LINCOLN, Ala., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Honda marked the start of production of the all-new, Alabama-built 2011 Honda Odyssey minivan today with an end-of-the-line celebration that included participation by more than 1,200 associates at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama (HMA).
The Odyssey minivan has been the top-selling minivan in the U.S. for the past two years and is considered the benchmark vehicle in the minivan class. The completely-redesigned 2011 Honda Odyssey improves on its already award-winning, class-leading design with a more-distinctive style, higher fuel efficiency and greater interior versatility. Improvements to the fourth-generation Odyssey represent a new Honda vision for the "ultimate in family transportation."
"In about four weeks, our Honda dealers will have this new Odyssey on their showroom floor. But I don't think it will be there for long," said Vicki Poponi, assistant vice president of product planning for American Honda Motor Co. "Whether you're driving in Oregon or Orlando, Milwaukee or Mobile – everyone in this great, glorious nation of ours will know that every 'American Odyssey' has its roots right here in Lincoln, Alabama."
Tuesday's event at the assembly line celebrated the start of mass production of the new Odyssey, which has received a total makeover for the 2011 model year. HMA is the exclusive global production source of the Odyssey minivan, the Pilot sport utility vehicle and the Ridgeline pickup. The Lincoln plant also shares production of the Accord V-6 Sedan with the Marysville Auto Plant in Marysville, Ohio and builds the V-6 engines that power each model.
"What a beautiful vehicle we have created together," said Art StCyr, chief engineer for the 2011 Odyssey at Honda R&D in Raymond, Ohio. "It's called the American Odyssey because – for the first time – the Odyssey minivan was designed, developed, and manufactured in the U.S. What a great sense of pride that brings to all of us."
The 2011 Odyssey's more-aerodynamic shape with a lower roofline contributes to class-leading fuel efficiency; yet improved interior packaging maintains similar vertical functionality as the previous model. A wider stance creates a more accommodating interior while accenting the exterior's dynamic appearance. The 2011 Odyssey will go on sale this fall at Honda dealerships across the U.S.
Also, on Friday, Sept. 3, the $1.4 billionLincoln plant will mark another milestone with production of the 2 millionth Honda vehicle to be built in Alabama. HMA employs more than 4,000 associates and has the capacity to produce 300,000 vehicles and V-6 engines each year.