Honda boosts R&D program with THB 1.7 billion vehicle test track in Thailand
Japan’s Honda Motor Corp. is building a THB 1.7 billion (USD 47.3 million) test track in Thailand, which is part of a plan to boost its research and development program.
The test course at Rojana Industrial Park in Prachinburi province is intended to augment Honda’s R&D capabilities to deliver competitive products in Asia and Oceania.
The 80-kilometer test course located north of Bangkok will be used to evaluate Honda vehicles’ quality and performance and will complement its current R&D activities in the region, which include product planning, styling design, engineering design, material research and quality control.
The test course, which will be built on an 800,000-square meter site, will be completed in 2017, with a range of tracks to allow Honda to test vehicles in situations that simulate road conditions and terrain in different parts of the world. It will be Honda’s second automobile test course outside Japan, after the United States.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said the development reflects Honda’s intention to help diversify the Thai automotive industry into a competitive development base.
“Research and development play an important role to the creation of high-quality automobiles with fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness,” Somkid said.
Honda Chairman Fumihiko Ike said the automaker 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,” he said.