Honda to build new test track in Thailand


Honda Motor Co.’s Bangkok-based center for automotive research and development for Asia and Oceania has announced it is building an all-new automobile test course in Prachinburi province in eastern Thailand.

The announcement was made by Fumihiko Ike, Honda’s chairman and representative director, during a ceremony Monday at an industrial park in the province.

The facility, set to cost 1.7 billion baht (about $47.49 million) and featuring various test tracks, will be constructed on a site covering more than 800,000 sq. meters.

It will be the automaker’s second test track for four-wheeled vehicles outside Japan, and its first in Asia and Oceania. It will be used primarily for testing and evaluating the quality and performances of cars, motorcycles and power products.

“Thailand has always been at the center of our Asia and Oceania business,” Ike said. “The 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.”

Thailand is a hub for Japanese carmakers. This year, Honda plans to export 72,700 cars from its manufacturing base there to more than 50 countries around the world, accounting for some 38 percent of the company’s expected production.

The test course is scheduled to go into operation in 2017.