1999 Acura TL Manufacturing
The new TL is manufactured for markets worldwide exclusively in Ohio. It will be sold in the United States, Canada, Japan and other Asian countries. The vast majority of the TL's component parts are sourced and manufactured in the United States. As was the case with Acura's first domestically produced model, the CL coupe, local suppliers were brought in on the project as early as possible, to ensure the highest quality from the very beginning of mass production.
As part of Acura's ongoing effort to design and produce products where they will be sold, the move to produce the TL in Ohio was part of a natural progression. The TL is an international effort, combining Acura's resources in Japan with those of the Acura/American Honda product planning offices in Torrance, California, styling and engineering facilities completed at Honda R&D Americas - Ohio, the Anna engine plant and the Marysville, Ohio auto assembly plant.
With in excess of 75% local content, the TL is expected to be classified as a domestic car by the EPA.
With Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc. (HAM) already drawing on 408 different suppliers to support its manufacturing activities of Honda and Acura products, the launch of the TL will push that total to a new high of 414 suppliers.
Manufacturing Quality Development
In preparation for eventual production of the TL, manufacturing personnel reviewed competitive models, and the 199Tproduction start-up of the CL coupe. An extensive internal quality review of the RL and previous-generationTL was also undertaken. With quality targets locked in, work was begun to insure that the goals could be reliably met during the assembly process. Key areas targeted for new standards of excellence are:
- Increased body accuracy
- Paint appearance
- Part fit and finish
Anna Engine Plant
Since producing its first engine in 1985, the Anna Engine Plant (AEP) has ramped up to a total production of 900,000 engines and related components per year. With 2700 associates and a total investment in facilities of $907 million, the Anna plant will achieve a pace of 1000 V-6 engines per day for model year 1999. To provide the manufacturing capacity required for the new TL, the factory's complement of two 3500-ton casting machines will be doubled to four by calender 1999. New equipment and manufacturing technologies are being put in place for the TL's crankshaft and braking system.
Marysville Auto Plant
With a start of production, dating back to 1982 and a total investment of $1.8 billion, and more than 5800 associates, the platinum award-winning Marysville Auto Plant (MAP) has stretched for a new quality standard with the production of the new TL. Capable of producing a total of 1800 cars per day, MAP's flexible manufacturing environment allows seamless production of the TL on the same line as the Honda Accord.
A variety of new manufacturing technologies are required to build the new TL:
- New fluid-control paint system
- New Acid Etch clear-coat paint system
- Laser welding of inner door panels
- Instrument panel modularization to increase consistency
- Enhanced vehicle quality department