Honda of America Mfg. Inc. is shifting the majority of V-6 Accord production to its Lincoln, AL, plant in order to increase output of more fuel-efficient 4-cyl. models in Marysville, OH.

The Lincoln plant will begin assembling Accord sedans in mid-2009.

As Marysville hikes 4-cyl. output, Honda will decrease the number of Accords it imports into the U.S. from its Saitama plant in Japan, the auto maker says. Honda currently produces 80% of its Accords sold in the U.S. locally, but that number will rise as imports are cut, the auto maker says.

Marysville capacity will remain at 440,000 vehicles annually.

As a result of the moves, Honda also is increasing production of 4-cyl. engines at the Anna, OH, plant, while reducing V-6 output there. Annual capacity will remain at 1.18 million engines.

In addition, Honda announced earlier it would move output of the Ridgeline pickup from its Alliston, ON, Canada, plant to Lincoln in early 2009.

“We are leveraging our flexible manufacturing network to meet the needs of our customers for more fuel-efficient products,” says John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co. Inc. “We will continue to guide our business based on strategic and careful management tied to our core values.”

The Accord is the first car to be produced at the Lincoln plant, which operates two assembly lines building the Odyssey minivan and Pilot cross/utility vehicle. Capacity at Lincoln remains at 300,000 vehicles and 300,000 V-6 engines, but Honda says it will continue to reduce light-truck output there through March 31 as it shifts a portion of the plant’s production toward the Accord.