Honda is celebrating 25 years of building powersports products at Honda South Carolina Manufacturing (SCM) in Timmonsville by expanding the production of its popular side-by-side models to meet growing customer demand. Since 1998, Honda associates have produced more than four million powersports products in South Carolina.
Noriya Kaihara, president and CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (AHM), and the chief officer of Honda North America Regional Operations, joined SCM associates to mark the week-long celebration of their 25th anniversary with a tree-planting ceremony representing SCM’s continued growth in the state of South Carolina, as well as charitable contributions to local community organizations.
SCM is the exclusive global production facility for Honda side-by-side vehicles. In 2018, Honda announced a $45 million investment to enhance SCM operations to expand side-by-side production to meet strong customer demand for the Pioneer series and Talon sports models. Today, SCM has the capacity to build 100,000 side-by-side models per year, with a cumulative investment of more than $450 million in its operations and employment of about 1,000 associates.
“Our Honda South Carolina Manufacturing team has accomplished a great deal over the last 25 years and we are just as excited about what lies ahead in the next 25 years,” says Travis Lee, production control department lead of SCM.
Now, Honda will transfer ATV production to Honda North Carolina Manufacturing (NCM) in Swepsonville, to accelerate SCM’s shift to side-by-side production. Associates at NCM have welcomed the new FourTrax Rancher ATV model to its production lineup, adding to its production of TRX series ATV models.
Youth-sized model production began at NCM in late April, with production of the TRX90, signaling the initial transition to Honda ATV production to North Carolina. Currently, the work being carried out by NCM is primarily focused on assembly until weld and paint equipment for ATV production is transferred from SCM in the coming months. Construction for weld and paint departments at NCM will begin this fall.
“We’re excited to bring ATV production to Honda North Carolina Manufacturing, and this team has done an incredible job working as one team with Honda associates in South Carolina to make it happen,” says David Werden, assistant vice president and production division lead at NCM. “Flexibility in manufacturing has always been key to our ability to meet the needs of Honda customers and it’s important that we continue to evolve our business to prepare for the future.”
Since beginning lawn mower production in 1984, associates at NCM have built over 700 million Honda power equipment products, constantly evolving their production capabilities and products to meet customer needs. Over nearly 40 years of production, NCM has manufactured a variety of Honda products including snow blowers, string trimmers, mini-tillers, water pumps, pressure washers, generators and general-purpose engines.
By the end of September, NCM will discontinue production of lawnmowers due to market forces such as stricter environmental regulations and shifting customer preferences to become the sole producer of Honda ATVs in North America, enabling SCM to expand Honda side-by-side production to meet increasing customer demand for Honda’s popular Pioneer and Talon sports models. NCM currently employs more than 600 associates at the 700,000-square-foot plant, which represents a cumulative investment of more than $380 million in North Carolina.
The transition of ATV production to NCM aligns with shifts in Honda’s business focus that will result in greater manufacturing efficiencies and increased productivity.