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Honda Sets Up Subsidiary In N.C. To Promote, Produce Jets

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TOKYO — Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co. said Tuesday it has set up a subsidiary in the U.S. to oversee the sales promotion, production and further development of its small jet that it debuted last year.

Honda Aircraft Co. will be based in Greensboro, N.C., where the prototype HondaJet was assembled, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement.

The company said it will begin taking orders for the jet this fall, targeting delivery of the first mass produced HondaJet in 2010. Honda will develop the production version of the jet and carry out marketing. It said it will also manage Honda's new alliance with Piper Aircraft Inc., with which it is working together on sales and service.

Honda has been working for 20 years on aviation research and has long had the ambition of making jets.

Last month, it announced a business alliance with Piper Aircraft and said it will begin accepting sales orders this fall for the jet. Honda said the jet has several innovations that allows for fuel efficiency, larger cabin and luggage space and higher cruise speed than comparable aircraft.

Piper Aircraft, headquartered in Vero Beach, Florida, has produced more than 144,000 aircraft and developed more than 180 different models in its 70-year history.

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