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Honda will build hybrid Accord in Ohio

Mitch Stacy, Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Honda Motor Co. will add about 50 new jobs at its central Ohio assembly plant as it starts building a new hybrid Accord sedan there this year, the company announced Thursday.

The Japanese automaker said it will invest about $23 million in outfitting the plant in Marysville, near Columbus, to build the 2014 hybrid Accord. The third Honda hybrid to be built in the United States, the car will go on sale nationwide in the fall. Pricing has yet to be announced.

"Expansion is under way, and as we get into the spring and summer we'll start trial production and start hiring the new associates," company spokesman Ron Lietzke said Thursday.

The 95,000-square-foot Marysville plant is being fitted to house assembly processes for production of the two-motor Accord hybrid. That includes lengthening the main assembly line and adding space for additional assembly and parts.

A plug-in version of the hybrid Accord, built in Japan, will go on sale this spring. The company builds the Civic hybrid and Acura ILX hybrid in Greensburg, Ind.

In Ohio, Honda has assembly plants in Marysville and East Liberty, builds engines at its Anna facility and transmissions at Russells Point. It also operates a research and development center in Raymond, the largest such facility outside of Japan.

In November, the company announced it would make more than $200 million in new investments at the Anna and Russells Point plants, creating at least 200 new manufacturing jobs. Honda says it has announced investments of more than $800 million at its Ohio facilities in the past three years. The company employs 13,500 Ohioans.

Honda reached a milestone last month when its 1 millionth vehicle built for export, a silver Accord, rolled off the line in Marysville. It came 25 years after the first U.S.-made Honda, also an Accord and also built at the Marysville plant, was exported to an overseas market.