EAST LIBERTY — The East Liberty Honda Auto plant showcased its new 2019 Acura RDX Tuesday, the first of a new generation of Acura products built around Acura’s Precision Crafted Performance.
The new five-passenger luxury SUV is equipped with a 2.0-liter VTEC Turbo engine with 272 horsepower, a 10-speed automatic transmission (10AT), touch screen entertainment controls, a ultra-wide panoramic moonroof, a multi layer paint system, and premium exterior color options.
The new model is the first RDX to be designed and developed in America. The Acura design Studio in Los Angeles, California designed came up with the design and the North American R&D in Raymond, Ohio developed it.
The price of the vehicle is yet to be discussed but is expected to be on the market by June of 2018, according to Scott Ruhl, Engineering Project Leader.
This new product line was made possible by the East Liberty plant’s new capital $54 million investment of new technologies and processes. The VTEC turbo engine was produced at the Anna engine plant and the 10-speed automatic transmission was produced at the transmission plant in Tallapoosa, Georgia. The three plants worked on the project for four years.
“Today’s event was important because its a culmination of all of our team’s effort to realize the vision that the designers have, which was close to the clay model and execute that through the manufacturing work,” said Ruhl. “I appreciate all of the associates’ involvement over the last few years to bring this to fruition. Without their efforts and support it would not be possible. It took the entire team to do it.”
East Liberty Plant Project Leader, Chris Hardman, oversees the manufacturing done at the plant which includes stamping the steel panels, welding the parts together, applying the plastic, bumps and interior panels, and the assembling of the car parts.The East Liberty plant has a total of five manufacturing departments.
The manufacturing team has collaborated with the style and design team to help review the concepts and give input on the most efficient way to manufacture the parts needed. The employees have spent countless hours manufacturing the cars over the past four years.
“People don’t understand the countless hours that go into this,” said Hardman. “We build cars every day so when we build a new model we cant build it on the line during the week. All these departments have to come in during the weekends or work third shift overnight to build the cars. However, it has been such a great experience working on this project and to see it come to fruition is a great feeling.”
Reach Camri Nelson 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.