Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co., bucking downsizing moves by other automakers, will boost capacity 25 percent and add 800 new jobs at its new minivan factory in Alabama, according to a Detroit News story by Susan Carney. The Alabama expansion, announced Dec. 4, will increase annual output of the hot-selling Odyssey minivan to 150,000 units from 120,000 by late 2002, adding 800 jobs to 1,500 already planned and increasing Honda's investment in the plant from $440 million to $580 million. "Demand for Honda products in North America has left our dealers in short supply of models like the Odyssey," Hiroyuki Yoshino, president and chief executive of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., said during ceremonies to dedicate the new plant, which began producing the Odyssey in November. With the Alabama expansion, Honda is nearly doubling its North American truck capacity to 330,000 units from 180,000. Separately, Honda's top North American executive, Koichi Amemiya, confirmed Dec. 4 that the company will introduce in 2002 a new mid-size sport utility vehicle to be built at a plant in Alliston, Ontario. Honda now can boost output of the MDX in Canada if necessary, or shift Odyssey production to Alabama and free space in Canada to build the new SUV, which will replace the current Honda Passport.