LINCOLN, Alabama – Honda’s Alabama assembly plant recorded a milestone today with the beginning of mass production of the 2014 Acura MDX – the first time the automaker has made a model from its luxury line at its Southeastern manufacturing base.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, who was on hand to celebrate the moment, noted that Honda Manufacturing of Alabama has announced investments totaling $400 million in its Lincoln plant over the past two years. Altogether, Honda has invested about $2 billion in the Alabama plant, which employs around 4,000 people.
The Acura MDX joins the Talladega County plant’s production line-up, which today consists of the Honda Odyssey minivan, the Pilot sport utility, and the Ridgeline pick-up truck. The MDX was previously built in Canada, and preparations for the Alabama launch of the model have been the works for quite some time. The redesigned 2014 model was first shown in March at the New York International Auto Show.
“Alabama’s automotive industry continues to excel,” Governor Bentley said in a Twitter message. “This is the second time in 2 days I’ve celebrated an automotive expansion in the state.”
On Wednesday, Mercedes-Benz said a new logistics hub on the campus of its Tuscaloosa County assembly plant will create 600 jobs, supporting the addition of new models to its production line-up there.
During this morning’s event at Honda’s Alabama assembly plant, the first customer-ready Acura MDX was ceremoniously driven off the line to the cheers of hundreds of workers, according to a report on al.com. The MDX is Acura’s best-selling model and will be sold in China, a new export destination for Honda’s Alabama plant, the report says.
“Alabama has the best workforce in the world,” Governor Bentley tweeted. “It’s only appropriate that we would build more vehicles that will be driven all over the world.”