NEW YORK – Honda Motor Co.’s first jet plane will soon debut in Brazil, where a new class of rich corporate executive is emerging on the back of brisk economic growth, the automaker’s U.S. aircraft unit said Monday.
The number of pre-orders for the HondaJet has already exceeded 100 in North America and Europe, and the aircraft’s deliveries are scheduled to begin by the end of this year.
Honda Aircraft Co. President Michimasa Fujino has said that its foray into Brazil has a strategic importance for the aircraft’s global sales.
Honda Aircraft, based in Greensboro, North Carolina, will tie up with a Brazilian sales and maintenance firm for local distribution, with the target year for introduction set at 2017, the company said.
To promote HondaJet’s brand recognition, Honda will participate in an aviation industry trade show to be held in Sao Paulo next month, it said.
The roughly 13-meter-long plane is powered by two engines installed over the main wings and has a spacious interior, the company said.
Its standard model can seat up to six people, including the crew. The aircraft is priced at $4.5 million (¥559.85 million).
Soichiro Honda founded what came to be known as Honda Motor in 1946, growing it into one of Japan’s best-known brands for automobiles and motorcycles. He died in 1991, aged 84.
Honda entered the aircraft business when it launched the HondaJet project in 2006.
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