Honda to Expand ATV Plant in South Carolina
22 January 2000Groundbreaking Held for Engine Manufacturing Operation
TIMMONSVILLE, S.C. -- Honda of South Carolina Mfg., Inc. (HSC) broke ground on Friday for a new $20 million engine manufacturing operation to support its existing all-terrain vehicle (ATV) plant in Timmonsville. The new operation will produce an engine currently made in Japan, and will lead to the hiring of an additional 200 associates. HSC began ATV production in July 1998 using both domestic and globally-sourced parts. The expansion will increase Honda's total investment to more than $70 million. When the new engine operation reaches full capacity in 2001, HSC will have an annual production capacity of 150,000 ATVs and engines and will employ approximately 625 associates. "This expansion is consistent with Honda's strategy of starting small and growing larger as our local capabilities grow and as demand increases," said HSC President Yoshiki Ishida. "We have experienced many challenges over the past two years. The ability of our associates to overcome these challenges and produce consistent quality with a high degree of efficiency is what has made it possible for us to take this major new step today." Engine assembly operations at HSC will begin in April 2000 within the existing plant. A core group of HSC associates already has been trained at Honda's Kumamoto Plant in Japan and has returned to HSC to help establish the production processes and train other associates. Construction of the 50,000 square foot expansion for engine machining and casting will begin immediately and be completed by late summer. Upon completion, the plant will total 330,000 square feet. Honda currently produces automobile and motorcycle engines in Ohio and lawn mower engines in North Carolina, using domestic and globally-sourced parts -- and has announced plans for a new auto and engine plant in Alabama to begin production in 2002. Honda's ATV sales in America grew more than 20 percent in 1999. HSC is also producing for a global market with 20 percent of its products exported to countries including Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. HSC currently produces five ATV models, including the Recon, FourTrax Foreman ES, Foreman 400 S, Foreman 400, and the FourTrax 400 EX. HSC production processes now will include engine assembly, machining and die-casting; frame manufacturing; welding; painting; plastic molding; body assembly and dynamic testing. Honda designs, manufactures and markets automobiles, motorcycles and power products worldwide. Honda is the largest engine maker in the world, producing more than 10 million engines annually for its three product lines, including sales of engines to other manufacturers. Honda products are manufactured in more than 100 plants in 33 countries, employing more than 125,000 associates globally. Honda employs 19,000 associates in its U.S. sales, R&D and manufacturing operations.