Honda R&D Asia Pacific Co., Ltd (HRAP) has announced that it would construct an automobile test course at the Rojana Industrial Park in the Prachinburi Province of Thailand as is due for completion in 2017. The project is attached to a 1.7 billion baht (approximately RM207 million) to reinforce Honda’s R&D capabilities to suit customer requirements in the Asia and Oceania region.
Once completed, the test course located northeast of Bangkok, will be used for evaluate vehicle quality and performance telemetry and is meant to complement HRAP’s other activities such as product planning, styling design, engineering, material research, and quality control. It is also planned to be used for Honda’s motorcycle and power products.
It will be built upon an 800,000 square metre plot of land and will contain a number of test tracks for varied uses to simulate real-world road conditions and terrains that mimic those found in different parts of the world. When completed, it will be Honda’s second automobile test course outside Japan, with the first being in the United States.
During a stone laying ceremony at the industrial park and soon-to-be Honda test course, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak, said: “Research and development play an important role to the creation of high-quality automobiles with fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness. The foundation stone laying ceremony for Honda’s new test course today reflects the company’s intention to help diversify the Thai automotive industry from the viewpoint of “a strong manufacturing base” to creating “a competitive development base.”
At the same ceremony, Fumihiko Ike, Chairman and Representative Director of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said: “Honda places the highest importance on research and development. This new test course will contribute to the ability to develop attractive and affordable vehicles for our customers in this region much faster and more effectively.”
Meanwhile, Noriaki Abe, President & CEO of Asian Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said: “We must reinforce our product lineup and the enhancement of our R&D activities will be even more important for that. Honda is committed to making its products more competitive for both the Thai market and for the world, with Thai local component parts and infrastructure, with Thai R&D facilities, and with Thai engineers.”