|Honda Expands R&D Capabilities in America with Groundbreaking for Acura Design Center in California|
|TORRANCE, Calif, U.S.A., March 27, 2006 – Honda broke ground on a new $15 million Acura Design Center, the latest expansion of Honda's product design and development capabilities in North America. The Acura Design Center, scheduled to open in summer 2007, will play a critical role in the development of new concepts and designs that will lead directly to future Acura products developed in North America. The facility will be located adjacent to Honda R&D America's existing Los Angeles Center, which will continue to research and design future Honda products.
Separately, the company is opening a new advanced design studio in Pasadena that will work to advance new future design concepts, giving Honda four R&D facilities in California. "As we continue to deepen our roots in North America, Honda's U.S. R&D operations will play an increasingly important role in meeting the needs of our customers in North America and globally," said Hirohide Ikeno, President of Honda R&D Americas. "The creation of this new facility will lead to the development of distinctive and leading edge designs that will further strengthen the appeal of Acura products."
Attending the ceremony was David Crane, special advisor for jobs and economic growth, Office of the Governor, State of California. "Honda's continuing growth and investment in California speaks to the vitality of this state as a center for the creation of new products and technologies that benefit the lives of consumers here and around the globe," said Crane. "I would like to commend Honda for their ongoing vision and commitment in making California the place where the latest trends in design are born."
The groundbreaking ceremony was conducted on the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Acura brand. Launched on March 27, 1986, Acura was the world's first Japanese luxury nameplate and the first Japanese luxury automaker to design, develop and manufacture its vehicles in North America, beginning with the 1997 Acura CL coupe. Today, nearly two-thirds of all Acura vehicles sold in America are researched, designed, developed and manufactured exclusively in North America, including the Acura TL sedan and Acura MDX luxury sport-utility vehicle.
"The Acura brand is stronger today than at any time in its twenty-year history," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and the Acura Division. "The addition of the Acura Design Center will play an important role in the continuing evolution of Acura, further distinguishing Acura in the marketplace and ensuring that we continue to deliver products ahead of the times and ahead of the competition."
Honda R&D Americas
Honda R&D Americas began its operations in California in 1975 with local market research activities and has steadily grown its capabilities over the past 30 years to include all aspects of new vehicle design and development. Recent development efforts include trend-setting products like the Acura MDX and TL sedan, Honda Ridgeline, Pilot and Element, and the all-new Civic Coupe and Civic Si.
With the addition of the Acura Design Center and the advanced design studio, the company will operate 10 major facilities in North America with more than 1,300 designers, engineers and support personnel engaged in the development of Honda and Acura passenger cars, motorcycles and power equipment products for North America and global markets. Its main centers of operation include the Los Angeles Center (Torrance, CA) responsible for market research, concept development and styling design; the Ohio Center (Raymond, OH) responsible for complete product development, testing and support of North American supplier and manufacturing operations; and two dynamic test facilities in Mojave Desert, California, and East Liberty, Ohio. Power equipment R&D is conducted at the North Carolina Center in Swepsonville, NC.