Honda Sets Up Aircraft Subsidiary
Honda Motor revealed today that it has established Honda Aircraft, a wholly owned subsidiary, to handle development, sales and production of the HondaJet. The company will start operations in October from Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C., where the HondaJet prototype was assembled and flown. Michimasa Fujino, the chief engineer who has led development of the HondaJet, will be president and CEO. Honda Aircraft will begin taking orders for the HondaJet this fall, with deliveries slated to begin in 2010. The company also will manage Honda’s alliance with Piper Aircraft to collaborate on sales and service. However, Piper’s affiliation with Honda doesn’t preclude it from developing its own jet. Piper CEO James Bass said the company is going to “announce a product” at the NBAA Convention in October, something that is “complementary to the HondaJet, not in competition with it.” Industry insiders believe that Piper is pursuing a single-engine personal jet.