Honda Opens New Acura Design Studio in Torrance, California

By: Ally Wahlberg

The layout of the new Acura design studio promotes collaboration between the interior and exterior designers by combining their workspaces. With the development of the new design studio makes the future of Acura vehicle design to further be ingrained in North America. The Japanese company has officially opened its $15 million Acura Design Studio in Torrance, California is uniquely different from its parent company Honda's existing design facilities that are located in Torrance and Pasadena.

Acura has built its reputation as being the first Japanese luxury automaker that has been able to both design and manufacture vehicles in North America. Almost two-thirds of the all Acuras currently sold in the US are developed and manufactured exclusively in North America.

The new studio will feature cutting-edge design technology that includes computer-generated simulator which designers may employ to display full-size one to one ratio vehicle mockups. There is also a layout of parallel interior and exterior design areas to encourage teamwork among designers.

According to Toshihiko Nonaka, President of Honda R&D Americans, "This Acura Design Studio will help conceive and design the future of Acura. Our goal here is to create emotional designs that create a strong and distinct image for Acura products."

A Highly Efficient Design Studio
The studio has officially opened last March 24 and is built for high energy efficiency with a goal to become a certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED building by the US Green Building Council.

The studio's Energy Star-rated reflective roof minimizes the need for air-conditioning by controlling the heat inside the building. Its intelligent lightning system maximizes the use of natural light while another special system reclaims water for use in landscaping.

Currently Honda the producer of high quality manages thirteen major research and design facilities in North America including the new Acura Design Studio. These thirteen facilities employ more than 1,200 designers, engineers, and other personnel. Dick Colliver, Executive Vice President of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., and the Acura Division said, "The effort to distinguish Acura in the marketplace begins with design. The Acura Design Studio will be critical in our efforts to deliver products at the right times and ahead of the competition."

About Acura
Acura is a brand name used by the Japanese car manufacturer Honda for US, Canada, and Hong Kong since March 1986 to market luxury automobiles as well as near-luxury vehicles. The brand was introduced in Mexico in 2004 and in China last 2006.

Honda also plans of extending Acura to the Japanese domestic market by 2008. And through the Acura brand, Honda was credited for being the first automaker in Japan to tap into luxury Japanese cars outside of Japan. Before the introduction of the Acura brand the automobiles exported from Japan were economical in design and targets only low-cost consumers but with the coming of the Acura brand everything change.

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