Honda Motor Co. has started producing its new 10-speed automatic transmission at a plant in Georgia that the automaker said had been the site of a $100-million assembly line installation and other changes in production processes. The new 10AT will be available in new Honda Odyssey minivans later this year, and eventually in other Honda and Acura cars and light truck models.

Multi-speed automatic transmissions have been developed and introduced in recent years in an effort to give drivers more power and acceleration, with better control of fuel consumption.

The $100 million invested at Honda Precision Parts of Georgia LLC in Tallapoosa, Ga., was matched by another $49 million worth of new manufacturing equipment and production capacity at Honda Transmission Mfg. of America, Inc. in Russells Point, O.

Honda Motor noted it has invested more than $3 billion in its U.S. plants over the past four years.

"This new 10-speed automatic transmission represents Honda's commitment to provide our customers with products of outstanding performance, and we are honored to be the global lead plant for production of the 10AT," stated Masahiko Kayama, president of Honda Precision Parts of Georgia. "Manufacturing the new transmission in Georgia is a huge responsibility and a great opportunity for Honda associates to demonstrate their manufacturing capabilities and commitment."