2008 Honda Open Study Model – Click above for high-res image gallery

The car design community has been sent reeling by word that Honda plans to close down its European design studio. The office forms part of Honda R&D Europe in Offenbach on the outskirts of Frankfurt, Germany, and while the rest of the research and development facility will continue operating in other capacities, the design studio is reportedly being axed.

The two-floor, 3000-square-meter design studio at Offenbach opened its doors in 1992, and has since handled a variety of automotive and motorcycle design duties for the Japanese automaker – including the Open Study Model pictured above. The reported announcement of its closure arrives against the backdrop of cutbacks across the board for Honda, including its withdrawal from major auto shows, the sale of its (now championship-leading) Formula One team, and temporary closures at assembly plants.

While some of Offenbach's motorcycle design responsibilities are expected to transfer to Honda's comparatively tiny 200-square-meter studio in Milan, there's no telling what will happen to the company's automotive design unit. But if we were living and working in Frankfurt, we'd be pushing for a transfer to Italy like there was no tomorrow – because with the rate at which Honda has been cutting back overhead, we'd bet that's where the future is.

[Source: Car Design News]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
  • 2015 Toyota Highlander
    MSRP: $29,765 - $44,140
    2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    MSRP: $29,995 - $64,895
    2015 Honda Accord
    MSRP: $22,105 - $33,630
    2015 Honda Civic
    MSRP: $18,290 - $26,740
    2015 Mazda Mazda3
    MSRP: $16,945 - $25,545
    Share This Photo X