SWEPSONVILLE – Honda is bringing vehicle manufacturing to North Carolina – but the new focus is all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), not cars or trucks. The Alamance County town of Swepsonville is the site where an existing 700,000 square foot Honda plant which will end the production of lawnmowers as part of the switch to ATVs.

The move is part of a $380 million upgrade at the facility, according to Honda.

The ATV manufacturing is being relocated from a Honda plant in South Carolina, Honda said in an announcement Friday.

Some 600 workers in Swepsonville will be switched to ATVs from mowers and other equipment, the company added. Mower production will end in September “due to market forces such as stricter environmental regulations and shifting customer preferences,” Honda added.

“We’re excited to bring ATV production to Honda North Carolina Manufacturing, and this team has done an incredible job working as one team with Honda associates in South Carolina to make it happen,” said David Werden, assistant vice president and production division lead at the Swepsonville plant, in a statement. “Flexibility in manufacturing has always been key to our ability to meet the needs of Honda customers and it’s important that we continue to evolve our business to prepare for the future.”

More than 700 million Honda power equipment products – mowers, snow blowers and other tools – have been built in Swepsonville since its opening in 1984.

Now the factory will focus on such models as the FourTex Rancher, Honda said.

Smaller “youth-sized” models went into production at the site in April, Honda added.

“Currently, the work being carried out by NCM is primarily focused on assembly until weld and paint equipment for ATV production is transferred from SCM in the coming months,” the company added. “Construction for weld and paint departments at NCM will begin this fall.”