• Oct 5, 2009

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]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am pretty sure Hyundai-Kia will absorb some of the fired staff.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love their cars!!!!
      cant wait to buy my first one...

      Roberty Burlow
      Airbus A380 Dimensions
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Designers? We don't need to stinkin Designers!"

      -Honda in the year 2002
      • 5 Years Ago
      Because all their recent designs have been brilliant...
      • 5 Years Ago
      They should have closed down the Acura design studio in Cali. When's the last time they came out with anything "moving"?
      • 5 Years Ago
      No worries. Honda has some absolutely stunning -- and I do mean stunning -- designs coming out of its Southern California design studios that can be shared with the world. Oh, wait, you don't like the Crosstour either?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I believe the Crossturd was designed in Japan. In fact, most if not all of Honda's contrived designs originated in Japan, whereas their best designs such as the Civic, previous gen Acura Tl and TSX were designed in Europe or SoCal, so brace yourself for more ugly Hondas...Really too bad, because I love how well Hondas work and last.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Look, its a matter of taste, i said time and time again that last Gen Cadillac CTS was gorgeous and the current get is a downgrade, many will disagree. Many in here hate the new Acura nose, so did i until i saw it in person. Looks are looks, very few cars achieve that Camaro like design where almost everyone can agree that the car is drop dead gorgeous.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't like Crosstour either. and what about up coming CR-Z?
        • 5 Years Ago
        i love the smell of sarcasm!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Any backlash because of all the mfrs pulled out of Tokyo auto show?
      • 5 Years Ago
      The FT-86 looks a lot like the OSM...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why did that gorgeous prototype never make it anywhere past the clay model stage. Seen it in person the British Motor show a few years back and it was absolutey gorgeous.
      • 5 Years Ago
      with a lowered beltline and a bit more upright windshield, it would make a great S2000 successor, just update the current chassis, Ford added cheaper parts to the DEW98 to make the current Mustang, so the platform actually dates back to 1999/2000. so it wouldn't be THAT old.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sad news, Bieber is closing its gates forever.
      Another shocking news for the car design community.
      Looks like we have not reached the bottom yet.
      Get prepared for what is coming.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What is it with Honda? They ignore the good looking designs and manufacture the ugly ones.
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