Production of Hybrid Supercar Continues to Wow in Marysville (Updated)
Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 6/18/16 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehension.
Ohio is the hub of the automotive industry in the U.S.
Honda (who also makes Acuras) is the most prolific vehicle manufacturer in Ohio.
645,900 Hondas were assembled in the Buckeye state in 2018.
Did you know your neighbor or family member made automotive history in 2016?
It happened right here in our backyard of Marysville.
The birth of the Acura NSX
In Marysville, beginning in 2012, a few hundred Honda employees were quietly engineering, building, painting and testing Acura’s hybrid supercar – the NSX.
Here’s the history-making part: No foreign car company had ever built what’s called a “halo” car in America until now.
When Honda’s Japanese management gave this project the green light years ago, they turned to the workforce they trusted to get the job done – the Ohio workforce.
In fact, some Acura employees said they thought their Japanese counterparts would be very hands-on, considering the NSX is the most ambitious car Acura has ever built.
Welding engineer Chuck Henkel said, “When I got on the project, I thought there would be a lot of Japanese oversight. Because this has got to be successful; it’s a halo car. It’s got to be the best car we’ve ever built. That oversight wasn’t there. It was really the American team being allowed the freedom to develop this car all by ourselves.”
“This is their investment coming full circle in me and all the other folks,” Global development Chief Ted Klaus adds.
Building the Acura NSX
The first NSX was built in a plant called the Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Marysville.
It’s the opposite of any image you might have of the word “factory.” You could eat off the floor at PMC.
It was built just to make the NSX. Nothing else. There’s no assembly line. The car goes from workstation-to-workstation when it’s ready.
There are no walls. The plant was designed to be open and airy so all employees can connect with each other personally.
Plus, it promotes a total team effort. The only walls are glass. Even the paint department has glass walls.
There are a couple more significant Ohio connections to the NSX.
The engine is hand built by engineers in Anna, Ohio, and the paint is made by an Ohio company – PPG. (Depending on the color, up to 11 coats of paint can cover the car.)
Here are some amazing features and facts that made this plan one-of-a-kind:
- Nearly 600 horsepower generated from 4 motors.
- The chassis and body panels are measured to an accuracy of one-third of a human hair’s width.
- The driver can choose the kind of driving experience they want: Quiet, Sport, Sport+ and Track.
- 8-10 NSX’s are built daily.
The Ohio workers knew from the beginning that there was a lot of pressure to make the Acura NSX a success.
For one, it had to sell, and in order for it to sell, it had to compete with the world’s best and win over what was a skeptical automotive press.
A lot was on the line with the performance of the car.
There was also the question of car enthusiasts’ willingness to pay $150,000 to $200,000 for an Acura.
Werner Wilson has been with Honda more than 30 years said in 2016, “It’s a point of pride but also a little bit of pressure to make sure you get it right.”
Shannon Spence said she was “A little nervous. Just a little.”
The NSX team may have been nervous, but they were mostly excited and ready for the car to hit the road.
Chuck Henkel summed it up best: “Yes, Ohioans in the heartland of America can really develop an American/Japanese supercar.”
The NSX today
Three years after its development, the Acura NSX is coming into 2019 with a full refresh.
The exterior changes are subtle, but inside, some previously optional amenities now come standard, including:
- Premium audio.
- Satellite navigation.
- 4-way power seats.
- An indigo-blue theme.
This is in addition to some handling tweaks that make the ride an even more enjoyable rush.
Ready to come into your Serra Acura dealership for a test drive?
We’re waiting for you!