TOKYO: Japanese auto major Honda, which has announced a foray into aviation, plans to sell 100 jets a year, after it begins commercial production in
"We will manufacture 100 HondaJets every year beginning in 2010. We will sell them in the US, European, Canadian and Mexican markets," Honda Motor Company General Manager (Overseas Operations, Asia and Oceania) Satoshi Matsuzawa said.
He, however, did not divulge the amount of investment to be made in the manufacturing facility in North Carolina, US. Earlier in 2007, the company had announced an investment of USD 40 million for constructing the new headquarters and hangar, and another USD 20 million for equipment.
The auto major's subsidiary Honda Aircraft Company Inc has received orders from personal buyers for 100 jets. This does not include corporate orders.
The jets would be fitted with HF120 engines, jointly developed by Honda and US conglomerate GE, through a deal signed in 2004. The engine is an advanced 2000 lb thrust class turbofan propulsion system.
The HondaJet is a lightweight business jet with an extra large cabin, high fuel efficiency, and high cruise speed compared to existing small business jets. It can accommodate 14 people including the pilot.
Major ground tests such as those on structural proof, systems function, and ground-vibration have been completed. Flight testing is currently under way and expected to be completed before 2010.