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November 23, 2014

Honda sees demand rise for Alabama-built Acura MDX

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Posted: Friday, July 11, 2014 4:28 pm | Updated: 1:16 pm, Thu Jul 17, 2014.

In the year since the first Acura MDX rolled off the assembly line at the Honda plant in Lincoln, the vehicle has seen record-setting sales.

According to a statement released by the company Friday, sales in the last six months have risen 68.4 percent over the same period last year to a record 30,664 vehicles.

Chris Naughton, Acura spokesman, said the company is on track to sell more than 60,000 of the vehicles this year. In 2012, the company sold 50,854 MDXs and in 2013, it sold 53,040.

The Acura MDX, a luxury sports utility vehicle, was introduced in 2000. Production of the SUV moved from Canada to the Honda plant in Lincoln in 2013. Lincoln is now the sole producer of the third generation of the MDX as well as the Honda Odyssey minivan, Pilot sport utility vehicle and Ridgeline pickup truck.

When production began in Lincoln in May 2013, the plant was expected to produce between 30,000 and 40,000 2014 MDX vehicles that year. Naughton said the plant has been able to increase production to keep up with demand.

The Ridgeline pickup truck temporarily went out of production in mid-2014, which freed up some capacity, Naughton said.

Jaimes Warman, sales manager at Jerry Damson Automotive in Huntsville, said the dealership is seeing an even bigger increase in sales of the MDX.

“We’re almost double,” Warman said.

He said the new design and the choice of two-wheel drive have helped the increase. But he believes being able to say it’s an American-made car, built in Alabama, has also helped sales.

“It has made a big, big difference,” Warman said.

Naughton said there does appear to be a correlation between a plant locating in a state and sales.

“Because we’ve been building cars in Ohio for more than 30 years, the market share there is very strong,” Naughton said.

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