Honda details $25M investment for California proving grounds
Honda has announced a $25 million investment plan for its hot-weather proving grounds in the Mojave Desert near Cantil, California.
The facility was established in 1990 and only used for 20 years before Honda centralized its testing operations in Marysville, Ohio. A 2011 New York Times report suggests Honda was trying to sell the 4,255-acre property, with a price target between $10 million and $25 million, however the company appears to have failed to find a buyer.
The Japanese automaker now plans to completely refurbish the 4.5-mile winding-road course, while adding a few new “test road enhancements” to the property. The land also hosts a 7.5-mile high-speed oval track, gravel roads, supercross/motocross tracks and off-road desert terrain.
“As we continue to accelerate our growth in the U.S. market with a competitive line up of cars and trucks designed and developed in the U.S., we are reinvesting in HPCC to create a world-class test facility,” said Honda executive VP John Mendel.
It is unclear if the company’s change of heart is related to the push toward autonomous vehicles, which benefit from extensive testing on closed tracks that mimic public roads.
The company plans to reopen the facility by April 2016.