Honda plant reaches 2.5M units, plans expansion

TIMMONSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – The Honda production plant in Timmonsville announced they have produced 2.5 million all-terrain vehicles (ATV), and will soon be expanding their production line.

Perhaps more importantly, Honda officials are excited to bring more jobs to South Carolina.

"We've all been hoping that more business and more opportunities to build Honda products would come," said Michele Pridgen with Honda South Carolina.  "All of our associates welcomed the announcement with a loud cheer."

By mid-2013, the plant expects to have fully launched their side-by-side production by investing $27 million in the plant over the next four years.

That expansion will also open up 65 new jobs.

"It's a really big deal for the Pee Dee region because it's bringing 65 new jobs initially," said Pridgen.  "The capital investment of $27 million is desperately needed in the economy today."

For the past 14 years, the Timmonsville plant has served as the backbone to Honda's ATV production.

"Reaching the milestone of 2.5 million units is a testament to the commitment of our associates and the entire Honda team to produce products that exceed our customer's expectations," said HSC plant manager Scott McKenzie. "Adding the new side-by-side production demonstrates the confidence Honda top management has in our associates and their capabilities to produce these new vehicles."

The Timmonsville Plant has been working to produce Honda products including the FourTrax and SporTrax series.

Honda says it chose to relocate these jobs to Timmonsville mostly to centralize ATV production, but also because of the quality of the work force in South Carolina.

"South Carolina continues to the be the best place not just because we're so popular in the southeast," said Chuck Boderman of Honda  "It's a great distribution place for the US, the best work force we make such a fantastic product here so everything makes sense."

Honda's side-by-side production will transfer from Honda de Mexico S.A. de C.V. (HDM) to the plant in Timmonsville, and will increase capacity for the production of additional two-wheel products to meet growing market demand in Mexico.

"The Timmonsville plant has established a strong foundation in South Carolina by continually improving our plant operations in order to exceed the expectations of our customers," said Brian Newman, president of Honda South Carolina. "The addition of this new product will allow the Timmonsville plant to deepen its commitment to the state of South Carolina by investing in new expansion, tooling and new jobs for this area. Production of the side-by-side also will benefit the region by increasing the volume and range of parts purchasing from domestic suppliers."

"We congratulate Honda of South Carolina in reaching a milestone with the production of the 2.5 millionth ATV at the Florence facility. We are also excited that Honda has chosen to invest $27 million and create more than 65 new jobs in Timmonsville. When a world-class company like Honda increases its footprint here, it shows that South Carolina is the right place to do business," said Gov. Nikki Haley.

If you are interested in applying for one of these new jobs, Honda said you can contact its hiring agency Olsten.  There is a Florence Olsten office at 1711 W. Palmetto Street, you can also apply by sending your resume (843) 664-1191.

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