Last year over 200 thousand cars were imported into Rhode Island at the Port of Davisville, in the Quonset Business Park. The cars are then customized at North Atlantic Distribution, known as NORAD and sent on to dealerships. Now Honda has announced it will ship cars to Rhode Island, too.
"As Honda puts the new plant online, they anticipate approximately 25 thousand new cars that will be here, and shipped her the first year. And as the plant ramps up, they expect more volume in the following years," said Michael Miranda, President and CEO of NORAD.
Right now Quonset Point is the seventh largest import location for automobiles in the United States. Over 300 people work and NORAD, and dozens more will be hired.
"That's because we are investing in education, workforce development, but most important and why we are here today, infrastructure. It is making a difference," said Governor Lincoln Chafee (I) Rhode Island.
The port of Davisville was dredged to make room for bigger cargo ships; rail lines have expanded; and roads at Quonset point have been improved. The park also has an airport.
"If we are going to compete in the 21st century, we need to have an infrastructure that is capable of moving goods and services and information to complete successfully and this is just one more example of that," said Congressman David Cicilline (D) Rhode Island.
Honda will begin shipping thousands of new cars to Rhode Island, in January.
"State leaders say the Quonset expansion couldn't come at a better time. Rhode Island's unemployment rate dropped last month, to its lowest level since 2009," said ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis.