It is manufactured by Honda for them, but you won't find it in plain site on the engine. It is basically the same engine that Honda uses in the Odessey minivans, and is also used in the Ridgeline, Pilot, and the Acura MDX.
It is a very very good engine from what I've read in the technical spec department, although another thread has come up about the VCM system that this engine has. Don't really know what to make of it, as it is new technology. I just hope that they still know what they are doing.
I don't beleive it is because Honda trannys have a plug, and this transmission (unless it has changed for '06) has a pan if I remember rightly. In my opinion, going away from the spin on filter transmission and drain plug, was a GIGANTIC step backwards. I know that at first, it might have been confused for the oil (had a lot of those come in at the dealer), but all in all, it made it real easy to keep up the normal maintenance routine of transmission fluid/filter replacement, without getting filthy in the process.
The Vue V6 at one time was the GM L81 3.0L which was manufactured in England (don't know where it was designed). This engine was also used in the Saturn LS300. The 2.5L version was used in Vauxhall/Opels. Anyone know why Saturn switched to Honda engines?
I was told that the Honda engine was part of a "technology swap" betwen GM & Honda. GM supplied some diesel engine expetise as I recall.
[Disclaimer: I was told this at an auto show two years ago, so take it for what it's worth.]
The same family engine was also used in the Cadillac Catera and Saab 900 V6 (in 2.5l form)and Saab 9-5 in 3.0l form. Honda licensed GM it's 3.5 in exchange for Isuzu diesel technology if I remember correctly. I was VERY mad to find this out as it happened within a year after purchasing my brand new 2002 CR-V which is a direct competitor. The 3.0 l was not a spectacular engine (in saabs it is garanteed to throw a timing belt) and was rather low tech and lethargic compared to the Honda engine.