MARYSVILLE, OH – The official story of Honda Motor Co. Ltd.’s American odyssey began in 1976 with former Ohio Gov. James Rhodes spotting a news report the auto maker wished to establish a U.S. production base. Rhodes caught the first flight out of Columbus to Japan with then-State Development Director James Duerk to pitch Ohio to Honda President Kiyoshi Kawashima. An enduring friendship struck up between Rhodes and Honda founder Soichiro Honda, who clearly had a major say in the decision ...

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