Introducing Honda Aircraft Company

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Honda Motor Co. made clear last month at AirVenture that aviation is in its future, and this week the giant corporation officially introduced a new subsidiary in the U.S., called the Honda Aircraft Company. The new company will be responsible for the further development, sales promotion and production of the HondaJet. It will be based at the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C., where the prototype was built more than three years ago. Michimasa Fujino, the chief engineer who led development of HondaJet, was named president and CEO. Honda will begin taking orders for the jet this fall, with the goal of delivering the first customer copy in 2010. The new company also will manage Honda's new alliance with Piper Aircraft, which will collaborate on sales and service. Honda added that it hasn't decided yet where the actual manufacturing facility will be located, and will announce that at a later date.