Honda Enters U.S. Aviation Market

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Meet Honda Aero...

Honda Motor Co. announced on Thursday that it has established a new U.S. subsidiary, Honda Aero Inc., to focus on the aviation engine business. Early this year, a Japanese newspaper reported that Honda and Teledyne Continental Motors were close to a deal to produce piston engines for light aircraft, and all eyes turned to the 225-hp, gas- and 100LL-burning engine the companies have shown at air shows for the past year. But Honda apparently sees more immediate promise in the new-designs-laden, engine-hungry, very-light-jet market and its forged-in-February alliance with General Electric Co.. Honda and GE are now jointly pursuing commercialization of Honda's HF118 jet engine. Honda and GE are still working out issues such as marketing strategy, business structure and production, and expect to sign a final agreement later this year. Honda said it estimates the annual market for the HF118 engine at 150 to 200 units, with further growth expected in the future. Junichi Araki was named CEO of the new U.S. company. Honda also announced last week that engineering subsidiary Honda Engineering Co. will set up a local arm in Guangzhou, China, next month, to expand output there.