How A Team Of Buckeyes Helped Honda Save A Bundle

One stifling summer day in 1991, a dozen or so American engineers gathered in a windowless room at Honda Motor Co.'s Sayama factory outside Tokyo. Secrecy was paramount, for scattered about lay hundreds of prototype parts from the company's Tochigi research lab. The Americans rolled up their sleeves and within hours assembled by hand a prototype of the 1994 Accord. In the past, at best a few U.S. engineers had been flown in to watch this ritual. This time, "it was like someone opened a candy shop," says Gary Crawford, an engineer from Marysville, Ohio. "Right away, we started listing up design changes."

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