Honda is investing $8.5 million to its Power Equipment factory in Swepsonville, North Carolina with the goal of "innovating production processes and adding new products" like snow blowers and generators.
Honda develops and builds things like engines, generators, lawn mowers, pumps, snow blowers, tillers and trimmers at the 345,000 square-foot Swepsonville shop. They're into the whole operation for about $250 million in total, and exported "over 400,000" gas-powered machines last year.
Here's the full update, straight from Honda:
"We are celebrating 30 years of success at Honda Power Equipment Manufacturing because of the everyday hard work of our power product associates in North Carolina," said Takuji Yamada, Honda COO of North American Regional Operations. "Our founder, Soichiro Honda, believed that we could make people happy through technology. Now, many years later, Honda is still focused on using unique Honda technologies to help people get things done."
The Swepsonville plant, which today employs more than 600 associates, has produced more than 30 million products using domestic and globally sourced parts during its 30-year history. HPE is the largest manufacturing operation in Alamance County, which also serves as home to Honda Aero in Burlington, maker of the HondaJet HF120 turbofan engines. Additional Honda operations based in North Carolina include Honda Aircraft Company in Greensboro, maker of the HondaJet advanced light jet, and American Honda Finance Company in Charlotte, which provides financing to consumers who buy Honda products. Honda total employment in North Carolina is nearly 3,000.
HPE is the sole global production source for all Honda GC and GCV general-purpose engines and all Honda single-stage snow blowers.
The factory is supported by a network of suppliers that provide integral components for manufacturing. Currently, 155 domestic and international suppliers work with HPE; 45 of those suppliers are based in North Carolina. HPE has purchased nearly $500 million in parts from North Carolina suppliers, and the company will continue to work closely with the local community as the Honda business grows.
"Manufacturing power products in North Carolina was once only a dream for Honda," said Shinji Oketani, HPE president. "I am proud that our dream lives on today after 30 years at HPE, as well as our strong desire as a company to make products that help people improve their daily lives."
The Honda power product research and development team also is based at the HPE campus, where most lawn mower, snow blower and several general-purpose engines are designed and developed. Originally based in Ohio, the Honda power product R&D team moved to North Carolina in 1993 to be closer to power product manufacturing. As a result, Honda has greater synergies between development and production teams.