PHOENIX – Honda Motor Co. celebrated the first U.S. deliveries of its new HondaJet at a ceremony in Phoenix as it finally marked its long-awaited entry into the aviation market.
The momentous occasion, fulfilling the dream of late founder Soichiro Honda, came 30 years after the company began research on building the small business jet.
Some 130 people, including business moguls, clients and dealers, attended the Friday ceremony, where Honda President Takahiro Hachigo said he was glad to see the founder’s dream come true.
The HondaJet costs about $4.5 million, which is relatively expensive for a small business jet, but features a roomier cabin and better fuel efficiency.
In the small-jet market, U.S. manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Co. and Brazil’s Embraer SA have a leg up on Honda Aircraft Co., but orders have already surpassed 100 units.
Honda Aircraft President Michimasa Fujino said the HondaJet will pose a challenge because it has a competitive edge.