Remarks by Charles Allen, Senior Vice President, Honda R&D Americas, Inc
Groundbreaking Ceremonies for the new Acura Design Center

Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us here today.

My name is Charles Allen, Vice President of Honda R&D Americas- or HRA as we call it. And it is my pleasure and honor to represent all Honda associates as we commemorate two very important milestones in our company's history ... breaking ground for Honda's latest R&D facility in America ... the Acura Design Center. And the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Acura Brand.

Before I begin, I would like to introduce today's program participants who are seated behind me.

  • First, from the state of California, Mr. David Crane, Special Advisor for Jobs and Economic Growth.
  • My boss, Mr. Hirohide Ikeno, President of Honda R&D Americas
  • Dick Colliver, executive vice president of auto sales for American Honda Motor Co.

Also, in the audience, please recognize...

  • California State Assemblyman, the Honorable Ted Lieu
  • The Mayor of Torrance, the Honorable Dan Walker
  • John Mendel, senior vice president of auto operations for American Honda.
  • Mike McGrath, chairman of the Acura Dealer Advisory Board who is representing the more than 250 Acura dealers across the country.
  • And, finally, an individual who played a key role in helping launch the Acura brand 20 years ago, please welcome back the retired senior vice president of American Honda, Mr. Cliff Schmillen.

We have a number of other important community leaders and executives with Honda R&D and the Acura brand here with us today. There is not time this morning to individually recognize and introduce everyone- but please know that we appreciate your efforts and thank you for being with us today.

To put this day in some perspective ... when I joined Honda R&D Americas, almost 30 years ago, we consisted of just a handful of associates focused primarily on market research in an industrial park not far from here. Today, Honda R&D operates 10 major research and testing facilities in the U.S., with more than 13-hundred designers, engineers and support personnel engaged in the development of new products.

The existing LA Center, off to my left here, now handles product planning, market and technology research and styling design ... currently with three product studios for automobiles and motorcycles.

In Ohio, we conduct product development ... including key areas such as body and chassis design, fabrication and testing ... and working closely with our factories and suppliers on the development of new technologies and components.

Our automobile product development efforts are strengthened by two U.S. proving centers. We have a seven and a half mile banked oval track and other test courses located in Ohio. And we built a second proving center from scratch in the Mojave Desert here in California.

Together, these operations have provided Honda with fully-integrated design and development capabilities in America ...or what we call "Complete Product Creation". This means we develop all-new vehicles starting from market research and design styling ... to engineering design, fabrication and testing ... right through to the final product.

Today we enter a new phase in our history of U.S. product development with the establishment of an all-new design center ... focused exclusively on the Acura brand. To talk more about this new development, it is my pleasure to introduce the president of Honda R&D Americas, Mr. Hirohide Ikeno.

[Mr. Ikeno Speaks]

Thank you, Ikeno-San.

Now, it is my great privilege to introduce Mr. David Crane, special advisor for jobs and economic growth for the great state of California.

[Mr. Crane speaks]

Thank you, Mr. Crane. And now, I'd like to introduce Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda.

[Mr. Colliver speaks]

Thank you, Dick. And now I'd like for all of our guests here on stage to gather in the groundbreaking area and join with the Honda associates who are gathering in that area. As Mr. Ikeno said, we have experienced tremendous growth over the past 20 years. But- let me tell you- we never get tired of these groundbreaking events. This is an exciting day for Honda R&D Americas ... and the Acura brand.

While we are getting everyone positioned, let me remind all of the Honda associates that we will have cake today at 3:00pm to celebrate Acura's 20th birthday in the cafeteria at American Honda.

As we get set for this ceremony, I want to point out that joining David Crane, Dan Walker, Mr. Ikeno, Dick Colliver, John Mendel and Steve Center for this groundbreaking are two of the founding members of the Acura team ...Dave Heath and Lisa Filippi-Alvarez. Thank you, everyone.

Now, I think you probably have noticed that Mr. Ikeno and Mr. Crane do not have shovels! Rather, they are standing behind a Honda tiller. This has become Honda's own unique way of breaking ground for new facilities.

So ... ladies and gentlemen, please take hold of your shovels and join us in breaking ground for the new Acura Design Center. Mr. Ikeno and Mr. Crane ...
start ... your ... engine!

Thank you, everyone. Have a great day. And Happy Birthday Acura!

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