Friday, Dec 02, 2016
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Honda plans to build business jets in N.C.

Editor's Note: This version corrects that Honda's jet project is in Greensboro, N.C., not Mississippi.

TOKYO — Michimasa Fujino, president of Honda Motor Co.’s aviation unit, says its business jet project may get off the ground next year at a hangar at their world head quarters in Greensboro, N.C..

If so, Tokyo’s Honda would become the first newcomer to get U.S. approval in the $21 billion business-jet market since 2006.

That would pit the carmaker against market leaders Textron Inc.’s Cessna and Brazil’s Embraer SA, which have fended off threats from companies such as Bill Gates-backed Eclipse Aviation, which sought bankruptcy protection five years ago.

Though the HondaJet hasn’t gone on sale, Mr. Fujino said he has clinched two to three years of orders for the $4.5 million plane and signaled the business will turn profitable before the end of the decade.

The seven-seater plane, which Mr. Fujino calls a “flying sports car” or “flying Acura,” will be 15 percent more fuel efficient, have roomier cabin space, and fly 10 percent faster than comparable aircraft, he said.

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