Region Gets Ready for Honda

July 9, 2006

The announcement made in June 2005 that a $550 million Honda Motor Co. assembly plant will open in Greensburg, Indiana in 2008, has many Richmond/Wayne County residents excited about the business and economic development potential.

Local companies hope to cash in on the plant’s opening by either becoming direct suppliers for the company or by partnering with existing suppliers to provide the materials needed during the assembly process. In addition, economic development officials are hopeful that many of Honda’s suppliers will choose to establish a presence in Wayne County, Indiana.

Rhett Baumgartner of Rhett Baumgartner Commercial Real Estate says he has already seen a positive impact on the local commercial industrial real estate market.  Many existing companies are exploring expansion options anticipating that they will benefit from the arrival of the new Honda plant.

And the suppliers aren’t the only ones who stand to profit from the plant’s opening; Ivy Tech Community College’s Richmond/Connersville campus has been selected to be one of the four regional locations at which Honda employees will be trained.

Takayuki Kuroda, executive vice-president of Suncall America, a current Honda parts supplier located on Industrial Highway, says that there are a number of factors that make the Wayne County area attractive to Japanese companies. Among these are access to major highways, affordable cost of living and an existing Japanese language school that helps Japanese students keep pace with their country’s curriculum.

According to a report published in The Indianapolis Star, although Honda is planning to initially hire approximately 2,000 workers, the Greensburg plant is being built to accommodate a total of 3,500 employees. And, based on the estimates of some experts, each new job within the plant can potentially result in six other employment opportunities as more workers are needed to serve the plant and workers.