Honda Aircraft Co. will establish its world headquarters in Greensboro, N.C., where it will build a new 215,000-square-foot facility at Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTI).
The company also confirmed its long-rumored plan to build the HondaJet at a new plant to be built close to its new headquarters. Honda plans to begin delivery of the HondaJet in 2010.
At the February announcement, Jeffrey A. Smith, who handles corporate communications for Honda Aircraft, commented on the “rocket-like acceleration of HondaJet sales” following its introduction at Oshkosh last year, before introducing Michimasa Fujino, the company’s president and CEO.
“For five years, Greensboro has served as the home of HondaJet as we have worked to take our dream from the drawing board to the sky,” Fujino said, albeit, he chuckled, “under the radar.”
“As we move steadily toward certification, production and delivery to our customers, I am excited that Greensboro will be home both to our company’s world headquarters and the production of HondaJet,” he said, expressing pride that North Carolina not only is “famous as the birthplace of aviation but also the birthplace of HondaJet.” Perhaps it is due to the state’s 104-year aviation history that so many employees “love aviation from the heart,” he observed.
Initially, Honda is spending about $40 million for construction of its new headquarters and hangar, plus some $20 million for equipment, bringing its immediate investment to $60 million, Fujino said. Total employment, including all engineering, sales and marketing, manufacturing and support activities, will rise to more than 300 by the time the manufacturing plant reaches full capacity, he said.
The new headquarters will be home to all HondaJet research, product engineering, sales and marketing, and service support and will replace the company’s existing 32,000-square-foot hangar and office complex at PTI, he said. Construction will begin immediately and is scheduled to be completed in November, he said.
All major assembly and testing of the prototype HondaJet was done at the Greensboro facility, which opened in 2001 as part of Honda’s global R&D operation.
The decision to commercialize HondaJet was announced in July of last year, followed by establishment of Honda Aircraft Co. on Aug. 4. More than 100 customer orders for the $3.65 million HondaJet have been received since its launch last October, according to Smith.
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