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Honda U.S. R&D Product Development


Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA) is responsible for creating unique, advanced technologies and products in the U.S. that provide new value to Honda and Acura customers. Established in Southern California in 1975 to conduct local market research and design activities, HRA now operates 14 R&D facilities in North America with the capability of “complete product creation” – developing all-new vehicles starting from market and technology research and design styling through engineering design, fabrication and testing, local parts procurement and mass production preparation. HRA is also taking a leading role in the advancement of leading-edge safety and environmental technologies.

Product Research & Development

* From market and technology research to styling, engineering design, fabrication and testing to local parts procurement, Honda R&D Americas is helping create new value for Honda customers through innovation in the development of new Honda and Acura products.
o Six of 16 Honda and Acura models sold in America, and 4 of 7 light truck models, were researched, designed and developed in America. These include innovative and trend-setting cars and light trucks such as the Acura MDX and Acura TL, and the Honda Pilot, Element (with B pillar-less side), Ridgeline truck (with in-bed trunk) and Civic Coupe and Civic Coupe Si.
o In 2006, the U.S.-developed Civic and Ridgeline truck became the first vehicles ever to earn the Car and Truck of the Year awards from Motor Trend magazine, the North American Car of the Year jury, and the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada for the same manufacturer in the same year.

Product Styling Design

* Honda R&D Americas’ Los Angeles Center and three California-based design studios are responsible for market research, concept development and styling for Honda and Acura products.
o The Honda Design Studio is responsible for the styling design of Honda brand automobiles, light trucks and motorcycles.
o The Acura Design Studio, opened in May 2007, is responsible for the styling design of Acura brand automobiles and light trucks.
o The Advanced Design Studio in Pasadena is responsible for creating future design concepts for Honda and Acura products and works closely with leading design schools.

Environmental Technology Development

* In addition to its work on new vehicle design and development, Honda R&D Americas is engaged in critically important programs to advance alternative fuel technologies including natural gas and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
o Testing of the Honda FCX fuel cell vehicle. Currently, there are more than 15 vehicles in early applications with seven customers in three states. The new generation FCX model was introduced in June 2008.
o Development and operation of two of the world’s most advanced hydrogen refueling stations at Honda’s Los Angeles Center: a prototype solar-powered hydrogen station utilizing Hondadeveloped solar cells and PEM electrolyzer, and the third-generation of the company’s experimental Home Energy Station (HES) technology for residential hydrogen fueling with heat and electricity cogeneration.

Safety Technology Research and Development

* Honda R&D Americas is also making significant contributions to Honda’s safety leadership.
o The HRA Ohio Center includes an Automotive Safety Research Facility that houses one of the world’s highest resolution crash test barriers and the world’s first pitching crash test simulation sled. This facility is responsible for the development and testing of nearly all safety systems on its U.S.-developed vehicles.
o Three of American Honda’s industry-leading six models1 that achieve both the NHTSA’s five-star rating for frontal and side impacts2, and the IIHS’ “Top Safety” Pick” rating were developed by Honda R&D America. They are the Honda Element, Honda Pilot and Acura MDX.


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