With over 100 orders for its light jet already on the books, HondaJet is at EBACE updating visitors about the status of its extensive flight test programme and the ramp-up of series production for planned first customer deliveries at the end of 2013.
HondaJet chief executive Michimasa Fujino will not be specific on the exact number of orders for his jet, which retails at $4.5 million, but he expects to be handing over aircraft as soon as US Federal Aviation Administration certification is achieved towards the end of next year.
Metal is already being cut on the first production HondaJets to roll out of its Greensboro factory in the eastern USA.
Production will increase in 2014-2015 up to a target rate of 80-100 jets per year, says Fujino.
Once certificated, HondaJet's priority is to deliver aircraft to its backlog of North American and European customers. Customers in China and elsewhere in Asia have also shown a lot of interest in the aircraft and will be next in line to receive the jet, says Fujino. About two-thirds of HondaJet's sales have come from US customers with the balance from other countries.
HondaJet is using a dealership network to sell its product, rather than a factory direct sales model, says Fujino, which is a sales method favoured by the Japanese manufacturing giant. "We are trying to use our expertise developed on car and motorbike dealerships," says Fujino.