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      Honda marks 15 years in Florence County

      South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley visited Honda of Timmonsville Friday to celebrate the company's 15th anniversary.

      "We congratulate Honda of South Carolina in their new Honda side-by-side production accomplishment," said Gov. Nikki Haley.

      The plant opened in Timmonsville on July 1, 1998.

      The company announced Friday its exclusively producing the new 2014 Honda Pioneer at the plant.

      This $27 million investment will create 65 new jobs, according to Honda officials.

      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.

      "Today, we celebrate a 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.

      Currently, more than 850 people work at Honda of Timmonsville.

      The plant began production of the four-wheeled Honda FourTrax ATV model line in 1998.

      In 2000, operations expanded to add engine production to the plant.

      The plant's production line has the capacity to manufacture a quarter of a million vehicles and 310,000 engines per year.

      Honda operates nine manufacturing facilities in the US.