Honda begins Civic Hatchback production at HMIN

·4 min read

Sep. 20—GREENSBURG — Associates at Honda Manufacturing of Indiana played host to Governor Eric Holcomb, U.S.Senator Todd Young, U.S. Rep. Greg Pence and a host of local and area elected officials for a celebration heralding the beginning of production of the all-new 2022 Civic Hatchback at the Greensburg plant.

Lifelong Greensburg resident Jill Fuel, a Honda employee since 2008, was one of the new model local project leaders.

"This is a great thing for the Greensburg and Decatur County community," she said. "It's not the first time we've launched a new car here at the Greensburg plant, but it's definitely one of the most exciting ones for us. It's the first time we've had the Civic Hatchback here in the states and it's going to be built right here in Greensburg, Indiana. We've got 10 years of building Civic products at the Greensburg plant, but the hatchback is now and that makes it pretty exciting for us and our associates."

Honda has built Civic models in America since 1986, but the Greensburg manufacturing facility is the first to produce the hatchback in the U.S.

A $50.2 million investment in the local manufacturing plant helped prepare it for mass production of the all-new version of the Civic. The investment includes a building expansion for laser braze technology for the roof of the Civic Hatchback, the latest new model for the plant. Other new processes include a major increase in the use of high-performance structural adhesives for improved body rigidity and the application of acoustic spray foam to the Civic body structure for the first time for enhanced cabin quietness.

Honda started production operations by building the Honda Civic in October 2008. As the first Honda plant in the U.S. to build the 2022 Civic Hatchback, this all-new model represents yet another production first for the Greensburg plant. The Greensburg facility was also the first in the U.S. to build the Acura ILX (2012), Honda Insight (2019) and CR-V Hybrid (2020).

"We are proud to be chosen to lead production in North America for an all-new model like the 2022 Civic Hatchback that is playing an increasingly important role in the U.S. market," said Larry Geise, plant lead. "Being selected to build the Civic Hatchback speaks to the experienced workforce we have here in Indiana and highlights the confidence Honda has in our associates to build the quality cars and light trucks our customers love."

Reintroduced to the U.S. market in 2016, the Civic Hatchback has grown to account for more than 20 percent of all Civic sales worldwide and the No. 1 selling vehicle in America — car or light truck.

The 2022 Civic Hatchback builds upon the Civic Sedan's clean and simple exterior design, promising driving enthusiasts an even more dynamic experience, with an upgraded 6-speed manual transmission available with either 2.0-liter or 1.5-liter turbocharged engines.

HMIN is one of only two Honda plants globally currently producing the 2022 Civic Hatchback. A recent press release detailed key Honda associates collaborating with manufacturing associates from around the world who will build the all-new Civic.

A new lightweight composite (resin) hatch replaces the previous steel structure, which contributes to a more coupe-like design and high fuel economy. Associates at the Greensburg plant used virtual training to develop the processes required to install the new hatchback, including a lift assist device to improve associate ergonomics when putting the tailgate in place.

Corporate partners collaborated with HMIN team members to develop the strategy for application of structural adhesive to the Civic body to create the most rigid body ever for Civic Hatchback. The adhesive enhances safety and dynamic performance, reduces weight for fuel efficiency and increases cabin comfort. Preparation for the first installation required the addition of nine new robots to apply the adhesive.

Civic Hatchback employs Honda's latest dual beam laser technology to join the roof to the body side panels for a seamless exterior appearance and an even stronger vehicle body. In addition to learning the new process, HMIN associates devised a 57,600 sq. ft. expansion to make room for the new laser brazing equipment.

HMIN will be applying spray foam to hollow portions of the vehicle's body structure for the first time to reduce noise transmission for a quieter cabin. Engineering associates studied the new hatchback design to identify where and how to apply the foam, resulting in the addition of new equipment and a critical change in the tailgate area to ensure high quality.

Honda's Anna Engine Plant in Anna, Ohio, builds the 1.5-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine, while Honda of Canada Mfg. produces the 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext 217011 or email bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com

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