the credit, but in reality, global hostilities and supply chain disruptions have driven manufacturers to rediscover America.