Honda is to build a TB1.7 billion ($47.4 million) vehicle test track in Thailand as part of a plan to boost its R&D program in the Southeast Asian country.
The test course at Rojana Industrial Park in Prachinburi province is intended to augment Honda’s R&D capabilities to deliver competitive products in the Asia and Oceania region.
The test course 50 miles (80 km) north of Bangkok will be used to evaluate vehicles’ quality and performance and will complement current Honda R&D Asia Pacific activities that include product planning, styling design, engineering design, material research and quality control.
The test course, to be built on an 8.6 million sq.-ft. (800,000-sq.-m) site, is to 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 U.S.
Speaking at a ceremony marking the start of construction, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak says 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 says.
Honda Chairman Fumihiko Ike says the automaker places the highest importance on R&D.
“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 says.