NORTH KINGSTOWN – Honda will begin shipping autos to the Port of Davisville in 2014, a “key sign of growth in the port’s emergence as one of the largest auto-importers in North America,” the Quonset Development Corporation announced Friday.
Joining QDC officials and leaders from North Atlantic Distribution Inc. for the announcement on Friday morning were Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee, Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Reps. James R. Langevin and David Cicilline.
The Honda vehicles, which will begin shipping into the port in 2014 from Celaya, Mexico, will be finished and processed by NORAD.
In a statement, Michael Miranda, president and CEO of NORAD, said Honda’s presence at the Port of Davisville would be significant.
“Honda anticipates bringing in approximately 25,000 autos within its first year, with even higher numbers the years following,” he said in a statement. “The arrival of Honda is a testament to the cooperation our company has enjoyed from the state, federal delegation and QDC over the years in helping to improve the Port of Davisville. Because of that commitment, we intend to stay here for many, many years to come.”
New Harbor Group LLC representative David E. Preston said that Honda’s arrival would mean more jobs for the port, but he wasn’t sure how many.
Currently, there are roughly 300 jobs at NORAD and 1,100 direct and indirect jobs via the Port of Davisville, said Preston in an email to Providence Business News.
The Port of Davisville is currently the seventh largest auto importer in North America. The Quonset Business Park is “a main driver of economic growth in job creation in Rhode Island,” according to a release, and is home to 175 companies, employing more than 9,100 people.
“Today’s announcement is another indication of how capitalizing on our assets will bring more business to Rhode Island,” said Chafee in prepared remarks. “By investing in the infrastructure to modernize the Port and creating an environment where our companies can succeed we are seeing an increase in commerce and economic development that benefits all of Rhode Island.”
In January, the QDC announced that the Port of Davisville had a record-breaking year. In 2012, more than 172,000 automobiles were imported at the port, with another 41,000 autos coming by rail and 2,300 coming by truck.
Vehicles arriving at the Port of Davisville are processed, finished and distributed across the country by NORAD. The 2012 figures represented a 14 percent increase over 2011’s record-breaking numbers.
Automakers currently sending vehicles to Davisville include Volkswagen, Audi, Subaru, Porsche, Ford and Bentley.
“Our goal at the QDC is to provide our tenants with the modernized infrastructure and predictability they need for their businesses to grow,” said Steven J. King, managing director of the QDC. “Through Governor Chafee’s efforts, the deep commitment of our federal delegation, and our local legislators help – today is a great example of how we can help other companies succeed and bring greater economic growth to Rhode Island.”