Interviewing a Design Engineer
The Future of Open Innovation
Welcome to Honda R&D Americas, Inc., (HRA), home of the Power of Dreams. At our innovative, state-of-the-art facilities, you’ll find our associates hard at work, researching, designing, and developing products that will challenge the way the world thinks and, ultimately, create a better, smarter, greener tomorrow for everyone.
It starts out as an idea on a napkin, a daydream on the way to work or a wish as you’re working around the house. Before you know it, you’re watching it come to life on a computer screen, then in front of a customer focus group. Finally, you watch it come off the production line.
Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA) is about being inspired and designing, developing and producing your idea. It is about using the racing circuit as your personal testing ground, making the air cleaner for you and future generations, efficiently using energy, and tackling any terrain. HRA gives you the opportunity to make your dream come to life.
Bringing Ideas to Life
HRA takes those dreams and creates advanced products and technologies that will provide new value to customers around the world. HRA has the capability for “complete product creation” — developing all-new products within our R&D facilities in North America. This process starts with market and technology research and moves to design-styling through engineering design, prototype fabrication and testing, then to local parts procurement, and, finally, to support for mass production preparation.
We have major facilities in California, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida and other locations across the United States and in Canada. Multiple locations allow us to test our products in real-life conditions while still being close to the office. HRA is engaged in developing and testing Honda and Acura automobiles, Honda powersports and power equipment products and is also taking a leading role in advancing safety and environmental technologies.
At Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA) our core values stem directly from our founder, Mr. Soichiro Honda. He spoke clearly and passionately about how a company should be run and what qualities associates should possess in order to produce the best products possible.
We attribute our strong team to two principles that have served us well since the beginning. Respect for the Individual and The Three Joys.
Respect for The Individual enshrines the concept of fairness and equality in every Honda operation around the world. A diversity of ideas and talent is the backbone of what makes our team great. Everyone brings something unique to the table. And collectively they provide a product that fits our diverse customers.
THE THREE JOYS
The 3 Joys outline a trio of essential experiences that any individual can expect to enjoy as a member of the Honda family: Joy of Buying. Joy of Selling. Joy of Creating. Together they form our spiritual guide and moral compass. They inform our every decision, practice and objective, and ultimately make working here both professionally rewarding and personally fulfilling.
The Joy of Buying
The joy of buying is achieved through providing products and services that exceed the needs and expectations of each customer.
The Joy of Selling
The joy of selling occurs when those who are engaged in selling and servicing Honda products develop relationships with a customer based on mutual trust. Through this relationship, Honda associates, dealers and distributors experience pride and joy in satisfying the customer and in representing Honda to the customer.
The Joy of Creating
The joy of creating occurs when Honda associates and suppliers involved in designing, developing, engineering and manufacturing Honda products recognize a sense of joy in our customers and dealers. The joy of creating occurs when quality products exceed expectations, and we experience pride in a job well done.
RESPECT FOR THE INDIVIDUAL
Founders Soichiro Honda and Takeo Fujisawa believed in creating a workforce where each member’s ideas received full consideration and respect. Mr. Honda believed that diversity of thought, skills, background and experiences would enrich the workplace and the product, and specifically that these individual differences would generate new ideas. In order for the associates’ best work to come forward, they must feel valued and comfortable speaking up and interacting with their work groups. This is where respect comes in. Only in an atmosphere of mutual respect and inclusion can a workforce reach its highest levels of achievement.
Racing has been a part of Honda’s DNA since the company’s founder, Soichiro Honda, began racing motorcycles at the age of 22. That racing spirit has continued to grow since the beginning of Honda, moving from motorcycle racing to Formula 1, and has expanded over the past 50 years to include everything from off road Baja, Indy and ALMS to Moto GP and grassroots motorsports.
That racing spirit has directly influenced HRA by challenging associates to also pursue their dreams of racing through an after-work race club known as Team Honda Research (THR). THR began in 1994 and has grown to include six unique racing clubs (see graphics). These race teams allow HRA not only to provide joy and satisfaction to each associate that participates, but also provide unique and insightful input into the products that Honda develops.
Racing ignites associate creativity which leads to new and unique research projects that fuel future Honda products. After-work racing requires each associate to have a passion for learning and creativity. Racing and Honda have gone hand-in-hand from the very beginning. Without racing, Honda would lose a vital characteristic that makes us so unique: Passion.
If you hire only those people you understand, the company will never get people better than you are. Always remember that you often find outstanding people among those you don't particularly like.