Brazil – Honda Automóveis do Brasil (HAB) is investing 100m reis ($43m) in Sumaré (SP), saying it is “confident in the potential of the local automotive market”. The aim is to develop models which are specific to the Brazilian market as well as to increase the local component and technology levels of the vehicles produced.
The powertrains, suspensions and technology of models such as the new Fit and City, soon to launch in Brazil, will feature adaptations developed by the unit, which the company describes as “one of the main Honda R&D Centers outside Japan/US”. Operations are beginning with a 300-strong workforce spread across Engineering, Purchasing and Research and Development departments.

The launch of the R&D centre comes after last year’s announcement that Honda will build a second plant in Itirapina, which will have an annual capacity of 120,000 cars; production is scheduled to start in 2015.