Honda Canada has just marked a pair of important milestones for the company. Just shy of 51 years after arriving in Canada for the first time, the brand has now sold 5 million cars here. More impressively, in just 34 years they’ve built 9 million.
Honda’s first Canadian plant opened in 1986 in Alliston, ON. An Accord sedan was the first car to roll off of the assembly line there, but since then has built nearly a dozen vehicles in Ontario. A second plant opened in 1998 and now there’s also an engine plant which opened in 2008.
“These milestones not only showcase the success of our products, but the dedication, capability and collaboration of our Honda associates and dealerships across the country,” says Dave Gardner, President and CEO, Honda Canada Inc. “We are very proud of how we’ve grown, how we’ve invested in Canada and the fact that so many Canadians are part of the Honda family. I want to express my sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to our success and I’m looking forward to our bright future here in Canada.”
Today, a new Honda vehicle rolls off the assembly line almost once a minute. Honda’s Plant 1 has been home to the Civic since 1988, and it’s now the lead global plant for the 10th-generation of the car. Alliston Plant 1 builds Civic sedans, coupes, and the Si versions of those cars.
Plant 2 was originally opened in 1998 for the launch of Honda’s first full-size minivan, the then-new Odyssey. The Pilot SUV and later the Ridgeline pickup were also built at the plant for a time, as were the Acura MDX and ZDX models. Today, and since 2012, it’s been devoted exclusively to the Honda CR-V compact crossover. Honda says the plants are home to 4,200 employees, and the company buys $2.1 billion from Canadian suppliers each year. Other models built in Alliston over the years include the Acura EL and CSX sedans.
More than 57 percent of Hondas sold in Canada are built here, and that’s been the case since 2013. The rest of the vehicles produced are exported for sale around the world. Total capacity at the plants today is approximately 400,000 vehicles and 260,000 four-cylinder engines. The Civic has been the best-selling car in this country for the last 22 years.