LOS ANGELES, Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Honda will receive the 2014 Eddy Award® for corporate leadership from The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) at the 19th annual LAEDC Eddy Awards® gala, held this evening at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. John Mendel, executive vice president of Automobile Sales for American Honda will accept the award. Inaugurated in 1996, the Eddy Awards® celebrate individuals and organizations that demonstrate exceptional contributions to positive economic development in Los Angeles County.
Los Angeles County, long home to Honda's North American sales and marketing headquarters, has played a key role in the company's global expansion. In September 1959, just eleven years after the company's founding in Japan, Honda opened its first overseas subsidiary with eight employees working out of a small storefront on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles. In the decades since, Honda has steadily grown its local business operations to encompass the full range of sales, marketing, parts and service, and finance operations for Honda and Acura automobiles and Honda powersports products, including motorcycles, ATVs and side-by-sides.
The company's Los Angeles County operations, which currently employ more than 2,000 associates, also include the U.S. headquarters of American Honda Finance Corp., as well as the extensive market research, technology research, and product design operations of Honda R&D Americas, Inc., conducted at its three major facilities in the county.
Los Angeles also functions as a critical center of learning and innovation for the company's advanced alternative-fuel vehicle technology programs. Honda was the first company to lease both electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles to the City of Los Angeles – in 1997 and 2002, respectively – and the first to place fuel cell vehicles in the driveways of regular California consumers, beginning in 2005.
Honda adheres to the belief that success is not measured solely by the products it makes, but also by the lives it enhances. Throughout Honda's history in Los Angeles County, the company has supported local organizations focused on youth & education, diversity & inclusion, health and sustainability. Hundreds of Honda associates regularly volunteer their time to a number of organizations and activities in Los Angeles County, ranging from the Rolling Readers program at local schools, to coastal cleanup efforts along area beaches.
Honda supports organizations and initiatives ranging from the Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance to Students Run LA, which prepares at-risk youth for completion of the LAW Marathon. Honda has been affiliated with the Tournament of Roses Parade for 54 years, and its presenting sponsor for five years. On May 4, 2014 Honda associates joined more than 660 participants on the company's Torrance campus to kick off the Los Angeles area's 23rd annual Honda Ride for Kids event, which raises funds for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
"On behalf of everyone at American Honda, it is an honor to receive this Eddy award which we like to think speaks in large measure to the unique relationship Honda has enjoyed with Los Angeles County over the past 55 years," said John Mendel, executive vice president of the Automobile Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
"I want to congratulate Honda and welcome them to an extraordinary group of organizations that have left their mark on Los Angeles County," said LAEDC Chief Executive Officer Bill Allen. "Honda has played a leading role in building the Los Angeles County economy, whose gross product is larger than 45 states in the Union. We sincerely appreciate and applaud their creation of thousands of quality jobs for our residents, and their contributions to advancing innovation and healthier communities in our region."
Nearly 40,000 Honda associates in North America design, develop, manufacture, market and support the servicing of Honda and Acura automobiles, Honda powersports products and Honda power equipment products.
Honda operates 16 manufacturing plants across North America, including eight auto plants producing nearly 95 percent of the Honda and Acura automobiles the company sells in America, using domestic and globally sourced parts. Honda also operates 16 R&D facilities in the region, including a major automobile and powersports R&D center in Raymond, Ohio, a power equipment R&D center in North Carolina and three design centers in Southern California.
Honda's cumulative capital investment in North America exceeds $22 billion, and its purchases of parts and services from suppliers in North America achieved a record of more than $25 billion in fiscal year 2014 (ended March 31, 2014). Over the past two years, Honda has invested an additional $2.7 billion in its North American manufacturing operations, including more than $1 billion in its U.S. operations.
About the LAEDC
Established in 1981, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) provides collaborative, innovative and strategic economic development leadership to promote a globally competitive, prosperous and growing L.A. County economy to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents and communities and enable those residents to meet their basic human need for a job. We achieve this through objective economic research and analysis, strategic assistance to government and business, and targeted public policy. Our efforts are guided and supported by the expertise and counsel of our business, government and education members and partners. Since 1996, the LAEDC's Business Assistance team has helped to retain or attract over 198,000 annual jobs in Los Angeles County. Visit the LAEDC at http://www.laedc.org
SOURCE American Honda Motor Co., Inc.