Manufacturing Leader for All-new 2018 Honda Odyssey Featured in Latest “Who Makes a Honda” Video
9/12/2017 7:42:00 PM
As engineer Francis Chukwudolue watched the all-new 2018 Honda Odyssey roll off the production line in Alabama in May, it represented the fulfillment of a personal dream. Francis, who was the manufacturing leader for the launch of the new Odyssey at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama (HMA), is the latest subject of the Who Makes a Honda video series.
From an early age in his native Nigeria, Francis was fascinated by the mechanical facets of cars. When he came to the United States, he was able to realize his dream, starting his career as a production associate at the East Liberty Honda plant in Ohio, in 1990. With Honda’s decision to build a new plant in Alabama, Francis then took the opportunity to join the project, arriving in Alabama in late 2000, while the factory was under construction. His longtime fascination with automobiles and his challenging spirit culminated with the launch of an Odyssey minivan that offers the ultimate in family-friendly performance, comfort and connectivity.
"All you need to do is drive the new Honda Odyssey and you can feel the difference," said Francis. "The new Odyssey’s interior is so quiet, it is great for large families like mine."
Francis arrived in the U.S. from a poverty-stricken area of Nigeria at age 21. With a focus on education, Chukwudolue came to the U.S to attend graduate school and was able to seize the opportunities offered him in the United States. "Coming to the U.S, no matter the challenges I faced, I knew I could get through it because of my upbringing," he said.
The Odyssey has been the best-selling minivan in America for the past seven years. This fifth-generation Odyssey continues its evolution to meet the needs of changing American families, raising the bar for performance, cabin quietness, family-friendly interior space, comfort and connectivity in the minivan segment.
The What Makes a Honda is Who Makes a Honda video series focuses on Honda associates who live out Honda’s commitment to The Power of Dreams, a global theme that encourages Honda associates to conceive ideas that will create new value for customers and society and then show the determination required to bring those dreams to life. In addition, the video series spotlights the inspiring efforts of Honda associates in their work and in the community.
Francis Chukwudolue What Makes a Honda is Who Makes a Honda video is accessible at Honda's YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/Y6mdukk4g7A
About Honda in North America
Honda established operations in America in 1959 and now employs more than 40,000 associates in its North American sales, R&D and manufacturing operations with total capital investment in North America exceeding $22 billion.
Based on its longstanding commitment to "build products close to the customer," Honda operates 19 major manufacturing facilities in North America producing a wide range of Honda and Acura automobiles, automobile engines and transmissions, Honda all-terrain vehicles, power equipment products, such as lawn mowers, mini-tillers and general purpose engines, and the HondaJet advanced light jet.
Nine Honda auto plants in the region, including five in the U.S., have the capacity to produce 1.92 million automobiles each year. In 2016, more than 96 percent of the Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were produced in North America. Those plants today manufacture 17 different models, including nine passenger cars and eight light trucks using domestic and globally sourced parts. Honda also operates 16 major research and development centers in the U.S. with the capacity to fully design, develop and engineer many of the products Honda produces in North America.
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