Something about South Carolina has makes it ideal for attracting automakers. BMW opened their largest factory in 1994 outside Spartanburg. Last year Mercedes-Benz opened a Sprinter plant, and now Arkonik has announced their North American headquarters. Charleston was established by and for trade with England. As such, it still has advantages when it comes to logistics, along with favorable incentives for foreign investment. Sales of the latest Land Rover Defender have surpassed all expectations, and it has spurred a resurgence in classic Defenders also.
With over 200 custom builds to their credit, Arkonik has a proven business model. What began as a custom shop has evolved into complete restoration. With many aged Land Rovers in need of factory parts, it made sense to build them in England while limiting their audience to Canada and the U.S. Now that Defenders are aging out of the 25-year import ban, there is ample opportunity to do more on this side of the pond.
CEO Andy Hayes said: “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.” Also mentioned in the press release was their intention to hire a dozen employees. In addition to over 70 workers in England, Arkonic Ltd. will have more workers than many Tier-1 suppliers. We are packing our bags for Berkeley County, so stay with us for all your Arkonik updates.