It's always a good time for manufacturers to celebrate milestones. The most recent story of success — and longevity — comes from one of the industry's premier OEMs: Honda.
Honda of South Carolina Mfg. (MSC) on Nov. 12 produced its 300,000th side-by-side vehicle, a Pioneer 1000 Deluxe five-seat model, and celebrated with associates at the Timmonsville plant.
“The production of the 300,000th Honda side-by-side is an important milestone for HSC, as it demonstrates our ability to leverage Honda’s international knowhow and expertise to produce high-quality powersports products in the U.S.,” said Chad Hensley, HSC vice president. “Although Honda was founded in Japan, we’ve been a leader in incorporating American facilities and associates into our vehicle design and production operations. HSC’s side-by-side production operations are a great example of that, and we look forward to producing many more powersports products here.”
HSC was established in 1998 as an ATV production plant, and multipurpose side-by-side production started in 2013, with the Pioneer 700. Production of the Pioneer 500 followed in 2014 and the Pioneer 1000 in 2015, with Talon sport side-by-sides beginning production in 2018.
In 2019, the plant completed a $45 million upgrade, which included a 115,000 square-foot expansion, with a new weld area, paint line, automated guided carriers, lift-assist devices and improved production efficiency. The project also added 250 new jobs, bringing current total HSC employment to 1,400 associates.
In 1979, Honda became the first Japanese company to manufacture motorcycles in the U.S. (CR250M Elsinore), in Marysville, Ohio, and in 1982 it became the first Japanese auto company to manufacture cars in the U.S. (Accord), also in Marysville. In addition to being the exclusive producer of Honda side-by-sides, HSC has produced over 3 million ATVs.