Hondajet Comes Closer to Production

By: Ally Wahlberg

Honda Aircraft Company, Inc. (HACI), has taken the next major step in delivering HondaJet to its customers. The company has broken ground for its new 369,000 square foot headquarters and manufacturing facility at Piedmont Triad International (PTI) airport in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The move is another step closer to the production of the innovative HondaJet - the first of which Honda Aircraft is planning to deliver to customers in 2010.

The Greensboro complex includes 219,000 square feet of offices and an airplane hangar, set to be completed in the spring of 2008, as well as a 150,000-square-foot production facility.

All major assembly and testing of the prototype HondaJet has been conducted at the company's existing Greensboro facility, which opened in 2001 as an extension of Honda's global R&D operations. The HondaJet production facility, according to a company press release, will become the Japanese automaker's seventeenth major manufacturing plant in North America, including two currently under construction in Indiana and Ontario, Canada. Honda already has a $188 million North Carolina manufacturing facility, near Swepsonville, that has been producing general purpose engines, lawn mowers and other power equipment products since 1984.

The HondaJet is the Honda's first commercial aircraft, with seating for up to eight passengers. Honda has stated that about 90 percent of the components for the jet will be supplied by North American companies.

About Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
Honda Aircraft Company, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Founded in Japan in 1948, Honda began operations in the U.S. in 1959 with the establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda's first overseas subsidiary. Honda began U.S. production of motorcycles in 1979 and automobiles in 1982. The company - which also produces top of the line auto parts like , has invested more than $9 billion in its North American operations, with employment of more than 33,000 associates and annual purchases of more than $16 billion in parts and materials from suppliers in North America. Nearly 80 percent of the Honda and Acura automobiles purchased by U.S. consumers in 2006 were manufactured by Honda plants in North America.

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