Associates at Honda North Carolina Manufacturing (NCM) in Swepsonville today welcomed a new model to the production lineup. A first for the longtime power equipment facility, a FourTrax Rancher all-terrain vehicle (ATV) rolled off the assembly line, launching a new powersports era in North Carolina.
NCM will become the exclusive production source for Honda ATVs in North America, joining with Honda South Carolina Manufacturing (SCM) in Timmonsville, S.C., which is the only facility in the world to build Honda side-by-sides. NCM will produce Honda FourTrax and TRX series ATV models.*
Youth-sized model production began at NCM in late April, with production of the TRX90, signaling the initial transition to Honda ATV production to North Carolina. Currently, the work being carried out by NCM is primarily focused on assembly until weld and paint equipment for ATV production is transferred from SCM in the coming months. Construction for weld and paint departments at NCM will begin this fall.
“We’re excited to bring ATV production to Honda North Carolina Manufacturing, and this team has done an incredible job working as one team with Honda associates in South Carolina to make it happen,” said David Werden, assistant vice president and production division lead at NCM. “Flexibility in manufacturing has always been key to our ability to meet the needs of Honda customers and it’s important that we continue to evolve our business to prepare for the future.”
Since beginning lawn mower production in 1984, associates at NCM have built over 700 million Honda power equipment products, constantly evolving their production capabilities and products to meet customer needs. Over nearly 40 years of production, NCM has manufactured a variety of Honda products including snow blowers, string trimmers, mini-tillers, water pumps, pressure washers, generators and general-purpose engines.
By the end of September, NCM will discontinue production of lawnmowers due to market forces such as stricter environmental regulations and shifting customer preferences to become the sole producer of Honda ATVs in North America, enabling SCM to expand Honda side-by-side production to meet increasing customer demand for Honda’s popular Pioneer and Talon sports models.
The transition of ATV production to NCM aligns with shifts in Honda’s business focus that will result in greater manufacturing efficiencies and increased productivity.
“The associates at Honda North Carolina Manufacturing have been a critical part of our ability to maintain a versatile product lineup for nearly four decades and that will continue in the future,” said Hank Real, vice president, Powersports & Products, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Transitioning ATV production to NCM will leverage our facility’s manufacturing experience and talented Honda associates to ensure we continue to supply the high quality our customers expect from a Honda ATV.”
NCM currently employs more than 600 associates at the 700,000-square-foot plant, which represents a cumulative investment of more than $380 million in North Carolina.