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Durbin, Obama Ask Honda CEO to Bring New Honda Auto Plant to Illinois

Location: Washington, DC


U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Barack Obama (D-IL) today sent a letter to President and CEO of American Honda Motor Company, Mr. Koichi Kondo, urging Honda to bring their new $400 million automobile plant to Illinois.

"As home to the largest city in the Midwest, and one of the greatest transportation infrastructures in the country, Illinois would be an ideal location for Honda's new plant," said Durbin. "I applaud the Governor for reaching out to Honda and am looking forward to working with local, state and federal leaders to bring these 1,500 jobs to Illinois."

"Illinois is home to thousands of skilled workers who bring manufacturing experience and a Midwestern work ethic that will prove invaluable to any employer," said Obama. "I hope that Mr. Kondo will visit our state, see the great possibilities for growth it offers, and choose to build this new plant in Illinois."

Last month, Honda announced their plans to build a new $400 million plant at a Midwest location. The plant will provide 1,500 jobs and produce 200,000 vehicles a year. Honda is expected to choose and announce the location of the plant later this summer and complete construction by 2008.

June 7, 2006

Mr. Koichi Kondo
President and CEO
American Honda Motor Company

Dear Mr. Kondo:

It was with great interest that we read your May 16, 2006, announcement that Honda North America is planning to build a new automobile plant in the United States as part of your corporation's "2010 Vision" for North American automobile operations. We applaud you for your strategic plan to invest $400 million in a 200,000 units per year facility in North America. This investment will require a community that can provide more than 1,500 qualified workers and a strong economic infrastructure.

We join Governor Rod Blagojevich and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in their support of a new Honda facility in Illinois and hope that you will consider building this plant in our state.

The strengths of Illinois' workforce, infrastructure, energy resources, and business climate make the state an ideal place to site your new facility. Illinois' workforce leads the nation in education and productivity. Over 55 percent of the state's workforce has achieved an education level beyond high school and almost half of the state's 6 million workers are professionals, skilled technicians, craftspeople, or machine operators. About 13 percent of the workforce is employed in the manufacturing sector. In addition, Illinois features a host of job training programs that make it less expensive for businesses to find the skills they need.

Illinois is a major hub of our national rail network, features one of the best highway networks in the nation, and is home to O'Hare International Airport, the world's second busiest airport. In addition, Illinois is home to many port districts, which provide low-cost production and warehousing facilities for imported and export-bound products.

The abundance of Illinois' energy resources mitigates the risks associated with energy-intensive manufacturing. Illinois produces 190 billion kilowatts of electricity per year. In addition, as a leader in the production and development of biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, Illinois offers Honda the opportunity to be situated in close proximity to renewable energy industry leaders and research facilities.

Finally, Illinois' business-friendly reputation has attracted several automobile manufacturers and a host of successful Fortune 500 companies to the state. We hope that you will join these firms in seeing Illinois as a solid partner whose people and resources would make the state an ideal home for your proposed automobile plant.


Richard J Durbin
United States Senator

Barack Obama
United States Senator

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