News Releases 2007

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December 19, 2007

Honda Strengthens Automobile R&D Capabilities - Building a dedicated Acura development facility in the new R&D center in Sakura -

TOKYO, Japan, December 19, 2007 – Honda R&D Co., Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., responsible for research and development activities, today announced plans to build a product development facility dedicated to the Acura brand within the new R&D center being constructed in Sakura, Tochigi prefecture, in addition to the originally-planned multiple test courses. The new R&D center is scheduled to become operational in 2009. 

Based on a belief that strengthening advanced technology R&D capabilities in Japan will become increasingly important in order for Honda to continue to grow and advance globally, Honda R&D launched a new organizational structure in April 2006, separating the product development functions for the Honda and Acura brands. With the addition of a dedicated development facility for the Acura brand, Honda R&D will further strengthen product development capabilities which clearly define the unique characteristics of each brand and accelerate development of products that offer new value for the customer. 

The new R&D center will have multiple test courses, which replicate various driving conditions ranging from high-speed driving to urban driving. Along with Honda’s existing test courses, the Tochigi Proving Ground and Takasu Proving Ground, the new facility in Sakura will enable Honda to accelerate development of advanced technologies focused on the environment and safety areas. Through such efforts, Honda will continue pursuing the joy of driving and strengthen development of next-generation vehicles. 

The construction of this new R&D center began in November 2007. Including test courses and the dedicated Acura development facility, the overall size of the new R&D center in Sakura is expected to be approximately 2.3 million square meters (㎡), with related investment expected to be approximately 48 billion yen. Honda aims to begin partial operation of this state-of-the-art and environmentally-responsible facility in 2009, with full operations in 2010. 

The existing Automobile R&D Center in Tochigi will focus its effort on further strengthening product development for the Honda brand and development of next-generation power plants including hybrid, diesel, and fuel cell power plants. By adding a new automobile R&D center, Honda will establish an R&D system and capability which enables Honda to continue creating new values and further advance its ability to create advanced technologies and products that represent the uniqueness of Honda.

About Honda R&D Co., Ltd.

Establishment: July 1960
Capital Investment: 7.4 billion yen 100% Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
Headquarters Location: Wako-shi , Saitama
Representative: Masaaki Kato, President and Director

<Major R&D facilities in Japan>

·Motorcycle R&D Center
·Automobile R&D Center - Automobile R&D Center (Wako), Automobile R&D Center (Tochigi), Tochigi Proving Ground, Takasu Proving Ground
·Power Products R&D Center
·Aircraft Engine R&D Center
·Fundamental Technology Research Center