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Honda invests in vehicle R&D center


May 8, 2008

Honda invests in vehicle R&D center

Giant Japanese automaker Honda has invested in building a vehicle research and development centre for Asia and Oceania in Thailand, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Industry Minister Suwit Khunkitti.

Speaking after presiding over a ceremony to lay a foundation stone for the centre conducted by Asia Honda Co, Suwit said the facility to be operated by Honda R&D Asia-Pacific Co is the fourth such complex located outside Japan. The other three are situated in the United States, Europe, and China.

It is expected the centre would be completed and begin operation in the first half of next year.

Suwit suggested that such investment would help develop and upgrade competitiveness of the Thai auto industry in terms of the overall research and development, as well as the development of auto parts in particular.

Currently, the global economy had changed as the sub-prime lending crisis in the US had repercussions on other regions. But Asia, he said, still has much room for further expansion.

He said the competition in various business sectors - including vehicles - had grown more intense. So, operators in the industrial sector needed to rely upon R&D for the industry to adapt to the changing business environment.

Investment in building the centre by Honda would confirm other automakers confidence in the Thai economy and consider committing to further investment in the country.

Such development would lead to new employment and a transfer of technology, and help boost the country's competitiveness, he said.

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