Honda Increases UK Investment With New Wind Tunnel
|U.K., July 12, 2006– Honda Motor Company celebrated the launch of its newest facility in the United Kingdom, a state of the art wind tunnel at the Honda Racing F1 Team's Operations Center in Brackley, Northants. Officially opened in a ceremony hosted by the Rt. Hon. Alistair Darling MP, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, and Shigeru Takagi, President of Honda Motor Europe, the new facility represents further evidence of Honda's commitment, not only to Formula One, but to investment in the UK.
Honda's presence in the UK began over 40 years ago with the creation of Honda UK in London. The company currently has seven locations employing 5500 people throughout the country, with total investment now reaching over 1.3 billion pounds.
For a company synonymous with engineering excellence, Honda recognizes the value of investment in the most up to date infrastructure available. The new facility effectively provides the Honda Racing F1 Team with an in-house 'test track' - a fully automated, fully instrumented testing facility able to accommodate one of the team's full-size RA106 race cars. The tunnel can generate a wind speed of 80 meters per second (the equivalent of 180mph), driven by the 5.3m diameter fan and its 16 rotating and 27 static blades, and is powered by a 2263kW electric three-phase induction motor, generating 43560N.m of torque at 495rpm. The rolling road is also capable of running at 80 meters per second.
Shigeru Takagi, Chief Operating Officer for Regional Operations (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and President of Honda Motor Europe Ltd. commented: "This facility is a demonstration of our strong commitment to the United Kingdom, to motor sport and to our research and development capability. Our passion for the toughest challenge in motor sport and our desire to become Formula One champions requires a very strong infrastructure and it is with this in mind that we have invested in our new wind tunnel at Brackley.
"This kind of deep commitment to racing is not new to us. It has been a constant throughout Honda's history, simply because we regard racing as an investment in the research and development that drives our future. It is our aim that the same spirit of challenge which goes into making Formula One racing cars should go into every one of the twenty million Honda products we will sell around the world this year.
"I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all our partners and to the citizens of Brackley for their co-operation in allowing us to complete the wind tunnel ahead of schedule."
The Rt. Hon. Alistair Darling MP, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, said: "This impressive new facility shows Britain is still attracting the best engineering and manufacturing in the world. One of the great strengths of the British automotive industry is its ability to evolve and create new opportunities in the face of change. Engineering is the future in Britain.
"The wind tunnel I am opening today is another excellent example of partnership between the best of British and the best of Japanese industrial know-how.
"People don't talk enough about our successful automotive industry. Last year we made 1.6 million cars, not far below the peak in the early 1970s, and nearly twice the number built in the early 1980s."