Honda is expanding its North Carolina aircraft manufacturing plant, but jet-industry analysts say the company better known for cars and lawnmowers faces decisions about potentially sinking billions more into its decades-in-the-making aircraft division.
Honda Aircraft CEO Michimasa Fujino said in an interview that an ongoing expansion at its Greensboro factory is more about improving efficiency than output of the seven-seat, $5.2 million HondaJet Elite. He says the Tokyo-based corporation is committed to aviation for the long-run.
Honda has been selling only one aircraft model since deliveries in the U.S. were approved by the Federal Aviation Administration nearly four years ago.
Aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia says it would cost Honda billions of dollars to expand into a family of light jets or establish a sales and support network to match competitors.