Ultimele articole din presa straina referitoare la Honda

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  • Acura Shows Tony Stark's NSX Roadster, MDX S.H.I.E.L.D., and RDX 'The Avengers' Commercial

    http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2012/04...%28CARSCOOP%29

    Honda's premium brand, Acura, is using every opportunity to advertise the sponsorship and the appearance of its production and concept cars in the upcoming blockbuster film "The Avengers", due in theaters on May 4, 2012.

    At the New York Auto Show, Acura displayed its S.H.I.E.L.D. edition MDX finished in a stealthy matte black paint and fitted with all sorts of goods such as the large front bull bar, protective black cladding all around and special wheels.

    Furthermore, the company released the first official photo of a prototype Acura convertible sports car that was created specifically for the film, and which we first saw last September being driven by Tony Stark (aka Robert Downey Jr) while filming The Avengers at Central Park.

    "Before we unveiled the NSX Concept in Detroit, a number of you speculated that the car spotted right here in Central Park in the company of Iron Man Tony Stark was actually the new NSX," said Acura Vice President Mike Accavitti, at the company’s New York Auto Show press conference.

    "Well, not exactly, but pretty darn close. The appearance of an Acura model in 'The Avengers' -- even one that won't be on sale, further leverages Acura's ongoing association with the Marvel superhero franchise, which has seen Acura vehicles in both the second 'Iron Man' installment and in last year's Captain America and 'Thorr'" he added.

    Last but not least, Acura used the New York show to debut a new commercial for the 2013 RDX that plays to the tunes of The Avengers, and which you can watch in the spot that follows below.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FemM...layer_embedded

    =================================

    Is a CNG Vehicle in your Future?

    http://www.lockergnome.com/blade/201...n-your-future/

    A few nights ago when I was watching our local news TV station, a segment caught my attention that involved the completion of a CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) station before the end of summer 2012. This, of course, piqued my curiosity, so I decided to take a look at what CNG could mean for the driving public.

    First of all, however, I should note that my interest in this type of automobile is not new. In fact, I have often wondered why automobile manufacturers didn’t look to this natural resource to make their products less dependable on foreign fuel prices. That doesn’t mean that I am unaware of the many hybrids and electric cars available; it is just that I had always thought that natural gas would be a great way to make our country energy independent. Or is it? Does the US have enough natural gas reserves to meet the need if we change automobile engines over to compressed natural gas?

    According to a February 29, 2012, article by National Geographic, the estimate of available US natural gas reserves is being disputed. Some claim that, at the current rate of consumption, we have reserves that could last for some 92 years. However, others claim that this figure is highly suspect given the reserves we now know exist and that the actual reserves may prove to be much lower.

    So, with this point still in question, I proceeded to the Honda website where I learned that the company already produces a Civic model designed to run on CNG. To my knowledge, the Honda CNG is currently the only CNG vehicle being mass produced, and is available for the US consumer. However, there are other companies — such as Ford and others — that offer conversions that will allow consumers to convert their gasoline engines to ones that use compressed natural gas. For now, though, Honda appears to have the corner on the CNG market.

    With my curiosity getting the better of me, I then went to visit our local Honda dealership hoping to test drive a Honda Civic CNG, but there were none in stock. The salesperson stated that one could be special ordered but that it would take a “couple of weeks” before they would have it in stock. When I asked him how many of the Honda Civic CNG vehicles the dealership had sold during the past few years, he answered none, citing that people weren’t interested in a car that would be difficult to find fuel for. It appears that currently the closest CNG stations are at least 80 miles from where we live. So, without a model to test drive, I had to depend on the reviews of others and the most thorough one I found was written by Consumer Reports.

    In its review, Consumer Reports discussed several items that I would consider huge stumbling blocks for a CNG-powered consumer vehicle:

    First, the fuel tank. The current fuel tank in a Honda Civic CNG vehicle is only eight gallons. The estimated range for the vehicle, with a full tank of gas, is between 160 and 180 miles.
    Second, the vehicle cost: A CNG-powered Honda Civic costs approximately $27,000 — about $7,000 more than an equally equipped gasoline powered Honda Civic.
    Third, refueling: There are a limited of CNG stations available — less than 800 compared to 175,000 stations selling gas or diesel. However, for an additional $5,000, you could purchase your own home refueling station. (Now here is the really odd part. Honda does not recommend home refueling because of contaminants present in home natural gas supplies.)

    For me, the lack of refueling stations is a major problem since my wife and I usually visit family about four times a year, in either Marshall or Arlington, Texas, so that means we’d have to refuel about half way there and back. It should be noted that the roads we use are major highways and are not limited to back roads, yet we wouldn’t have access to enough fuel to complete the trip. To give you an idea of our predicament, one leg of our journey would require that we travel a distance of 186 miles between refueling stations, which is just about at the maximum range of the Honda Civic CNG. This doesn’t take into account delays for traffic, road construction, or a side trip.

    The next problem I see is the cost of fuel which, as of this writing, averages $1.89 per gallon of compressed natural gas; this sounds terrific since regular unleaded gasoline is averaging $3.79 a gallon. So, with a savings of about $1.90 a gallon, why am I concerned? That’s easy: We have all seen what speculators have done with oil prices over the years, so why would we expect that natural gas prices wouldn’t rise if investors believed that they could make money through speculating on it?

    My final concern is the cost of the vehicle. At $27,000, you are going to pay a premium of approximately $7,000 to purchase a CNG-powered Honda Civic over what you would pay for its gasoline counterpart. Depending on how much gas you currently use, it could take up to five years or even longer to recover your fuel savings. With that being said, I personally believe that the negatives outweigh the positives and that a CNG-powered Honda Civic will not be in my immediate future.

    But how about you? Would you consider buying a vehicle powered by natural gas for yourself?

    Comments welcome.

    Note: Fuel prices are approximate.
    Source: CNGpricing.com

    ===========================
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    • Tony Stark's Acura NSX Roadster from The Avengers

      http://www.autoblog.com/2012/04/06/a...-the-avengers/




      We have to admit to being fairly smitten with the promise of the low-slung Acura NSX concept that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show back in January. But for this moment – and for the next several moments – "promise" is all it is, because Acura says we shouldn't expect an NSX in showrooms until sometime around 2015. (Back in January, Acura advised that the production car is "expected to debut in the next three years.") Until then, Honda's premium outpost is going to do whatever it can to stoke the fires to keep interest high, including star-studded Super Bowl commercial appearances and this – a drophead spinoff that will be Tony Stark's ride in this summer's The Avengers blockbuster from Marvel.

      We first saw this car thanks to some intrepid movie set shots by would-be paparazzi back in early October, but this is the first official acknowledgement and image of the car that we've seen. Early in March, we told you about alleged patent drawings of an NSX convertible that was very similar to the Detroit showcar, which some interpreted as Acura planning both a fixed-head coupe and a roadster for production. However, those drawings look an awful lot like the car shown here with the exception of small details like a unique wheel pattern and differing seatbacks, so while it's possible that Acura is pondering a topless NSX, the renderings could have simply been to protect design rights to the movie car, especially considering that neither Stark's ride nor the patent drawings appear to have headlamps.

      We'll have to wait and see what Acura decides regarding its Ohio-built all-wheel-drive hybrid supercar, but we suspect that even if it does greenlight a convertible version, we probably won't see it until 2016. Which is... a really long time to keep believing in a promise.

      ====================



      Why Honda Is Like A Leaky Bathtub

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/joannmul...leaky-bathtub/

      Last year was about as bad as it could get for Honda Motor. First came the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which caused auto parts shortages that severely disrupted vehicle production, even in the United States. Then, monsoon flooding in Thailand hurt production of critical electronic components. Honda was forced to suspend North American production for several weeks during the year, and vehicle shortages were common at many Honda dealerships in the second half. While the rest of the industry grew, Honda’s 2011 sales fell 7.1%. On top of it all, a strong yen sharply reduced profits.

      Honda factories have been working feverishly to increase production and restock dealer showrooms, but with the auto industry rebounding faster than expected, it just can’t seem to get ahead. The carmaker built 117,000 Hondas in March, but sold 115,700, meaning inventories remain very tight.

      “It’s like filling a bathtub with the stopper out,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda. “There’s nothing worse in the car business than not being able to provide the cars your customers want.”


      The good news is that after a slow start, the latest version of Honda’s compact Civic is selling well, and the freshly redesigned CR-V crossover is flying out of dealerships. Even the Honda Accord mid-sized sedan, due to be replaced this fall, is selling well. The three models accounted for three-fourths of Honda’s March sales.

      Honda has not allowed its setbacks to interfere with planned capital investments either. In Ohio, where the company makes both Honda and Acura vehicles, it is investing more than $500 million in several factories. This fall, Honda’s Marysville, Ohio, plant will begin production of the redesigned 2013 Accord. In Alabama, Honda is investing $275 million and adding 140 jobs to increase production and add a fourth light truck model, the Acura MDX. At its newest plant, in Indiana, Honda last fall added a new production shift, doubling its output to 200,000 vehicles per year.

      The new Accord can’t get here fast enough, but even so, Mendel understands the mid-sized car segment is a lot more competitive than it was just a few years ago. Domestic competitors have introduced appealing new cars like the Ford Fusion and the Chevrolet Malibu, while foreign rivals like the Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry have only gotten better.

      “We’re at our best when we’re the underdog,” said Mendel.

      =============================

      Spy Shots: China-made Honda Elysion MPV

      http://www.carnewschina.com/2012/04/...a-elysion-mpv/

      The very first pictures of the new Honda Elysion MPV, made in China by the Dongfeng-Honda joint venture. It seems almost exactly the same car as the Japanese version. The China-made Elysion will debut later this month at the Beijing Auto Show.

      Price will likely start around 200.000 yuan and go up all da way to 300.000 yuan. Engines for the China car market: 2.4 four-cylinder and possibly a 3.0 V6 as well. The Elysion will be the first MPV for the Dongfeng-Honda joint venture. Honda also makes the Odyssey in China but at their other joint venture, Guangzhou-Honda.

      Click image for larger version

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      • New Honda 3S Centre opens in Setia Alam, Shah Alam

        http://paultan.org/2012/04/09/new-ho...lam-shah-alam/



        Honda Malaysia have recently officiated the opening of its new 3S Centre in Setia Alam. Tiong Nam Motor is the latest and biggest Honda 3S Centre in the Shah Alam-Klang area that offers Sales, Services and Spare Parts under one roof.

        Tiong Nam Motor invested RM7.3 million for building, facilities and equipment into this 60th Honda Dealer in Malaysia, which is also the first 3S Centre located in the Setia Alam township. The Honda 3S Centre has 12 service bays with hoists and is capable of accommodating 40 cars per day for repair service. There is also 1 bay dedicated to wheel alignment service and 2 bays for car wash.



        Honda Malaysia have recently officiated the opening of its new 3S Centre in Setia Alam. Tiong Nam Motor is the latest and biggest Honda 3S Centre in the Shah Alam-Klang area that offers Sales, Services and Spare Parts under one roof.

        Tiong Nam Motor invested RM7.3 million for building, facilities and equipment into this 60th Honda Dealer in Malaysia, which is also the first 3S Centre located in the Setia Alam township. The Honda 3S Centre has 12 service bays with hoists and is capable of accommodating 40 cars per day for repair service. There is also 1 bay dedicated to wheel alignment service and 2 bays for car wash.

        Among the facilities and services provided by Tiong Nam Motor include a new car delivery bay, free Wi-Fi, touch screen PC, road tax renewal and insurance coverage, car wash and detailing service, nitrogen gas tyre inflation service, car key drop service (available upon request), SMS for Preventive Maintenance Service Schedule (PMSS) reminder, SMS and call customers for car collection, shuttle service within Setia Alam, car’s work-in-progress tracking system and a multi-info visual queue management system.

        For appointment and operating hours, customers can contact Tiong Nam Motor at 03 – 3343 1111 for Sales and Service or log on to www.honda.com.my for more information.






        =====================


        Fuel Efficient Car Choices for 2012

        http://www.healthnewsdigest.com/news...for_2012.shtml


        Given increased environmental awareness, high gas prices and a continually slumping economy, it’s no wonder that more fuel efficient cars are all the rage these days. The best deal going may be Honda’s hybrid, the 42 miles-per-gallon (MPG) Insight ($18,350). Meanwhile, the newest version of Toyota’s flagship hybrid, the Prius ($23,015), garners an impressive 50 MPG. Other solid choices include Toyota’s 41-MPG Camry hybrid ($25,900), Ford’s 39-MPG Fusion hybrid ($28,700), Lexus’ 42-MPG CT 200h ($29,120) and Lincoln’s 39-MPG MKZ Hybrid ($34,755).

        For even greater efficiency and lower sticker prices, consider going electric, whereby you can charge your vehicle at ordinary electric outlets at home or work. Mitsubishi’s new MiEV ($29,125) electric is the most fuel efficient car available to U.S. consumers in the 2012 model year, achieving 112 “MPG-equivalent” (the U.S. Environment Protection Agency’s rating for electric vehicles that swaps in electricity for gas in its calculations) and a 62 mile range per full charge—not bad considering four adults can fit fairly comfortably inside. Another option is Smart’s FourTwo Electric ($28,752), a two-seater with an 87 MPG-equivalent. And Nissan’s all-electric Leaf ($35,200) achieves 99 MPG efficiency for a range up to 100 miles.

        So-called “plug-in” hybrids also allow drivers to charge their vehicles’ electric batteries via common power outlets, but also can use gasoline as needed for a longer range. Though pricey at $39,145, the Chevy Volt may save you money in the long run because it gets a whopping 94 MPG-equivalent in its preferred all-electric mode. An onboard gas generator produces more electricity as the vehicle is driven, extending the car’s range with a full tank of gas to some 375 miles. Toyota released a plug-in version of its Prius ($32,760) this year, as well. It gets 87 MPG in electric mode (but this will only get you 15 miles without gas assistance) and a respectable 49 MPG in regular hybrid mode.

        Another factor to consider when deciding which of these new uber-efficient vehicles may be right for you is the availability of additional incentives. Buyers of a new Volt, MiEV, FourTwo Electric or Leaf, for example, can cash in on a federal tax credit of $7,500—and some states may offer additional incentives—bringing the overall cost of these cars down to within the range of similarly sized traditional car models. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) posts all of the relevant federal tax incentives online at its Fuel Efficient Vehicle Tax Information Center website. For state-by-state incentives, check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE), a free online resources maintained by the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).

        Of course, consumers don’t have to go hybrid or electric to enjoy improved fuel efficiency these days. Scion’s iQ ($15,265) and Honda’s CR-Z ($19,545) each get 37 MPG out of sporty little gas-powered internal combustion engines. Kia, Toyota, Chevrolet, Hyundia and Nissan also make smaller traditional cars that get a respectable 33-34 MPG for sticker prices under $15,000.

        CONTACTS: DOE’s Fuel Efficient Vehicle Tax Information Center, www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/taxcenter.shtml; DSIRE, www.dsireusa.org; Edmunds’ “Decoding Electric Car MPG,” http://www.edmunds.com/fuel-economy/...c-car-mpg.html.

        EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E - The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: earthtalk@emagazine.com. Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.

        ====================
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        • http://www.automotto.com/face-chevro...nda-civic.html

          Face-off: Chevrolet Cruz verses Honda Civic

          Mid-range sedans are in high demand owing to their convincing comforts and sophistication. In the recent trends, a number of mid-sized sedans are available in the country that possess more or less similar features. People opt to buy those cars which deliver better performance along with laudable mileage. However, other features like price, engine specifications, ergonomics, maintenance costs, etc., do matter when buyers make their final decision. In this segment, the race is between two of the highly acclaimed global automakers with their appealing models, Chevrolet Cruze and Honda Civic. A quick comparison between their performance attributes will reveal the advantages and limitations of one car over another, which leads us to the ultimate performer.

          Chevrolet Cruze

          Chevrolet Cruze encompasses an appealing style with some of the best-in-class interior features. In fact, the sedan is highly appreciated for its roomy passenger cabin and advanced safety features. Availability of an automatic transmission system in this sedan wooed the viewers and puzzled them with several questions on their minds. Packed with a charming effervescence, Cruze has got ample accents that are good enough to dig in.

          Honda Civic

          Honda Civic brims with design quotients right from the front fascia to the rear bumper. Its low-profile design portrays the manufacturer's significant importance on the vehicle's aerodynamics. Peeping into its interiors, Civic enthralls us with a stunning ambiance and unparalleled safety features. Some say, Civic enfolds a passenger cabin similar to an aircraft's cockpit. Made to be available in different variants, the Japanese automaker has grabbed every possible means to satisfy their buyers.

          Comparison attribute: Engine.

          Chevrolet Cruze: Under the hood, Cruze equips a 2.0 liter SOHC diesel engine, coupled with a five speed manual gearbox. Accentuated by an advanced VCDi technology, this sedan generates stupendous power and also delivers convincing fuel economy in the city roads as well as on the highways.

          Honda Civic: Honda Civic mounts a 1.8 liter 4-cylinder petrol engine which is mated with a five speed manual transmission system on the basic variants. Powered by CCi-VTEC technology, Civic delivers better performance with improvised volumetric efficiency. Its top-end variants equip a five speed automatic transmission system that deliver efficacious performance.

          Winner: Honda Civic, for its state-of-the-art technology.

          Comparison attribute: Power & torque.

          Chevrolet Cruze: With an advanced diesel engine, Cruze could literally crank up 150 PS at 4000 rpm, with a peak torque of 327 Nm at 2600 rpm.

          Honda Civic: Bearing a 1.8 liter petrol engine, Civic generates a maximum power of 172 PS at 6300 rpm with a peak troque of 172 Nm at the speed of 4300 rpm.

          Winner: Cruze, for its unleashed power and deliberate torque capacity.

          Comparison attribute: Top speed and 0 - 100 km/hr sprint.

          Chevrolet Cruze: Equipped with a powerful engine, Chevy Cruze can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/hr in 9.7 seconds, which is quite convincing for a mid-sized sedan. The vehicle could touch a top speed of about 184 km/hr effortlessly.

          Honda Civic: This sedan can perform the 0 to 100 km/hr run in 9.4 seconds with a top speed of 208 km/hr.

          Winner: Honda Civic for its thrilling performance.

          Comparison attribute: Features.

          Chevrolet Cruze: Cruze embellishes some of the best-in-class safety features that include Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brake force Distribution, ventilated disc brakes and Electronic Stability Control on the active side. With bold and bright headlamps, Cruze adds value to its exteriors with chrome finished door handles. Other features like seat-belts, warning lamp, side-impact beams, leather seats, power assisted steering and windows, height adjustable driver and passenger seat, etc., are customary.

          Honda Civic: The manufacturer has revamped its interiors sumptuously in Civic's latest facelift versions. The new model brims with style and sophistication in its exteriors as well as in its interiors. Inside the passenger cabin, Civic sports a racy steering wheel and stupendous instrument cluster. Fortunately, this sedan doesn't compromises on its safety. Apart from the conventional safety features, Civic engulfs SRS airbags, ABS with EBD, brake-assist system, anti-theft Immobilizer, pre-tensioned seat belts, etc., to mention a few.

          Winner: For its unparalleled comfort and sophistication, Honda Civic races ahead with its exquisite features.

          Comparison attribute: Fuel economy.

          Chevrolet Cruze: Cruze delivers an appreciable fuel efficiency of about 14 km/l in the city roads and about 18.3 km/l on the highways.

          Honda Civic: Civic's mileage range is about 10.8 km/l in the urban roads and 15.5 km/l on the highways. As expected, Civic's automatic transmission variant delivers less fuel efficiency.

          Winner: Chevrolet Cruze, for its convincing fuel economy.

          Comparison attribute: Price.

          Chevrolet Cruze: Approximately, starts at Rs. 12.24 Lakhs for its diesel variants.

          Honda Civic: Civic is little expensive with an ex-showroom price that starts at Rs. 12.44 Lakhs.

          Winner: Chevrolet Cruze.

          The Verdict

          Honda Civic with its mind-blowing design accents and stupefying performance values steps ahead of Chevy Cruze. In addition, its latest versions portray futuristic designs with sumptuous features and ample comfort. Though, Cruze delivers better fuel economy and costs less, Civic swifts with its state-of-the-art features and admirable appeal that could literally suit city drives as well as road trips.

          =========================

          http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2012/04...e-control.html

          Honda CR-V Driver Loses Control and Flips Over at the Nürburgring Circuit

          True, anyone can go to the Nürburgring in Germany for a quick lap around the world's most famous racetrack, but that doesn't mean they should overdo it as common sense says they must be cautious and know the their own as well as their vehicle's limits. Plus, what looks like a regular, previous generation Honda CR-V equipped with a…sic bull bar isn't exactly the type of vehicle you’d like to push too much at high speeds on the Nordschleife.
          The driver of the Japanese crossover lost control of the vehicle as he came out of a quick corner and ended flipping over the guardrail. The accident, as you can imagine, is a very scary one indeed.
          According to one of the people that caught the crash as it happened and posted the video on YouTube, the two passengers of the CR-V were in "relatively good" condition, a claim that we can't verify.
          Story References: YouTube via Jalopnik

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FLUkaySEY8&feature=player_embedded

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8nWd...layer_embedded


          ===================

          http://www.leftlanenews.com/honda-bl...-supplies.html

          Honda blames poor March sales on short supplies

          More than a year after a massive earthquake and tsunami rocked Japan, Honda says it is still struggling to replenish new car inventories in the United States.


          Last month the overall market enjoyed a 13 percent increase in sales, but Honda’s sales fell 5 percent during April. Although some might point to Honda’s vehicle lineup for that drop off, the Japanese automaker says the decline can be blamed on thin U.S. Inventories.
          “We are still suffering through some inventory issues,” Mike Accavitti, American Honda’s chief marketing officer, told Automotive News. “We were at about 65 percent of where we would like to be at end of February. We don’t have every model a customer wants or the inventory in the right places. We produced as much as we sold.”
          Honda’s passenger vehicle supply stood at 58-days on March 1, while the company’s light-trucks were even tighter with a 36-day supply. A 60-day supply is considered ideal.
          Tetsuo Iwamura, CEO of American Honda, says that Honda’s supply issues should be sorted by the end of April. However, the executive failed to detail how Honda would correct the problem.
          Last edited by tokyodream; 10-04-12, 05:18.
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          • http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspe...heeler-market/

            Honda Motors Ahead In The Indian Two-Wheeler Market

            Global automobile manufacturer Honda has for the first time in its history in India since it separated from its JV with Hero Group in December 2010, recorded the second highest monthly sales among all the players in the Indian two-wheeler market. In March, Honda sold 210,383 vehicles, up 50% compared to same month in 2011. However, sales lagged far behind its erstwhile partner Hero, but was 2,249 units more than Bajaj Auto – another dominant player in the Indian two-wheeler market. [1]

            Honda competes in the Indian automobile market with other global car manufacturers such as Toyota, GM, Ford and Hyundai as well as Indian players such as TVS Motors, Hero Motocorp and Bajaj Auto.


            Our price estimate of $44 for Honda’s stock is around 15% above the current market price.



            The Indian two-wheeler industry landscape has changed dramatically for Honda since it ended its 26-year-old JV partnership with Hero Group, the current market leader, in December 2010.

            Hero Honda, as the joint venture was called, was the most prolific two-wheeler seller in the Indian market. It enjoyed a market share of over 50% and sold more vehicles than the second, third and fourth players combined together. However, in 2010, the board of the joint venture decided to terminate the JV in a phased manner. Hero decided to buy out Honda’s 26% stake in the JV and get the rights to export its products in international markets, a condition that was prohibited under the terms and conditions of the venture.

            This left Honda on its own in the market. Honda now operates in the two-wheeler segment through its Indian subsidiary, Honda Motorcycle & Scooters India, while Hero group operates through Hero Motocorp.

            Over the years, Honda has developed a good brand connect in India and, with its superior technology, it should be able to perform well in this market. The large size of the Indian two-wheeler market coupled with solid margins makes it extremely attractive for the global auto giant. Honda’s current sales in India are mainly driven by Activa-branded scooters while its CB Unicorn bikes continue to lag far behind that of Bajaj Auto. Honda is now looking to strengthen its position in this segment by introducing a new high volume 110 cc bike Yuga next month.

            Honda has stated that it aims to become the market leader by 2020 by cornering a third of the Indian two-wheeler market. The company expects to increase India’s share of its global sales to about 30%, up from 13% currently. According to Trefis estimate, the motorcycle segment is the most important for the company, accounting for nearly 20% of the stock’s value. If Honda is indeed able to achieve this goal, it would result in a significant upside to the company’s stock price.

            ==========================

            http://vtec.net/news/news-item?news_item_id=1055305

            Honda Announces Mid-term Business Strategy for China


            The following press release concerns the Chinese market but remains an interesting read, particularly as it pertains to Honda's plans for Acura in the Chinese marketplace. The current Chinese Acura lineup includes the RL, MDX, ZDX and TL, and Honda will be introducing the ILX, RDX, RLX and NSX to the lineup in the coming years. Also noteworthy is that Acura is planning to introduce new "relatively small-sized engines" in Acura models as well.

            Don't miss the two sketches at the end of the press release. Who knows at this point which model they could possibly foreshadow?

            BEIJING, China, April 10, 2012 - Honda Motor (China) Investment Co., Ltd. today announced its mid-term business strategy for China.
            Outline of mid-term strategy
            <Strengthening Honda brand product>
            ・ For the Honda brand, introduction of more than 10 new and full-model-change models is scheduled during the 3-year period from 2013 to 2015. By enhancing its product lineup, we will steadily increase our sales striving to double its 2011 unit sales in 2015.
            ・ Honda will more focus on the needs of customers in China and introduce a number of products that will bring joys to customers.
            ・ All Honda vehicles sold in China will shift to new engines that apply Earth Dreams Technology, Honda's innovative next-generation technologies. The engines of all Honda brand vehicles will be renewed by the end of 2015. In this way, Honda will strive to realize the highest fuel economy in each vehicle category in the Chinese automobile market.
            ・ As for hybrid models, within this year, Honda will introduce three models to the Chinese market. All three models, the CR-Z, the Insight and the Fit Hybrid, are equipped with Honda's original IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) lightweight and compact hybrid system.
            ・ Honda is currently preparing for local production of hybrid models in China. Through local procurement of key components such as batteries and motors, Honda will strive to reduce costs in order to popularize hybrid vehicles in China.
            ・ As the next step following the popularization of the IMA hybrid system, Honda will introduce to the Chinese market a new hybrid system most appropriate for mid- to large-sized vehicles as well as a plug-in hybrid system.
            ・ As for electric vehicles, Honda began demonstration testing in Guangzhou last year. Based on the results of this testing, Honda is preparing to begin local production at Guangqi Honda sometime toward the end of this year.
            <Strengthening Acura brand products>
            ・ The new NSX will be introduced to the Chinese market which represents the Acura brand. The new NSX will apply the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD(R) (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) hybrid system which combines superior driving and environmental performance.
            ・ The Acura brand will strengthen its product lineup in China this year with introduction of the ILX, a small-sized sedan, and the RDX, a small-sized SUV, as well as the scheduled introduction next year of the RLX luxury sedan.
            ・ Moreover, starting in stages next year, the Acura brand is planning to introduce models equipped with new, relatively small-sized engines, for which demand is high in China.
            ・ The powertrains of all Acura models also will be renewed by the end of 2015 to bring the latest advanced technologies to customers in China.
            <Strengthening R&D>
            ・ Honda is considering the establishment of a Honda design studio in China. The R&D teams of the joint venture companies, the development team of Honda China and Honda research centers in Japan will work together to significantly enhance Honda's R&D capacity in China. Through this initiative, Honda will further strengthen its system and capability to enable its Chinese associates to locally develop products that exceed the expectations of customers in China.
            ・ Along with the further localization of our development, Honda also will pursue further localization in the sourcing of parts and components. To increase cost competitiveness, Honda will further increase the number of new local suppliers.
            <Expansion of production capacity>
            ・ In July of this year, the second plant of Dongfeng Honda will begin production. At this new plant, Honda will employ the world's latest production technologies to achieve excellent environmental performance and to make it an advanced plant with a human-friendly workplace for associates.
            ・ Guangqi Honda is also making progress with a plan to build its third line and is aiming to begin production on this new line in 2014.
            <Brand communications>
            ・ Honda is taking various actions to attain new growth while moving toward the new era of a fast-changing China. To communicate its passion, Honda will begin a new brand communication campaign with the key phrase of 「」 -- meaning "a new future will be carved out when Honda takes new actions together with its customers."
            ・ The Acura brand will also adopt a new brand key phrase of 「我就是我,我就是中心」, which will help communicate the values of Acura products and services more clearly to the customers. This means that Acura brand vehicles put the central focus on customers, and provide each customer with the joy of becoming one with the vehicle and the freedom of maneuvering at the will of the driver. In the area of service, we will put the focus on customers and further strengthen our well-established service by providing customized services for each customer.
            <Motorsports>
            ・ Honda will initiate the promotion of racing activities and expand the awareness of motorsports activities which are currently hasn't yet gained great popularity in China. Honda will participate in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) starting this year. In addition, Honda will race on a spot participation basis in the China Touring Car Championship (CTCC), starting this year.
            ・ For this year's China Grand Prix in November, Honda will participate both in WTCC and CTCC.
            <Overview of Display for the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition (starting April 23, 2012, open to public from April 27 through May 2, 2012)>
            ・ At the Honda booth, two concept models that focus on Chinese customers will make their world premiere. In addition, hybrid models (CR-Z, Insight, Fit Hybrid) which will be introduced to the market this year, will be on display.
            ・ At the Acura booth, in addition to the all-new NSX Concept, the ILX and the RDX which will be introduced to the Chinese market this year, will be on display.
            ・ The Honda booth and Acura booth will each host a press conference at 10:00am (11:00am Japan time) and 10:30am (11:30am Japan time), respectively, on April 23, 2012.







            ==================================
            Last edited by tokyodream; 11-04-12, 05:03.
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            • 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite Long Term Update 6

              We've been having issues with the Odyssey's battery dying on us. On many photo shoots while using the Odyssey as a support vehicle, my fellow photographers and I often leave the side doors and/or the rear liftgate open. We need quick access to the camera gear inside, and we like to shoot protected by the shady cover the liftgate door provides in hot sunny climates. On many occasions, this has left us with a dead minivan battery -- an inconvenience when time is often short. I could easily see a family running into this problem if they were picnicking or tailgating in the minivan.

              2011 Honda Odyssey Front Three Quarter
              Click to view Gallery
              I brought this battery issue to the attention of the mechanics at a local Honda dealership when I brought the Odyssey in for its B1 service over a month ago. They checked the charge of the battery and found it was at 100 percent, and said the Odyssey's battery draining was normal, despite the fact that we have never had this problem with other minivan batteries. The Honda servicemen suggested I upgrade to a yellow top gel (deep cycle) battery, which goes for about $200. This should not be necessary for a new vehicle.

              2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Rear Seating
              Click to view Gallery
              Honda's official word concerning the battery states: "Should an Odyssey owner accidentally leave the headlights on or not close a door causing an interior light to remain on, after a set period of time the BMS (Battery Management System) will automatically terminate power delivery to prevent the battery from going dead. Moreover, the BMS continually monitors battery condition and will provide a warning message while automatically turning off the interior lights when battery condition or cranking capability drops too low. As a result of the discharge protection afforded by the BMS, the battery should always have enough reserve capacity left to start the engine."

              Looks like our BMS is faulty. While it's possible the Multi-Information Display has given us the "Battery Charge Low" warning message during these aforementioned instances, we are rarely sitting in the driver's seat to read it. I'll be taking the Odyssey back in to have the system checked yet again, as it is clearly not preventing full battery drainage. In the meantime, I'll keep an eye on open doors, or simply turn off the interior lights when I need to leave the vehicle's doors open.

              Our Car
              Months/miles in service 9/21,553
              Avg econ/CO2 21.8 mpg/0.89 lb/mi
              Energy cons 155 kW-hr/100 mi
              Unresolved problems Battery dying
              Maintenance cost $187.82 (2-oil change, tire rotation, inspection)
              Normal-wear cost $0

              ============================

              http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/...dustry+News%29

              Honda to provide hybrids, electric vehicles for Zipcar

              Honda will provide hybrid and electric vehicles to the Zipcar Inc. car-sharing service through a new agreement between the two companies.

              American Honda Motor Company Inc. becomes a “preferred vehicle manufacturer” for Zipcar under the agreement, according to a press release. It will provide its East Liberty-built CR-V crossover sport utility vehicle, the Insight hybrid, a battery-powered Fit EV and a plug-in hybrid electric version of the Accord, which is built in Marysville, starting next year.

              “This win-win partnership with Honda adds to Zipcar’s array of smart and sustainable transportation options and by introducing Zipsters to Honda’s newest hybrid and electric vehicles, we can help increase overall awareness of these exciting new technologies,” Zipcar CEO Scott Griffith said in the release.

              The agreement is an expansion on the two companies’ current accord. Honda already provides Zipcar its Insight, Civic and CR-V models, according to the release.

              Cambridge, Mass.-based Zipcar (NASDAQ:ZIP) provides 8,900 vehicles to 673,000 members in urban areas and college campuses in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

              ========================

              http://www.japancorp.net/press_relea...tegy_for_china

              Honda Announces Mid-term Business Strategy for China

              Honda Motor (China) Investment Co., Ltd. today announced its mid-term business strategy for China.

              Outline of mid-term strategy

              Strengthening Honda brand product

              For the Honda brand, introduction of more than 10 new and full-model-change models is scheduled during the 3-year period from 2013 to 2015. By enhancing its product lineup, we will steadily increase our sales striving to double its 2011 unit sales in 2015.

              Honda will more focus on the needs of customers in China and introduce a number of products that will bring joys to customers.

              All Honda vehicles sold in China will shift to new engines that apply Earth Dreams Technology, Honda's innovative next-generation technologies. The engines of all Honda brand vehicles will be renewed by the end of 2015. In this way, Honda will strive to realize the highest fuel economy in each vehicle category in the Chinese automobile market.

              As for hybrid models, within this year, Honda will introduce three models to the Chinese market. All three models, the CR-Z, the Insight and the Fit Hybrid, are equipped with Honda's original IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) lightweight and compact hybrid system.

              Honda is currently preparing for local production of hybrid models in China. Through local procurement of key components such as batteries and motors, Honda will strive to reduce costs in order to popularize hybrid vehicles in China.

              As the next step following the popularization of the IMA hybrid system, Honda will introduce to the Chinese market a new hybrid system most appropriate for mid- to large-sized vehicles as well as a plug-in hybrid system.

              As for electric vehicles, Honda began demonstration testing in Guangzhou last year. Based on the results of this testing, Honda is preparing to begin local production at Guangqi Honda sometime toward the end of this year.

              Strengthening Acura brand products

              The new NSX will be introduced to the Chinese market which represents the Acura brand. The new NSX will apply the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD(R) (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) hybrid system which combines superior driving and environmental performance.

              The Acura brand will strengthen its product lineup in China this year with introduction of the ILX, a small-sized sedan, and the RDX, a small-sized SUV, as well as the scheduled introduction next year of the RLX luxury sedan.

              Moreover, starting in stages next year, the Acura brand is planning to introduce models equipped with new, relatively small-sized engines, for which demand is high in China.

              The powertrains of all Acura models also will be renewed by the end of 2015 to bring the latest advanced technologies to customers in China.

              Strengthening R&D

              Honda is considering the establishment of a Honda design studio in China. The R&D teams of the joint venture companies, the development team of Honda China and Honda research centers in Japan will work together to significantly enhance Honda's R&D capacity in China. Through this initiative, Honda will further strengthen its system and capability to enable its Chinese associates to locally develop products that exceed the expectations of customers in China.

              Along with the further localization of our development, Honda also will pursue further localization in the sourcing of parts and components. To increase cost competitiveness, Honda will further increase the number of new local suppliers.

              Expansion of production capacity

              In July of this year, the second plant of Dongfeng Honda will begin production. At this new plant, Honda will employ the world's latest production technologies to achieve excellent environmental performance and to make it an advanced plant with a human-friendly workplace for associates.

              Guangqi Honda is also making progress with a plan to build its third line and is aiming to begin production on this new line in 2014.

              Brand communications

              Honda is taking various actions to attain new growth while moving toward the new era of a fast-changing China. To communicate its passion, Honda will begin a new brand communication campaign with the key phrase of 「我动 未来动」 -- meaning "a new future will be carved out when Honda takes new actions together with its customers."

              The Acura brand will also adopt a new brand key phrase of 「我就是我,我就是中心」, which will help communicate the values of Acura products and services more clearly to the customers. This means that Acura brand vehicles put the central focus on customers, and provide each customer with the joy of becoming one with the vehicle and the freedom of maneuvering at the will of the driver. In the area of service, we will put the focus on customers and further strengthen our well-established service by providing customized services for each customer.

              Motorsports

              Honda will initiate the promotion of racing activities and expand the awareness of motorsports activities which are currently hasn't yet gained great popularity in China. Honda will participate in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) starting this year. In addition, Honda will race on a spot participation basis in the China Touring Car Championship (CTCC), starting this year.

              For this year's China Grand Prix in November, Honda will participate both in WTCC and CTCC.

              Overview of Display for the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition (starting April 23, 2012, open to public from April 27 through May 2, 2012)

              At the Honda booth, two concept models that focus on Chinese customers will make their world premiere. In addition, hybrid models (CR-Z, Insight, Fit Hybrid) which will be introduced to the market this year, will be on display.

              At the Acura booth, in addition to the all-new NSX Concept, the ILX and the RDX which will be introduced to the Chinese market this year, will be on display. The Honda booth and Acura booth will each host a press conference at 10:00am (11:00am Japan time) and 10:30am (11:30am Japan time), respectively, on April 23, 2012.


              About Honda

              Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (TSE:7267/NYSE:HMC/LSE:HNDA.L) is one of the leading manufacturers of automobiles and power products and the largest manufacture of motorcycles in the world. Honda has always sought to provide genuine satisfaction to people worldwide. The result is more than 120 manufacturing facilities in 30 countries worldwide, producing a wide range of products, including motorcycles, ATVs, generators, marine engines, lawn and garden equipment and automobiles that bring the company into contact with over 19 million customers annually. For more information, please visit http://world.honda.com.



              Contact:

              Honda
              Media Inquiries
              corporate_pr@hm.honda.co.jp
              +81-3-5412-1512

              ==========================

              http://www.hondainthenews.com/unders...ands-we-drive/

              Understanding the Brands We Drive

              Having an understanding of the tendencies of car buyers can help us know what is making us buy the cars we’re buying before we buy them. If a bargain is in order, then women should take the lead as they are much more conscious than men when it comes to car prices. These and 12 other facts fill this infographic by AYTM which comes to us through Cincinnati Ford.
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              Comment


              • http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/3273...tric.htm?cid=5

                IBM Sets ‘Smart Charge’ Deal With Honda, PG&E

                International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) said it would partner with the U.S. unit of Honda Motor Co. (NYSE: HMC) and PG&E Corp. (NYSE: PCG) to use the cloud for optimium charging of electric cars.

                The goal is to use data analysis to determine the best times for car-charging, detect pressures on the power grid and conserve energy, the partners said.

                "It takes just four cars charging to cause problems on the grid," said Clay Luthy, IBM's global distributed energy resource leader in its energy and utilities sector, in an interview.

                Because Honda expects to sell a lot of its new FIT electric vehicles (EVs) in California and Pacific Gas & Electric is the dominant utility in that state, both were anxious about how the rollout will work as drivers start to recharge their cars at home.

                Honda designed into the FIT EV chips that transmit data back to the manufacturer, Luthy said. The data can be transmitted to PG&E and IBM for analysis. A simulation of as few as 3,000 cars should provide guidance to the power company about peak loads and off-peak times.

                IBM will use simulations and other tools to predict increased demand loads, Luthy said.

                Honda's data will be transmitted over the cloud to an IBM electric vehicle enablement platform, which will also know about the car's battery status to prepare charging schedules and advise PG&E.

                "We'll be using the pool of vehicles to set up a schedule ," Luthy said.

                3 Million EVs By 2017

                The Armonk, N.Y. company will also seek to provide similar services to other car makers and utilities, he added.

                Nearly 3 million EVs are expected worldwide within five years, so getting knowledge now about charging and patterns of usage will be helpful, the IBM executive said. Over time, it's expected there will be charging stations at businesses and in parking lots, so both drivers and power companies must anticipate demand.

                Meanwhile, the Internet services provided by the cloud are "essential," Luthy said. Without it, it would be impossible to collect as much data as anticipated for analysis.

                The IBM executive declined to say how many people will work on the smart charging project or its cost. IBM spent $6.26 billion on research last year.

                Shares of IBM rose $2.55 to $205.13 in afternoon trading, while PG&E shares gained 41 cents to $42.61 and Honda's American Depositary Receipts also rose 41 cents, to $36.44.

                ========================

                http://www.treehugger.com/cars/honda...8Treehugger%29

                Honda Partners with Zipcar, Will Provide Hybrids, Plug-in Hybrids, and EVs

                Car-Sharing Gets Even Greener
                Zipcar, the biggest car-sharing company in North-America, is partnering with Honda to include more models of greener cars in its fleet. Car-sharing is already better than owning a car for those who want to drive as little as possible but aren't quite ready (or it's not possible where they are) to reducing driving to zero. But it's even better if the car-sharing fleet offers many fuel-efficient - or even better: fully electric - options.

                That's what Honda, among other automakers, will provide.

                "The agreement will include the expansion of Honda's Insight hybrid, the all-new CR-V compact SUV, as well as the introduction of Fit EV battery electric vehicles (BEV) this fall and Accord Plug-In Sedans, a plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) version of its popular Accord Sedan, to select Zipcar locations beginning in early 2013."

                The CR-V's nothing special, and the Insight is an okay hybrid (doesn't quite match the Prius), but the Fit EV and Accord PHEV should be interesting additions to Zipcar's fleet.

                The regular Fit is already an excellent urban small car, with a surprising amount of inside space and storage flexibility, and the electric version should allow car-sharers to hop in and get around town without burning any gas (city range is estimated by Honda at 123 miles). The bigger Accord plug-in hybrid will also have an all-electric mode, though range will be more limited (likely around 10-15 miles).

                As I always say, it's better to walk, bike, or take transit. But car-sharing is a great alternative somewhere in the middle between "no car" and "car owner".

                =============================

                http://asq.org/qualitynews/qnt/execu...p?newsID=13443

                Toyota, Honda Slips Help Big Three Recover

                You’ve seen the commercials, and now the numbers are beginning to confirm it: The Detroit automakers are back. But there’s another trend in the auto industry you won’t see advertised on TV: The surprising stall of Toyota and Honda, which for two decades could seemingly do no wrong.

                The two Japanese giants, once considered leaders in quality, innovation and profitability, are now struggling with falling market share, blasé models and a clay-footed response to feisty competitors. To some extent, Detroit’s comeback is a byproduct of troubles at its two once-formidable rivals.

                “Ten years ago, Toyota and Honda had the lead, and everybody else was behind,” said Dave Sargent of J.D. Power & Associates. “That gap has narrowed to pretty much nothing.”

                Both automakers endured a setback from last year’s earthquake in northern Japan, which severely disrupted supply chains and left shortages of several models just as car sales were starting to pick up in the aftermath of the recession.

                But with production now back to normal levels, Toyota and Honda are still struggling. Toyota’s U.S. market share of 14.1% is 2.9 percentage points lower than it was in 2009, according to data from forecasting firm LMC Automotive. Honda’s share of 9.3% is 1.8 points lower than in 2009.

                What’s striking about those numbers is the two automakers lost share during a time when General Motors downsized from eight brands to four, Chrysler sputtered along with the most dated fleet in the industry and Ford, the one domestic automaker that didn’t declare bankruptcy or get a government bailout, deeply cut costs while plodding through its own restructuring plan.

                Instead of seizing turf from their wounded competitors, Toyota and Honda yielded it. Part of the reason is the sudden surge of other carmakers, such as Korean nameplates Hyundai and Kia, and Volkswagen, which is pushing hard to become the world’s biggest automaker. But Toyota and Honda have also suffered from a scourge that besets many successful companies.

                “They got complacent,” said Karl Brauer, CEO of car-research site TotalCarScore.com. “It’s ironic that the Koreans and Americans have had to straighten up and fly right, while there hasn’t been the same level of pressure at Toyota and Honda. We’re seeing the results of that.”

                Rough times

                Problems at Toyota surfaced in 2009, when a couple of different safety issues mushroomed into the recall of more than 8 million vehicles, several prominent lawsuits and a record fine levied against Toyota by the U.S. government. Even Toyota admitted it had been too dismissive of customer complaints and too arrogant when regulators questioned its safety practices.

                Toyota instituted a broad set of fixes, and those safety problems are largely in the past. Yet Toyota still seems to have been overtaken by upstart competitors it never spotted in the rear-view mirror.

                Hyundai and Kia have snatched customers from Toyota by building sharp-looking cars that offer great value, especially compared with the conservative stalwarts in Toyota’s lineup. The Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima sedans, for instance, are far saucier than the sedate Camry, plus they undercut it on price. Volkswagen, meanwhile, slashed the price on its Passat family sedan, another car that has cut into Camry sales.

                Honda’s slippage has been more incremental, with once-bulletproof models such as the Civic and Accord losing their luster in a crowded and intensely competitive market. When Honda unveiled the redesigned Civic last year, for example, reviewers found the styling dull, the interior Spartan and the technology unimpressive.

                While top competitors such as the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra had moved up to advanced six-speed automatic transmissions, Honda cut costs by sticking with an older five-speed.

                Reviewers used to give Honda the benefit of the doubt, but this time, they howled. In the U.S. News & World Report car rankings, for example, the 2012 Civic ranks a mediocre 25th out of 41 compacts. Consumer Reports even dropped the Civic from its recommended list.

                Taking advantage

                While Toyota and Honda were napping, General Motors and Chyrsler took advantage of debt writedowns, renegotiated union contracts and other benefits of bankruptcy to invest heavily in new models, which is now starting to pay off.

                Detroit practically ceded the small-car market to the Japanese in the 1990s and 2000s but has lately impressed reviewers with new bantamweights such as the Chevy Cruze, Chevy Sonic and forthcoming Dodge Dart. Ford hit the mark with its Fiesta and Focus compacts, and has dazzled reviewers with the new Fusion sedan, coming later this year.

                Meanwhile, the other Japanese carmakers—Nissan, Mazda, and Subaru—recovered more quickly from last year’s earthquake and picked up market share over the last few years.

                Toyota and Honda aren’t down for the count, however. Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda has pledged to build “more exciting” cars, with a new version of the Toyota Avalon and a new Scion sports car showing more aggressive styling than in the past. The automaker continues to enjoy a lead in hybrids, and the expansion of the Prius into a full lineup of vehicles, including a wagon, compact and plug-in variant, seems to be a success.

                Honda has sped up planned changes to the Civic, insisting it will earn back any lost credibility. And the new CR-V crossover has received a much warmer welcome than the Civic.

                Honda and Toyota both have the automotive talent and other resources needed to once again catch up to competitors, which means Detroit should watch its back. This is one business where somebody’s always right behind the leader.

                ========================

                http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2...362/1148/rss25

                Such a deal for racers: a naked Civic Si

                Is this the automotive deal of the 21st century? Honda will sell you a 2012 Civic Si for $3,500*.

                We added the asterisk because what you get for your $3,500 isn't a complete, ready-to-drive new Civic Si, but the body-in-white version, which means you get the naked body shell equipped only with brakes, suspension components, limited-slip differential and a tow strap.

                But for people interested in such a vehicle, this is a deal. Those people are auto racers, who would normally have to go buy a new Civic Si, then strip it down to its body shell, at which point they'd begin rebuilding the car into a competition-ready racer — and would try to sell all the components they removed.

                Instead, Honda will sell them a factory-fresh body-in-white, a car that is eligible for professional racing in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, SCCA Pro Pirelli World Challenge and various club racing categories.

                Further, Honda Performance Development offers a variety of other Honda Racing Line parts that will help turn the Civic Si body-in-white into a ready-to-race car.

                Compass360 Racing, which fields Civic Sis in the Grand-Am, SCCA and Canadian Touring Car series, equipped its body-in-white with a race-tuned, 11.0:1 compression ratio, 250-horsepower (at 7000 rpm) 2.4-liter Honda K24Z7 engine, six-speed manual gearbox, enlarged brakes and 17-inch wheels.

                With a racing seat and roll bar and necessary safety equipment, the car weighs in at 2,540 pounds, more than 400 pounds lighter than a stock 2012 Civic Si.

                For those who might like to soup up their street legal but showroom fresh Civic Si, Honda Performance Development offers the HFP (Honda Factory Performance) package.

                It's a kit that includes a suspension setup that lowers ride height — thus improving dynamic capabilities — a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, a full aerodynamic body kit painted in any of seven Civic Si colors, as well as special red ambient interior lighting and HFP carpeted floor mats and emblems.




                =====================
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                • http://www.financialexpress.com/news...accord/936737/

                  Hyundai Sonata vs Honda Accord


                  More than just refinement, petrol luxury saloons should offer a fine blend of comfort and class. So far the Accord has delivered this in spades. But can it overcome a fresh challenge from the new Sonata?

                  What’s new?

                  In times of rising fuel prices, you’d think diesel was the only way to go. Yet, for sheer refinement and enthusiasm, a petrol heart is still hard to beat. The Honda Accord, with its 2.4-litre 177bhp engine, has been the first choice for buyers in this class. But Hyundai’s new Sonata wants to spoil its party with a brand new hi-tech 198bhp petrol motor. Like most Hyundai is it is loaded with lots of standard equipment and is priced very competitively too. The attractive design and spacious cabin only add to the appeal of a car that has taken the US market by storm.

                  Performance

                  ‘The Hyundai is faster than the Honda’

                  The Accord engine makes you wonder how it can be bettered. The 177bhp, 2.4-litre motor is refined, responsive and pretty quick. The five-speed manual gearbox has a light, positive shift action and the combination of engine and gearbox seems to be well matched. You won’t complain about the 9.2sec 0-100kph time either. That’s until you drive the Sonata.

                  It’s immediately obvious that the Hyundai’s modern 2.4-litre direct-injection petrol engine has moved the goalposts. It feels stronger than the Accord’s and that’s a big plus for the Hyundai, considering they both displace 2.4 litres and have similar kerb weights. The Hyundai crosses the 100kph mark in under nine seconds, and though the difference may seem miniscule, the extra performance can be felt. The Sonata’s motor also develops slightly more pulling power, and this means mid-range performance is punchy. This translates into better in-gear acceleration too. It takes 10.60sec to do 20-80kph in third and 14.18sec for 40-100kph in fourth compared to 12.84sec and 18.52sec respectively by the Accord.

                  Giving the Sonata a decisive advantage is the six-speed gearbox. The Accord has only five gears to play with and the gears are too spaced out which, in Indian driving conditions, is a disadvantage. The gap between second and third gears blunts the Accord’s performance quite a bit. This engine needs to be revved to get the most out of it and you end up using first or second in traffic. This makes it quite cumbersome to drive in traffic.

                  The only tiny chink in the Hyundai’s armour is that you need to carefully modulate the clutch or the engine tends to stall at low speeds. And the engine sounds a bit harsh when you rev it past 5000rpm. However, the gearing is well matched to the engine characteristics and once on the move the Sonata makes for a great daily commuter. The Sonata is fantastic at covering ground and the extra sixth gear makes it feel very relaxed and smooth when cruising long distances. That said, the Accord’s gear-shift action is much lighter and takes less effort than the Sonata’s.

                  RIDE AND HANDLING ‘Hyundai feels more composed’

                  These cars will be chauffeur driven most of the time so ride comfort is, in a way, more important than the way they drive. Both saloons have similar suspension set-ups—independent in front and at the rear.

                  Over a set of corners, the Sonata won’t impress you much. The comfort-oriented setup means handling is compromised in order to improve ride quality. There is quite a bit of body roll present and the car won’t reward the enthusiastic driver. The Sonata’s steering lacks accuracy and would have benefitted from better feel. It does weigh up with speed but it still feels inconsistent and disconnected. The steering wheel is a touch too big and it feels quite heavy to operate at low speeds.

                  Where Hyundai has got it spot on is the ride comfort. The soft suspension functions silently, bump absorption is first rate and the Sonata glides over rough patches of road.

                  Yes, as speeds increase it does become a bit unsettled and there is a fair bit of up-and-down motion over undulating surfaces but it’s not bad enough to make occupants uncomfortable. In a straight line, the Sonata feels more stable and surefooted compared to the Accord. The pliant suspension and low-profile tyres give the Sonata a flat and more consistent ride with less body movement. This makes it perfect for chauffeur-driven owners.

                  The Accord sports an even softer setup which does well to absorb bumps at low speeds. But it feels a bit clunky compared to the Hyundai. Sharp bumps filter through into the cabin. When going over potholes, the Accord’s suspension emits an audible thud, which can be disconcerting at times. Even the sound insulation is not upto Sonata standards. Despite having wide tyres, the Accord doesn’t feel quite as composed as the Sonata does around corners because of the soft suspension setup. The steering though is better and more precise than the Hyundai’s.

                  Another drawback is the Honda’s brakes, which feel weak given the power they have to deal with. They also tend to fade quite easily.

                  WHAT ARE THEY LIKE INSIDE?

                  The new Sonata’s interiors are a complete departure from the old car. The V-shaped design looks original and is a continuation of the cuts and slashes of the exterior styling.

                  The fully powered driver’s seat is comfy and superbly bolstered and there’s good thigh support. It’s easy to find a suitable driving position as the steering wheel adjusts for reach and rake. The thick-rimmed wheel is nice to grip, although it feels a size too large. The rear seats too are spacious and comfortable. But the seat squab is a bit short and offers less under-thigh support than the Accord’s seats.

                  As much as we were floored by the design, the interior plastics disappointed. The quality is good in patches but some bits like the black plastic on the centre console, the air-con vents, steering wheel and especially the stalks (borrowed from the Sonata’s cheaper siblings) disappoint. But the interiors feel well screwed together. Storage space in the cabin is generous, with four decent-sized door bins, a big glovebox, cup-and bottle-holders and a central storage cubby, which all help to make this a practical car to live with. However, where the Sonata really scores is with all the gizmos it comes with; apart from the usual features, you get a six-CD changer, aux-in and USB ports, a screen that displays multiple functions, an integrated reversing camera, powered driver and passenger seats and ventilated rear seats. The massive equipment list is one of the Sonata’s strengths.

                  The Accord’s dash design is conservative compared to the Sonata’s. The multi-layered dashboard flows into the door-pads in one seamless sweep. The steering wheel, with its metal finish, looks quite nice and the gear-shifter is a sleeker unit as well. However, the sea of buttons on the centre console that surrounds the big solitary knob can be quite daunting.

                  As for cabin space, it helps that the Accord is 10mm wider than the Sonata. Five large-sized adults can sit comfortably in a way the Sonata can’t match. The front seats are huge and wide with generous support, but in some places there is too much of it. Lumbar support, irrespective of the setting, is a touch too firm and the seats would have been perfect if this was softer. The rear seats are phenomenally comfy and not only are there masses of head and legroom but the seating position is superb.

                  WILL THEY BREAK THE BANK?

                  The new Hyundai Sonata comes in two variants. You only get the option of manual or automatic transimmision and the prices start at R18.53 lakh for the manual, going upto R20.61 lakh for the automatic variant. We have tested the manual option here, which is amazingly well equipped for the asking price, especially alongside the comparatively scantily equipped Accord. Fuel economy is expected to be decent and the Hyundai comes with a comprehensive four years/80,000km warranty. It gets a six-CD changer, multi-function computer, dual-zone automatic climate control, auto folding mirrors, ventilated rear seat (usually seen only in cars twice its price), keyless entry, powered driver and passenger seats, parking sensors with rearview camera and Bluetooth connectivity as standard. You also get six airbags, ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) and active headrests on the safety front. In addition to that, the automatic variant comes with ventilated front and rear seats, seat memory and cruise control.

                  The Accord comes in three variants. The top-of-the-line model comes with a 3.5-litre V6 motor and is priced at R24 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), while the other two variants come with the 2.4-litre motor with the option of automatic and manual transmissions. The manual variant we have tested here is priced at R19.61 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), which is a whopping R1.1 lakh more than the equivalent Sonata, and it is not that well equipped either. It does come with dual-zone climate controls, rear AC vents, a powered driver’s seat, cruise control, a six-CD changer, powered mirrors with an auto-folding function and Bluetooth connectivity. But some features like steerings mounted controls, a powered passenger seat, a reversing camera and ESP are missing. Its proven fuel efficiency and rock solid reliability are its strong points though.

                  Sonata noses ahead of the accord

                  Accord is still competitive but Sonata delivers on more counts.

                  For us, the Sonata’s overall abilities warrant it first place. It’s got the stronger engine, the better overall ride and in typical Hyundai fashion, bombards you with equipment. Some unique features like ventilated rear seats and active headrests are class firsts and add to its overall appeal. That it looks stylish outside and inside makes it all the more desirable in a segment where the car you are in has to make a statement, at least visually.

                  That’s not to suggest that the Honda is an ordinary car. The Accord is a fine effort, delivering traditional Honda values like space, comfort and typically Japanese reliability. The 2.4-litre petrol motor delivers good fuel efficiency and is marginally more refined that the Sonata’s motor. However, with only 177bhp on tap compared to the Sonata’s 198bhp, it doesn’t feel as effortless as the Hyundai. On top of all this, factor in the R1.1 lakh extra that you have to pay over the Sonata and it’s not hard to see why the Accord is the runner-up here.

                  ==========================

                  http://vtec.net/news/news-item?news_item_id=1056235

                  Acura Teamed With Marvel’s The Avengers as Official Sponsor of Red Carpet World Premiere

                  For you action film buffs out there, here's a little press release and some media that you might find interesting.

                  HOLLYWOOD, Calif., April 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Thousands watched with amazement as actor Robert Downey Jr. (“Tony Stark”) drove onto the red carpet in a custom Acura-created sports car at the Marvel’s The Avengers Hollywood premiere on Wednesday, April 11, at the El Capitan Theater. The premiere, co-sponsored by Acura, featured militarized S.H.I.E.L.D.-Edition Acura MDX and TL models that were used in the film to escort the actors on Hollywood Blvd.

                  In addition to Downey’s impressive arrival, Marvel’s The Avengers stars Chris Evans (Captain America), Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk), Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) also arrived in a fleet of Acura vehicles.

                  “Acura is excited to continue our presence as the official vehicle of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Marvel films (Captain America: The First Avenger, THOR, and The Avengers),” said Mike Accavitti, Vice President of National Marketing Operations. S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and Marvel’s The Avengers’ characters including Hawkeye and Black Widow can be seen driving militarized Acura vehicles throughout the highly anticipated film, including the MDX, ZDX and TL models, along with a cameo from the entirely new 2013 RDX.

                  Fans can further immerse themselves in the world of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Marvel’s The Avengers by visiting http://www.SHIELDops.com and testing Avengers-inspired technology mounted to S.H.I.E.L.D.-Edition Acura vehicles. Fans can earn the chance to win movie passes and S.H.I.E.L.D. gear. The grand prize is an all-expense-paid Tony Stark-inspired trip to New York City.

                  Marvel’s The Avengers opens in theaters nationwide Friday, May 4, 2012.

                  About Marvel’s The Avengers
                  Marvel Studios presents “Marvel’s The Avengers”—the team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

                  Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston, with Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, directed by Joss Whedon, from a story by Zak Penn and Joss Whedon with screenplay by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when “Marvel’s The Avengers” assemble in summer 2012.

                  “Marvel’s The Avengers” is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures. The film is being produced by Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige and executive produced by Alan Fine, Jon Favreau, Stan Lee, Louis D’Esposito, Patricia Whitcher, Victoria Alonso and Jeremy Latcham. The film releases May 4, 2012, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

                  About Marvel Entertainment
                  Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit www.marvel.com.

                  About Acura
                  Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced performance luxury vehicles through a network of 272 dealers within the United States. The Acura lineup features six distinctive models including the RL luxury performance sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX Sport Wagon and sedan, the RDX luxury crossover SUV, the MDX luxury sport utility vehicle and the ZDX four-door sports coupe. For media information please visit, http://www.acuranews.com/.

                  About rp&
                  rp& is a full-service marketing communications division of RPA, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif. Established in 2008, rp& has been responsible for the development of all Acura National, Regional, Online and Event Marketing communications. For more information, visit http://rp-and.com/.



                  Robert Downey Jr. arrives at The Avengers premiere in Acura-created sports car.

                  Samuel L. Jackson at The Avengers premiere with S.H.I.E.L.D.-Edition Acura MDX.


                  ===========================
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                  Comment


                  • 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco vs. 2012 Honda Accord EX-L, 2012 Hyundai Sonata SE, 2012 Kia Optima EX, 2012 Toyota Camry SE, 2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5 SE

                    Hot Six: In mainstream family sedans, "character" used to be a dirty word. Here are six that have banished the bland.



                    http://www.caranddriver.com/comparis...+and+Driver%29 - articol pe 7 pagini

                    ============================

                    http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2...oad-ahead.html

                    Honda Hybrid History And The Road Ahead

                    TULLAMARINE, AUSTRALIA – Apr 16, 2012: Honda's cumulative worldwide hybrid vehicle sales surpassed 800,000 units at the end of December 2011.

                    This milestone was reached 12 years and two months after the start of sales of the first-generation Honda Insight in Japan in November 1999, which delivered fuel economy of 35km/litre, and was the world's highest fuel economy among all petrol powered vehicles at the time.

                    “Honda has a strong commitment to reducing the environmental impact of all our products. With a reputation for waste reduction, Honda’s efforts extend from conserving energy through motion-sensitive lights at Honda Australia Head office, to a large supply of vehicles coming out of our zero waste factory in Japan,” said Honda Australia Spokesperson Mr. Lindsay Smalley.

                    In 2001, Honda introduced the first-generation Insight, the first petrol-electric hybrid automobile sold in Australia, which achieved 2.8 litres/100km on highway cycle, making it Australia’s most fuel efficient car. Honda’s original Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) powertrain combined a lightweight and efficient petrol engine with an ultra-thin electric motor that supplied low-end torque and power assistance as needed.

                    This milestone comes as another exciting new model was introduced to the Australian market in November 2011, the Honda CR-Z. Changing perceptions of hybrids, the sporty CR-Z is the world’s first hybrid to be paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Only a month after its release in Australia, the CR-Z was awarded one of Australia’s most coveted motoring awards, Wheels Car of the Year.

                    This award joins a string of other accolades for the CR-Z, including Japan’s Car of the Year and Top Gear UK Magazines Green Car of the Year.

                    The ninth-generation Civic Hybrid was released in February 2012 with significant upgrades, including a lithium ion battery and new 1.5 Litre i-VTEC engine coupled with Honda’s IMA (integrated motor assist). Together, the petrol engine and electric motor produce 82 kW at 5500 rpm and 172Nm of torque at 1000-3500 rpm and achieves 4.4 litres/100kms (combined urban and extra urban)

                    A total of six new hybrid models have been introduced by Honda around the world in the last three years. Today, Honda sells seven hybrid models in around 50 countries, including the CR-Z, Insight and newly released ninth-generation Civic Hybrid.

                    Honda's annual worldwide hybrid sales for 2011 was around 200,000 units, an increase of 30% compared to 2010, and Honda's total hybrid sales during the last three years exceeded 500,000 units.

                    Under the global environmental slogan of "Blue Skies for Our Children", Honda will continue its efforts to realise a cleaner future with more and more sales of hybrid vehicles.

                    ========================

                    http://jalopnik.com/5902112/for-7500-hit-the-deck

                    For $7,500, Hit The Deck


                    The third-generation Accord was the first Honda production car to employ double wishbone suspension both front and rear. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe AeroDeck is a not for US model you might have cracked a wishbone over, but will its price make that wish come true?

                    When it comes to mid-sized Japanese sedans, it gets pretty hard to tell one make's entry from another. That point is driven home in the description that has been attached to them -UJC, which stands for Ubiquitous Japanese Car. Entries like the Camry, Altima and Galant may be able to move your butt from point A to point B, but it's unlikely any of them will set your loins ablaze while doing so. There is one Japanese mid-sizer that has traditionally fallen outside of that middle of the road milquetoastian malaise, and that's the Honda Accord.

                    The Accord wasn't Japan's first foray into Goldilocks' just-right territory, but it proved to be one of the best, and most enduring - there is no competitive model that can trace its brand back as far. That goes back to 1976 when the first generation of Accord hit the market. Amazingly, today's Civic is significantly larger than that first series SJ. Back then the Accord was lots bigger than the contemporary Civic, upon which it was based.

                    But like kids, weeds, and hatred for all things Twilight, the Accord did grow with each new generation, both in size and model offerings. By the time the third generation debuted, here in the states the three-door hatch and four-port sedan had been joined by a two-door coupe. Honda at the time had one of the highest levels of owner loyalty, and giving repeat offenders more choices in models additionally helped in keeping them in the fold. One choice that was denied U.S. Hondaphiles was the AeroDeck, a two-door shooting brake that looked freakishly like a giant Civic hatch of the same era.

                    Full size

                    This 1987 Accord AeroDeck presently resides in the Twin Cities area, but a quick run of its non-U.S. License plate shows that it was first registered in Brighton England. That would explain its right-hand drive-ness, and wider than usual license plate notch in the back bumper. Other differentiators are the extra lamps in that back bumper, a lack of sidemarker lights up front and the addition of a turn signal repeater on the front fender - very continental.

                    Where this Accord does fit in is its color, a light gold that seemed to coat every third Civic and Accord sold in the U.S. in the late eighties. That and plastic wheel covers will blend this AeroDeck into the background, while contrastingly its extended roofline, third side widow, and squared-off hatch wrapping into the roof will set it apart. Again, it does look, at a glance, like the contemporary Civic hatch, but on closer examination you'll note the subtle differences.

                    The seller, who says he's got a wicked Honda fetish, says the car runs like new, is cleaner than a bored dogs balls, and that its engine pumps out 98-ponies. I'm wondering if that's what came in the car as an EX, the European model should have had the 122-horse A20A4 under its hood. Regardless, with only 2,410-lbs to pull around, a hundred ponies should be enough. The car also has Formula One-based double wishbone suspension, bit front and rear, a first on this generation of Accord. That made it one of the best handling mid-size cars from any maker, and afforded a much lower hoodline than a MacPherson strut set up, mandated by Honda's then current styling trends.

                    Full size

                    Not only is this Honda rare, but so are the miles that have passed under its tires, the seller claiming it to have fewer than 30K on its clock. He also says that he has spared no expense on maintaining the car, and can prove that with $10,000 in receipts. Of course that's not indicative of a car's value, and he doesn't seem to be making a connection between all the oil changes and what he's asking for the Accord, just noting that he's kind of anal about both maintenance and keeping bits of paper.

                    What the seller does seem to connect with his selling price is the condition and rarity of this AeroDeck, and he has set a price tag of $7,500. For that you get a car that will drive like any Accord of the era in equal condition, but will look like no other. Oh, and possibly on the down side, it will do so from the right-hand seat.

                    That may be part of this Accord's charm, it's just how you look at it, and how often you go through the drive-thru at Wendy's that matters. With that in mind, what do you think about this rare Honda's asking price? Is $7,500 a price that should make someone willing to get AeroDecked? Or, does that make this an Accord no one should afford?




                    Minneapolis Craigslist or go here if the ad disappears.

                    H/T to Jim Yu, for the hookup!

                    Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your commenter handle.

                    =====================
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                    • http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/...of+Columbus%29

                      Honda honors suppliers for helping with rough year, including 39 in Ohio

                      Ohio companies were well represented among American Honda Motor Company Inc.’s top suppliers in 2011.

                      Of the automaker’s more than 600 original equipment manufacturer suppliers, 53 were recognized for their performance in one or more of three categories — quality, delivery and value — and 20 of those were in Ohio.

                      Central Ohio companies honored include AY Manufacturing Ltd. in Columbus and Marysville-based U-Co Industries Inc. Kamco Industries Inc. in West Unity and Canada-based Fleetwood Metals Inc. were honored in all three categories. Ohio is home to 150 of Honda’s more than 600 suppliers for 14 manufacturing plants and $6 billion of the $16 billion in North American parts purchases in 2011.

                      “Last year we faced two epic natural disasters that created severe supply issues and our collective response demonstrated that by working together, we can overcome any challenge,” Tom Lake, Honda’s North American purchasing division head, said in a press release. “As a result of our strong teamwork to overcome adversity, we got stronger and today are better prepared to take full advantage of future growth opportunities.”

                      Demand on suppliers is going to increase. Honda is investing more than $775 million in existing operations in Ohio and Alabama, has doubled production at its Greensburg, Ind., plant and is building an $800 million facility in Mexico able to produce up to 200,000 Honda Fit subcompacts. Honda executives have said it will lean more on its North American operations and supply chain to produce global products as well.

                      Honda also singled out 54 suppliers of service parts for repair and maintenance of its vehicles, including 19 in Ohio. Central Ohio businesses on that list include Jefferson Industries Corp. in West Jefferson, Sunbury-based Ohashi Technica USA Inc., Nifco America in Canal Winchester and Stanley Electric US in London. Honda purchased more than $924 million in service parts last year.

                      ===========================

                      Honda wants to Double sales in China

                      http://www.carnewschina.com/2012/04/...ales-in-china/



                      Japanese carmaker Honda Motor Co plans to double sales in China to about 1.2 million vehicles by 2015 through an expanded local lineup and ramped-up production.

                      The company’s China chief Seiji Kuraishi announced at a recent news conference that Honda will introduce more than 10 new and revamped models to China from 2013 to 2015 to support sales growth.

                      Local content

                      He noted that the company will also develop cars especially for the Chinese market and increase purchases of components from local suppliers to lower cost.

                      Honda will unveil two concept cars designed for China during the upcoming Beijing Auto Show, he said.

                      Without elaborating, he added that the carmaker is considering building a local design facility.

                      Honda now has a joint venture in South China with Guangzhou Automobile Group with annual output of 480,000 units and another with Dongfeng Motor Corp in the central province of Hubei that is able to produce 240,000 vehicles a year.

                      The company said that a new Dongfeng Honda plant will be operational in July that will have annual output of 100,000 units a year at the outset. The number could rise to 240,000 units depending on market demand.

                      Its joint venture in Guangzhou will also raise capacity by adding a new production line scheduled to begin operation by 2014, it said.

                      Sign of change

                      The latest plan is seen as a sign that Honda will change its strategy in China, considered conservative by industry analysts, that resulted slower growth than the overall market over the past several years.

                      China’s car market increased rapidly from 2009 to 2011, bringing unexpected benefits to many foreign carmakers. Barely affected by the financial crisis that began in 2008, continued growth was largely driven by tax breaks on cars with 1.6-liter engines and smaller.

                      Honda admitted that its projections for the Chinese market were off target.

                      “The company didn’t expect the Chinese government to take strong stimulus measures to support the auto market, which then went into a golden period of development, ” Kuraishi said.

                      Fit and City

                      Honda plans to retool, double annual sales

                      The company had only two small models – the Fit and the City – that qualified for incentives and did not introduce new models that meet the criteria, he said.

                      The poor performance continued in the first three months of this year as Honda reported a 10.6 percent year-on-year fall in its China sales to 148,000 units amid a weakening market and fierce competition.

                      The decline came at the same time when its Japanese peer Toyota sold 211,500 vehicles in China, up 1.8 percent from a year earlier, and Nissan’s sales surged 12.2 percent to 334,400 units.

                      Analysts said Honda’s sluggish sales were mainly caused by the fading popularity of its previous best sellers, the Accord and CR-V.

                      The CR-V is at the end of its life circle and sales have dropped significantly, said Jenny Gu, a senior analyst at LMC Automotive.

                      The Accord now has more strong rivals in the mid-sized sedan segment and also faces pressure from entry-level luxury vehicles, she said.

                      As fuel prices rise and the country is about to implements stricter standards on fuel consumption, Honda said it will greatly improve the efficiency of its products in China and make every vehicle the most efficient in its segment.

                      The company said it will use its latest powertrain technology on all China-made models by 2015. In addition, it will start making hybrid vehicles in China, but the timetable is still unclear. The carmaker will first import three hybrid vehicles – the CR-Z, Fit and Insight – beginning this year

                      Hybrid future

                      “We believe that in the near future China will certainly become the world’s biggest hybrid vehicle market,” Kuraishi said.

                      The company also plans to make an all-electric car at its joint venture in Guangzhou by the end of 2012.

                      Acura’s plans

                      Under the new medium-term plan by Honda, the company’s luxury division Acura plans to also bring new products to change its weak sales performance.

                      Though it arrived in China in 2006, Acura only sells a few thousand cars in China, and its Japanese counterpart Lexus sold more than 50,000 units and Infiniti imported nearly 20,000.

                      The company said that it will bring the Acura ILX and RDX to China this year and the flagship model RLX next year to add its current lineup of only four vehicles, all with large engines surpassing 3.5 liters in displacement.

                      Via: ChinaDaily.

                      ================================

                      http://www.leftlanenews.com/honda-an...batteries.html

                      Honda announces recycling program for used hybrid batteries

                      Honda has announced the industry’s first recycling program for rare earth metals typically used in the batteries of hybrid vehicles. Honda is launching the program in response to rising prices.

                      Despite the advancement of lithium-ion batteries, most hybrid vehicles still rely on nickel-metal hydride batteries for electric propulsion. Although cheaper than lithium-ion units, the cost of nickel-metal hydride technology has been on the rise over the last few years, thanks largely to China’s stranglehold on the world’s supply of rare earth metals. China, which controls 95 percent of the world’s rare earth resources, has recently increased export controls on rare earth metals, resulting in higher prices for the world’s automakers.

                      In order to combat those rising costs, Honda has partnered with Japan Metals & Chemicals Co. to extract rare earth metals from used hybrids. Honda will use its global dealer network to collect the used hybrids, according to Reuters.

                      The Japanese automaker says it recycling process can extract more than 80 percent of rare earth metals from the batteries of hybrid vehicles. Those rare earth metals will then be reused to make new hybrid vehicles.

                      Honda will begin the recycling program this month.
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                      • http://www.azcentral.com/business/ar...cle-value.html

                        Edmunds' 2012 list: Vehicles best at holding value

                        Car research site Edmunds.com today announced 2012 winners of its Best Retained Value awards -- the brands and new car models that Edmunds forecasts will keep in five years the biggest percentage of what you paid to drive it away new.

                        American Honda, struggling in the new-car marketplace and in need of some good news these days, was the big winner for resale values:

                        The top mainstream brand was Honda, with an average retained value of 47.9% after five years.

                        The top premium brand was Acura, with an average retained value of 44.6% after five years.

                        Among the model-level wins in 23 market segments, Honda took four, beaten only by Ford, with five top models for holding their resale value.

                        "Honda has long had a reputation for dependable used vehicles," Joe Spina, Director of Remarketing at Edmunds said in a statement. The wins by the Honda and Acura brands "continue to expand the company's status as one of the best values."

                        The 2012 Ford Shelby GT500 was a category winner for retained value for both the coupe and convertible versions.CAPTIONBy Ford, WieckSome segment surprises: Ford's Mustang scored three wins, one as a coupe and its Shelby GT 500 model both as a coupe and convertible. And the top hybrid was not a Prius, but was Honda's Civic.

                        The fine print: 2012 models launched by the end of last year and with sales in February of at least 20% of average sales in their market segment (based on body style and average segment price) were eligible. All nameplates with sales of 100,000 or more in 2011 were eligible for the brand awards.

                        Winning individual 2012 models by market segment:

                        Category, brand/model, retained value

                        -Compact truck: Toyota Tacoma, 57.3%
                        -Convertible $35K-$45K: Lexus IS 250 C, 46.8%
                        -Convertible over $45K: Ford Shelby GT500, 46.5%
                        -Convertible under $35K: Mini Cooper, 48.9%
                        -Coupe $25K-$35K: Ford Mustang 46.8%
                        -Coupe $35K-$45K: 2012 BMW3 Series44.0%
                        -Coupe over $45K: 2012 FordShelby GT50047.5%
                        -Coupe under $25K: Mini Cooper, 50%
                        -Hybrid; Honda Civic, 46.1%
                        -Large HD truck: Ford F-350 Super Duty, 48.6%
                        -Large light truck: Ford F-150, 48.4%
                        -Sedan $20K-$30K: Subaru Impreza, 45.3%
                        -Sedan $30K-$40K: Lexus IS 250, 46.3%
                        -Sedan over $40K: Cadillac CTS, 42.0%
                        -Sedan under $20K: Honda Civic, 50%
                        -SUV $25K-$35K: Honda CR-V, 54.6%

                        -SUV $35K-$45K: GMC Acadia, 46%
                        -SUV over $45K: Acura MDX, 44.2%
                        -SUV under $25K: Subaru Forester, 44.6%
                        -Vans: Honda Odyssey, 43.5%
                        -Wagon $25K-$35K: Mini Cooper Countryman, 48.5%
                        -Wagon over $35K: BMW 3 Series, 42.7%
                        -Wagon under $25K: Scion xB, 47.3%
                        -Compact truck: Toyota Tacoma, 57.3%
                        -Convertible $35K-$45K: Lexus IS 250 C, 46.8%

                        =========================


                        http://www.marketingmag.ca/news/mark...rmission-50666


                        Honda asks for a ‘Pintermission’

                        News>Marketer News
                        Honda asks for a ‘Pintermission’

                        April 18, 2012 | Rupal Parekh for Advertising Age | Comments
                        inShare




                        Click here to recommend this article

                        Honda is bolstering its early-adopter credentials on Pinterest, launching its official page and a social media campaign targeting users of the service.

                        “It’s such a fast-growing social media network and seemed like a really good, different, creative outlet for us and a chance to use a visual medium to promote our cars,” said Lauren Ebner, assistant manager of social media at American Honda Motor Co.

                        Honda “wanted to have the opportunity to put images of our cars on there… as a way to drive people back to our website,” Ebner added. “Most of our images link back to Honda.com, and [users] can find out more about the car that way.”

                        Beyond making its foray onto the site, Honda has launched a Pinterest-focused campaign with the help of its longtime agency, Santa Monica-based RPA. They’ve identified top “pinners” and offered each one $500 to take a “Pintermission” (a 24-hour break from Pinterest) to get out and visit some of the places they’ve been pinning about or buy some of the products they’ve pinned. So far, one plans to use the money toward a trip to London, and another toward a trip to Hawaii, Ebner said.

                        “We’re just dipping our toes in the water here with our first campaign, but it will be a good opportunity to market some of our vehicle launches [in the future],” she said.

                        For the time being, the Honda CR-V will be a focus of “pins” the carmaker initiates, given it has a female-skewed demographic, much like Pinterest.

                        “The car is definitely targeted toward females,” said Ebner. “From our research, it seems women are looking for a smaller SUV that drives like a car and has the utility and space they need… But it’s not a huge truck that a woman like myself doesn’t feel comfortable driving.”

                        Pinterest, which launched in March 2010, is one of the fastest-growing platforms, reaching 10 million monthly visitors more quickly than Facebook or Twitter did. It ranks among the top 30 U.S. sites by total page views. ComScore has reported that women generate nearly 85% of activity on the site, lingering there for long periods of time, and that its users are upper-income consumers.

                        Yet very few automakers have a presence on Pinterest thus far, and even fewer have incorporated Pinterest into their marketing activitites at this point.

                        The most clever execution integrating the platform so far came from Peugeot in Panama, which last month ran a Pinterest-based competition to encourage followers on the site. On its page were puzzles depicting different car models, with pieces missing. People could find pieces at the Peugeot Panama Facebook page or website, pin them on their own boards and share it with Peugeot. Completed boards would win prizes.

                        To read the full article in Advertising Age, click here.

                        ==========================

                        http://www.abc12.com/story/17521088/...e-books-kbbcom

                        2012 Honda Civic Named One of the 10 Best Green Cars of 2012 by Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com

                        TORRANCE, Calif., April 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2012 Honda Civic sedan is one of the 10 Best Green Cars of 2012, according to Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com. The Civic's latest accolade is particularly timely due to rising gas prices, but standout fuel efficiency alone is not enough to win a spot on Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com annual 10 Best Green Cars list, as its editors also weigh factors such as value, features and comfort.

                        (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120418/LA89243)

                        (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100923/HONDALOGO)

                        "The 2012 Honda Civic sedan is the complete package for any consumer, and one that also provides a host of fuel-efficient powertrain options," said Art St. Cyr, vice president of corporate planning for American Honda. "We're delighted that Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com editors acknowledged the most versatile offering in the class."

                        The editors of Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com provided their own sweet reference for the award-winning Honda: "The Civic has long been the vanilla ice cream of compact sedans; it's easy to fall back on due to its remarkable reliability and exceptional value. But for 2012, the Civic has evolved into more of a Neapolitan option as it presents a choice of three different engine types: gasoline, natural gas and hybrid gas/electric. Considering all of them achieve nearly 40 highway mpg or better, the Civic is an excellent choice no matter what flavor you pick."

                        For more information about the 10 Best Green Cars of 2012, visit http://www.kbb.com/car-reviews-and-n...een-cars-2012/.

                        Connect with Honda:
                        Media Newsroom (for journalists): www.hondanews.com
                        For consumers: http://automobiles.honda.com/civic/
                        YouTube: www.youtube.com/honda
                        Flickr: www.flickr.com/hondanews
                        Twitter: www.twitter.com/honda
                        Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hondacivic
                        Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/honda/
                        On Google+

                        =========================

                        http://vtec.net/news/news-item?news_item_id=1057334

                        Realtime Racing Results from this weekend at Long Beach

                        Realtime's V6 TSXs appeared to remain competitive with Cunningham's #42 car taking the pole in qualifying, but mechanical gremlins reared their ugly heads for the race. See the full report from Realtime below.

                        Rain and Sun at the Beach

                        RealTime Acuras Take Pole and Top Five at Long Beach

                        LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 16, 2012) – RealTime Racing weathered the highs and lows of race week at the Pirelli World Challenge Long Beach Grand Prix presented by StopTech. Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis., kicked things off with the pole position, but a brake line issue resulted in a seventh-place finish. Meanwhile, Nick Esayian, of San Diego, Calif., stormed from eighth on the grid to fourth.

                        RealTime’s trip to the beach started with a rainy practice session, but Cunningham and Esayian made their own sunshine by putting the No. 42 RealTime/Acura/HPD Acura TSX and No. 34 RealTime/Acura/HPD Acura TSX one-two on the time sheets.

                        A dry 1.968-mile course greeted the team early Sunday morning for qualifying. Cunningham took full advantage of the conditions and laid down the fastest GTS lap, a 1:29.269 (79.364 mph), and earned his World Challenge record-extending 46th career pole position. Esayian qualified his TSX in eighth.

                        Both the GT and GTS classes were featured in the World Challenge race at Long Beach. The 17 GTS entries were gridded behind 18 GT cars. When the lights went out on the standing start, polesitter Cunningham found himself stuck behind a stalled GT car, enabling the No. 68 Porsche Caymen S of Jack Baldwin to take the lead. Cunningham fell to third briefly, but was back in second before turn three.

                        It wasn’t long before Cunningham noticed an issue with his Acura’s brake pressure.

                        “Street courses are notoriously hard on brakes,” Cunningham said. “But, when the brake pedal went to the floor on lap two, I knew we had a serious problem and I was in for a long race.”

                        Cunningham did everything he could to hold his ground and admirably kept his car on track for all 50 minutes of the race, but as time ticked away without a full-course yellow, the World Challenge veteran fell to seventh.

                        “After the race we were able to get a better look at the problem and determine it was a brake line fitting failure. I lost all the fluid in the front brakes, which on a front-wheel drive car, is a huge hurdle to overcome.

                        “It’s disappointing for sure, especially after our strong performance in practice and qualifying,” Cunningham said. “But we still scored enough points to hang on to second in the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ points.”

                        Esayian’s experience at Long Beach was the opposite of his teammates’. Lining up eighth on the GTS grid, the Californian climbed his way through the field to finish fourth, narrowly missing a podium finish. Looking back, Esayian wondered if a yellow flag may have changed his fortunes.

                        “I was really surprised we went the full race without a yellow flag, especially on a street circuit,” Esayian said. “After the hectic opening laps, I just put my head down and starting picking off cars left and right. By the end I had second and third place in my sights, but the Porsche had checked out. I think if we’d had a couple more laps or a yellow flag, a podium was in the cards for us today, but it didn’t work out that way.

                        “We were happy to put on a good show for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation though. This group provides scholarship grants to the families of fallen servicemen and women, so their children are ensured a great education. We had a couple Navy SEALs from Coronado join us this weekend and they had a great time.”

                        Another ray of sunshine on the Long Beach weekend was the return of BuyBrakes.com to the RealTime Acura team. BuyBrakes.com will be featured on the sides of the Acura TSXs for the remainder of the 2012 World Challenge season.

                        Points

                        Cunningham remains second in the GTS Drivers’ Championship with 354 points, 61 points behind leader Bell. A top five finish at Long Beach moved Esayian to top five in points with 209. Acura remains second in the Manufacturers’ battle, but the point it scored for the pole helped diminish the extra points Ford earned for second in the race.

                        Next Up

                        RealTime Racing now prepares for round four of the Pirelli World Challenge Championships: the Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park just outside of Salt Lake City. The race will go green at 2:35 PM MT, Saturday, April 28, and air live on www.world-challengetv.com. Live timing and scoring is available on www.world-challenge.com.

                        Sponsors

                        The 2012 season for RealTime Racing is brought to you by Acura, HPD, Red Line Oil, Eibach, Sparco, BOSCH, Brembo, BuyBrakes.com and Total Auto Body.

                        ============================
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                        • http://www.leftlanenews.com/honda-to...nked-cars.html

                          Honda to recycle rare earths metals from junked cars

                          Honda says that it won’t let rare earths metals found in certain parts in junked cars go to waste. The Japanese automaker says that it is planning the world’s first mass production process designed to extract rare earths metals from car parts that would have otherwise been discarded.

                          In part, Honda’s decision to repurpose rare earths metals comes from its desire to reduce its dependency on China, which controls the bulk of the world’s rare earths metals supply. Rare earths are used in various car parts, most notably in batteries and motors for hybrid and electric vehicles. In addition, recycling rare earths from car parts lessens the need for new metals to be strip mined.

                          Honda is partnering with Japan Metals and Chemicals Company. Together, the two will begin working globally to extract rare earths from nickel-metal hydride batteries used in older hybrid vehicles. Honda is initially relying on its dealer network, but it could eventually look to salvage yards.

                          The Japanese automaker credits a newly-developed process with allowing it to repurpose over 80 percent of the rare earths used in nickel-metal hydride batteries, according to a report from Reuters.

                          ==========================


                          http://www.ilave.net/march-2012-japa...er-30-000.html

                          March 2012 Japan Kei cars: Daihatsu sales just under 30 000


                          In line with the Passenger Car market, Kei car sales in Japan are up 60% year-on-year in March to 253,929 units. The Daihatsu Mira reaches what has to be its best monthly figure ever at 29,721 units, up a huge 257% on March 2011. It’s an opportunity to point out that Mira sales include 4 versions: the Mira, Mira Custom, Mira e-S and Mira Cocoa.

                          The #2 could also be at its highest ever: the Suzuki Wagon R sells 27,428 units, up 58% year-on-year while the Daihatsu Tanto rounds up the podium with 21,569 sales, up 59%.

                          The Daihatsu Move progresses much slower than the market at +16% and 19,411 units and the Honda NBOX continues to step up: +25% on February to 19,213 sales, however this means it is down 2 spots to a still outstanding 5th place.

                          Other great performers in the Top 10 include the Suzuki Alto at #6 and +56% and the Suzuki Palette at #9 and +104%. Further down, notice the Toyota Pixis Space stuck in 14th position but with 3,429 sales it reaches its best monthly result since its launch last September.
                          Previous month: Japan Kei cars February 2012: Honda NBOX now on podium
                          One year ago: Japan Kei cars March 2011: Suzuki Wagon R reclaims pole position


                          Full March 2012 Top 20 Ranking Table below.


                          Japan Kei cars March 2012:


                          Pos Model Mar /11 Feb 2012 /11 Pos 2011
                          1 Daihatsu Mira 29,721 257% 1 71,539 253% 1 4
                          2 Suzuki WagonR 27,248 58% 2 56,551 32% 2 1
                          3 Daihatsu Tanto 21,569 59% 4 48,187 27% 3 3
                          4 Daihatsu Move 19,411 16% 5 46,382 -2% 4 2
                          5
                          Honda NBOX 19,213 new 3 44,469 new 5 31
                          6 Suzuki Alto 13,539 56% 6 33,962 41% 6 5
                          7 Nissan Moco 8,717 29% 7 22,246 19% 7 7
                          8 Honda Life 8,496 2% 9 19,210 -14% 9 6
                          9 Suzuki Palette 8,466 104% 8 20,506 48% 8 8
                          10 Nissan Roox 5,951 22% 10 16,337 5% 10 9
                          11 Mitsubishi eK 4,504 -19% 11 10,148 -8% 11 10
                          12 Suzuki MR Wagon 4,085 -18% 13 10,027 -9% 12 11
                          13 Mazda AZ Wagon 3,665 40% 12 8,665 33% 13 13
                          14 Toyota Pixis Space 3,429 new 14 7,884 new 14 28
                          15 Subaru Stella 2,889 17% 15 7,251 -3% 15 12
                          16 Suzuki Every Wagon 2,411 58% 16 6,053 18% 16 14
                          17 Suzuki Jimny 1,763 57% 17 4,275 23% 17 17
                          18 Honda Zest 1,637 -41% 18 4,275 -41% 18 15
                          19 Daihatsu Atrai 1,464 34% 19 3,535 10% 20 18
                          20 Mazda Carol 1,414 13% 20 3,644 16% 19 19

                          Source: www.zenkeijikyo.or.jp




                          =============================

                          Tokyo Auto Salon Partsu Checku! - Tech


                          The hottest new goodies from TAS.


                          http://www.superstreetonline.com/tec...partsu_checku/

                          =======================

                          http://www.startribune.com/nation/148054075.html

                          Honda's appeal is last chance to overturn woman's small claims award

                          TORRANCE, Calif. - Lawyers for the American Honda Motor company are heading back to court trying to overturn a highly publicized small claims court award to a woman who sued over the poor fuel mileage of her hybrid Honda Civic.
                          Honda appealed the $9,867 award to Heather Peters after 1,700 hybrid owners followed her example and opted out of a class action settlement designed to give some 200,000 owners of the cars between $100 and $200 each plus a rebate if they buy a new Honda.
                          Peters sued the giant automaker when her hybrid failed to get a promised 50 miles per gallon. Her suit was a unique end run around the class action process which she said offered too little to Honda owners and too much to lawyers. She urged Honda owners to take the small claims route as she did.
                          Honda's appeal of the small claims verdict is due back in court Thursday before a superior court judge who is hearing testimony from both sides in what is essentially a retrial. According to small claims rules, this is the last chance for review of the case. It cannot be appealed further.
                          Unlike the small claims trial, Honda has legal representation and Peters, who renewed her law license, is presenting new evidence she has discovered since she received her award. She testified in the first part of the hearing last Friday with lawyers for Honda questioning her.
                          The class action settlement approved by a judge last month pays owners of about 200,000 Honda Civics from model years 2003 to 2009 between $100 and $200, plus a rebate toward the purchase of a new Honda. Owners of models from 2006 to 2008 get the larger amount due to additional claims over battery defects.
                          The judge has valued the settlement at $170 million. Attorneys for the plaintiffs have pegged the value between $87.5 million and $461.3 million, depending largely on how many people accept rebates of up to $1,500.
                          The judge approved more than $8 million in plaintiff attorneys' fees in his 43-page ruling.

                          =======================
                          Last edited by tokyodream; 20-04-12, 06:40. Reason: completare
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                          • http://www.autoblog.com/2012/04/19/e...taining-value/

                            Edmunds: Honda and Acura best brands for retaining value

                            Honda and Acura have had their fair share of issues over the last few years – from earthquakes, tsunamis and floods to important new models not being all that well received – but that hasn't stopped them from claiming top honors in Edmunds' 2012 Best Retained Value Awards.

                            According to Edmunds, on average, Honda vehicles are expected to retain 47.9 percent of their value after five years; Acura is just behind with 44.6 percent, taking the win in the luxury segment. In the mainstream category, Toyota and Mazda each got honorable mentions while Lexus and Cadillac to secondary honors in the luxury stakes.

                            Interestingly, despite not scoring the win in the mainstream class or even managing an honorable mention, Ford had the most individual wins in Edmunds' categories with five, beating Honda's four class victories. The vehicle expected to retain the most value after five years out of all classes is the Toyota Tacoma.

                            Want more? Click here for the full rundown from Edmunds.
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                            • http://www.thereporter.com/wirenews/...d-owners-award

                              Honda seeks to reverse hybrid owner's award

                              TORRANCE (AP) -- Lawyers for American Honda Motor Co. returned to court Thursday to try to overturn a highly publicized small claims court award to a woman who sued over the fuel economy of her hybrid Honda Civic.

                              Superior Court Judge Dudley W. Gray II was hearing witnesses from both sides as Honda sought to reverse a court commissioner's award of $9,867 to Heather Peters, who opted out of a class-action settlement designed to give some 200,000 owners between $100 and $200 each, plus a rebate if they buy a new Honda.

                              Peters said she might never have brought the case if it wasn't for the puny amount offered in the class-action suit.

                              "$200 and a coupon? That was worth fighting," she said.

                              Her success in small claims court has led some 1,700 other hybrid owners to follow her example.

                              Honda called as a key witness Karen Takahashi, service manager at Honda Hollywood, where Peters bought her car.

                              Takahashi testified she took a Honda hybrid out for a 115-mile test drive on freeways and streets and was able to achieve 53 to 55 mpg. She said she is a conservative driver and did not try to manipulate the car to achieve better mileage.

                              On cross-examination, Peters, who is a lawyer, showed photos of the dashboard of the car that was tested and pointed out that its battery was fully charged. Peters has said her battery failed early on, received a software update and never again was fully charged, leaving the car to run almost entirely on gasoline.

                              Peters called a former Honda analyst and technical writer, Jeffrey Holliday of Baltimore, who said he was tasked with testing Honda hybrids after repeated customer complaints about mileage. He testified he was never able to duplicate the promised 50 mpg listed in the brochure for the car.

                              "I'm an aggressive driver so I made an attempt to drive conservatively. It's a great car but I was not able to duplicate it," he said.

                              Peters' husband, Michael Cassadine, testified the car had performed well when he first met Peters in 2008, but it quickly deteriorated and a software update made it worse. He said that when they left the house Thursday the dashboard showed the car was getting 25 mpg.

                              Later in the day, Peters testified and presented figures she said showed Honda knew it had problems with the hybrid cars but continued to advertise them as a perfect solution to gas price problems and a way to help the environment.

                              She told a Honda lawyer that the situation with her car is getting worse and she now has trouble accelerating up hills.

                              The lawyer, Roy Brisbois, accused Peters of causing the problems by the way she drove the car. He said she previously had sportier cars and that when she bought her car to the dealer it had extreme wear on the outside of the tires.

                              Peters said she had been driving very conservatively.

                              Outside court, Peters said she had never expected to spend this much time on her small-claims action when she first went to court, but she said she's glad the entire issue is being aired.

                              "My purpose is to hold Honda accountable for false advertising and to raise awareness."

                              She said she did not expect that Honda would fight her so vigorously.

                              "This raises brand awareness with the public that instead of trying to make things right, they will fight consumers to the death," she said.

                              Brisbois declined to comment outside court, saying he would not say anything until after a decision is rendered.

                              The judge is expected to take the matter under submission Friday and issue a ruling later.

                              Peters' small-claims suit was a unique end run around the class-action process that she said offered too little to Honda owners and too much to lawyers. She urged Honda owners to take the small-claims route as she did.

                              Honda's appeal of the small-claims verdict is essentially a retrial. According to small-claims rules, it is the last chance for review of the case and cannot be appealed further.

                              Unlike the small-claims trial, Honda has legal representation, and Peters, who renewed her law license, is presenting new evidence she has discovered since she received her award. She testified in the first part of the hearing last Friday with lawyers for Honda questioning her.

                              A judge has valued the class-action settlement at $170 million. Attorneys for the plaintiffs have pegged the value between $87.5 million and $461.3 million, depending largely on how many people accept rebates of up to $1,500.

                              The judge approved more than $8 million in plaintiff attorneys' fees in his 43-page ruling.

                              ====================

                              http://www.theithacajournal.com/arti...04200331/1124/

                              More natural gas vehicles hitting the market

                              DETROIT -- More natural gas-powered vehicles will hit the market soon, as rising gasoline prices, booming natural gas production and proposed tax credits make them a more attractive option. But they're a long way from being a common sight in U.S. driveways.
                              Chrysler will sell a Ram 2500 Heavy Duty pickup that runs on compressed natural gas starting in July. The truck has both a gasoline tank and a natural gas storage tank, and its engine shifts seamlessly between the two power sources. The truck can run for 255 miles on natural gas and another 367 miles using gasoline.
                              Chrysler will have competition. Late this year, General Motors Co. will sell natural-gas versions of two pickups -- the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 HD. The GM trucks will run on gasoline and natural gas for 650 miles. Ford Motor Co. has offered natural-gas ready pickups and vans since 2009.
                              Natural gas is appealing for a lot of reasons. It comes from domestic sources, for those concerned about importing oil. It produces 30 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional gasoline or diesel. And it costs less than gasoline. Natural gas prices have dropped 18 percent so far this year, while regular gas prices are up 13 percent.
                              But U.S. buyers have been slow to adopt natural-gas vehicles, which make up less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the vehicles on American roads. Even the newest trucks aren't intended for average buyers. They're work trucks, capable of plowing snow and towing three tons or more. Chrysler will only sell its natural-gas Ram to fleet customers like local governments, utilities and construction companies. GM anticipates that 90 percent of its sales will be to fleets.
                              Here are some reasons that U.S. buyers have been slow to adopt natural-gas vehicles:
                              » Lack of fueling stations. There are around 1,000 natural-gas fueling stations in the United States, but only half of them are open to the public. Most are operated by local governments or private companies to refuel buses and other fleet vehicles. California-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp., a natural gas provider backed by oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, is planning a big expansion. It aims to install natural-gas pumps at 150 truck stops nationwide over the next few years. But that pales in comparison to the availability of gasoline, which is sold at 117,000 stations in the U.S. That's why natural gas is still primarily relegated to fleets, which can return to a central refueling station.
                              » Few choices. There is only one factory-built, natural-gas car sold in the United States. It's the natural-gas version of the Honda Civic. Around 13,000 have been sold since the car first went on sale in 1998, mostly to fleets. But Honda's making a bigger push to sell them to individual buyers. Last year, the company expanded the number of dealers selling natural-gas Civics to nearly 200 in 36 states, up 50 percent from 2010. The company expects to build nearly 4,000 natural-gas Civics in 2012, double the number it initially planned thanks to strong buyer interest. But regular, gas-powered Civics remain the overwhelming favorite. Honda sold 27,000 gasoline-powered Civics in February alone.
                              » Cost. Additional fuel tanks and parts, and small-scale production make natural gas vehicles more expensive. The CNG Ram, for example, starts at $47,500, almost $20,000 more than a base Ram 2500. The natural-gas Civic starts at $26,155, or $10,000 more than a base four-door Civic. GM won't announce the price of its natural-gas trucks until next month, but expect a premium.
                              It can also cost up to $18,000 to convert a gasoline vehicle to a natural gas one, according to Natural Gas Vehicles for America, a lobbying group.
                              Mary Barcella, director of North American Natural Gas research at consulting firm IHS CERA, said the economic benefits aren't compelling enough for most drivers. With gasoline prices of about $4 per gallon, it would take five years or more to recoup the extra cost of a natural gas vehicle. She thinks natural gas vehicles will only become more popular if pump prices rise and stay high for a long time.
                              It's the same story with hybrid cars, which have been on the market for more than a decade but have a price premium that is difficult to recoup, especially if gas prices are low. Hybrids only make up around 3 percent of the U.S. market.
                              The price for a natural gas vehicle could go down significantly if Congress approves a tax credit proposed in the Obama administration's 2013 budget. The administration has proposed replacing the current $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit with an advanced technology vehicle credit of up to $10,000. The credits would go to manufacturers in an effort to encourage lower prices and spur demand.

                              =========================

                              http://rumors.automobilemag.com/hond...se-127381.html


                              Honda Appeals Small Claims Court Award in Civic Hybrid Mileage Case


                              It all started in January of this year with Heather Peters rejecting Honda’s class-action settlement to give Civic owners disgruntled over poor fuel economy $100-200 and a rebate on the purchase of a new Honda. Little did either of them know it would go as far as it has. In the latest chapter, hearings began this week with Honda appealing a small-claims court award of almost $10,000 to Peters.
                              But Peters then took the action of taking her case to small claims court. In February, she was awarded $9867. Peters has since encouraged other owners to take the small-claims route, and 1700 owners have opted out of the class-action settlement to pursue that strategy.
                              Facing a potential avalanche of small-claims suits with awards up to the $10,000 maximum allowed in small claims courts, Honda has filed an appeal to Peters’ award.
                              During the course of a hearing this week, Peters’ past vehicles were brought up as potential evidence that the shortfall in fuel economy might be due more to the driver’s habits than a problem with the vehicle itself. Peters’ last three vehicles have been two BMW Z3 roadsters, an X5, and a Mazda RX-8, none of which are particularly known for their frugality. She also had the audacity in the course of questioning to call her Civic Hybrid “the least attractive, least sporty car I’ve ever purchased,” in front of Judge Dudley Gray and Honda’s attorneys.
                              The hearing is scheduled to re-convene this coming Thursday, and will likely be watched closely by other automakers that have come under criticism and scrutiny from advocacy groups for their vehicles not meeting economy claims.
                              Per small-claims rules, the ruling for this case will be final, and further appeals will not be possible.


                              ==========================



                              Last edited by tokyodream; 22-04-12, 07:05. Reason: completare
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                              • http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opi...148422775.html

                                Long and winding road
                                Winnipeg needs to move toward a more car-free culture


                                If you own a 2012 Honda Civic or any other car with a 50-litre gas tank, it'll cost you an extra $1.25 to fill 'er up on May 1.

                                This is the short-term cost of the Selinger government's 2.5-cent-a-litre provincial gas-tax hike, which is expected to rake in $48.6 million of additional revenue for the province during the forthcoming fiscal year.

                                The cash, the province says, will be devoted to fixing roads and bridges. But as Premier Greg Selinger has been forced to concede, the province has no plans to spend an extra $48.6 million on roads and bridges this coming year.

                                While legislation demands provincial gas-tax revenue must be spent on infrastructure, there is no similar rule against taking money out of roads-and-bridges and spending it on other priorities.

                                To some extent, that's precisely what the province plans to do this year, as administrative officials confirmed during last week's budget lockup. The spin doctors on the political side protested loudly, claiming there are in fact increases hidden somewhere within the budget papers.

                                But there is no doubt the province is not taking all that extra gas-tax cash and using it to top up the roads-and-bridges budget. Just as there is no question the City of Winnipeg tried to pull off a very similar trick in 2011.

                                About 13 months ago, Mayor Sam Katz announced Winnipeg's first frontage-levy hike in about a decade, a move intended to raise an extra $14 million for the city last year. Like Selinger this year, Katz claimed in 2011 this extra revenue would be spent entirely on infrastructure.

                                And he was correct: It went into the city's road-maintenance budget. What civic politicians were not eager to admit is even more money came out of that very same budget, to be spent on other priorities.

                                In other words, both the city and province have tried to place the precise same spin on a form of tax hike over the past two years. Faced with budget shortfalls, Selinger and Katz tried to dress up the politically unpopular decision to raise taxes with the only form of populist window dressing voters seem to accept: We're taking your money to fix the roads.

                                As far as spin goes, this is not very effective, as even the most easily confused reporter, blogger or opposition politician can look at two numbers and discern which one is smaller. But the fact this ploy gets used at all is a testament to how much Winnipeggers and Manitobans seem to care about their roads.

                                Poll after poll reveals the condition of both city and provincial roads are among the top two concerns of voters in this flat patch of the planet. So politicians pander to that sentiment -- and continue to perpetuate the notion that simply "fixing the roads" will cure much of what ails this city and this province.

                                As any historian will tell you, the presence or absence of a properly functioning transportation system may be the most crucial factor determining the success or failure of a city, both in terms of material wealth and the health and well-being of its citizens.

                                But inherent in that assumption, across much if not most of North America, is that a properly functioning transportation system can and should be measured solely by the state of its roads.

                                "I wish they would fix the damn roads" may be the most common complaint in Winnipeg, where the freeze-thaw cycles of our sub-Arctic climate ensure we wind up with some of the most pockmarked, potholed buggy tracks on the continent.

                                When we travel to the U.S., many of us are left awed and envious by the sight of freeway systems with endless kilometres of elevated concrete and steel-supported overpasses. So we desire these things, much like we desire big-box stores full of IKEA furniture and glass hotel atria full of plastic waterslides, but those apparent amenities are rant fodder for another day.

                                Based on anecdote and data, it's fairly safe to say many of us feel this way. But I would argue this is folly.

                                Yes, a functioning highway system is important for the transfer of goods around the globe. But Winnipeg's ever-expanding road system is the key to its endless struggles, as all sane politicians come to realize over time.

                                Winnipeg is no different from many North American cities in that the primary mode of transportation is the personal vehicle. Cars provides us all with freedom, we believe, even as we know it is more environmentally efficient, less expensive and less isolating to get around using public transit.

                                Cars, however, are simply more convenient to use in cities designed for cars instead of people. So whenever efforts are made to improve transportation for people who don't use cars, a chicken versus egg inevitably arises.

                                Spend money on public transit? Many of us argue against it, insisting we should simply build more roads, thus ensuring we must all spend vast sums of money to purchase, maintain and operate expensive vehicles that require large tracts of concrete for parking and, by extension, ensure our cities continue to grow outward and require more roads.

                                Expansive parking lots for expansive stores ensure retailers pay higher property taxes and charge us more for our goods. But we demand free parking, because we have been brought up to believe it is our God-given right.

                                Some of us even believe public transit should bloody well pay for itself, because we don't use it. The corollary argument -- that non-drivers should not have to pay for road construction -- is deemed irrelevant, if not laughable.

                                So politicians and policy-makers put off investments in public transit, even though our leaders are well aware of the arithmetic that makes higher-density planning the most sensible and responsible financial option for any city in the long-term.

                                The public wants more roads, the politicians shrug. They want to live in single-family homes, far away from anywhere they could possibly reach on foot, the developers claim.

                                So the people who sculpt the shape of our lives give us what we want. And anyone foolish enough to question this logic is deemed to be a naive utopian or an urbanist geek.

                                Of course, the price of oil and the inconvenience of congestion tend to increase both urban density and the popularity of public transit. These are the market forces that will inevitably drive even car-dependent Winnipeg toward a more car-free culture.

                                I would argue our leaders should take us to this place far before the time comes when we have no other choice but to go there.

                                I say this as a driver. I say this as a pedestrian and occasional transit user.

                                I also say this as a person who looks around North America and feels envy -- not for freeways, but for the eagerness, elsewhere, for change.

                                ========================
                                Iubesc masinile japoneze. Ele nu mint, nu inseala !
                                ACURA & HONDA SUV FAN CLUB ROMANIA - http://daimyo.ro/index.php?action=forum

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