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Honda builds 1 millionth car in US for export

DETROIT (AP) -- Honda said Monday that its U.S. factories have churned out their 1 millionth vehicle built for export.

The milestone was achieved when a silver Accord rolled off the assembly line at a factory in Marysville, Ohio, near Columbus.

The Japanese automaker said that in two years, it expects to export more cars built in North America than it imports from Japan.

Already, 85 percent of the vehicles it sells in the U.S. are made at seven Honda factories in North America, including four in the U.S. It plans to export nearly 100,000 Honda and Acura vehicles from the U.S. this year.

Honda, like other Japanese automakers, has plans to raise production in North America because it can't make as much money on vehicles imported from Japan due to the strong yen.

Honda's North American plants have the ability to make 1.63 million vehicles a year, and the company said it has plans to raise that to 1.92 million per year in 2014. The company has been making cars in the U.S. for just over 30 years.

In August, Honda Motor Co. said it is building an $800 million factory in Mexico to make small cars for customers in North America. The plant, near Celaya, Guanajuato, north of Mexico City, is expected to open in 2014 and will employ 3,200 workers from the region. It will make up to 200,000 subcompact cars and engines per year, the company said.