Honda Motor Co., preparing to enter the market for business jets, said it’s won two to three years of orders for what it calls “flying sports cars” and signaled the business will turn profitable before the end of the decade.
The aviation business is on track to turn profitable five years after it begins delivering planes as soon as next year, Michimasa Fujino, president of Honda Aircraft, said in an interview in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Though he declined to specify the number of orders received so far, Fujino said sales of the $4.5 million jet may reach 80 to 90 units annually in a few years.
Honda Motor Co.’s choice to build what it calls a racing-oriented “supercar” in Ohio highlights confidence in its U.S. engineers and plants. It also shows the difficulty of producing autos in Japan as the yen rises.
When the high-performance hybrid Acura NSX goes on sale within three years, it will be the most expensive and technologically advanced car ever built in the U.S. by an Asian or European automaker. Ohio will be the sole global production site for the car, and executives suggest will sell for more than $100,000.
“This is a halo vehicle,” said John Shook, a former Toyota engineer, referring to a model that represents the highest ideal of a brand. He is also chairman of the Lean Enterprise Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which consults on efficiency techniques. “Where you make it makes a statement. It’s a great thing for their local operation, and indicative of challenges in Japan.”
Honda plans to reduce exports from Japan to as little as 10% of domestic production as the strong yen erodes earnings from overseas shipments.
Honda aims to sell 80% to 90% of Japan-made vehicles in its home market, spokeswoman Tomoko Uchida said. Last year, the carmaker shipped 310,254 vehicles, or 34% of its Japanese production, overseas.
Japanese carmakers including Honda, Toyota and Nissan are moving more production out of Japan to counter the effect of the strong yen. Honda plans to maintain domestic production of about 1 million vehicles a year, Uchida said, reiterating a previous statement by the company.
Honda Motor Co. plans to consolidate its lineup in Japan by ceasing development of new models of name-brand cars and will only offer a hybrid version of its Civic, according to a report Friday. The Nikkei business daily reported that while Honda plans to roll out a new Civic worldwide in fall 2011, in Japan only the hybrid version will be released. Honda also plans to discontinue the Legend sedan, and has already halted development of the Elysion, according to the report.
Man and Machine expanded their relationship today when Honda announced the new thought controlled ASMIO. What doors of the mind does this open? Read the facts for yourself…
Honda Research Institute Japan Co., Ltd. (HRI-JP), a subsidiary of Honda R&D Co., Ltd., Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) and Shimadzu Corporation have collaboratively developed the world’s first*1 Brain Machine Interface (BMI) technology that uses electroencephalography (EEG) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) along with newly developed information extraction technology to enable control of a robot by human thought alone. It does not require any physical movement such as pressing buttons. This technology will be further developed for the application to human-friendly products in the future by integrating it with intelligent technologies and/or robotic technologies.
During the human thought process, slight electrical current and blood flow change occur in the brain. The most important factor in the development of the BMI technology is the accuracy of measuring and analyzing these changes. The newly developed BMI technology uses EEG, which measures changes in electrical potential on the scalp, and NIRS, which measures changes in cerebral blood flow, with a newly developed information extraction technology which enables statistical processing of the complex information from these two types of sensors. As a result, it became possible to distinguish brain activities with high precision without any physical motion, but just human thought alone.
The BMI technology announced by HRI-JP and ATR in 2006 used a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner to measure brain activities. The large size and powerful magnetic field generated by the fMRI scanner limited the locations and conditions where it can be used. As the newly developed measuring device uses EEG and NIRS sensors, it can be transported to and used in various locations.