Ultimele articole din presa straina referitoare la Honda

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  • Honda Siel Eyeing India for its small Sedan launch

    Since Indian automobile market is booming with new variants now and then, Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI), which is a collaboration of the two counterparts from Japan and India respectively, is considering launching its range of small sedan cars in the lucrative Indian market. The company has over the past few years made a mark in India with their sleek designed cars such as Brio, Jazz, Civic and lastly City. These cars have met with wide demand and owing to its success Honda Siel is now analyzing all the prospects of launching its small sedan variants on the Indian roads.
    The sedans which Honda Siel has planned for India are low-cost ones ranged around Brio. Presently Honda Brio and Jazz have 1.2L engines and the upcoming small sedans to be launched here will also be having the same engine configurations.

    In the past one year the operations of Honda Siel had been affected so as the result of many natural disasters that hit Japan over the years. Due to this Honda stayed a step behind its compatriots
    Nissan, Maruti-Suzuki and Volkswagen which continued to expand in India on a wide scale. A detailed analysis of sales shows that Honda rolled out 1072 units in the month of December 2011 against 5135 units in December 2010.
    The new sedans will be approximately 3995 mm long thus making them eligible to evade 10% excise duty as prescribed under the regulations. The prospective price of the new Honda Siel cars has been fixed in the range of Rs 4-6 Lakhs. The company is said to be focusing on its present cars to escalate the sales rate and once the losses have been met, the company will look towards belting out its newest range of sedans in the Indian market.



    Western Michigan University physics professor converts 1992 Honda Civic into electric vehicle

    Professor Paul Pancella, who specializes in experimental nuclear physics, has been a professor at WMU since 1990. In 2002, he became chair of the physics department.
    KALAMAZOO — A Western Michigan University physics professor explained how his passion for efficiency convinced him to convert his car into an all-electric power car at a lecture on Friday. Pancella recently converted a 1992 Honda Civic hatchback from its original gasoline-powered state into a car completely powered by electricity. The car, which he named "Hondatron," was the topic of the lecture.
    "This is not new technology and by no means groundbreaking-type stuff," Pancella said. "But [electric cars] are difficult to get a hold of, and I thought I would try it."
    Pancella bought the car slightly used and drove it on gasoline for 15 years. In 2007, when the engine went out in the Honda, Pancella was fed up with trying to fix it. Instead of scrapping the car, he decided to take the engine out and convert the vehicle into an electric car.
    "I've been interested in electric vehicles sort of as a subset of my interest in efficiency and transportation in general," he said.
    Pancella explained the method to his madness to a lecture hall full of science and math students at WMU.
    View full sizeKatie Selden | Kalamazoo GazetteBatteries in Professor Paul Pancella's 1992 Honda Civic are under the hood and also in the trunk. Pancella held a free public lecture in Rood Hall on Western Michigan University's campus on Friday, Jan. 28 to talk about his work on the vehicle.

    "If you're going to use any energy besides your muscles to move you around, efficiency's got to be a value. There's really a huge difference in efficiency between an electric motor and an internal combustion engine," he said.
    As he developed the car, Pancella realized how much money and energy he was saving himself. There were already electric cars being made and sold, but the number available to the public is limited.
    Pancella received help from some friends who were more experienced with automobiles than he was, but did much of the work on the car himself.
    "I'm not a car guy, but I know people," he said.
    "I never thought that as a physicist that I would be taking a car apart, but it's a lot easier to take things apart when you don't have to worry about putting them back in," he said.
    Most automobile converters up until this point had used lead-acid batteries, but 30-60 pounds of lead-acid are needed for every mile range, so he hoped to find an alternative to power the car.
    "Fortunately now, there is a viable alternative available ... lithium iron phosphate (LiFepo4) battery which is rechargeable," Pancella said.
    "I'm a lot more efficient using this than the lead-acid battery."
    He started taking the old engine out of the car in July of 2008. The LiFepo4 batteries, a battery charger and a new electric motor replaced the old gasoline-powered motor.
    "There are economic advantages for the consumer. Often since we're still in the early stages, they look expensive from the long end, but we're still doing research on how to make them cheaper," Pancella said.
    The list of required maintenance items for an electric car is much shorter than the list of parts needed for an internal combustion engine.
    "So, if you're like me you'll be happy that there's less stuff that can break," Pancella said.
    On the front of the car is an electrical source that plugs into a three-prong electrical wall socket.

    "I was happy (and surprised) to see that it works," he said.

    Pancella said he hopes that soon more cars will be running on electric energy at an affordable cost for the public.



    Honda owners rally around lawsuit


    TORRANCE, Calif. — Honda Civic owners from across California took off from work to attend an unusual Small Claims Court case in Torrance, where a lone consumer has sued American Honda Motor Co. over fuel economy claims.
    The hearing Wednesday represented round two of a case that has garnered national attention pitting Honda Civic hybrid owner Heather Peters against the automotive giant.
    Los Angeles County Superior Court Commissioner Douglas Carnahan heard testimony from Peters and Honda.
    Noting that the "case affects many more people than the average Small Claims Court case," Carnahan said he would issue a ruling soon, probably this week.
    Civic hybrid owners such as Kathy Wood, a substitute teacher from Sacramento, and Brian Kent, a finance company manager from Carlsbad, were among those packing the small courtroom. They said they are waiting for the ruling before deciding whether they will file similar claims against Honda.
    "I am inspired by what Heather is doing," said Wood, who said she is also frustrated that her Civic gets far less fuel efficiency than what Honda advertised.
    Peters, a 46-year-old Los Angeles resident, is seeking $10,000 in damages from Honda for allegedly misrepresenting the mileage that drivers should expect from the Civic hybrid.
    She argued that Honda advertised that the car would get about 50 miles per gallon, but "the car never got more than 41 or 42 even on its very best day." She said the fuel economy dropped below 30 mpg after a software update intended to prolong the life of the car's battery and improve performance.
    Peters sued after learning that a proposed class-action lawsuit settlement that covered her 2006 vehicle would pay trial lawyers $8.5 million while Civic hybrid owners would get as little as $100 and rebate coupons for the purchase of a new car.
    The former attorney decided to file the case in Small Claims Court to prevent Honda from bringing a highly paid legal team to the battle. California law prohibits companies from using attorneys to mount a defense in Small Claims Court.
    But that didn't stop Honda from making an attempt. At one point in the hearing, Honda corporate counsel David Peim leaned over to offer advice to the automaker's official representative, technical specialist Neil Schmidt.
    Carnahan noticed the move and warned Peim that he was not allowed to participate in the hearing.
    With nearly three hours of testimony over two days, Carnahan noted that this was one of the longest Small Claims Court cases he knew of.
    At the start of the hearing Wednesday, he short-circuited a move by Honda that would have added time and complexity to the case and rejected an 8-inch stack of documents Honda wanted to enter into the court record under seal.
    Honda has defended itself by contending that Peters' low fuel mileage numbers result from the way she drives or how she maintains her Civic.
    But Honda has acknowledged that the battery on 2006 through 2008 Civic hybrids "may deteriorate and eventually fail" earlier than expected. When the battery pack can't be charged to full capacity, the car relies more on the gas engine and fuel economy suffers.
    A proposed class-action settlement dealing with similar issues was rejected last year in federal court in Riverside, Calif., by Judge Virginia Phillips, who agreed with 26 attorneys general and multiple consumer groups that the deal did not pay Civic owners enough.
    Peters was hoping other Civic owners would join the fray, filing suits against Honda in various Small Claims Court jurisdictions across the state, making the automaker fight a multi-front legal battle in which it would be unable to bring its legal forces to bear.
    "I have had 600 Honda owners contact me, and most of them seem to be waiting to find out what happens with this case," Peters said.
    If she's successful, Peters could win damages many times the payment she would derive from the class-action lawsuit settlement. But Honda could appeal the ruling in Los Angeles County Superior Court, where the automaker would be allowed to bring in its army of lawyers to try to overturn any small-claims judgment.

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    • Japanese carmaker Honda's Q3 seen hit by disasters, yen

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/30/honda-idUSL4E8CU3Q020120130?feedType=RSS&feedName=market sNews

      Japan quake, Thai floods hit Honda harder than others * Q3 op profit seen down 35 pct y/y - Reuters poll
      * Investors eager for Honda to renew
      earnings guidance
      * Consensus sees FY profit down 50%, better than previous guidance
      * Shares outperform as investors focus on recovery ahead
      Chang-Ran Kim
      TOKYO, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co is expected to report a double-digit slide in quarterly operating profit on Tuesday and forecast a still larger drop for the full year, as natural disasters in Japan and
      Thailand hit it harder than rivals.
      Japan's No.3 automaker was the slowest to recover from supply-chain disruptions after the earthquake and tsunami in March, while it was alone in having a car factory inundated by the historic floods in Thailand, Southeast Asia's export hub.
      That is expected to push Honda's October-December operating profit down 35 percent to 81 billion yen ($1.06 billion), according to a poll of nine analysts by Reuters.
      Honda's announcement is being closely watched after the company withdrew its guidance in October citing uncertainty over when production could resume in Thailand. Honda is the first Japanese automaker to report third-quarter earnings, and is also expected to provide an update on Thai production on Tuesday.
      In 2011, Honda's global output dropped by a fifth to 2.909 million cars, slipping below 3 million for the first time in eight years. All other Japanese automakers, except Nissan Motor Co, built fewer cars also, but the falls were much smaller than at Honda.
      For the year to March 31, 2012, forecasts from 24 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S put Honda's annual operating profit at 283 billion yen, down 50 percent from 2010-11 when it was hit by the yen's rise against the dollar and euro.
      The consensus forecast is slightly higher than the 270 billion yen Honda projected in August.
      With production steadily recovering in the final months of 2011, investors have turned their attention to an anticipated jump in sales as Honda restocks its depleted inventory.
      So far this year, its shares are the best performer among Japanese automakers, rising 14.2 percent as of Monday. Tokyo's auto sector index has gained 8.9 percent.
      Still, concern has lingered over whether Honda might be losing its edge after a new version of its top-selling Civic was heavily criticised for its styling and interior in the United States, its biggest market, last year.
      Competition in the United States is set to heat up this year as resurgent local giants Ford Motor Co and General Motors Co and South Korea's fast-rising Hyundai Motor Co flex their muscles in the sedan segment previously dominated by Honda and Toyota Motor Corp.
      While acknowledging the criticisms of the revamped Civic, Honda Chief Executive Takanobu Ito stressed this month that the car had topped the country's compact sedan segment in the latest quarter, outselling Toyota's Corolla.
      Honda is targeting a 25 percent jump in its U.S. sales this calendar year. To this aim, it is shoring up its struggling Acura premium brand.
      Honda is scheduled to announce its results at 3 p.m. (0600 GMT) in Tokyo.
      Domestic rivals Toyota and Nissan are scheduled to announce third-quarter earnings on Feb. 7 and 8, respectively.


      John Wendel Blog: How my car reached 400,000 miles


      CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- This past weekend I surpassed a big milestone, literally. My baby, my 2002 Honda Civic turned over 400,000 miles on I-77 near Mooresville.
      Luckily, I was able to stop at the rest area there to take pictures of this exciting accomplishment (the cars, not mine).
      You’re probably doing the math, 10 years, 400,000 miles, that is 40,000 miles a year. Yes, I do live a little ways north of town out in the country. It takes me about an hour or so to get to work in the morning.
      I do keep my sanity because I miss the morning rush by two hours. Books on tape help me pass the time going to and from work. I read (listen to) hundreds of books I would otherwise not get the chance. My favorite authors are Stuart Woods and Orson Scott Card.
      Regular maintenance is very important. I change the timing belt every 110,000 miles, oil every 4,000 miles and battery every four years. I have replaced the shocks once, the breaks three times, and the catalytic converter once.
      The biggest cost came with a new automatic transmission which went out at 300,000 miles. I am very lucky because my son is a technician at Volvo and was able to do some of the work.
      Because these are mainly highway miles, I’m getting about 90,000 miles out of my tires.
      What brings a smile to my face is that I have not had a payment on the car for the last six years.
      Then again if you figure out how much I have paid in gas taxes, I have probably paid for the I-485 expansion. When I bought the car 10 years ago, I got about 40 miles to the gallon but with time and wear that has fallen off to 38 miles per gallon. Believe me, I am not complaining.
      The next question is what to do next? I’m thinking of buying a new car, maybe a hybrid for the gas mileage. There are two problems. The first is with all the miles I can’t get any for it in resale and the second is why add a new car payment when this car is running so well?
      The next goal that I have for this car is to reach 470,000 miles which is the average distance to the moon and back. That’s only 70,000 more which I should reach by the late summer of 2013. That doesn’t seem that far away.
      Once I get there, 500,000 miles would be right around the corner. So I’m thinking I’ll stick with my baby a little while longer.


      MPG-pressed automakers still skip U.S. with new diesels


      Automakers are creating top-notch, affordable and fuel-saving diesel engines -- and refusing to sell them in the U.S.
      Case in point: the Honda Civic. Honda, already known for its engine prowess, unveiled a new diesel for the Accord to reporters last month that is smaller, lighter and as powerful as those with gas engines. It will go on sale in Europe, and the U.S. will get left out, Automotive News reports.
      Explains the News:
      Automakers have been holding diesels out of the United States for years, but such decisions are especially perplexing today. If there ever were a moment when the North American industry could benefit from a switch to different engine architectures to claim quick and easy fuel-economy improvements, it would be now.
      Why? Because the new U.S. fuel conservation rules will put automakers in a vice when it comes to gas economy. Diesels can help solve the problem, with 25% to 40% better fuel economy than gas engines.
      Newfangled diesels are every bit as quiet and clean as comparable gas engines. But consumers are unlikely to get over the pocketbook issue: Not only do diesels cost more to buy, but diesel fuel prices are usually higher than gasoline, negating the fuel savings.
      Makers haven't totally ignored diesels for the U.S. Volkswagen and Audi have a growing portfolio of them. A diesel Chevrolet Cruze is coming, and Mazda has a SkyActiv version.
      But greater availability isn't going to necessarily mean that diesels catch on with the American public.

      Monroney details on Tony Stark's $9,229,000 Acura from The Avengers


      See that above? It's the Monroney for Tony Stark's
      Acura in The Avengers. We saw the car on set last year, when most of what we had to say about it centered on its potential hints to the as-yet-unseen Acura NSX concept. Someone got a closer look at the roadster on display, and its details are nothing short of cartoonish but in the best way.

      The $9,229,000 supercar uses a palladium-powered 80,000 TOHC 32-valve engine boosted by, get this, nitrous. As well as its nine-speed hyper-shift transmission, lithium dioxide-injecting shocks and reflex-response steering column with target guidance feedback, it is fitted with a device to create an enviro-clone projected hologram of its surroundings. You know, for defense. And because actual palladium use might vary among agents, the 234 city/302 highway mpg is for Tony Stark only.

      Head over to
      Collider.com for more closeup images of Stark's low-density-plasma-emitting Acura roadster and a closer read of that window sticker.


      Consumer Reports survey suggests buyers don't see differences between car companies


      Today's vehicles are more powerful, more efficient and safer than ever before. In fact, today's car buyer would be hard pressed to spend his or her money on a genuinely bad vehicle. But those overall improvements may have also led consumers to believe there are no real differences between the various products offered by the world's major automakers. According to the Consumer Reports 2012 Car-Brand Perception Survey, Toyota, Ford, Honda and Chevrolet have all seen their scores drop by double digits compared to last year.

      The survey asks consumers to rate brands across seven categories. Consumer Reports says that by combining those categories, the organization can get a handle on how each brand is perceived in the marketplace.

      This year, Toyota continued to lead in the survey, though its persistent recalls saw the brand's perception fall by 17 points this year. Ford, Honda and BMW all saw their perception scores plummet more than 20 points. The results may indicate consumers are seeing fewer differences between automakers as products continue to improve. While that's good news for smaller automakers like Hyundai, Kia and Subaru, larger names in the industry should be worried. Head over to Consumer Reports for the full report.
      Last edited by tokyodream; 31-01-12, 08:29.
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      • Honda’s Thai plant to resume production end of March


        Some updates about Honda’s Thai production, which was expected to be out for up to six months from October last year when it was inundated with floodwaters. The company says it is planning to resume vehicle production at its assembly plant in Rojana Industrial Park, Ayutthaya, by the end of March. The plant was severely affected by the flooding that hit the Kingdom last year; production was suspended on October 4, and the company has since been restoring plant facilities and manufacturing equipment since completing the drainage of the floodwater and carrying out cleaning up operations.
        “In October 2011, we had to temporarily suspend production at our facilities in Rojana Industrial Park, which inevitably impacted unit sales. We have finished repairing and installing production equipment and are now running thorough system checks,” Honda Automobile Thailand’s executive vice president, Pitak Pruittisarikorn said in a statement.
        He added that until production at Ayutthaya resumes, the company will import Jazz and Accord models from Japan for local sales. Production of parts for export to Honda’s plants in other ASEAN countries will also resume – Honda says that it expects these plants, which had to suspend production due to a shortage of parts, to restart production in April.


        Analysts: U.S. automakers will lose marketshare in 2012


        Domestic automakers have much to be happy about, with Chrysler, Ford and General Motors all gaining market share last year for the first time since 1988. Yet according to Bloomberg, 2012 won't be as good to Detroit. Total sales are projected to grow from 12.8 million vehicles last year to 13.6 million, according to the report, but increasing competition from Korea and a Japanese recovery from the natural disasters of 2011 mean those extra sales aren't likely headed to the Big Three.

        The news agency spoke to five analysts, and predictions have the U.S. automakers losing 1.3 percentage points this year. The analysts estimate that GM will drop 0.6 of a percent, Ford will lose 0.5 percent, and Chrysler will be down 0.2 percent. Toyota is seen gaining 0.9 percent, with Honda grabbing an extra 0.5 percent, while Hyundai and Kia are only projected to see their combined market share improve by 0.01.

        If all this comes true, GM would have the top market share in the U.S. at 19 percent, with Ford in second at 16.3 percent, followed by Toyota at 13.8 percent, Chrysler at 10.5 percent, and Honda at 9.5 percent.



        Honda trims profit estimates but remains bullish on future

        Honda says that it is looking optimistically at 2012 and 2013, even as a string of unfortunate events forced it to slice its profit estimates to its lowest level since the global recession began.

        The automaker says that its operating profit for the fiscal year ending March 31 should be around 200 billion yen (about $2.6 billion), which is well below the estimates provided by analysts earlier this month and it’s about 65 percent lower than the figures Honda posted last year. Overall, Honda says that its motorcycle arm and its financial division will help keep overall net profit to about 215 billion yen, but that’s still a 60 percent drop compared to last year.
        The Japanese firm has struggled to recover from last March’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan and its assembly plant in Thailand was by far the hardest-hit of any automaker.
        ‘Any way you look at it, this has been an extremely tough year for Honda,” CFO Fumihiko Ike said at a news conference earlier today.
        Honda’s profitability was most obviously hurt because of its hefty production cutbacks. For the first time in eight years, Honda produced fewer than 3 million cars globally. Its 2.91 million production figure represented a bigger decline than any of the other Japanese brands that were hit by the disasters in March. Like other Japanese brands, Honda has also struggled to overcome a strong domestic currency that cuts into export profitability.

        Bullish on 2012, 2013

        Honda says that its once-inundated plant in Thailand should be back up to full speed production in April and that its plants in Japan are finally coming back on line.

        As a result, the automaker says that it should be able to hit 4 million global sales in the fiscal year that begins on April 1 of this year.
        But there’s still some uncertainty in Honda’s largest market, North America, where its redesigned Civic has seen middling sales. If buyers don’t flock to redesigned Accord and CR-V models set to hit the market later in 2012, Honda might be forced to take another look at its estimates.


        Honda earnings drop 41 percent on Thai floods


        Tokyo —Battered by the strong yen and supply disruptions from Thailand's floods, Honda Motor Co. said Tuesday that its net earnings in the October-December quarter tumbled 41 percent to 47.6 billion yen ($625 million) and projected a sharply lower full-year profit.
        The Japanese automobile and motorcycle maker forecast it would earn 215 billion yen for the fiscal year through March, down nearly 60 percent from the 534 billion yen it earned the previous fiscal year.
        Honda, which makes the Accord sedan and Odyssey minivan, had scrapped its earnings forecast in October, when it reported its previous quarterly results, because the flooding in Thailand — a key Asian production hub for Honda and many Japanese companies — made the outlook too uncertain.
        Honda Motor Co. stopped making cars at its automobile assembly plant in Ayutthaya, north of Bangkok, in October after it was damaged in the worst floods to hit Thailand in 50 years. The company said in a statement that it was making progress on draining the plant of floodwater and cleaning up equipment and that production was expected to resume by the end of March.
        The flooding also disrupted the output at many Honda suppliers in Thailand, forcing it to reduce production as far away as the U.S. and Canada. Honda said production in neighboring Asian countries interrupted by the problems in Thailand was expected to return to normal by April.
        All told, the problems related to flooding in Thailand have cost the company 260,000 vehicles in lost production worldwide, said Tomohiro Okada, a company spokesman.
        The company said it is working with the local industrial park to build water protection walls around the plant and will ask the Thai government to take steps to prevent the risk of flooding. The Thai plant makes the Jazz, Civic, Accord, CR-V sport utility vehicle and other vehicles.
        Quarterly sales slid 8 percent during the fiscal third quarter to 1.942 trillion yen. Honda projects full-year sales will decline 12.2 percent.
        The strong yen, which erodes exporters' foreign earned income when repatriated, also ate into the company's income. Compared to the same quarter a year earlier, unfavorable exchange rates reduced the company's operating income by 33.6 billion yen, Okada said.
        Global vehicle sales in the quarter declined 2.9 percent from a year ago to 830,000 units, the company said.
        Vehicle sales in Japan rose 16 percent and North America increased 2 percent from the same quarter a year ago, while unit sales in Europe, Asia and other regions fell.
        A bright spot was its motorcycle business. Motorcycle sales rose 6.3 percent during the quarter from the same quarter a year ago to 3.1 million units.

        Last edited by tokyodream; 01-02-12, 10:17.
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        • http://www.canadianbusiness.com/arti...-start-to-2012

          Canadian auto sales jump 15 per cent in January from a year-earlier

          TORONTO - Automakers saw strong Canadian sales in the opening month of 2012 with many reporting double-digit growth from a year ago and some setting January sales records.
          Overall sales grew 15.4 per cent to 97,497 vehicles last month, according to data released Wednesday from the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada.
          Sales have been boosted by persistently low interest rates, buyers searching for better fuel efficiency, and those looking to replace older vehicles as the average vehicle age on Canadian roads climbs.
          "January light vehicle sales in Canada surprised everyone including myself," said Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers automotive consultants.
          "Sales have been anemic for about 4 years and this is an excellent start to the year ...January sets us up for some positive surprises through the rest of the year."
          DesRosiers believes the surprising boost was driven by pent- up demand for foreign nameplates — at the expense of General Motors and Ford.
          Chrysler Canada, which has been one of the fastest growing brands, had its best January in a decade, Ford lost its spot as Canada's top seller but continued to gain traction, and Toyota sales jumped as supply caught up to demand.
          One sour spot was at General Motors, where sales dropped 10 per cent.
          Chrysler Canada's sales in January jumped 22 per cent from a year before, helping it to wrest the title of Canada's best-selling automaker from Ford, which fell to the No. 2 spot.
          Chrysler said it sold 16,584 vehicles last month, besting the 13,587 sold in the year-earlier period and enough to make it Chrysler's best January since 2002.
          “We have been the fastest growing automaker in Canada for the past two years and it is great to start 2012 as the highest selling vehicle company in Canada,” said Dave Buckingham, Chrysler Canada's chief operating officer.
          Chrysler reported January sales in both Canada and the U.S. on the same day it announced that 2011 was its first profitable year since 1997. The company, now controlled by Italian automaker Fiat, was forced to seek bankruptcy protection and a government bailout in 2009 due to a severe market downturn.
          Ford Canada sales also grew, by five per cent, to 14,978 vehicles, compared with 14,324 in January 2011.
          Last year's best-selling automaker made no comment about Chrysler usurping that title last month and instead focused on positive momentum in January.
          "We are off to a great start in the new year with strong car sales," said Dianne Craig, president and CEO at Ford of Canada.
          However General Motors, which has been struggling lately with declining sales, saw a 10.9 per cent drop to 12,959 vehicles sold in January.
          The company that was Canada's top auto seller for decades, hasn't fully recovered after restructuring under bankruptcy protection three years ago. It finished third in January, with marketshare coming below its 15 per cent target.
          "Now that the Japanese are coming back strong GM may be the target so further loses in market share may be in the works," DesRosiers said.
          Sales of the major brands from outside North America were up 26 per cent to 53,082 last month, said the association representing foreign automakers.
          “Improving consumer confidence levels as well as some improving economic indicators have contributed to the vehicle sales market starting off the year on the right foot,” said David Adams, president of the AIAMC.
          “For AIAMC members, the fact that the negative consequences of natural disasters last year are largely behind us as well as the fact that companies are bringing a number of new and exciting models to the Canadian market this year has contributed to early sales success, which should bode well for our members’ overall sales this year,” said Adams.
          Japanese automakers, which have struggled with supply issues since the Japanese earthquake and tsunami last March, indicated that sales levels may be returning to normal.
          Honda Canada reported a whopping 127 per cent increase over last January's sales, with a total of 9,168 Honda and Acura vehicles sold.
          Sales of its popular Honda Civic — which had been in short supply after a parts shortage caused by the disasters — rose 333 per cent on the back of a recent ramp-up in production.
          Toyota Canada saw an 18 per cent increase in sales from a year earlier. It said last month was its best-ever January, with 9,850 vehicles sold.
          Foreign automakers captured a greater share of the market this January — 54.4 per cent compared with 49.8 per cent last year.
          Among the highlights from other foreign-made brands, Hyundai sales grew 11.6 per cent, BMW sales were up 34.4 per cent, Nissan sales rose 23.4 per cent, Volkswagen sales grew 8.7 per cent and Kia had a record January with 23.8 per cent growth.
          The AIAMC said Canadian car sales grew by 29 per cent, outpacing the seven per cent growth seen in the truck segment, which still outsold the car sector on a total volume basis.
          The January sales data suggests industry sales continued to gain momentum after three previous months of growing sales.
          A recent report from Scotiabank indicated that January sales put the industry on track to grind slowly above 1.6 million units in 2012 for the first time since the recession, a one per cent increase from the 1.59 million vehicles sold last year. The 2011 total represented a two per cent increase from the year before.
          Generally, analysts expect about the same level of sales in 2012 compared with last year as recession in Europe, slower growth in emerging markets and an uncertain economic and political climate south of the border continue to weigh on consumer sentiment.
          Still, Chrysler reported Wednesday that January sales in the U.S. jumped 44 per cent year over year, while Ford's rose seven per cent. However, General Motors suffered a six per cent decline, saying demand for its trucks and crossovers fell when compared with strong sales a year ago.


          Honda Looking For A Quarter Of The Market


          After working on its foray into aviation for 25 years, Honda can be expected to be looking for a return on its patient investment, but comments made by the head of the company's aviation division to Reuters turned some heads on Tuesday. Michimasa Fujino likened the almost-certified HondaJet to the introduction of the Honda Civic and said the company was going after 25 percent of the worldwide light jet market. "I'm very optimistic about our prospects," Fujino said. "We're doing with HondaJet what the Civic did to American cars from the 1960s. Our competitors are still producing with technology from the 1990s."

          The Civic, with its fuel-efficient front-wheel-drive platform, set the tone for vehicle manufacturing for the next 40 years when it was introduced in 1973. Fujino said the HondaJet sets a similar bar for aviation and the HondaJet will have direct operating costs about 30 percent lower than comparable Embraer and Cessna products. He said the HondaJet will cost from $1,000 to $1,200 an hour to fly compared to what he said was $1,800 an hour, at best, from the competition. He also said that after the undisclosed backlog is filled, he'll be looking at Brazil and China to fuel future orders. Fujino said he expects the operation to be profitable by 2018.



          Feature: A new direction for Acura

          This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Acura brand in Canada. Acura was the first luxury brand from a Japanese automaker, and while we take Acura and subsequently Lexus and Infiniti for granted now, back in the 1980s their formation was a radical and intriguing development in the automobile industry.
          Acura led off with the Legend, along with entry-level Integra, followed by the exotic NSX in 1991. Although the vehicles were sold elsewhere as Hondas, the Acura nameplate was developed specifically for North America.
          At a press event prior to the opening of the 2012 Montreal International Auto Show, Acura executives reflected on the brand’s history and development, and candidly discussed the future of a brand that they acknowledge even now has yet to fully find its stride.
          To put it bluntly, Acura Canada has issues. In 2010, Acura sold 17,000 vehicles here, with 18,000 projected for 2011. But Acura’s sales in 2011 dropped to 15,000 vehicles, with Honda and Acura Canada Executive Vice President Jerry Chenkin observing that “for Acura to work in Canada, we have to sell a minimum of 20,000 vehicles.”

          Acura ILX concept. Click image to enlarge
          The record year for Acura in Canada was 2001, when it sold 25,000 vehicles.
          According to Mr. Chenkin, Acura’s troubles may ironically relate to its success as a purveyor of luxury SUVs. The Acura MDX is the company’s top seller, outpacing all other Acura models combined. Mr. Chenkin said the success of the MDX “derailed Acura’s identity.”
          While Acura won’t undergo a full relaunch, the goal is to make Acura a more prestigious and desirable brand by introducing exciting new products that “increase the emotional response to the product, but aren’t excessive or beyond the driver.” The plan is for “less conspicuous consumption; greater respect for the environment.”
          Three such products were shown at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. Nominally called Concepts, the new ILX, RDX and NSX are all coming to market, although in the case of the ILX and RDX, their arrival is imminent. For the NSX we’ll have to wait for a couple more years.

          Acura RDX concept. Click image to enlarge
          The ILX replaces the Canada-only CSX, and although it is based on the Civic platform, it will be a car in its own right, sharing no sheetmetal with the Civic and having a unique interior. The ILX will be sold across North America, and will be available with a choice of three four-cylinder powertrains (an automatic 2.0L, a six-speed manual 2.4L, and a 1.5L hybrid with CVT), the ILX will be of interest to the general, enthusiast and eco-conscious consumer of entry-level luxury compact sedans. Mr. Chenkin, very enthusiastic about this car, refers to as the new “gateway” vehicle for Acura.
          Expect the ILX to start at under $30,000 and be available in Spring of this year. It will be built at the company’s Greensburg, Indiana plant.
          The RDX (a performance-oriented, compact SUV that I really liked, but apparently others didn’t) gets a complete makeover with smoother lines, a slightly larger footprint and a look that is more consistent with other Acura products. The unexpected news is that the turbo-four from the outgoing RDX will be replaced with Honda’s 3.5-litre V6, giving it more power (273-horsepower, up from 240). Fitted with a six-speed automatic transmission, the new RDX will return better fuel economy.

          As well, Super-Handling All Wheel Drive will be dropped from the RDX, replaced by a less expensive and less sophisticated system.
          The 2013 Acura RDX is definitely a more mainstream vehicle than the previous generation, with softer lines, a more inviting interior and arguably less character. However, as mentioned above, Acura has to sell vehicles and the demand just wasn’t there for a “hot” compact SUV. This one likely better suits its target market.

          Acura NSX concept; photos by Paul Williams. Click image to enlarge
          The third new Acura revealed in Detroit was the Acura NSX, and it was the star of the show. I actually applauded when the wraps came off (first time in 12 years…) both because Acura had actually committed to build this car, and also because the car they built was absolutely breathtaking.
          You may think that the NSX is a vehicle that contrary to Acura’s goals is entirely “excessive and beyond the driver,” but for its category, that isn’t the case. Gone, for instance, is the proposed V10 a la Audi R8 and other supercars, replaced with a “smarter” motive power solution that combines a mid-mounted V6 with twin electric motors – one for each of the front wheels. Yes, it’s a hybrid, and it’s also all-wheel drive; equipped with an enhanced Sport SH-AWD version.
          The powertrain selection is, “more in line with Honda’s traditional approach,” explained Mr. Chenkin.
          Frankly, this is the kind of thing Acura needs to do if the company wants to turn heads in its direction. The original NSX — Japan’s first supercar — was the real deal, but it was a shot across the bow that never evolved and generated little to consolidate the brand’s position, identity and capability.
          The new NSX should achieve that in spades. Look for a lot of hoopla surrounding its eventual release as a production car in 2014-15. To be built in the USA, by the way, and built to race.
          Also look for more new products from Acura. The “flagship” RL is a very slow seller, and will be revamped, re-imagined or replaced. The TSX — a real driver’s car — is also problematic. It may become surplus once the ILX is introduced; it’s getting a bit long-in-the-tooth and Acura is reconsidering its future. And the TL also bears re-examination. Many say the current version just doesn’t match the styling and appeal of the 2004-2008 third generation TL — a step backwards, if you will. They drive wonderfully, but they do seem to have lost something.
          Acura Canada is looking for a 25 per cent increase in sales this year, which will be helped by the introduction of its new vehicles, a special 25th Anniversary lease program at 0.25 per cent interest, and a new Acura Concierge Experience program to elevate the interaction between dealer and customer. The plan is to “achieve full luxury status for the brand, as soon as possible,” said Mr. Chenkin.
          It’s been a long time coming, but Acura’s still here, apparently live and kicking.



          Honda Sales Up 9.3% In January - Acura Is Only Japanese Luxury Brand To Gain Ground With A 5.3% Gain



          More Honda jobs on the way

          The pace of Honda’s investments in Ohio is accelerating.
          Honda plans to announce today a new “major investment” at its Anna engine plant in Shelby County .
          Also, the company said it will announce production plans for a new assembly line at its transmission plant in Russells Point in Logan County.
          Ohio Gov. John Kasich is expected to join Honda officials for the announcement at the Anna plant.
          A Honda spokesman said additional details will be released today. New jobs are part of the announcement, he said.
          The latest expansion plan follows last month’s announcement that Honda will resurrect the Acura NSX sports car, designing and building the “supercar” in a new plant to be built in Central Ohio. Honda has not revealed the new plant’s specific location.
          Honda has grown in the past 30 years to become a major economic force in Ohio.
          The automaker employs approximately 13,500 workers at its Ohio sites, including roughly 1,300 from the Dayton area and another 1,400 from Clark and Champaign counties.
          One of those sites is a parts distribution center in Troy.
          The Japanese automaker is investing more money in Ohio even though the company is having a tough year. On Tuesday, Honda said its profit last quarter fell 41 percent to the equivalent of $625 million as sales slid 8 percent. The company, hurt by the strong yen and supply disruptions from Thailand’s floods, also projected a sharply lower full-year profit and a 12.2 percent decline in full-year sales.
          Since late 2010, Honda has announced or embarked on investments in Ohio that exceed $500 million. Some of the previously announced investments include $70 million to add 200,000 square feet to the Russells Point plant, $64 million for a new stamping press at Honda’s Marysville auto assembly plant, and $44 million to renovate the East Liberty body paint shop.
          Mike Dodds, executive director of the Sidney-based West Ohio Development Council, welcomes Honda’s latest pledge to beef up its infrastructure and add workers. More than one-third of Shelby County’s approximately 50,000 residents work for manufacturers such as Honda, Emerson Climate Technologies, Cargill, Advanced Composites and NK Parts, he said.
          Dodds said a slowly improving manufacturing sector has helped cut Shelby County’s unemployment rate from 11.1 percent in January 2011 to 7.7 percent in December 2011.
          “They are our bread and butter,” Dodds said.
          Built in 1985, the $1.7 billion Anna plant has about 2,400 employees. In 2010, the facility produced more than 770,000 engines.
          The $425 million Russells Point plant, built in 1997, has about 1,050 employees and produced nearly 600,000 automatic transmissions in 2010.
          Dodds said Honda’s plans impact “residual business,” including Ohio suppliers. Honda has 150 Ohio suppliers and has made $33 billion in purchases from those suppliers during the past five years, Honda has said.
          “We consider ourselves very lucky,” Dodds said.
          Jeff Hoagland, president and chief executive of the Dayton Development Coalition, said the recent announcements from Honda signal confidence in the state’s tax structure, work force and business environment.
          “It’s like sports — success breeds success,” Hoagland said.
          The Associated Press contributed to this report.
          Last edited by tokyodream; 02-02-12, 08:51.
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          • http://www.oncars.in/Car-News-Detail...tion-cuts/1777

            Honda sales continue to suffer due to production cuts

            Honda's sad saga in the sales department continues in January 2012 as the company is still recuperating from the disruption in supply of components caused by the Tsunami in Japan and the floods in Thailand. The impact caused by nature's fury has severely affected the production cycle, so much so that the company was unable to manufacture even a single unit of its hatchback, Brio and Jazz in January 2012.

            "Our production for the month of January was curtailed due to the recent impact of the Thailand floods. Further to our efforts, we have managed to source the crucial components from alternative locations and have already resumed the production of the new City. The production of the Brio and Jazz will start from February and we are confident we will achieve peak production output by March 2012." Mr Jnaneswar Sen, Senior Vice President, marketing and sales, HSCI said in a statement. The company has reported total sales of 1,784 units that include 1,503 units of the Honda City sedan, 176 units of the Honda Civic, 98 units of the Accord and 7 units of the Honda CRV.

            Honda Siel Cars India Ltd (HSCI) has been operating under severe production constraints since November 2012 due to component shortage. However, things are looking to brighten up for the Japanese company who have announced that production level of its entire line-up for India will reach its peak capacity from March 2012. Adding to that, Honda has also announced to start the production for the diesel variant of its hatchback, Brio followed with diesel variants of the City sedan and the Jazz hatchback. With many things to look forward to, Honda is certain to make its comeback with a big bang in the Indian market.


            Briefs: Honda investing $98M in Ohio engine plant

            Honda Motor Co. will invest $98 million in its Anna, Ohio, engine plant to produce next-generation powertrain technologies.
            The move follows a $120 million investment, announced last year, for the production of a new, continuously variable transmission in nearby Russells Point, Ohio.
            The latest investment also reflects a rise in North American production of vehicles and major components such as transmissions and engines to reduce the impact of unfavorable currency rates. The yen's strength has slashed the profitability of vehicles made in Japan.
            Honda's Anna engine plant will manufacture high-tech pulley components for Honda's new CVT technology, which will appear for the first time in the U.S. in the all-new 2013 Honda Accord coming out later this year.
            The expansion of the Russells Point transmission plant, along with the new pulley component production at the Anna plant, will create 150 jobs, Honda said.
            January BMW sales fall behind Mercedes-Benz

            Bayerische Motoren Werke AG 's BMW failed to keep its lead over Daimler AG 's Mercedes-Benz in January, getting some payback after December's sales push to seal its place as 2011's top-selling U.S. luxury brand.
            BMW deliveries rose 3.1 percent to 16,405 last month in the U.S., the Munich-based automaker reported Wednesday. Mercedes sales rose 24 percent to 20,306, as deliveries of its C-class model surged 56 percent, the automaker said. Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus brand deliveries declined 4.6 percent to 12,274 vehicles.
            Porsche sales in U.S. increase 6% in January

            Porsche SE sales in the U.S. rose 6 percent to 2,550 vehicles in January, the company's North American importer and distributor said in a statement Wednesday.
            Portuguese light-vehicle sales down in January

            Portuguese light-vehicle sales fell 42.2 percent in January from the same month last year, the Portuguese Automobile Association said Wednesday in an emailed statement.


            American Honda Reports January Sales Increase; Civic Up Nearly 50 Percent


            American Honda Motor Co., Inc., today reported January 2012 monthly new-vehicle sales of 83,009, an increase of 8.8 percent over January 2011. The Honda Division posted January 2012 sales of 74,628, an increase of 9.3 percent year-over-year.

            In its first full month of sales, the all-new Honda CR-V set a January record with sales of 18,960, up 16.0 percent over last year's record-setting total of 16,339. The Civic also continued to build momentum with sales of 21,883, up an impressive 49.5 percent compared to January 2011. The Accord posted January sales of 13,659, up 1.5 percent from the same period last year. Honda's Ridgeline pickup posted its second consecutive month of double-digit sales growth, up 45.6 percent year-over-year to 1,245 units.

            "Honda's return to full strength on the manufacturing front is already beginning to pay dividends on the sales floor," said John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president of sales. "On top of kicking off 2012 with record January sales for the new CR-V, it's gratifying to see how many Civics we can sell when we actually have Civics to sell. It's great to see customers embrace this great vehicle now that our dealers have enough cars on their lots."

            The Acura Division's January sales totaled 8,381, up 5.3 percent compared to January 2011, with two models registering strong sales increases. Sales of the TL sedan reached 2,283, up 43.4 percent from the same period last year, while TSX sales totaled 2,266, a year-over-year increase of 16.7 percent.

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            • 1991 Acura NSX and 1991 Lexus LS 400


              Allow me to set the stage by turning the clock back 20 years. The United States had just won a four-decade-long battle with the Soviet Union. We were exhausted by the constant threat of mutually assured destruction. While victorious, our collective psyche was still used to having an enemy, a distant, far-off nemesis that was not only our foe, but just possibly our technological superior. We needed, it seems, an Other. The surging might of the Japanese industrial juggernaut filled that particular archetypal niche well. Your Walkman was made by Sony. You junked your Zenith in favor of a Mitsubishi big screen. And the constant oil bath on the floor of your garage had you thinking of ditching the LTD in favor of an Accord or Camry. My family replaced our wretched 1985 Malibu with a 1992 Maxima.
              Popular culture soon began to reflect this new fear. Look no further than the 1986 Michael Keaton flick "Gung Ho," where a shuttered American car factory is reopened by a Japanese automaker whose ruthless management forces the lazy Americans to work harder for less money. No paid overtime for you! And, of course, wounded everyman John McClane's wife, Holly, worked for the Nakatomi Corporation in 1986's "Die Hard." Or what about judging a book by its cover, such as the 1990 scare piece "Yen!: Japan's New Financial Empire and Its Threat to America." I remember local news running stories of domestic dealerships offering the opportunity to beat an import with a baseball bat for the low price of $10.

              Nowhere was this new threat felt more strongly than in California. Even as a somewhat dopey high schooler, I was aware of the fear. The Japanese bought Pebble Beach. They bought Laguna Seca. A businessman paid $15 million for a Ferrari 250 GTO. Another paid $1000 for a piece of tuna(!). Because of the recently ceased Cold War, our Southern California aerospace industry was floundering. Many of my friends' parents were suddenly jobless. A recession -- mild by today's standards -- set in. Yet Honda and Toyota kept selling more and more cars. And those scary Japanese weren't satisfied. They were going full tilt after the big boys, the mighty European luxury and sports cars.

              I wish I had kept a diary as a teenager so I knew the exact date, but I'll never forget the night. My father took me down to the then brand-new Lexus dealership. The event was the unveiling of the LS 400. "$40,000 for a Japanese car? Are they flipping nuts?" Of course, Dad never said "flipping." And there, up on a turntable, sat a two-tone white-and-gray sedan, spinning peacefully under the lights to the bemusement of the gathered crowd. Bits and pieces of conversation are burned forever into my mind. "It's so quiet you can't even tell it's on." "They say it's faster than a BMW, more luxurious than a Mercedes-Benz, and cheaper than both. And it's a Toyota, so it won't break." Starkest of all were the row after row of malaise-era Cadillacs sold by the same dealership. They were now officially moribund and obsolete.

              Around the same time -- this would have been the autumn of 1989 -- the buff books I devoured four at a time were publishing photos and reports about a sleek, mid-engine sports car from Honda. If the reports were to be believed, the car, badged Acura in America, was to take on the very best from Europe and at a lower price. Only the new Corvette ZR1 would be anywhere near the performance bargain of the upcoming NSX. So said Honda, at any rate. "Today's Ferraris are dinosaurs," declared Honda's Nobuhiko Kawamoto. "[They] are big and impressive, but they have not adapted to the needs of the times, and eventually that may be their downfall." Within months, the first driving reports started showing up. This Honda/Acura was good. No, it was better than that--it was great. Ferrari, Porsche, and Jaguar had been put on notice. The all-aluminum NSX -- partially developed at the Nuerburgring -- was better in every way.

              In 1981, the Reagan administration foisted the protective (and, in hindsight, stupid) Voluntary Restraint Agreement (VRA) onto the Japanese automakers. The VRA limited Japan to selling about 1.7 million vehicles in the U.S. The math was easy. Sell 1.7 million cheap cars, or go upscale and launch Acura, Infiniti, and Lexus. In 1983, Toyota CEO Eiji Toyoda called his top executives into his office and pitched an idea. His idea, a secret project called F1, had the lofty goal of producing a luxury sedan that would challenge the very best in the world. If successful, such a car would net Toyota a whole bunch of yen, and, more important, redeem the face lost when the Japanese automakers accepted the VRA. However, the F1 had to be perfect. It couldn't just be better than the competition in some ways; it had to be better than the best in every way. A huge gamble, no doubt. Looking back, you have to admire both Toyota's hubris and Toyoda-san's brass cojones.
              Over the next five years, the Japanese behemoth pumped more than $1 billion dollars into project F1. The F in this case stood not for "Formula" but for "Flagship." At its height, F1 employed 3700 of Toyota's top engineers, split into 24 engineering teams. They built 450 mules and 900 test engines and logged more than 1.5 million development miles -- incredible numbers, by any standard. Toyota bet that gasoline would once again be cheap and plentiful, so it started work on the F1's heart, a 4.0-liter, 32-valve V-8. Producing 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, the engine was very potent by the standards of the day.

              Moreover, it was incredibly smooth, refined, and quiet. Toyota also decided that the Americans who purchase BMWs and Mercedes would never stoop to purchase anything with a Toyota badge, no matter how good, a lesson Volkswagen failed to heed when the German giant tried to sell the most excellent Phaeton to us Yanks some 15 years later. In May 1987, Toyota settled on a name for its new high-end brand: Lexus.
              In 1986, Honda launched its Acura brand in the United States. While not nearly as ambitious as Toyota's F1 project, the resulting Legend and Integra models were very good vehicles. Still, they weren't dominant. In fact, the Legend targeted the Audi 4000 (of all cars), and the Integra was a souped-up Civic mostly launched as a hedge against Acura dealers having to struggle with just one model. (Personal side note: the hedge worked, as my father got my mother a 1986 Integra after I dragged him to the Acura dealership over his "flipping $20,000 for a Japanese car?" protestations.) Blame it on the high-riding Nippon zeitgeist of the time, but a year after Toyota initiated the F1 program, Honda also decided to build a clean-sheet halo vehicle. Only it wasn't going to have four doors. And the world had never seen anything like it.

              The amount of Honda-claimed industry firsts in the subsequent NSX (short for New Sportscar Experimental) is staggering, more than 20 in all. It's the first production car to feature an all-aluminum monocoque, including both specially heat-treated (and dent-resistant) body panels as well as extruded-aluminum chassis elements. The suspension was also all-aluminum, and the combined weight savings from the alloy construction compared with traditional steel was about 500 pounds.

              It was the first production car to feature four-channel ABS, the first mainstream application of electric power steering, and the first consumer vehicle to use titanium connecting rods for its high-revving, 90-degree 3.0-liter V-6 that produced a then-impressive 270 hp -- that's 90 ponies per liter, a shocking sum back in 1991. Perhaps most important, the NSX was the first car Honda offered in the United States to employ the most excellent VTEC variable valve timing system. Moreover, like the Ferrari 328 it initially targeted (and, later, the 348), it was mid-engined. Not only that, but the gas tank was located between the driver and the engine, so that, as fuel levels fell, the car's balance didn't budge.

              As Honda's president of R&D, Hiroyuki Shimojima, said at the time, "It must be the most sophisticated and modern sports car in the world." He added that Honda's new exotic would "establish entirely new levels of performance, refinement, driveability, and reliability." The NSX then, was Honda's chance to show off its F1 chops, and, unlike with Toyota, we are talking about Formula 1. Honda employed no fewer than three F1 drivers to help develop the NSX. The first was Satoru Nakajima, a Japanese racer involved with the early chassis tuning and endurance logging. The next driver to lend a hand was none other than legendary Brazilian champion Ayrton Senna. He's credited with convincing Honda to significantly stiffen the NSX's chassis. Honda was so thankful, it gave him not one, but two NSXs. American driver Bobby Rahal also helped in the development of Honda's first rear-drive car since the decidedly non-F1 S800. The resulting praise was hyperbolic.

              Our own Don Fuller seemed particularly blown away in his September 1990 first test. "It's the best sports car the world has ever produced. Any time. Any place. Any price." Fuller went on to say that the NSX is "more of an achievement" than the 1955 Gullwing and the 1977 Porsche 928, and that the sporty Acura is "far better than any Ferrari or Lamborghini ever built; it makes the Corvette ZR1 look like something contrived under a shade tree." Just so we're all on the same page here, the Porsche 959 debuted in 1986, and the Ferrari F40 reared its red head in 1987. Concluded Fuller, "We've spent over 100 years developing the automobile. After driving the NSX, it's been worth the wait."

              The media response to the Lexus LS 400 was less effulgent -- how could it not be? -- but in effect, just as positive. Jeff Karr noted in his August 1989 driving impression that a fearless Lexus elected to launch the car in Germany on the autobahn along with three competitors for comparison: the BMW 735i, Mercedes-Benz 420SE, and a Jaguar XJ6. The new Lexus was better. He sums up his review with "Breathtaking happens to be a word that nicely sums up the entire LS 400. You can bet there are some nervous folks over on the Continent right now."
              That's precisely why we're concentrating on these two cars, as opposed to the aforementioned Legend or then contemporary Infiniti Q45. While both are good vehicles, no German doctor-engineer ever lay awake at night worrying about those two. But the smooth LS 400 and the savvy NSX sent shockwaves throughout the industry. They changed everything, not only challenging the status quo, but rewriting it. Driving both cars today, the biggest takeaway is how modern they feel. Sure, a new Camry can get to 60 mph about as fast as the NSX (we clocked the latter at 5.5 seconds back in 1990), and that same humdrum Toyota rides about as well as the LS 400. That's progress. But remember, that progress is a direct result of these two cars happening in the first place. They don't feel old. Rather, they both feel like the blueprint for what's now considered normal.

              Today's great cars are as good as they are only because these two were so meticulously built. As historian Paul Johnson would say, they signify the birth of the modern. Perhaps more important, each car is, in its own, perfected way, a time capsule. They're windows back to a time when Japan looked poised to take over not just the automotive industry, but the entire world. They're rolling monuments to a mindset that no longer exists. To repurpose a phrase my father used to utter when he showed me pictures of his father's 1953 Buick Roadmaster, "They sure don't build 'em like this anymore."

              What Went Wrong?

              Massive speculation and overconfidence led to a Japanese asset price bubble, peaking in 1991. Real estate prices in Tokyo reached absurd heights with one square foot of prime space being valued at up to nearly $100,000. When the bubble popped, those goofy prices fell by 90 percent. The myth of Japan as the new master of the universe dissolved, and the Japanese were forced to deal with what became known as "The Lost Decade." Of course, a full recovery has yet to materialize and the Nikkei stock index finally bottomed out in 2009.
              As for the Japanese auto industry, it still sells boatloads of cars. However, the vehicles are by and large simply not as special as they once were. Honda, especially in North America, is not the engineering monolith it once was. Their best product is no longer a high-strung, mid-engine Porsche-smacking sports car. It's a minivan. Gone forever, it seems, are the days when gearhead, speedfreak teenagers dreamed of VTEC. Subaru's easily modified WRX nailed that coffin shut.

              Saddest of all is the fate of Lexus, a brand that once burned so bright. Today, Lexus appears to have lost its rudder. While it's true that Toyota spent a decade and several fistfuls of yen engineering the mighty LFA, that hypercar just isn't as good as the competition. Even if it were, the absurd $400,000 price tag ensures that the Germans and Italians could care less. It is beyond niche. As for the rest of the Lexus lineup, the cars are competitive, but none is best in class. Lexus, it seems, woke a sleeping giant with the introduction of the LS 400. We're still waiting for the second act.

              1991 Lexus LS 400

              Ask The Man Who Owns one
              Dang Le is a gearhead of the highest order, and holds the distinct honor of being the Lieberman family mechanic. He's currently working on a land speed vehicle powered by a Ford flathead V-8.
              Why I like it: "It's the first luxury vehicle I've owned. More important, it's never let me down."

              Why It's Collectible: "It's the first high-end Lexus to reach our shores, not counting the ES 250, which was a Camry."

              Restoring/Maintaining: "As long as the timing belt/water pump major services are covered, there's no reason to doubt the car will run to a million miles. Though they do end up smelling like all older Toyotas."

              Beware: "Active air-suspension models. Those air struts like to go boom. Also, if the starter goes bad, my professional advice is to buy another car."

              Expect to Pay: Concours-ready, $4300; solid driver, $2200; tired runner, $1000.

              Join the Club: Club Lexus (clublexus.com), The Lexus Owners Club (lexusownersclub.com)

              Our Take Then: "The LS 400 clearly asserts Lexus as a world power in luxury sedan design -- a contender, not a pretender." -- Jeff Karr, Motor Trend, August 1989.

              Now: The LS 400 is a fascinating reminder of a time when Japan seemed poised to rule the world. Funny how history works

              Engine 242.2-cu-in/3969cc DOHC V-8, Toyota ECCS fuel injection
              Power and torque 250 hp @ 5600 rpm, 260 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
              Drivetrain 4-speed automatic, RWD
              Brakes front: vented disc, rear: vented disc, ABS
              Suspension front: control arms, air springs, anti-roll bar; rear: multilink, air springs, anti-roll bar
              Dimensions L: 196.7 in, W: 71.7 in, H: 55.3 in
              Weight 3759 lb
              Performance 0-60 mph: 8.1 sec, quarter mile: 16.1 sec @ 89.3 mph, 60-0 mph: 126 ft (Motor Trend, March 1990)
              Price when new $35,000.

              1991 Acura NSX

              Ask the Man Who Owns One
              Jay Lamm is a self-hating (and retired) automotive journalist, the founder and "Chief Perp" of the 24 Hours of LeMons.
              Why I Like It: "(1) Design cues fresh off Johnny Sokko/Flying Robot job. (2) Have become too old, fat, and decrepit to deal with an Elise. (3) Brand-new seatbelt from the dealer costs $29.95 -- suck on that, Montezemelo."

              Why it's Collectible: "It's collectible? Says who? Vin Diesel?"

              Restoring/Maintaining: "Wash it, fill the windshield squirters, and add gas. Every 3000 miles, suck the French fries out of the seat cushions. It's a Honda."

              Beware: "Beware of dodgy clutches, noisy A/C compressors, and overdue cam belts. Beware of bent tubs. Beware of previous owners with spiked hair and one name."

              Expect to Pay: Concours-ready, $30,875; solid driver, $19,300; tired runner, $10,800

              Join the Club: The NSX Club of America (nsxca.org)

              Our Take Then: "The Acura NSX is a stunning achievement of the pursuit of excellence, a brilliant display of the genius of simple elegance, a marvelous mixing of advanced technology with the fundamental concept of Car." -- Don Fuller, Motor Trend, September 1990.

              Now: Two decades after the fact, the NSX highlights what's possible in carmaking when engineers are given free rein and management keeps the accountants locked down in the basement.

              Engine 181.7-cu-in/2977cc DOHC V-6, Honda PGM-FI fuel injection
              Power and torque 270 hp @ 7100 rpm, 210 lb-ft @ 5300 rpm
              Drivetrain 5-speed manual, RWD
              Brakes front: vented disc, rear: vented disc, ABS
              Suspension front: control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar; rear: control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar
              Dimensions L: 173.4 in, W: 71.3 in, H: 46.1 in
              Weight 3010 lb
              Performance 0-60 mph: 5.5 sec, quarter mile: 13.9 sec @ 104.2 mph, 60-0 mph: 119 ft (Motor Trend, September 1990)
              Price when new $60,000

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              • http://www.ksfo.com/rssItem.asp?feed...temid=29795039

                LA Woman Took on Honda and Won—Can You?

                Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Now that Heather Peters has won $9,867 in small-claims court against Honda because her 2006 Civic Hybrid had failed to live up to the advertised mileage, others are tempted to file their own complaints in small claims courts.

                But experts are divided over whether that strategy makes sense for most people. Some note that Peters is a lawyer, giving her an advantage in battling a major corporation like American Honda Motor Co.

                Peters, 46, had opted out of a class-action suit because Honda’s proposed class-action settlement would give aggrieved owners $100 to $200 each and a $1,000 credit toward the purchase of a new car. Instead, she pursued her personal claim in small claims court and won.

                Randy Sottile, an automotive expert who has been involved in more than 11,000 lemon law cases, said the move is not for everybody.

                “For the average consumer who does not have a lot of time and money, this would be at best a daunting task,” he said.

                But Richard Cupp, a law professor at Pepperdine University, applauded Peters’ David versus Goliath approach.

                “The results speak for themselves. She did 100 times better than $100,” he told ABC News. “This case tells you that small-claims court is a possible and viable option we should consider.”

                Cupp said arguments that Peters had an edge because of her law background were overstated. He said that small claims courts tried to be very informal and get at the truth.

                “They tend to relax the rules of evidence, relax the mystique of being in a court,” he said. “It’s built for normal folks. I don’t want people to be discouraged from grabbing the bull by the horns. I think people can do it. It’s not that scary.”

                He said that in California and other states, the amount people could win in small-claims courts was increasing—California doubled its cap to $10,000—and that the Internet made filing claims and researching companies much easier.

                Cupp said that the other 200,000 owners of the Hybrid Honda Civic model sold in 2006 had a chance to win as much as Peters did.

                “She’s done a lot of the hard work that benefit other people who might have claims against Honda,” he said. “They don’t have to reinvent the wheel. They can piggyback on the work she’s done.”

                Sottile, however, suggested suing under lemon law provisions and advised against going to small-claims court because it’s time consuming, costly and also limits other legal action.

                Sottile said most attorneys will provide a free evaluation to consumers on their lemon law rights and in many states, including California, if a consumer brings a lemon law claim against a car company, the company is responsible for the consumer’s legal fees regardless of who wins the case.

                “Class action suits generally give a minimal reward back to the consumer, far less than they’re legally entitled to in a lemon law claim and far less than other avenues they can pursue,” said Sottile.

                “Most class action cases requires consumers to opt out of the suit, so before a consumer stays in they should speak with an attorney to make sure it is the right decision,” he said.

                Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


                GS Yuasa To Triple Lithium Ion Battery Supply To Honda


                KYOTO (Nikkei)--GS Yuasa Corp. (6674) on Friday revealed plans to boost lithium ion battery output for Honda Motor Co.'s (7267) hybrid vehicles threefold to 15 million cells around the fall.
                The lithium ion battery GS Yuasa supplies to Honda.

                The production hike will be achieved by expanding and strengthening facilities at a Kyoto plant of Blue Energy Co., a joint venture with Honda, at a total cost of about 10 billion yen.
                The plant currently produces 5 million cells a year for the Civic Hybrid sold in North America. Its output capacity will be increased to also supply batteries for a plug-in hybrid that Honda plans to launch in Japan and the U.S. later this year. The capacity hike will give the plant the ability to supply enough lithium ion batteries for 200,000 to 300,000 hybrids and plug-in hybrids a year.
                GS Yuasa is also working toward lifting production of lithium ion batteries for Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s (7211) i-MiEV electric vehicle together with the automaker and Mitsubishi Corp. (8058). The effort is expected to lift annual output capacity to 12.5 million cells, enough to power roughly 150,000 i-MiEVs, in fiscal 2013.
                Due to the heavy upfront investment, GS Yuasa's automobile lithium ion battery business has been racking up losses. But the company aims to turn a profit in fiscal 2013 by boosting output.

                (The Nikkei Feb. 4 morning edition)



                Yen is fueling carmaking exodus from Japan

                Honda Motor Co.'s choice to build what it calls a racing-oriented "supercar" in Ohio highlights confidence in its American engineers and plants. It shows the difficulty of producing autos in Japan as the yen rises.
                When the high-performance hybrid Acura NSX goes on sale within three years, it will be the most expensive and technologically advanced car ever built in the United States by an Asian or European automaker. Ohio will be the sole global production site for the car executives suggest will sell for more than $100,000.
                "This is a halo vehicle," said John Shook, a former Toyota engineer, referring to a model that represents the highest ideal of a brand. He is chairman of the Lean Enterprise Institute in Cambridge, Mass., which consults on efficiency techniques. "Where you make it makes a statement. It's a great thing for their local operation, and indicative of challenges in Japan."
                The surprise NSX plan, revealed by President Takanobu Ito in Detroit last month, follows Honda's August announcement that a Mexican plant will make small cars to curb losses from exporting models such as the Fit from Japan. The two projects will give Honda the ability to produce its entire vehicle range, from cheapest to most expensive, within North America, a first for any carmaker based outside America.
                The original $89,000 NSX that sold from 1989 to 2005 was built in Suzuka, Japan, and was favored by performance-car fans for its high power and light, all-aluminum body. It gained pop-culture fame when it was driven in 1994's "Pulp Fiction" by Winston "The Wolf" Wolfe, played by Harvey Keitel.
                Noting a destination is 30 minutes away, he says: "I'll be there in 10."
                Honda's production shift along with rising North American capacity for Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. signal a long-term move by Japan's automakers to battle currency-related losses.
                The yen has risen 7.7 percent against the dollar in the past 12 months, the strongest performer against the 16 most-traded currencies tracked by Bloomberg. Each one yen rise against the currency cuts Honda's operating profit by 15 billion yen ($195 million), according to the company.
                "It may be an appeal to the U.S. market, to show Honda starting production of an edgy car in the U.S.," said Mitsushige Akino, who oversees $600 million at Ichiyoshi Investment Management Co. in Tokyo. "It may also be a message to the Japanese market of Honda's actual start of a production shift."
                Honda, which has its U.S. headquarters in Torrance, Calif., needs the new sports car to attract customers to other Acura models. American deliveries of the brand's cars and sport utility vehicles fell 7.7 percent last year to 123,299.
                Carlos Ghosn, chief executive officer of Nissan and its alliance partner Renault SA, has warned that unless Japan finds a way to tame the yen's rise, the country's auto industry faces a "hollowing out" of domestic production.
                Nissan has moved fastest among Japan's automakers to shift production of low-cost autos to Thailand and Mexico, and last year was the second-biggest importer of vehicles into Japan, behind only Volkswagen AG.
                Honda's choice to make its costliest model abroad is unprecedented, said Koji Endo, an auto analyst at Advanced Research Japan.
                "I was surprised," said Endo, who is based in Tokyo. "Even with this currency burden, I believed NSX would be one of the models that kept production in Japan, being high-end and with a hybrid system."
                The all-wheel-drive NSX will have a newly developed two-motor hybrid system that Honda says delivers high performance and handling, as well as fuel efficiency.
                "Even as we focus on the 'fun to drive spirit' of the NSX, I think a supercar must respond positively to environmental responsibilities," Ito said.
                The company plans to race the car as well as sell it, said Ito, who was lead engineer on the first NSX in the 1980s. Its "mid-engine" design houses most of the weight of the powertrain in the center of the vehicle for optimal balance and agility.
                While Honda doesn't yet make any hybrids in North America, this year it starts producing a gasoline-electric version of the new Acura ILX sedan in Greensburg, Ind.
                "Honda believes in setting 'stretch goals' for engineers, and that's clearly what NSX represents," said Jeff Liker, an engineering professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. "Their U.S. engineers have a high level of capability, but Honda also has these very expert engineers back in Japan to ensure the U.S. team succeeds."
                Three reasons led to the choice to develop and build the NSX in Ohio, Tetsuo Iwamura, Honda's chief operating officer for North America, said in an interview.
                "The U.S. is the largest market for it," Iwamura said. "It has a well-experienced, capable development team, and a very efficient, high-quality production team. That made it possible."
                From Ohio, Honda will export the car to Japan, Europe, China and other markets, he said. The company isn't yet announcing the car's price, how much it will invest in an assembly line to build NSX or that factory's precise location.
                All Honda plants in Ohio, including engine and transmission factories, will be involved in the project and many components and materials will be locally sourced, Iwamura said.
                "Final assembly will be done with a small-scale facility, but including components we need to make use of the current Ohio production base," he said. "We have to ask suppliers, especially U.S. suppliers, to accommodate our request as much as possible."



                Honda explores NSX's past with an eye toward the future

                Let's take a moment to praise the original Acura NSX, a previously unimaginable coupe from an equally unimaginable source that, as Lexus did with luxury, put every supercar maker on notice. Only the NSX went further than anything Lexus ever did; after all, there's no clamor today for Lexus to make another car in the spirit of the LS 400.

                Now, enthusiasts and NSX owners wait, hoping that the 2015 Acura NSX channels everything that made its (by then) 25-year-old ancestor so great.

                And that's why Honda has compiled more than seven minutes of NSX video eye candy, with special attention paid to the Le Mans car and the NSX-Rs. You'll find it after the jump.



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                • http://www.pv-tech.org/news/honda_co...ealer_location

                  Honda completes 9kW solar installation at its Adachi Odai dealer location

                  Honda Soltec solar panels installed at the Adachi Odai location of the Honda Cars Tokyo Chuo dealer network. Image: Honda Motor

                  Hondo Motor reported that it has completed the 9kW-capacity solar installation project at its Adachi Odai location of the Honda Cars Tokyo Chuo dealer network. The installation is the first in a series of projects, which will use the Honda Soltec solar power generation system for a combined 1MW capacity at Honda auto dealer location in Japan. The 1MW capacity, and its related projects, is anticipated to be completed by March 31, 2014.
                  Honda has been steadily working to bring solar to its Japanese operations. The company currently has a combined solar capacity of 3.3MW using its CIGS thin-film solar technology. Both future and to-date installations include a display monitor inside the dealership so that customers can see the current power generating situation of the solar panels.
                  Honda additionally advised that it plans to develop a 2.6MW Honda Soltec solar system at its new Yorii Plant. The site, which is scheduled to be operational in 2013, is expected to be the largest solar power generation system installed at an automobile production plant in Japan upon its completion.


                  Calif. Honda lawsuit could be model for other Civic Hybrid owners


                  We have waited a while for a ruling in a case that might draw a number of consumers to small claims courts. So, while the ruling is far from final, it’s worth reporting.
                  A California woman took the American Honda Motor Company to small claims court, charging that the company had inflated the mileage that owners of the Civic Hybrid could expect. Heather Peters said that when she bought her 2006 Civic, ads had convinced her she would be getting around 50 mpg; she ended up getting around 30.
                  She wasn’t alone. A number of the roughly 200,000 Civic owners also were upset enough to threaten legal action. Honda urged them to join a class-action case to settle the thousands of grievances in essentially one large court proceeding. Each member of the class would receive $100-200 plus a $1,000 credit toward the purchase of another Honda. The plaintiffs’ lawyers would earn a whopping $8.4 million.
                  Peters — a lawyer not currently practicing — said, “No, thanks,” and headed for small claims court. On Wednesday, a judge ruled in her favor and awarded her $9,867, just under the $10,000 maximum allowed in small claims awards in California. Peters has set up a website, www.dontsettlewithhonda.org, urging others to avoid the small settlement through class action and take Honda to small claims courts in their home states.
                  Now, the California case does not mean a slam dunk for Civic owners here looking to make a quick $9,800 (especially since Maine law limits small claims awards to $6,000). Honda plans to appeal, saying claims that the Civic might get “up to 50 mpg” were not misleading, especially since it noted that mileage can vary. In a statement, Honda called the ruling “a radical and unprecedented departure from California and federal law.”
                  Trying your own case might seem tempting, but we’re not endorsing the approach on a wholesale basis. A consumer has to convince a judge that he or she has been wronged, and that judge might rule differently than in Peters’ case.
                  The party you’re suing can bring lawyers into small claims court in some but not all states. Peters represented herself as a consumer, not as a lawyer; when Honda sent its lawyers to the small claims courtroom, the judge sent them packing. In Maine, lawyers may represent either side.
                  A small claims case in Maine goes first to mediation. If there’s no mediated agreement, the case goes to District Court. While rules of evidence apply, the court tries to provide “a simple, speedy and informal court procedure for the resolution of small claims.” Decisions may be appealed to the Superior Court; if the original ruling is overturned, the case could be sent back to District Court to begin again.
                  The class action is still before the court in California. The judge is expected to rule in mid-March, and there has been speculation he may rule that Honda’s offer is not enough. In the meantime, more than one Civic owner has been quoted as saying the current offer is less than adequate.
                  Don’t be surprised if more of these cases end up in small claims courts across the country. If more rulings go in consumers’ favor, the sum total could cut into the company’s coffers and the lawyers’ anticipated payday. Peters plans to renew her law license and help others sue Honda.
                  For forms and information about small claims in Maine, you can visit the Maine government website at www.maine.gov and search for “small claims,” or visit Pine Tree Legal’s website, http://www.ptla.org/court-forms.
                  Consumer Forum is a collaboration of the Bangor Daily News and Northeast CONTACT, Maine’s membership-funded, nonprofit consumer organization. Individual and business memberships are available at modest rates. For assistance with consumer-related issues, including consumer fraud and identity theft, or for information, write Consumer Forum, P.O. Box 486, Brewer 04412, visit necontact.wordpress.com or email atcontacexdir@live.com.


                  Victorious Honda Civic Hybrid plaintiff delivers petition urging a better settlement


                  Heather Peters, who last week was awarded almost $10,000 in a California court in damages over claims that Honda falsely advertised the fuel economy of its Civic Hybrid, is delivering a petition to the 50 state attorneys general urging that class-action plaintiffs against the automaker bargain for a better settlement. As of today, almost 1,150 people have signed the petition.

                  Peters, who was awarded $9,867.19 in small claims court, said in a press release that Honda's offer of as much as $200 in cash and as much as $1,000 off a new Honda was "ridiculous," and that the plaintiffs could do better by opting out of the current class-action complaint. Peters said that the deadline to object to Honda's current settlement offer is February 11.

                  Last week, the small claims court commissioner in Torrance, CA, ruled that Honda misled Peters by estimating that its Civic Hybrid could get as much as 50 miles per gallon, according to the Los Angeles Times. Honda said it would appeal the decision.

                  In her case, Peters alleged that her 2006 Civic Hybrid never reached more than 42 miles per gallon and that the car's fuel economy dropped to less than 30 miles per gallon after Honda performed a software update on the car. Honda was the defendant in a class-action lawsuit stemming from the automaker's estimates of fuel economy for the 2003-07 model years, which were 49 miles per gallon city and 51 highway. Honda settled that lawsuit out of court in 2009, after which 26 state attorneys general called the settlement unfair because attorneys made more from the case than the defendants did.

                  Last edited by tokyodream; 07-02-12, 07:52.
                  Iubesc masinile japoneze. Ele nu mint, nu inseala !
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                  • http://www.iol.co.za/motoring/cars/h...cr-v-1.1229464

                    Honda launches cut-price 2.0 CR-V

                    Hoping to bolster sales in the twilight of its life cycle (the new CR-V has already been revealed abroad), Honda South Africa has launched a more affordable version of its CR-V compact SUV.
                    Interesting though is that unlike most softroader ranges, Honda has not taken four-wheel drive out of the picture in its new base model, its permanent AWD system remaining a standard feature.
                    SO WHAT'S LOST?
                    Engine and specification, basically. Until now the CR-V was only available in 122kW/220Nm 2.4-litre petrol or 110kW/350Nm 2-litre diesel guises, but the new 2.0 Comfort sees the fitment of a 2-litre i-VTEC petrol engine that pushes 110kW at 6200rpm and 192Nm at 4200rpm.
                    The new motor can be mated to either a six-speed manual, for which Honda claims a 10.2 second 0-100km/h run and 190km/h top end, or a five-speed automatic gearbox that's good for a 12.2 second 0-100 and 177km/h top speed.
                    Claimed average consumption is listed at 8.1 litres per 100km in manual form and 8.2 l/100km for the automatic.

                    On the specification front, compared with the 2.4 Elegance model the 2.0 Comfort loses its multi-function steering wheel, multi-information display and leather upholstery - replaced by Alcantara fabric.
                    Although Honda has not released pictures of the new 2.0 Comfort, it doesn't appear to have lost any of its more expensive siblings' style, with 17-inch alloy wheels and partly colour-coded bumpers remaining on the spec list.
                    There's no skimping when it comes to safety either, the 2.0 packing front, side and curtain-level airbags, VSA vehicle stability assistance, TSA trailer stability assistance and a tyre deflation warning system.
                    THE PRICES
                    2.0 Comfort - R309 900
                    2.0 Comfort AT - R323 900
                    A BIG SAVING
                    That's a good R63 100 less than the next cheapest model, the 2.4 Elegance and the price still includes a five-year/90 000km service plan. The warranty is valid for three-years or 100 000km and service intervals are pegged at 15 000km
                    ALSO CONSIDER
                    Hyundai ix35 2.0 GLS 2WD - R289 900
                    Kia Sportage 2.0 4WD - R312 995
                    Nissan X-Trail 2.0 XE 2WD - R299 000
                    Subaru Forester 2.5 X 4WD - R319 000
                    Toyota RAV4 2.0 GX 4WD - R317 700
                    VW Tiguan 1.4 TSI 4WD - R318 200

                    Iubesc masinile japoneze. Ele nu mint, nu inseala !
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                    • tokyo, fara suparare, dar pe cine crezi tu ca intereseaza cat costa un cr-v in africa de sud?
                      civic 2.2 5D FK3
                      CR-V 2.2 AT RE6


                      • nu ma supar, ideea este ca LA ALTII se poate


                        Maruti Kizashi vs Honda Accord: Car Comparison

                        2011 was not pleasant for both Honda and Maruti Suzuki since the sales of both the automobile heavyweights suffered a big blow as a result of the natural disasters that hit Japan and Thailand. Now both the car-makers are hell-bent to cover up the losses that struck them and once again establish a stronghold over India, which is said to be amongst the top thriving automobile markets in the world. But now two of the most sold cars of these two auto-makers have locked horns and are now competing to be the better of the duo.
                        Maruti Kizashi has been considered as one of the most popular models of Maruti to be sold abroad and now has been considered with another sporty car from its class, Honda Accord. Accord revered as one of the most popular and comfortable cars of Honda is a tough contender in the battle between the two and now we will throw light on their features and then will decide which one fares well.

                        Maruti Kizashi

                        Kizashi has been designed to look sporty with mesh grille attached to the front of the car. This is considered as one of the most famous sport-sedan cars launched by Maruti on the Indian roads. The head-lamps are shaped like jewels which give the car a more aggressive look altogether. The fog-lamps integrated to the car have been attached stylishly to the bumpers of the car. The headlamp cluster holds the spot of LED indicators. Maruti Kizashi comes with a set of stylish tail-lights and rear spoiler. They have fitted two exhaust pipes at the rear which will increase the sporty feeling of the car. The paintjob given to the car is also top-notch.

                        Honda Accord

                        The new Honda Accord has been termed as one of the sportiest luxury sports sedans ever made as the front part of the car hosts the chrome grille which has a large logo of Honda on the grille. The headlamps give a bright luminance and are called as projector headlamps. There are fog-lamps both in the front of the car as well as the rear of the car. There are spoilers attached to all the four sides of the car whose prime motive is to ensure that the stability of the car is increased somehow and thus the car maintains a grip of the track finally. Now in order drill some more sportiness in the car, Honda has given multi-spoke allow wheels and recently the 8th version of Honda Accord has been launched. Everything about looks of Honda Accord is praiseworthy as the car is rated as one of the most famous cars to be launched by Honda in India.

                        ENGINE & PERFORMANCE:

                        Maruti Kizashi

                        Maruti Kizashi is powered by a 2.4 L Four-cylinder 16 Valve DOHC engine and is capable of producing a maximum torque of 230 Nm at 4000 rpm. The maximum power that it can give is 175 bhp at 6500 rpm. Thus the acceleration of Kizashi is impressive due to impressive torque rate and horsepower given by the car. This car is said to be quite economical as it gives a fuel efficiency of 12.53 kmpl. The car has two driving systems namely front-wheel driving system as well as all wheels driving system. The performance level is immense in case the ergonomics of the car are being upgraded to such an extent that the car gives an ultimate boost no matter how the road is. The car has a six-speed transmission control system in it with smooth gear shifts.
                        Honda Accord

                        Honda Accord comes with two sets of engines both of which are powerful. The first set boasts of 2.4 L i-VTEC DOHC Petrol engine which is capable of producing 176 bhp horsepower at 6500 rpm which is somewhat the same as that of Kizashi. The maximum torque that Accord can give is 222 Nm at 4300 rpm which is the somewhat near to that of Kizashi. The along with looks Honda Accord takes the pole position ergonomically as well as it accelerates at an impressive boost. This was the primary engine which is fitted in the base model of Honda Accord. The second engine in the line is much better than that of the predecessor. The second engine we are discussing here is a 3.5 L V6 powerful petrol engine capable of pushing out a horsepower if 270 bhp at 6200 rpm and the maximum capable torque will be 339 Nm at 5000 rpm. For this model the engines have been made available both in automatic transmission as well as manual transmission. The mileage given by 2.4 L is 12.8 kmpl whereas that of 3.5 L is 10.2 kmpl.

                        Maruti Kizashi

                        Maruti Kizashi has been given a very comfortable set-up for its cabin including multi-adjustable driver seats along with commendable lumber support. The steering wheel has integrated controls for the audio player as well as cruise control. The music system that comes with Kizashi has a total of 7 high-quality speakers and provision for USB/Bluetooth/CD and mp3. The best feature of this car is the fact that it has a keyless entry and in case if you have to go out then the engine is capable of turning itself off automatically without any command from a human being. The interiors of Kizashi are very spacious and there is ample space there for legs. It has a boot space of an impressive 461 Litres.

                        Honda Accord

                        Honda Accord also supports lumber in its cabin and the leather finishing has been appreciable and class-apart. It has foot light, map light, tilt adjustable steering wheel etc in its competition. It has a boot storage capacity of 460 Litres which is one less than that of Kizashi.


                        Both the cars come with their own set of safety standards. Airbags along with EBD etc are found on these two cars. The cars are equipped with ABS system along with Park control system.

                        Maruti Kizashi starts from Rs.16.50 Lakhs to Rs.17.50 Lakhs whereas the base price of Honda Accord is Rs.19.60 Lakhs and goes up to Rs.26.97 Lakhs according to the specifications of the model.


                        Honda Civic mileage verdict has industry sweating


                        Honda is bracing for a possible flood of legal challenges if the California courts uphold a recent verdict awarding nearly $10,000 to a woman who claimed her 2006 Civic Hybrid delivered significantly lower fuel economy than the maker had promised.
                        Heather Peters is by no means the only Honda owner upset by the gap between the mileage on the Civic’s window sticker and what the car actually delivered in use. But she decided to take a very different approach to other owners, many of whose legal claims have been consolidated into a class action now before a court in San Diego.
                        The 46-year-old Peters, herself a former corporate attorney, chose to take her dispute to a small claims court in suburban Los Angeles. While Peters says she recognized she wouldn’t be able to collect all the money she insists she lost on added fuel costs and a lower trade-in value, she felt she’d have a better chance of getting a reasonable judgment in small claims.

                        Such courts are typically used for minor disputes – and they normally bar the use of attorneys, meaning an individual can sue a large corporation without facing a bank of legal experts – or running up bills that would far exceed the maximum claim, which ranges from $2,500 to $15,000 depending on the state. In California, the cap is $10,000, and Peters was awarded $9,867 this month by Superior Court Commissioner Douglas Carnahan.
                        Prior to her trial, the Civic Hybrid owner lamented that while her car was rated at 50 miles per gallon, “they didn't say if you run your air conditioning and you remain in stop-and-go traffic, you're going to get 29 to 30 miles per gallon.”
                        In court, a Honda representative, technical specialist Neil Schmidt, insisted it wasn’t the company’s fault. He argued that Honda simply posted the numbers set by the EPA, which conducts government fuel economy testing.
                        “We have no choice,” testified Schmidt. “We have to put those numbers on the label.”
                        The EPA only limits manufacturers like Honda at the high end. They cannot post a number on the car’s so-called Munroney sticker higher than what was achieved in the government’s tests. But a maker like Honda can post a lower number if it chooses to do so. Facing competitors likely to maximize their own numbers, few if any carmakers have ever gone with anything other than the EPA posting. That's in part, noted Dave Sullivan, an analyst with AutoPacific, Inc., because it was generally thought that using the federal figures provided legal cover.
                        But that argument may no longer hold. Honda isn’t the only maker sued over optimistic mileage figures. Others, including Toyota, have also fielded legal heat. The EPA, meanwhile, has struggled to get its own test procedures in order. In 2008, it completely revised its processes which resulted in a particularly sharp dip in mileage numbers for gas-electric vehicles like the Honda Civic Hybrid.
                        Peters declared the verdict in her small claims suit “a victory for Honda Civic owners everywhere.” She has meanwhile created a website, “DontSettleWithHonda.org,” to convince other owners not to accept a proposed class action settlement that will be ruled on by another California judge in March. That agreement would provide just $100 to $200 in cash to each owner along with a $1,000 discount certificate good for the purchase of another Honda product.

                        Critics have argued that the settlement really is a way for the Japanese maker to get frustrated owners back into its showrooms. The plaintiff’s attorneys handling the case have also been criticized as they stand to get an $8.5 million payoff for their work.

                        A statement from Honda said, "We disagree with the judgment rendered in this case, and we plan to appeal the decision." The timing of that appeal is uncertain.
                        But a company source said the maker is clearly worried about the potential precedent that could be set if the Peters judgment is allowed to stand. It raises the possibility that hundreds of Civic Hybrid owners could see little to gain from the class-action settlement and more opportunity in taking their own claims into the local small claims courtroom.
                        The industry is watching closely too, said a Ford executive, asking not to be identified by name. While automakers routinely lament the legal climate they often prefer a class action to countless local suits. And small claims actions place a severe limit on their legal power which is normally a potent tool in overcoming consumer complaints.


                        Honda Hybrid Sales Top 800,000


                        Just 12 years and two months after the original Honda Insight first went on sale in Japan, Honda recently sold its 800,000th hybrid vehicle around the globe. The milestone occurred right at the end of 2011 and sets the stage for further hybrid growth both in the U.S. and abroad.

                        The automaker now offers three hybrid models in this country—and seven hybrids internationally—with even more on their way. The current U.S. lineup:

                        • Honda Civic Hybrid—All-new for the 2012 model year, the Civic packs the latest version of Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) technology, as well as a new, advanced lithium-ion battery pack, to deliver EPA ratings of 44 mpg city/44 mpg highway/44 mpg combined.
                        • Honda Insight—Still delivering the highest fuel efficiency of any new vehicle priced below $20,000, the Insight recently gained fresh new design cues and a 1 mpg bump in all EPA measures, lifting its EPA marks to 41 mpg city/44 mpg highway/42 mpg combined.
                        • Honda CR-Z—With athletic handling and a standard six-speed manual transmission, the CR-Z provides an EPA line of 31 mpg city/37 mpg highway/34 mpg combine in a sporty and athletic package; and it can reach 35 mpg city/39 mpg highway/37 mpg with an available continuously variable transmission (CVT).

                        In addition, a plug-in hybrid version of the completely redesigned 2013 Honda Accord is slated to go on sale late this year, featuring the company’s all-new two-motor hybrid propulsion system. Honda’s first plug-in hybrid is targeting an all-electric driving range of up to 15 miles and a recharging time of less than 1.5 hours when using a 240-volt charger. But the plug-in Accord actually will be the second hybrid sedan Honda introduces in 2012, as its premium division, Acura, will launch its first hybrid in the spring: The Acura ILX compact luxury sedan.

                        More information about the new Accord and ILX sedans—both of which were shown off at the recent 2012 North American Auto Show in Detroit—can be found online at Automobiles.Honda.com and Acura.com, respectively.
                        Last edited by tokyodream; 09-02-12, 08:28.
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                        • Originally posted by tokyodream View Post
                          nu ma supar, ideea este ca LA ALTII se poate
                          Stai linistit, vor aparea si la noi super oferte la CR-V-ul actual imediat ce se apropie lansarea noului model sunt convins.
                          '09 Audi A6, 2.0, A/T, Grey
                          '08 Honda Civic Sedan 1.8 M/T, Taffeta White
                          Javascript motherfucker in Iasi?


                          • Deja sunt, vezi site ASko, au reduceri foarte mari la unele modele.


                            • http://www.topgear.ro/saloane-auto/g...neva-4574.html


                              • da, da, motorul TDI......
                                civic 2.2 5D FK3
                                CR-V 2.2 AT RE6