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I have lucked into getting one of the first 2002 Odysseys next week. This would obviously be one of the first produced, maybe the very first week, maybe the first day!

Any worries from this crowd about early production vehicles?

My thoughts are that none of these changes are really new to Honda - the engine and tranny have been done at Acura, Leather done in Accords, etc etc

Any thoughts?
 

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The Canadian factory is making both the Odyssey and the Acura MDX -- so they are basically installing the MDX drive train in the Odyssey. The newly trained workers will be at new plant in Lincoln, Alabama, where they have assembled a few "test" Odysseys and are making castings, etc. The first Alabama cars might be "learners."
 

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And the leather interiors are probably done by an outside firm like Johnson Controls who makes thousands of seats every week.
 

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PD55:
The Ody and MDX are made in the same plant in Alliston, Ontario. MDX has already been proven so it's just a matter of slapping the MDX engine in the Ody. If you've seen the MDX engine, it looks the same. Hopefully the internals are.

Remember, automakers save a lot of money buy using common parts.

I'm guessing here but I bet you the leather seats are made by TSTech in Newmarket, Ontario. The same guys that supply the leather seats for the Acura EL (Glorified Civic). Maybe, I should drop by and ask them.
You see the Acura EL and the Civic 4-door is also made in Alliston, Ontario.
 

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Personally, I had rather take my chances with an early 02 out of the Canadian plant assembled by experienced employees than an 02 out of the new Alabama plant when it goes on line. It would scare the hell out of me to think I might be buying a "test mule" assembled by trainees. You KNOW they are going to have some quality problems. Just look at the problems Mercedes had when they started producing the M-Class SUV at their new Alabama facility.
 

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I've worked in manufacturing and every new factory will have its share of bugs as workers and equipment go down the learning curve.

Now this does not mean that the Odysseys sold out of the plant will be out of spec. Their Quality Control will catch all the big problems. Assuming that the two plants have the same mfg processes then the Canadian Ody will be better in many ways that may or may not affect your usage of the vehicle. The Canadian Ody will have more parts and equipment at target spec rather than the new plant which will likely have things within spec but with varying quality. If you are going to keep the vehicle for a long time, a Canada Ody is better, short-term it the new plant may not show any differences.

Most likely any problems you might have will be taken care of by the warranty.

But whatever you do, try not to mention this in your negotiations, dealers will just use it to justify why you should be paying a higher price for the 2002 available now.

[This message has been edited by phoenix2001 (edited 08-31-2001).]
 

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From the Birmingham News, 8-21-01. "From Lincoln With Leather."

"At full production, the Alabama plant will make 120,000 engines and minivans a year, but won't reach full speed for several months.

"'Our engine and frame divisions are busy performing trial evaluations and focusing on equipment and associate readiness. Once these trial evaluations are complete, we will turn our attention to quality and volume,' said Mark Morrison, a Honda spokesman in Lincoln. 'We're scheduled to hit mass production by the end of the year and we are actually a little ahead of schedule.'

"Honda expects to have more than 1,200 workers by year's end and 1,500 at full production."
 
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