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HONDA BEGINS AMERICAN PRODUCTION OF RIDING MOWERS

 SWEPSONVILLE, N.C., Nov. 17 ~PRNewswire~ -- The first productio n of Honda riding mowers in America officially began today at Honda Power Equipment Mfg., Inc. (HPE) in Swepsonville. Gov. James G. Martin was on hand to start the first H1011 Harmony Riding Mower as it rolled off the HPE assembly line.
 "The products we make here in North Carolina satisfy the demand for Honda mowers in North America," said Koji Tsujita, president of Honda Power Equipment Mfg. "But we are also a world source for Honda products, which are currently exported to 16 countries -- places like Australia and Hong Kong, Spain and Uruguay, Bermuda and South Korea -- even Japan!"
 The Swepsonville plant will be the only Honda facility in the world to produce the Harmony Riding Mower. As a result, the Harmony mower will be exported to markets around the globe.
 HPE will produce about 15,000 to 20,000 riding mowers per year. This is in addition to the 175,000 walk-behind mowers and 200,000 lawn mower engines currently produced annually. The Swepsonville plant also produces automobile transmission cases for Honda's Anna, Ohio, engine plant, and rebuilds automobile transmissions for dealer service.
 "Our associates have proven time and again that they can produce world-class Honda quality in North Carolina," said Patrick Curtiss, HPE general manager. "Our customers around the world understand that Honda quality never varies, regardless of where products are manufactured. It is our responsibility and our challenge to make sure that we continue to exceed the expectations of our customers."
 HPE began production operations in 1984 with 25 associates. Today, HPE represents an investment of $30 million and employs 226 associates.
 -0- 11~17~92
 ~CONTACT: Jeff Leestma of Honda, 313-567-7770~
 (HMC)


CO: Honda Power Equipment Mfg., Inc. ST: North Carolina IN: AUT SU:

JG -- DE011 -- 1808 11~17~92 11:47 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 17, 1992
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