“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,” Arkonik CEO Andy Hayes said in a news release. “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.”
The company restores and customizes Land Rover Defenders and will establish its engine and transmission upgrade hub at a Special Vehicle Operations facility at 2300 Clements Ferry Road, according to the release. The new North American headquarters will offer clients opportunities to test drive the Land Rovers and discuss customization options.
Arkonik leadership, under incoming Special Vehicle Operations Managing Director Rebecca “Becky” Ford, expects to kick off an electric vehicle platform at the new facility in 2021 and plans to hire five to 10 employees within the next five years. Open posts will include mechanical and electrical technician positions and administrative support.
Ford currently serves as global business director for the Charleston Regional Development Alliance.
“In helping Arkonik become established on U.S. soil, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance and Rebecca Ford have consistently provided expert guidance and balanced advice,” Hayes said in the release. “They have made it fun and they have made it easy. That Rebecca would choose to join Arkonik as our Managing Director is a tremendous and fortunate turn of events.”
Arkonik helped locate its North American home through the Landing Pad program managed by the S.C. Commerce Department and the CRDA. The company was the eighth to use the resource to enter the U.S. market and settle in the Palmetto state.
“Charleston’s highly skilled workforce, business-friendly climate and globally-connected infrastructure like the Port of Charleston influenced the company’s decision to locate here to better serve its customers. Arkonik SVO will be a tremendous asset to our growing automotive cluster,” John Hagerty, chairman of the CRDA board, said in the release.s