Honda Enters A Crowded Market
The HondaJet will be late getting into the VLJ market, with both Eclipse and Cessna expected to start deliveries in the next few months. It's likely that by 2010 it will be clear if the demand will materialize for the thousands of VLJs that some envision, or if the market niche will prove much smaller. Much depends on the success of the air-taxi industry, which accounts for about two-thirds of the VLJs now on the order books. However, Honda's move may be more about image than sales. "They might just want to dabble in it just to show what they can do from a technology standpoint," Richard Aboulafia, an aircraft analyst with the Teal Group, told the Greensboro (N.C.) News-Record. He added that North Carolina seems a likely place for Honda to build its manufacturing plant. "The decisions that drew them there in the first place are likely to keep them there," he said.