Honda Motor Co. Ltd.'s wholly owned subsidiary, Honda R&D Co. Ltd., reshuffles its research and development functions.

Honda says the realignment was needed due to the number of products under development and their increasing technological complexity.

“The new structure will be launched both in response to this situation and to prepare for further expansion of business in the future,” Honda says, adding the new structure will allow for greater initiative, better definition of roles and “bold delegation of authority” among employees.

As part of the new structure, existing R&D facilities in Japan, including Asaka, Wako, and Tochigi, will be organized by function instead of region.

The centers now are known as the Motorcycle Development Center; Automobile Development Center; Power Products Development Center; Aero Engine Development Center; and Basic Technology Research.

Planning, product development, technology development and administrative offices will be housed at each of the centers, Honda says.

Operational decisions now will be made by the head of each office at each center, instead of the head of the center.

This will allow for an “autonomous operational structure through which each office can make more decisions,” Honda says.

Furthermore, Honda aims to continue separating the Honda and Acura brands at the Automobile Development Center.

Honda already has announced the Acura luxury marque will get a separate U.S. design studio. (See related story: Acura to Get Own Design Studio )