Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, Senator Jack Reed, Representative Jim Langevin, and Representative David Cicilline joined with leaders from North Atlantic Distribution, Inc (NORAD) and the Quonset Development Corporation (QDC) to announce a major expansion of business at the Port of Davisville today. The announcement, that Honda will begin shipping autos to the Port of Davisville starting in 2014, is another key sign of growth in the Port's emergence as one of the largest auto-importers in North America. The autos will be finished and processed by North Atlantic Distribution, Inc.
"Today's announcement is another indication of how capitalizing on our assets will bring more business to Rhode Island," said Governor Chafee. "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."
Quonset Business Park is already one of the premiere business parks in New England and one of the largest in the Northeast. It is a main driver of economic growth and job creation in Rhode Island. Quonset is home to 175 companies, employing more than 9,100 people in every sector of the economy. The Port of Davisville is the 7th largest auto importer in North America.
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," Miranda said.
"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," Miranda added. "Because of that commitment we intend to stay here for many, many years to come."
In January, it was announced that the Port of Davisville had a record breaking year for automobiles imported by ship 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. Last year's 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.
"I have worked for decades to develop and expand our port infrastructure here at Quonset and I am pleased to see these federal investments generating new business, jobs, and income for the state and local communities. The Port of Davisville is an engine of economic growth and truly a transportation hub: we've got cars rolling off boats and trains to be shipped to dealerships in the region. The groundwork we laid in the 1990s was key to this effort and we need to continually look ahead and plan for future growth and increased capacity," said Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, who has directed more than $100 million in federal funding to upgrade Quonset's infrastructure, including freight rail, piers, roadways, and bridges.
"As businesses like NORAD expand and create badly needed jobs for Rhode Islanders, Quonset Business Park continues to play an important role in the economic development of our state," said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. "I'm proud of NORAD and the neighboring companies that are contributing to Quonset's success, and I will work to support continued job development at the Park."
"This decision by Honda is a win for everyone involved and only confirms what we Rhode Islanders have long known, that our state is a superior place to do business with access to markets up and down the eastern seaboard, and a smart, dedicated workforce to get you there," said Langevin. "It's a decision that a growing list of manufacturers have made, and I am glad to welcome Honda to that list, and to our community."
"As we work to put our state back on the right track, it is critical that we utilize our natural resources, including our position on the Atlantic seaboard, as a competitive advantage," said Cicilline. "That's why I'm delighted to welcome Honda to the Port of Davisville today, and I look forward to working with them to support good-paying jobs for hardworking Rhode Islanders."
"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."
The new vehicles from Honda are scheduled to begin arriving in 2014, from their new facility in Celaya, Mexico.
About Quonset Development Corporation: The Quonset Development Corporation (QDC) is a real estate development and property management company. Formed in 2005 it is responsible for the development and management of the 3,207 acre Quonset Business Park®. Quonset Business Park is the home to 175 companies, 9,100 full and part-time jobs, and the Port of Davisville is the 7th largest auto-importer in North America.