Honda Manufacturing of Alabama in Lincoln will mark the 10-year anniversary of the groundbreaking at 11 a.m. at the plant. Gov. Bob Riley and U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, as well as other state and local economic development officials, are scheduled to attend the event.
Part of the celebration — which will not be open to the public — will include the opening of a time capsule that several Lincoln High School students buried at the site 10 years ago.
“We are fortunate that some of the students are still in the area and will attend,” said Ted Pratt, spokesman for Honda. “They will share their thoughts on how things have changed in the last 10 years.”
The Honda plant itself, which employs more than 4,000 people, has changed much in the past decade.
When operations began at the plant on Nov. 14, 2001, the facility was about 1.7 million square feet and produced 2002-model Odyssey minivans. However, by 2002, Honda officials announced the plant would increase in size.
“The popularity of the Odyssey was the driving force behind the growth,” Pratt said.
The plant is now 3.5 million square feet in size.
In 2005, the size of the facility’s engine plant was increased to 300,000 square feet to keep up with demand. Workers in the engine plant cast certain parts for vehicle engines.
Pilot SUVs were added to the production lines as well as a model change for the Odyssey in 2004. And, with the economic recession’s impact on the vehicle industry, in 2009 the plant began producing Accord V-6 sedans and Ridgeline pickups.
“Throughout the past 10 years, we’ve been in a growth mode,” Pratt said. “Now we are concentrating on stability of construction and constant improvement to quality.”
Contact staff writer Patrick McCreless at 256-235-3561.