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IN BRIEF / AUTOS

Honda Breaks Ground in Torrance for Studio

March 29, 2006|From Bloomberg News

Honda Motor Co. began building a $15-million design studio in Torrance to strengthen its premium Acura line. The company also said it was about to open an "advanced concept" design center nearby in Pasadena.

Tokyo-based Honda broke ground at its U.S. headquarters in Torrance for the first stand-alone design center for the brand. The facility, which is to open in 2007, will develop cars and light trucks with looks to distinguish them from the Honda brand, said Dave Marek, Honda's U.S. chief designer.

The Pasadena facility will develop ideas for future types of vehicles that aren't intended to go directly into production.

* Toyota Motor Corp. has priced its new Camry hybrid -- a gasoline-electric version of America's most popular car -- at $25,900, about $5,000 cheaper than rival Honda Motor Co.'s Accord hybrid. A comparable version of the gasoline-only Camry sells for $20,500. Camry hybrids built in Japan will go on sale in the U.S. in May.

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