SWEPSONVILLE, N.C. – At Honda Power Equipment’s manufacturing plant, over 750 associates, community members and local government representatives gathered to the celebrate 35 years of power equipment and yet another milestone.
“Partnerships are essential, the community is the key to our success,” said Takayoshi Fuka, president, Honda Power Equipment (HPE). HPE also donated to the local school board and supplied several fire and safety departments with new generators at the ceremony.
HPE announced it would be retiring a trusted mower, the HRR series, with a newly designed series, the HRN. The HRR series was first introduced to Honda customers in 1998. The company currently sells as many HRR models annually as they do Honda Civics.
“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right?” said Elisha Lipscomb, marketing manager for Honda Lawn and Garden. “But at Honda, we have a challenging spirit.” Lipscomb said they wanted to produce new mowers so that the company could better position itself for the future. The push to solve problems resulted in the new mower as well as a new engine to run it.
What’s new. Honda’s HRN series design was focused on serviceability, ease of use, durability and power. Vinny Prinzo, principal engineer on the project, said modifications like a higher fuel neck and bigger fuel fillers were implemented along with a toolless air filter.
A 3-in-1 clip director was added to the mower for ease of use when switching from the bagging or mulching option. The team also analyzed areas of the HRR mower that allowed clippings to escape from the deck and designed the new model to alleviate those issues.
“The HRN mower has been developed from the ground up to deliver our residential customers with the best possible mowing experience in the segment,” Lipscomb said. “It’s not uncommon to find landscaping companies with a variety of Honda products in their fleets, and it wouldn’t surprise me if you spot the all-new HRN there, too, in the coming mowing seasons.”
The mower also features adjustable handle heights for operator comfort. When shipment begins, users will find the mower fully assembled. Oil is included in the box leaving the operator to fill it with gas before the first mow.
More growth. With full production on HRN mowers slated to begin in September, Honda Power Equipment also gave anniversary celebration attendees a look into the expanded portion of its Swepsonville plant. A new production line is being built for the new engine along with 135,000 square feet of space dedicated two parts storage, which was previously offsite.The expanded manufacturing space will allow for the production of two million engines per year and 300,000 mower units per year. Approximately 1100 associates work out of the Swepsonville plant.