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 MARYSVILLE, Ohio, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/-- Motor Trend magazine today presented the award for Import Car of the Year to associates of Honda of American Manufacturing (HAM) who developed the car for production at the Marysville Auto Plant.
 The trophy was presented by Terry Shiver, Motor Trend publisher, and Leonard Emanuelson, Motor Trend editorial director, at a special ceremony next to the production line where the 1994 Accord Wagon began mass production this week.
 This is the first time the Accord has received the Motor Trend Import Car of the Year award. It is also the first time Motor Trend executives have presented the award at the plant where the car is manufactured.
 In judging for the Import Car of the Year, Motor Trend editors considered all of the EPA-designated import cars and minivans on sale by Jan. 1, 1994. "Viewed from both an industry and a buyer's perspective, we weighed technological advancement, value, and performance to determine the one standout choice for '94. The new Honda Accord is that vehicle," Motor Trend wrote in the Feb. 1994 issue.
 Cars are eligible for Motor Trend's "Car of the Year" and "Import Car of the Year" award based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifications for CAFE fuel economy fleets. Because some Accords sold in the U.S. are imported from Japan, the Accord is classified by the EPA as an import fleet.
 Motor Trend recognized the contribution of HAM associates and suppliers to the success of the 1994 Accord. "The cooperation between HAM employees and their Japanese counterparts led to numerous meaningful improvements in basic vehicle design as well as specific production techniques," the magazine wrote. "Accords built in Ohio actually contain over 80 percent domestically sourced components. That should give Honda a distinct advantage in maintaining price competitiveness."
 The new 1994 Accord provides new levels of safety, styling, performance and refinement. "It's clear that Honda has come up with something very special," declared Motor Trend. "Few vehicles have captured the hearts and minds of American automobile buyers like the Honda Accord.
 "An international team effort of unprecedented proportions led to a car that embodies all the personality traits of its popular predecessor and goes one step beyond," the editors wrote. "Their labors resulted in a new car that's the strongest, safest, quietest, best performing, and most fuel-efficient Accord ever."
 More than 80 percent of Accords sold in the U.S. are manufactured at the Marysville Auto Plant. All Accord Coupes and Wagons are manufactured exclusively by HAM and are exported to 28 countries around the world.
 "With the launch of the Accord Wagon this week, HAM associates have met a challenge unprecedented in the U.S. auto industry," said Bob Simcox, Marysville Auto Plant Manager. "No other auto plant has completed such a complex new model change, with four model types -- Sedan, Coupe, Wagon, and right-hand-drive for export -- on two production lines, in a high-volume environment, all within six months.
 "We're pleased that Motor Trend has recognized the new Accord and the contributions of this manufacturing team which have produced a car not only of exceptional quality but of exceptional value as well," said Simcox.
 With the 1994 Accord, HAM's domestic supplier base has grown to 320 companies, an increase of 25 suppliers. The new Accord contains about 395 new domestic parts. With the new domestic suppliers and components, the local content of the Accord has risen to 82 percent.
 Motor Trend's Import Car of the Year award was first presented in 1976. It is regarded as one of the most prestigious awards in the auto industry. Honda won its first Import Car of the Year trophy in 1980 with the Honda Civic followed by the Honda CRX in 1984 and the Honda CRX Si in 1988. The Acura Legend Coupe won the award in 1987.
 -0- 1/14/94
 /CONTACT: Roger Lambert of Honda of America Manufacturing, 513-644-7714/

CO: Honda of America Manufacturing ST: Ohio IN: AUT SU:

CM-BM -- CL003 -- 2055 01/14/94 09:05 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 14, 1994

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