Workers at the Honda Manufacturing Plant in Lincoln. 

Honda Manufacturing of Alabama and its suppliers had a $12 billion economic impact on Alabama in 2018, employ over 45,000 in the state and produce 5.4 percent of the total Alabama GDP, according to a report released this week by the automaker and Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA).

In its “Honda Economic Impact Study,” the University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research was commissioned to examine the economic and fiscal impacts of Honda and its 26 key Tier 1 suppliers located across the state. The manufacturing plant, which started production in 2001 in Lincoln, Ala., recently celebrated 5 million vehicles produced in Alabama – the first Alabama automaker to hit that mark, said Steve Sewell, executive vice president at EDPA.

“Honda is so instrumental to our success in economic development,” Sewell said.

Honda produces its Odyssey, Passport, Pilot and Ridgeline models in Alabama. All four were named to’s Top 10 annual American-Made Index, which highlights cars and trucks that make significant contributions to the U.S. economy.

The impact from Honda and its suppliers on both economic development and workforce across the state is substantial, the study found. Its reach stretches across five Alabama counties – Calhoun, Etowah, Jefferson, St. Clair and Talladega – and it is the largest automotive sector employer impacting the Birmingham region.

“Honda’s Alabama team have successfully, and quickly, grown their Alabama facility into a juggernaut of engine production and automotive assembly,” said Jeff Traywick, vice president of economic development at the BBA. “Their core operations, as well as their regional supplier network, have created job opportunities for thousands of our region’s residents and have had a significant effect on our local tax base. We are proud of Honda’s success in Alabama and of those ‘made in Alabama’ vehicles that are exported worldwide.”

According to the report in Jefferson County, 2,529 total jobs were generated and $168.8 million in total earnings were amassed. In St. Clair County, 2,069 total jobs were generated with earnings of $145.4 million.

More than the noteworthy economic impact the plant has had – it produced $8.6 billion in outputs in 2018, 3.9 percent of the total Alabama GDP – what matters most to the company is its people. The company is responsible for $1.3 billion in earnings to Alabama households, the report said.

“These are significant statistics, but without people, the statistics don’t mean as much,” said Mike Oatridge, senior vice president at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama.

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