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Old 10-06-2009, 02:51 PM   #1
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Default Honda to shutter European design opperations

The downtrodden global economy has forced many automakers to close factories and offices, with Honda’s European design studio the latest to fall victim to the current financial climate. Honda’s European design studio – located just outside of Frankfurt, Germany – will shut its doors at the end of next month.

Honda will shutter its car and motorcycle design studios at its Offenbach R&D center by the end of November. Although the design studios will be closing, Honda will continue operating its R&D operations out of the facility.

“This is a regrettable structure change due to the current economic picture,” Honda spokesman Christophe Rust told Car Design News. “The German design activities will be discontinued with effect from the end of November”.

The move throws into question Honda’s entire European design plans. Motorcycle design will likely be moved to the company’s facility in Rome, but it remains unclear if Honda will establish another European car design studio.

Opened in 1992, the Offenbach facility has designed a number of concepts, including Honda’s OSM show car in 2008
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