The all-new MDX, which will be built at Honda’s manufacturing plant in Talladega County, is expected to arrive in dealer showrooms this summer. The reengineered model features aggressive new styling, advanced-safety technology and an optional hybrid powertrain. It’s the first Acura model to sport the brand’s new “diamond pentagon” grille design.
“MDX is a pillar of the Acura brand, our highest volume model for seven years running, and the best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all time,” John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., said at Wednesday’s New York auto show unveiling.
The MDX has been a popular model for Acura since its introduction in 2001, and the current version of the SUV was introduced for the 2014 model year. Mass production of the MDX began at Honda’s Alabama factory in May 2013.
Slightly more than 66,000 MDXs were built at the plant in Lincoln last year, according to Honda Alabama.
Today’s high-profile debut for the MDX was the second time this year that the Japanese automaker has shown off a redesigned model bound for its Alabama assembly lines.
In January, Honda took the wraps off the second-generation Ridgeline pickup at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The all-new Ridgeline will join the Honda Odyssey minivan, Pilot SUV, and the MDX in the production lineup at the Lincoln facility.
Late last year, workers at Hyundai’s Montgomery plant began building the redesigned 2017 Elantra sedan, which debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
This year, Alabama’s three auto assembly plants – operated by Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Hyundai – will produce 11 different vehicles.
The new Alabama-made MDX is seen as a key player in the brand’s lineup.
“Upping the performance pedigree of the MDX with bold styling, our exclusive Sport Hybrid powertrain and the standard application of AcuraWatch technologies that many in the industry refer to as semi-autonomous, represents a major injection of Acura’s Precision Crafted Performance DNA,” Honda’s Mendel said. “These changes will continue to advance MDX’s competitiveness and its legacy as the best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all time.”
Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, and other top economic development officials say the burst of new product activity demonstrates the vitality of the state’s auto industry, which produced more than 1 million vehicles for the first time in 2015.
For one thing, new and redesigned models frequently prompt additional supplier activity, resulting in new auto-related investment and jobs in Alabama, they add.
In addition, these new product rollouts show the confidence the automakers have in their Alabama facilities and workforces, they say.
Here’s what Secretary Canfield said recently about growth in the Alabama auto industry.