Created on Friday, 21 June 2013 Written by JOEL E. MAST
Local R&D had role in Pioneer development
Honda South Carolina associate Harold Davis, of the vehicle quality department, drives the first Honda Pioneer off the assembly line during a ceremony marking the start of the Pioneer’s mass production. PHOTO | HONDA
TIMMONSVILLE, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley joined more than 900 associates and guests at Honda of South Carolina Manufacturer Inc. Friday to celebrate the production start-up of the all-new line of Honda’s next generation side-by-side multi-utility vehicle, the 2014 Pioneer.
HSC is investing $27 million in the Timmonsville plant over the next four years and has added more than 65 new jobs for side-by-side production, which HSC is manufacturing for the first time.
Brian Newman is president of HSC.
In addition to being manufactured in South Carolina, the new Pioneer was designed and engineered by Honda’s R&D operations in the U.S. including the Raymond R&D facility.
In addition to the production start-up for the new side-by-side product line, HSC is celebrating its 15th anniversary of producing Honda powersports products.
To commemorate this company milestone, HSC is donating $100,000 to Francis Marion University to assist in the development of a bachelor of science in industrial engineering program which will begin in the spring of 2014.
HSC began production of all-terrain vehicles 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 535,000-square-foot facility employing 650 associates with a cumulative investment of $308 million, HSC has produced nine different ATV models since its start in 1998, including the FourTrax and SporTrax series, and seven different engines.