SWEPSONVILLE, N.C. – Scott Connor still remembers his first trip to the Honda Power Equipment Manufacturing facility in Swepsonville N.C., 30 years ago. At the time, the factory was only producing one unit, but while visiting, he was told the factory would one day produce a million products.
The senior vice president at Honda Power Equipment said that on his flight back home to California, he thought “yeah, right.” But 30 years later, the group has hit 30 million products produced and now houses more than 600 employees.
Honda will continue to help the 375,000 square-foot facility grow with an $8.5-million investment, which will include the addition of a new line for the production of two-stage snow blowers and new generators. Production of the equipment is expected to start in the next 18 months. Connor said the Swepsonville snow blower will be the first two-stage snow blower designed and manufactured outside of Japan.
“Japan is still helping, but the primary development work is here,” he said.
Connor said more professionals have been using Honda mowers and snow blowers that were designed for the consumer. He added that the company makes an investment in the Swepsonville plant every year, but this was an above average investment.
“For us, it’s big news and reassuring to the associates,” he said.
The Honda power product research and development team is also based at the HPE campus, where most lawn mower and snow blower, and several general-purpose engines are designed and developed. There are a total of four HPE factories in America, but the Swepsonville plant is the largest.
The announcement came as part of Honda Power Equipment’s 30th anniversary celebration, which was attended by Takuji Yamada, Honda COO of North American Regional Operations, Shinji Oketani, HPE president, local officials and North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory.