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Manufacturing Industry Updates

Land Rover Defenders Manufacturer to Open First U.S. Facility in South Carolina


Arkonik Ltd., a UK-based automotive company, recently announced it is opening its first North American headquarters in Charleston, S.C., to support its growth plans in the United States and Canadian markets. The creator of custom Land Rover Defenders will locate a new special vehicle operations unit in Charleston, which will serve as the company’s flagship office for engine and transmission upgrades.

Arkonik said it chose Charleston because it has topped the list of global, luxury travel magazines as the “Best U.S. City” for the past 10 years, which makes the community an attractive business location. As a result, the region is seeing an increase in automotive manufacturing — Volvo chose the city for its first U.S. manufacturing facility and Mercedes-Benz Vans completed a $500 million expansion to its Charleston facility in 2018.

The Charleston special vehicle operations facility will offer Defender upgrades and a physical presence where clients can test drive and better customize their vehicles. An electric vehicle platform is also 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,” CEO Andy Hayes said. “Multiple perspective 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.”