2000 Acura 3.2 TL -- Manufacturing

OVERVIEW
The new TL is assembled exclusively in Ohio for markets worldwide. It is sold in the United States, Canada, Japan and other Asian countries. The vast majority of the TL's component parts are sourced and manufactured in the United States. Local suppliers were brought in on the project as early as possible to ensure the highest quality from the very beginning of mass production.

U.S.-JAPAN COLLABORATION
As part of Acura's ongoing effort to design and produce products where they will be sold, the move to produce the TL in Ohio was part of a natural progression. The TL is an international effort, combining Acura's resources in Japan with those of the Acura/American Honda product planning offices in Torrance, California, styling and engineering facilities completed at Honda R&D Americas&emdash;Los Angeles and Ohio, the Anna engine plant and the Marysville, Ohio auto assembly plant.

LOCAL CONTENT
With a local content of approximately 98 percent, the TL is classified as a domestic car by the EPA.

SUPPLIER INVOLVEMENT
With Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc. (HAM), already drawing on 408 different suppliers to support its manufacturing activities of Honda and Acura products, the TL pushes that total to a new high of 414 suppliers.

MANUFACTURING QUALITY DEVELOPMENT
In preparation for eventual production of the TL, manufacturing personnel reviewed competitive models and the 1997 production start-up of the Acura 2.3CL coupe. An extensive internal quality review of the Acura 3.5RL and previous-generation TL was also undertaken. With quality targets locked in, work was begun to ensure that the goals could be reliably met during the assembly process. Key areas targeted for new standards of excellence were:

  • Increased body accuracy
  • Paint appearance
  • Part fit and finish

ANNA ENGINE PLANT
Since producing its first engine in 1985, the Anna Engine Plant (AEP) has ramped up to a total production of 900,000 engines and related components per year. With 2700 associates and a total investment in facilities of $907 million, the Anna plant achieved a pace of 1000 V-6 engines per day for model year 1999. To provide the manufacturing capacity required for the TL, the factory's complement of 3500-ton casting machines was increased to four, and new manufacturing technologies and equipment were put in place for the TL's crankshaft and braking system.

MARYSVILLE AUTO PLANT
With a start of production dating back to 1982, a total investment of $1.8 billion and more than 5800 associates, the Marysville Auto Plant (MAP) has attained a new quality standard with the production of the TL. Capable of producing a total of 1800 cars per day, MAP's flexible manufacturing environment allows seamless production of the TL on the same line as the Honda Accord despite vast differences between the two vehicles.

A variety of new manufacturing technologies are required to build the new TL:

  • New fluid-control paint system
  • New acid etch clear-coat paint system
  • Laser welding of inner door panels
  • Instrument panel modularization to increase consistency
  • Enhanced vehicle quality department
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