Monday, December 24, 2007

New Dedicated Acura Development Facility In Sakura For 2009

Honda R&D Co., Ltd. is responsible for research and development activities, announced plans to build a product development facility dedicated to the Acura brand within the new R&D center being constructed in Sakura, Tochigi. The new R&D center will have multiple test courses, which replicate various driving conditions ranging from high-speed driving to urban driving. The construction of this new R&D center began in November 2007 and is scheduled to become operational in 2009. The existing Automobile R&D Center in Tochigi will continue to strengthening product development for the Honda brand and development of next-generation power plants including hybrid, diesel, and fuel cell power plants.

Due to the 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. In April 2006, Honda R&D launched a new organizational structure 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.

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 (m2), 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.

This is great news to all Acura fans because there has been much criticism about Acura vehicles just being glorified Accords. Hopefully, Honda/Acura can change this image to further advance the Acura brand, which was the first Japanese luxury brand. Toyota and Nissan soon followed with the Lexus and Infiniti brands.

[Source] JCN Network: Japan's Corporate News

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