SWEPSONVILLE, N.C. - The number 30 figured big this past August 6 in this community of 1,100 people in Alamance County in north-central North Carolina. The company marked the 30th anniversary of the 375,000-sq.-ft. Honda Power Equipment Mfg. Inc. (HPE) facility here.
The number also marks the 30 million products that the facility has manufactured since its founding with just 35 associates (employees) Aug. 6, 1984.
The plant now produces walk-behind mowers, gasoline engines, snow blowers, generators, pumps, tillers and trimmers for both the commercial and consumer markets.
In terms of output and quality, what the associates there accomplish is staggering. They have the capacity to manufacture 2 million products annually. In 2013 they manufactured more than 400,000 products for export.
A 30-minute mid-morning observance of the 30th anniversary was marked by brief comments by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and several senior Honda officials. HPE's 600-plus associates decked out in their company whites loudly applauded the announcement that the company is investing an additional $8.5 million in the plant. HPE has invested more than $250 million in the Swepsonville plant during its 30-year history.
Of particular significance to contractors in the snow management business, much of the new investment is going to in a new line for the production of two-stage snow blowers. HPE already manufactures single-stage snow blowers. The new two-stage snow blowers will find acceptance in the commercial, the institutional and the consumer markets, said company officials.
"We are celebrating 30 years of success of Honda Power Equipment Manufacturing because of everyday hard work of power 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."
Added Shinji Oketani, HPE president: "Manufacturing power products in North Carolina was once only a dream for Honda. 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."
In addition the HPE, North Carolina also hosts Honda Aircraft Company, which produces HondaJet, in Greensboro with 1,000 associates; Honda Aero, Inc., Honda jet engines in Burlington, with 66 associates; and Honda Finance Corp. in Charlotte with 85 associates.