• Kyodo

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Honda Motor Co. opened a proving ground for automobiles and motorcycles in eastern Thailand on Thursday.

The testing location in Prachinburi province is Honda’s first facility in Asia outside of Japan.

The automaker’s local subsidiary, Honda R&D Asia Pacific Co., said that it invested over 1.7 billion baht (about $50 million) to establish the Prachinburi Proving Ground, with eight test courses simulating various road conditions and terrains.

Its completion makes Thailand only the third country where Honda has proving grounds, after Japan and the United States.

The new one, totaling close to 8 km of roads, “will be used for automobiles and motorcycles, with various vehicle tests including handling, stability and overall performance carried out on regionally developed products,” Honda said.

At the opening ceremony, Yoshiharu Itai, managing director and representative of Japan-based Honda R&D Co., said, “The expansion of Honda’s testing operation here will help us to gain accurate and beneficial information to crease a wide range of products.”

Thailand’s minister of science and technology, Atchaka Sibunruang, said the proving ground “will help to strengthen Thailand by developing its competitive strengths in the automotive industry.”

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