Honda is slowing the production of Accord and Civic cars as U.S. buyers continue to favour SUVs and trucks.
The Japanese automaker said Thursday that it will temporarily idle a second-shift production line in August at its Marysville, Ohio, assembly plant, in part to prepare the factory to produce future electric vehicles. The shift is expected to resume production in several years.
The line being shut down produces about 55,000 vehicles a year, most of which are Accord sedans, Honda said. In addition, some production of the CR-V small SUV in Marysville will go to a factory in Greensburg, Indiana, where the production of the compact Civic will be reduced.
While production is slowed in Marysville, Honda will update the plant's manufacturing capability to prepare for new technology including electric vehicles, Honda said in a statement.
There will be no layoffs, a company spokeswoman said, but Honda will offer voluntary buyouts to some employees.
The reduction also will affect production at engine and transmission plants in Ohio, Honda said.
Sales of the Accord this year are up 4.6 percent through March but fell nearly 10 percent last year. Civic sales are down nearly 5 percent so far this year to 78,185, according to Autodata Corp. They fell almost 14 percent last year.
CR-V sales, however, are up 6.4 percent through March to 87,280. Trucks and SUVs have made up almost 70 percent of US new vehicle sales this year.