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Honda Starts Minivan Production at Alabama Facility

November 16, 2001

Honda began production on Nov. 14, 2001, of its Odyssey minivan at an all-new $440 million factory in Lincoln, AL, Reuters reports. While Honda will likely build only a few thousand minivans there over the next few months, the plant is expected to produce 120,000 Odysseys annually by late next year, doubling Honda’s supply of the minivan. Honda has sold almost exactly the same number of Odysseys this year as it had at the same time last year, even though total industry sales and minivan sales have declined. That has allowed Honda to increase its share of the non-luxury minivan market from 9.9 percent to 12.7 percent, according to Ward’s Automotive Reports. The increase has affected Chrysler, as sales of the Dodge Caravan and Chrysler/Plymouth Voy-ager have fallen sharply this year, and Chrysler’s market share has shrunk. Honda is expected to unveil a Honda-badged version of the MDX early next year, and may unveil yet another SUV model later next year. Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. is building a truck plant in Mississippi, and many industry analysts have speculated that South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co. is scouting southern states for building sites.
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