Honda of South Carolina Starts Production of Pioneer™ 500 Side-by-Side

-- Resulting From $24 Million Investment, New Production Creates 45 Jobs --

5/15/2014 1:00:00 PM

Joined by government officials and other guests, Honda of South Carolina Mfg., Inc. (HSC) today celebrated production start-up of Honda's next side-by-side, the 2015 Pioneer™500. Addition of the new model brings 45 jobs to the plant and $24 million in new investment.

Designed and developed by Honda R&D America, Inc., the Pioneer™ 500 adds a compact, affordable and fun side-by-side to the product line built at the Timmonsville facility, which has been producing all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) for nearly 16 years for the North American market and export to other regions.

"Today, we celebrate another new South Carolina-made vehicle, powered by the passion and the pride of all Honda associates who are committed to exceeding the expectations of our Honda Powersports customers," said Brian Newman, president of HSC. "From long-time off-road enthusiasts to new side-by-side drivers, we expect the Pioneer 500 will be an instant favorite."

Florence elected officials and local business representatives joined more than 900 associates at the Timmonsville facility to witness the mass production launch of the new 2015 Pioneer 500 model.

"Congratulations to Honda and all of your associates on the launch of the new Honda Pioneer 500," said Senator Hugh K. Leatherman. "This launch brings an additional 45 new jobs to Florence County who will be involved in the production of some 24,000 Honda Pioneers annually."

He added, "Honda is demonstrating that we in Florence County are indeed open for business. Thank you Honda for your commitment and belief in Florence County and South Carolina."

About the Honda Pioneer
With the Pioneer™ 500, Honda adds a compact, affordable and fun side-by-side to its product line. The steering-column-mounted paddle shifters add to the fun, while the Pioneer 500's 50-inch width lets it fit on recreational trails with width restrictions, as well as in the back of a full-size truck. And its tight 13-foot turning radius reflects its agile handling. From long-time off-road enthusiasts to new side-by-side drivers, the Pioneer 500 will become an instant favorite.

About Honda of South Carolina Mfg., Inc.
HSC began production of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in July 1998 with a workforce of approximately 200 associates. The initial $30 million, 200,000 square foot ATV manufacturing plant was the beginning of Honda of South Carolina's significant growth in Florence County.

In fall 2000, operations expanded to add engine production to the plant.  Now, a 630,000 square foot facility directly employing 900 associates with a cumulative investment of $314.5 million, HSC has produced* 9 different ATV models since its start in 1998, including the FourTrax and SporTrax series, and 7 different engines.

With the flexibility to produce many powersports products, associates at the Timmonsville plant currently manufacture Honda ATVs and Side by-Side for the North American market as well as for export to global markets. HSC also is the exclusive North American production site for all Utility ATVs and Side by Side models.

Honda also has established R&D and engineering operations in Timmonsville, as well as Honda's export handling operations in South Carolina, and a parts consolidation center and other operations that support product development, manufacturing and sales in North America.

About Honda
Honda established operations in America in 1959, and now employs more than 39,000 associates in its North American sales, R&D and manufacturing operations with a capital investment of more than $16.3 billion.

Based on its longstanding commitment to "build products close to the customer" Honda operates 16 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda and Acura automobiles, automobile engines and transmissions, Honda all-terrain vehicles, power equipment products such as lawn mowers, mini-tillers and general purpose engines, and the HondaJet light jet, using domestic and globally sourced parts.

Eight Honda auto plants in the region, including four in the U.S., have the capacity to produce 1.92 million automobiles each year. In 2013, 94 percent of the Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were produced in North America. Those plants today manufacture 11 different models, including four passenger cars and seven light trucks.

A fifth U.S. auto plant, the Performance Manufacturing Center, is under construction in Marysville, Ohio, and next year will become the exclusive global production location for the next generation Acura NSX.

Honda operates major research and development centers in the U.S. that fully design, develop and engineer many of the products Honda produces in North America.

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For more information:
Michele Pridgen 843.346.6087
michele_pridgen@hsc.honda.com