Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. will cease manufacturing motorcycles in the U.S. in 2009, in a corporate strategy to consolidate production at its plant in Kumamoto, Japan. Production will end next spring at the Honda motorcycle plant in Marysville, OH, and the 450 workers will be transferred to positions at Honda’s four other operations in central Ohio. Another Japanese motorcycle plant, at Hamamtsu, also will be consolidated at Kumamoto. Honda of America Manufacturing has not determined whether production will be phased out or shutdown in one step. The Marysville motorcycle plant is Honda’s oldest U.S. manufacturing operation, having started up in 1979. According to reports, Honda of America produced 44,000 Gold Wing 1800 and VTX 1800 and VTX 1300 V-Twin Cruiser motorcycles in 2007. Honda officials state that the end of motorcycle production will be matched by a greater emphasis on automaking in North America. It is building a $550-million assembly plant near Greensburg, IN, and a $140-million engine plant in Alliston, ON, both of which are due to start up this year. The company casts four-cylinder and V-6 engine blocks, driveshafts, crankshafts, brake components, camshafts, and suspension components at its engine plant in Anna, OH, and assembles sedans and SUVs at two other plants in Ohio.