SC: Arkonik Ltd. Selects Charleston for its North American Headquarters
23 Jun, 2020
Charleston, S.C.'s fast-growing automotive manufacturing sector has added a new key player, Arkonik Ltd. This world leader in creating custom Land Rover Defenders for the most exacting American and Canadian clients has selected Charleston for its first U.S. location and North American headquarters.
Established in 2006 and headquartered in the United Kingdom, Arkonik Ltd., specializes in the restoration and customization of Land Rover Defenders for customers all over the world. With a workforce of more than 70 at its Bath, England headquarters facility, Arkonik anticipates steady growth potential for its new Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) location in the City of Charleston in Berkeley County, South Carolina.
Arkonik SVO will serve as the company’s flagship operation for engine and transmission upgrades. Arkonik SVO has been developed for two reasons: to offer clients an array of upgrades appropriate for today’s Defender driver and to provide a physical presence in North America where clients can test drive the vehicles, meet the team, and discuss their custom options face to face. An electric vehicle platform is planned for 2021.
“Less than a year ago, within the foundry of Arkonik’s ambitions, a brand-new objective was cast: locate and develop a U.S. business hub from which to better serve our North American clients. Multiple prospective locations in various states were considered, visited, and then reviewed. In the final analysis, no other setting came close to offering the unique home we felt Charleston could provide. Arkonik is thrilled to call Charleston home.” – Arkonik Ltd. CEO Andy Hayes
In January 2020, Arkonik secured a lease on a facility located at 2300 Clements Ferry Road in Berkeley County. The company suspended operations shortly thereafter due to COVID travel restrictions. With social distancing and safety protocols in place, renovations will begin immediately to accommodate a fully operational shop, and a customer design and delivery center. Arkonik SVO expects to hire 5 to 10 employees within the next five years, including mechanical and electrical technicians, and administrative support.
“In helping Arkonik become established on U.S. soil, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance and Rebecca Ford have consistently provided expert guidance and balanced advice. They have made it fun and they have made it easy. That Rebecca would choose to join Arkonik as our Managing Director is a tremendous and fortunate turn of events.” – Arkonik Ltd. CEO Andy Hayes
Rebecca “Becky” Ford has been hired to run the SVO unit in North America. Currently a Director of Global Business Development for the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, Becky will assume her leadership role as Arkonik SVO Managing Director effective July 1, 2020.
“I am honored to represent Arkonik Ltd. in the North American market. I look forward to putting the team together and supporting our global customers.” – Incoming Arkonik SVO Managing Director Rebecca Ford
Arkonik is the eighth company to locate here as part of South Carolina Department of Commerce’s and the Charleston Regional Development Alliance’s Landing Pad program, which is designed to support global companies as they enter the U.S. market, often simplifying what could be an overwhelming experience and minimizing risks through the process.
“South Carolina’s undeniable prowess in the manufacturing industry continues to help attract companies from around the world. We’re proud that Arkonik Ltd. selected Berkeley County to base its first North American operations. We welcome Arkonik SVO to South Carolina and look forward to watching them succeed in our state.” – SC Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt
“Bringing new jobs and opportunities to Berkeley County, with limited impact on the County’s resources and infrastructure is an incredible win for the County and the region. Berkeley County welcomes Arkonik into the Country and especially our community. We look forward to working with this company for a successful future.” – Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb
“I am pleased to welcome Arkonik to Charleston and am honored they chose our city to house their North American headquarters. I wish them great success and look forward to seeing their future growth and development.” – Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg
“Charleston’s highly-skilled workforce, business-friendly climate, and globally-connected infrastructure like the Port of Charleston, influenced the company’s decision to locate here to better serve its customers. Arkonik SVO will be a tremendous asset to our growing automotive cluster.” – Charleston Regional Development Alliance Board Chairman John Hagerty
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