Ultimele articole din presa straina referitoare la Honda

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  • http://www.superstreetonline.com/fea..._honda_lovers/

    Heaven Exists For Old School Honda Lovers, And It Can Be Found In Osaka
    In The Loop.

    When I first arrived at Car Craft Boon, better known as Osaka JDM, a strange thing happened. I was overwhelmed. After years spent professionally seeking out and capturing amazing cars I had thought that the days of becoming instantly awestruck were gone. I was wrong. It wasn’t any one car or part in particular that blew me away but rather the volume of awesome, it was too much to take. Prior to arriving at Osaka JDM I figured I’d probably end up shooting a car or two, depending on what we uncovered upon arrival.

    What I didn’t expect was a whole fleet of feature-worthy rides. After meeting the owner Kazuhiro Furukawa and the mechanic, Takada-san, I took a quick look around. Tetsu and Jonathan were talking amongst themselves and then asked, “so which ones do you want to shoot?” I looked around again in three-hundred-sixty-degrees, let out a sigh and shrugged. “All of them?” I said, only half jokingly. Normally this would be an awesome way to spend an afternoon, but since we were running on a Japanese schedule this could only mean one thing—a mad dash to shoot as much as possible as quickly as I can.

    But, let’s back up a minute and look at just how it became that the Super Street staff, in almost its entirety, ended up at this obscure place. I recall walking into former Associate Editor, Charles Trieu’s office at the old Super Street headquarters and picking up a copy of G-Works from his desk and flipping through it waiting for him to finish a phone call. In the back of the magazine, I noticed a very sick collection of E-ATs (3rd generation Civics) or as the Japanese call them, “Wonder Civics.” I thought wow, these guys have great taste, and I wouldn’t expect to see relics like these still being tuned in Japan.

    A heavily-modified E-AT is a rare sight; so seeing a whole crew of them running wild on the streets of Osaka was quite exciting. With a lack of aftermarket support (comparatively speaking to EG/EK etc) and crude torsion bar front, solid beam axle rear suspension design, the 3rd generation Civic is overlooked by most Honda fanatics. Outside of Auto-X guys who prize the car for its low curb weight and short wheelbase, enthusiasts scoff at the chassis. In fact there’s only one guy I know that’s ever taken a 3rd gen build seriously, and as it turned out that’s who Charles had purchased the magazine for.

    Old School Honda Lovers Mugen Power
    Old School Honda Lovers Jdm
    Old School Honda Lovers Wheels

    This was almost four years ago, and since then “those guys from Osaka with the Wonder Civics” have been busy, very busy. I started seeing a few people “in the know” posting up an image or two here and there on miscellaneous Internet forums. It used to be very difficult to locate images of these cars and when you did, they were essentially thumbnails, but even still you could tell there was something special about these cars. They had that raw Osaka style that the likes of Kei Muira have become famous for, but only in recent years have they begun to take on a mass appeal.

    Most enthusiasts probably got their first taste of Osaka JDM, whether they realized it or not, via a Work Wheels ad for the CR-01. The ad is a drawing that depicts an E-AT and an EF hatchback in front of their shop, “Car Craft Boon!” (The “drawing” is a still scene from an actual manga series that uses Osaka JDM as a backdrop, and will soon incorporate Furukawa-san as a character. Pretty cool, huh? - JW) I’m sure many of you are going “ahhhhhh, I remember that” right about now. The resurgence of retro wheels has become a bit of a hot commodity in Japan in recent years and Work decided to promote their wheels in a different way, and rightfully so, by having them installed on a few cars from an underground shop.

    Since that ad, the wheels have become the quintessential part on all of Car Craft Boon’s cars and the two are literally inseparable. In fact, Osaka JDM actually have a limited-edition version of the wheel, called the Loop 5, which we’ll get to a little later. For all intensive purposes the wheels are a perfect fit for their lifestyle, they’re racy enough for the circuit but stylish enough for meets and daily driving. With the recent surge in popularity of the “Hellaflush” style in Japan, the custom sizing and color options have proven very successful. They’ve even stepped away recently from their usual track builds to create a one-two knockout duo embracing the fitment lifestyle.

    The CR-X and EF9 that Osaka JDM displayed at Hellaflush Fuji set the forums ablaze with comments. Their clean USJDM style (think SoCal Honda scene) surprised many and the cars feature buff USDM conversions including lighting, moldings and even aftermarket pieces from stateside brands like Password JDM. When mixed in with goodies from fan favorites like Mugen, the cars appear as if they were literally just plucked from our shores. While some didn’t know what to make of them, the pair of EFs enamored the rest of the tuning scene, including our very own EF owner, Jonathan Wong.
    Old School Honda Lovers Side By Side

    Old School Honda Lovers Interior
    Old School Honda Lovers Engine
    Old School Honda Lovers Engine

    Old School Honda Lovers Osaka Jdm
    Old School Honda Lovers Rear View

    So here we are, Tetsu, Sam, Jonathan, Bernice and myself in a place that anyone other than a car enthusiast would likely describe as a small junkyard. As I unpacked my gear a familiar thought passed through my head—so many cars, so little time. Fortunately I had a team to lighten the load a little. We formed a loose plan that closely resembled contained chaos and set free on what could be referred to as an automotive photography free-for-all. Sam would start outside shooting a Civic shuttle (soon to be K20-powered) with so much steeze it might as well be called a Swagovan. Jonathan would follow Tetsu into the office area for an interview while Bernice would assist me with lighting a car I can’t yet talk about (you’ll have to wait for our Honda issue).

    It wasn’t long into shooting that I noticed another person had come to the shop, a tall Frenchman. At first, I thought he was either a tourist like us, or perhaps a customer. I didn’t think much of it and continued shooting. When I was finished documenting the first car I decided to poke around the shop for a bit, which, as a Honda fanatic, was infinitely entertaining. Downstairs laid a stockpile of OEM parts like headlights, taillights, miscellaneous trim pieces and lots of spare engines, which I was told will are being horded for future sale to Americans (see “connect”).
    Old School Honda Lovers Fuel Cell

    When I got my fix downstairs I followed a sign stating “used parts” up an absurdly steep staircase (more like a permanently fixed ladder). When I made my way to the top without killing myself, I was met with a scrap heap of rare goodies. Lining the walls were shelves containing unicorn parts like Mugen and Vision OBD0 ECUs, first series Bride seats, Mugen torsion bars, ZC cam gears and more. While much of these items are low key even for Honda Tuning subscribers, there were some more blatantly obvious pieces as well. As I carefully made my way through a maze of used rollcages and exhausts I managed to locate a set of BNIB Mugen CF-48s, a prize of the highest order for collectors and one that is likely older than most of you reading this.

    If left to my own devices I would have continued investigating the mezzanine well into the night, but I had a task that needed completing. I navigated my way back down the stairs with cat-like skill (sike) and was greeted at the bottom by the Frenchman who would introduce himself as Franck Decadi. With Tetsu busy inside it was nice to have someone who could answer some of my questions and help with the translation process. I made haste and we moved my personal favorite, the E-AT, to a parking lot across the street.

    What an amazing car, if you can get past the fact that the back more closely resembles a microwave oven from the ‘80’s than a car. But seriously this thing is badass, stripped to the bone and ready for battle. On the inside, the cabin has been completely stripped only leaving the essentials, a cage, a seat, gauges and a fuel cell. On the outside the car remains mostly stock aside from some custom fender work. It has been swapped with a lovely B16B, creating more than enough power to scoot this 3rd gen hatch around the track. And keep in mind, the B-swap in this chassis isn’t your typical bolt-in affair; this is a one-off example. The car isn’t street registered but that doesn’t keep the boys from occasionally blasting it down the toll roads, but its main purpose in life is circuit racing.
    Old School Honda Lovers Black Hatchback

    The guys from Osaka JDM have built up quite a reputation in the Kanjo racing scene, due largely to the existence of this hatch. While Kanjo racing originally described the mayhem happening on the Kanjo (toll roads), the name has been adopted to any form of no-holds-barred full-contact car-to-car racing. This is balls-out stuff where pretty cars don’t last very long and the winner usually has battle scars from the sacrifices it made to get there. As it turns out Franck is actually a racing driver and regularly pilots cars from the shop. He told me an interesting story regarding the dent in the front filler panel of the Wonder Civic.

    Apparently there was a pesky RX-7 holding up the driver so he decided to execute a little “pit maneuver” at a Historix Japan race in 2010 at Suzuka Twin circuit. You can actually view a video of the incident on Franck’s youtube channel (see “connect”), ballsy stuff. A Historix sticker now resides on top of the resulting damage, which has been left not only as a momento, but also a reminder to the competition to look out. After learning more of the car’s heritage it made this scrappy little Civic even more special. When I felt like I had enough photos I thanked Takada-san and he fired up the car awakening a raspy exhaust note. I followed as he lunged the featherweight car back down the street to the shop where more cars await.

    Old School Honda Lovers Slammed
    Old School Honda Lovers Gold Wheel
    Old School Honda Lovers Exhaust

    Old School Honda Lovers Slammed Engine
    Old School Honda Lovers Steering Wheel
    Old School Honda Lovers Crx Engine

    Old School Honda Lovers Crx Full View

    The next pair of cars are polar opposites of the E-AT and it’s almost hard to imagine they were built by the same people. The shop’s newest additions are Furukawa and Takada’s personal rides, an EF9 hatch and EF7 CR-X, respectively. Americans might be offended to hear these cars referred to as “stanced out hardparkers”, but to these guys I don’t think you could pay a greater compliment. They are so enamored by the USDM lifestyle that it’s bizarre; from the Bisimoto license plate frame to the BlackWorks shift knob, these guys are obsessed with our culture.

    The super-clean aesthetic is difficult to dislike, and although it is a bit strange to be staring at a USDM front end on a real RHD EF9, I dig it. They’re enjoying car life in a whole new dimension and along with most of Japan, are adding their own twist to the Hellaflush scene. Although lightly tuned, all of the important elements, like stance, are completely nailed. Some of the details like the signature Osaka JDM roof spoiler on the hatch or the genuine Mugen Pro.2 kit and exhaust on the CR-X really put them over the top for streetcars. It really is funny to think that the same guys that built the racecar I was shooting only moments earlier also built these examples, and one may never see a link between them if it weren’t for one inextricable clue to their origin—the wheels.

    The Loop 5, or CR-01, is an amazing wheel if for no other reason than versatility. It looks equally at home on a Kanjo racer as it does on a stance mobile, which can’t be said for many other rollers. As Jonny found out first-hand, the seemingly endless options of disk type, offset and barrel shape can be overwhelming. When you throw in the thirteen color options it’s enough to turn an indecisive person insane. Jonny inevitably decided to take a brochure back to the states and sleep on it. In a way the wheels are almost a metaphor for the shop that sells them, simple and timeless, yet quirky and complex. Whether you like hardcore track cars or flashy hard parkers Osaka JDM has something you’ll dig. And they’ll have the perfect set of wheels for it, too.

    Old School Honda Lovers Crx Seats
    Old School Honda Lovers Crx Rear View
    Old School Honda Lovers Mugen Exhaust





    Honda Announces Leviton as Preferred Electric Vehicle Charging Solution

    SOURCE American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

    Leviton's technologies to charge new Fit EV and Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan

    TORRANCE, Calif., April 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- American Honda Motor Co., Inc. today announced that Leviton Manufacturing Company, the global leader in connectivity solutions, has been selected as Honda's preferred Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment provider for customer and dealer EV charging.

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

    "As leaders in the fields of advanced technology for mobility and energy solutions, Leviton and Honda both have unique missions to create a more sustainable future," said Steven Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office at American Honda. "Pairing Leviton's EV charging solutions with Honda's advanced Fit EV and Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan electric vehicles will enable a more convenient and seamless ownership experience for our customers."

    Honda will be introducing two battery-electric vehicles beginning with the 2013 Honda Fit EV this summer, and the Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan next winter. The 2013 Honda Fit EV battery-electric commuter car, based on the popular Fit, targets an estimated 123 city-mile range per charge (76 mile range combined adjusted city/highway)(1) and can fully recharge its battery in as little as three hours when connected to a 240-volt circuit. The Honda Plug-In Hybrid Sedan uses an all-new, two-motor hybrid system which continuously moves through three different modes – all-electric, with up to a 15 mile per charge range; gasoline-electric; and direct-drive – to maximize driving and fuel efficiency, especially during city driving.

    "Leviton is excited to work with American Honda as they launch their electric vehicle program here in America. At a high level we share a very similar overall mission; to supply products of the highest quality at a reasonable price for complete customer satisfaction," said Michael Mattei, Vice President and General Manager for Leviton's Commercial and Industrial Business Unit. "In addition, we hope to continue to enable the electric and hybrid electric industry through simple, easy to purchase, easy to install and easy to use products, while providing the highest level of consumer safety."

    About Honda
    Honda offers a diverse range of cars and trucks that include the mid-sized Accord, the compact Civic line-up with seven individual trim-levels, CR-V crossover SUV and Odyssey minivan. Honda also includes a wide range of fuel-efficient and low-emission vehicles such as the Insight hybrid, Civic Natural Gas (compressed natural gas-powered vehicle), Civic Hybrid, CR-Z (sport hybrid coupe), FCX Clarity (fuel cell-electric vehicle) and the soon-to-be-released Fit EV (electric vehicle). Honda's 2013 Fit EV battery-electric commuter car, based on the popular Fit, targets an estimated 123 city mile range per charge (76 mile range combined adjusted city/highway)(1) and can fully recharge its battery in as little as three hours when connected to a 240-volt circuit. For more information about the Honda Fit EV battery-electric vehicle and to sign up to become a potential Honda lessee, please visit Honda's Fit EV consumer page at http://automobiles.honda.com/fit-ev/.

    About Leviton

    Leviton Manufacturing Company is the largest privately held global provider of electrical wiring devices, data center connectivity solutions and lighting energy management systems. Founded at the turn of the 20th century in America, Leviton has grown to become one of the preeminent leaders in the electrical industry. Today Leviton's product portfolio consists of more than 25,000 devices and systems used in homes, businesses and industry. Proven to be a smart choice, nine out of 10 homes throughout North America have Leviton products installed in them. Builders, electrical contractors and other industry professionals rank Leviton products No. 1 in brand preference. To request more information about Leviton, please visit www.leviton.com.

    Connect with Honda:
    Honda Media Newsroom (for journalists): www.hondanews.com
    Honda Fit EV (for consumers): http://automobiles.honda.com/fit-ev
    Honda Fit EV on Facebook
    Honda on YouTube: www.youtube.com/honda
    Honda on Flickr: www.flickr.com/hondanews
    Honda on Twitter: www.twitter.com/honda
    Honda on Google+
    Honda on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/honda

    (1) 123 city/95 highway mile range (unadjusted); 76 combined mile range (adjusted). Preliminary estimates determined by Honda using EPA methods. Your range will vary. For additional information about EPA test methods, visit http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/label...ic-label.shtml



    Honda starts building new Acura at SE Ind. plant

    GREENSBURG, Ind. (AP) — Honda is ramping up production of a new Acura model car at its southeastern Indiana factory.

    Honda officials and Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman took part in a ceremony Monday at the Greensburg factory to mark the start of the Acura ILX being built at the plant. The model's gas-powered and gas-electric hybrid versions will be exclusively built at the Greensburg factory.

    Until it started building the new Acura, the factory had only built Civic models. Honda is aiming the ILX as an entry-level car for its luxury Acura division, with pricing expected to start below $30,000.

    Honda's factory in the city about 40 miles southeast of Indianapolis opened in 2008. It roughly doubled its workforce last year by hiring nearly 1,000 new employees when it added a second production shift.



    Honda Exhibits World Premiere of Two Honda Brand Concept Models at 2012 Beijing Motor Show

    BEIJING, China, April 23, 2012 - Honda Motor (China) Investment Co., Ltd. today exhibited at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show the world premiere of the Concept C and the Concept S, two concept models that show the direction of mass-production models Honda will introduce to the market next year. (The 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, press days: April 23 -24, public days: April 27 - May 2, 2012)

    Concept C

    Concept C is a concept model for a middle-class sedan Honda is developing specially for the Chinese market. The "C" represents "Cool," "Challenge," and "China." The Concept C features a stately, distinctive and sporty design that was inspired by the image of a dragon. The product planning for this model was led by Honda's Chinese associates and the development was done through cooperation between development teams in China and Japan. Honda is planning to introduce a mass-production model based on this Concept C next year through Guangqi Honda Automobile Co., Ltd.

    Concept S

    Concept S is a global concept model of a new-value passenger mover that was developed primarily for the Chinese market and will go on sale first in China. The "S" stands for "Stylish," "Smart" and "Surprise." Adopting a hybrid powertrain, this concept model realizes both the "fun of driving" and excellent environmental performance at the same time. A spacious cabin was realized by Honda's packaging technologies, which is one of the distinctive strengths of Honda. A mass-production model based on this Concept S is scheduled for introduction to the Chinese market through Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd. next year, followed by a global release.

    Introducing Acura ILX and RDX this fall

    Also at the Beijing Motor Show, the Acura brand introduced the Acura ILX, a small-sized sedan and the RDX, a small-sized SUV for the first time in China. Both models are scheduled to go on sale in China this fall. Also an all-new Acura NSX Concept supercar will be displayed in China for the first time. The new NSX will be launched in China after it is launched in the U.S. within the next three years.

    Strengthening China-original development models

    Last year, Guangqi Honda launched the mass production model of its original brand named Li Nian. And yesterday, Dongfeng Honda introduced CIIMO, its originally developed middle-class sedan.

    Comment of Takanobu Ito, President and CEO, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

    "What continues to drive Honda forward is our passion to take on new challenges with our technologies without being limited by what came before, and to create products that make our customers say, 'I wanted this kind of car!' We will concentrate this driving force here in China and build vehicles tailored to the needs of our Chinese customers. Toward this end, Honda and our joint venture companies will work together to further localize our development, production and parts sourcing in China."

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    • http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2012/04...concept-c.html

      Honda's Beijing Auto Show Concept C Previews New Mid-Size Sedan for the Chinese Market

      One of the star attractions at Honda's stand at the Auto China 2012 in Beijing is the new Concept C study that gives consumers a first look at the company's upcoming family saloon model that will go on sale in the country next year.

      Honda says that the "C" in the car's name represents "Cool," "Challenge," and "China." The production version of the distinctively styled four-door concept will launch exclusively in China and will be built by the company's local joint venture, Guangqi Honda Automobile.

      According to the Japanese automaker, the product planning for the family sedan was led by Honda's Chinese associates and the development was done through cooperation between development teams in China and Japan.

      In addition to the unveiling of the Concept C, the company's joint venture Guangqi Honda Automobile announced plans to build a third production line at its existing ZengCheng Plant.

      The construction of the third line will begin at the end of 2012 and become operational in 2014 with an initial annual production output of 120,000 units. Honda said that it is planning to further expand the capacity up to 240,000 units in the near future.

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      • http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2012/04...e-for-new.html

        Honda Concept S to Form the Base for a New Production Minivan

        Joining the Concept C sedan at Honda's 2012 Beijing Motor Show booth is the Concept S minivan. According to the Japanese carmaker, the 'S' in the design study's name stands for "Stylish," "Smart" and "Surprise".

        Honda tells us that the Concept S is motivated by an unspecified hybrid powertrain and that it features a spacious cabin without providing any information on the number of passengers that it can accommodate.

        "This concept model realizes both the "fun of driving" and excellent environmental performance at the same time," said Honda in a statement.

        The company added that the Concept S previews a production model that is scheduled for introduction in the Chinese market through its Dongfeng Honda Automobile joint venture next year, followed by a global release shortly after.

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        • http://www.coolhunting.com/design/da...ool+Hunting%29

          Data.Anatomy [Civic]
          A data-driven display from Ryoji Ikeda explores the interior of an automobile

          Derived from the data set of the latest Honda Civic model, the new sonic and visual installation by the Paris-based Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda, "data.anatomy [civic]" was unveiled last week at the stunning post-industrial venue Kraftwerk Berlin.

          Ikeda considers mathematicians to be artists, and specializes in work based on science and numbers—in this case he manipulates DNA data and astronomy to compose electronic sounds and a series of black-and-white dots and flurried lines.

          Contacted last year by Honda to create something based on the CAD information of the re-designed five-door Civic, Ikeda started from the solid object to convert the material into intangible sounds and images of seemingly transparent waves in the air. With his art Ryoji aims to capture an unperceived dimension and succeeds once again in this particular project.

          Honda chose an interesting approach in funding a concept they had actually conceived instead of simply supporting an existing project through a third-party foundation. Created in collaboration with Mitsuru Kariya, the Development Lead on the all-new Civic, the installation took four months for a team of five architects and computer programmers to build and process the data. The choice of venue was an important one, since Ryoji works to forge an intimate and intricate relationship between his pieces and the surrounding space. Data.anatomy[civic] is located in a huge, industrial concrete structure that formerly housed a power plant in the 1960s.

          The beautifully poetic video projection creates three disruptive moments on three screens in a large 20m x 4m triptych. The moving images on the black horizontal screen, along with the minimal sound track composd of clear bells, a rapid timer and medical devices give the viewer a feeling of floating without gravity. Bursting from the center and spreading in waves to the borders of the frame, the images call to mind X-rays or distorted Rorshach tests. They bloom on the rhythm of submarine, sonar-like pulses, slipping and splitting on a screen fringed by a bar code frieze. Medical references and quotations call to mind the title's reference to the anatomy of a car while experimenting with both sound and image on a large-scale display provides an immersion that Ryoji uses to play with visitors' perception.

          What follows is a jarring set of rapidly pulsed horizontal lines of graphics, codes and figures crossing the screen in opposite directions, resembling something like an animated contact sheet or a flat-lined EEG. While the sound mellows out, this moment seems to feature the silent computer calculation or some lonesome medical device's overnight work. The bar code is once again referenced with a series of white bars extending from the top of the screen.

          The third section presents a totally different atmosphere with the negative images of motors and tubes made of thin white threads. Bursting red spots move more slowly, like spaceships through the blackness of outer space. Each screen works separately as occasional images cross them on various trajectories of different speeds, their collisions echoed by bell tones while a timer persists in the background.

          This minimal yet highly precise piece of work takes the viewer on a captivating 12-minute journey into the guts of a car to illustrate Ryoji's search for the intersection between reality and unexplored dimensions. See "data.anatomy [civic]" in action by checking out the video.

          Kraftwerk Berlin
          19 April through 1 May 2012
          Köpenicker Straße 59 -73
          10179 Berlin-Mitte

          VIDEO => http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=aCb96VtaCHE



          Dongfeng Honda Introduces the Originally Developed New Model CIIMO

          Beijing, Apr 23, 2012 - (JCN Newswire) - Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd., an automobile production and sales joint venture of Honda in China, yesterday introduced its first originally developed model, "CIIMO," a new middle-class sedan developed by the Dongfeng Honda R&D Center specially for the Chinese market.

          Utilizing the platform of the 8th generation Civic, the CIIMO will feature a 1.8-liter engine with selection of automatic transmission (AT) and manual transmission (MT) models. The manufacturer's suggested retail price of CIIMO will start from 111,800 R.M.B. (approximately 1.44 million yen*). By introducing a new model originally developed by a joint venture company into the middle-class sedan segment, which is the largest segment in Chinese automobile market, Honda will continue strengthening its product lineup to better accommodate the preferences of Chinese customers. (*calculated with an exchange rate of 1 R.M.B.= 12.92 yen)

          Key features of CIIMO

          - Dimensions: length: 4,545 mm; width:1,755 mm; height: 1,450 mm; wheelbase: 2,700 mm
          - 1.8 L i-VTEC engine
          - Excellent fuel economy of 6.9 L/100 km (comprehensive fuel economy mode in China)
          - Safety features such as Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution system (EBD) and active headrest

          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.


          Media Inquiries
          [email protected]



          New Japanese corporate message advert from Honda provokes thought, hope

          aniel Garcia Rodriguez came across this recent video published by Honda Japan and took the time to translate the message and add English captions to the clip. Here is his note that goes along with the video
          2012 Honda Japan corporate commercial showcasing the company's ethos pointing towards the future. The title 負けるもんか!could be translated as "(we) won't be beaten", and the commercial seems to follow the internal thoughts of an imaginary Honda engineer facing the challenge of innovation.
          Take a look at it below and be sure to click the "CC" icon on the player if you don't see the captions.

          VIDEO => http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=KQkGBCqEg-M

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          • http://www.autoblog.com/2012/04/25/h...pintermission/

            Honda wants to give you $500 to take a "Pintermission"

            Do you spend a lot of time pinning your favorite things on Pinterest? Honda may be looking to hand you $500 as part of the company's first campaign on the social outlet. Honda is singling out active Pinterest users and handing some of them $500 to indulge in a "Pintermission" to make a visit to the places they've been pinning or pick up some of the retail items they've highlighted.

            Honda is making its CR-V the focus of its first foray into Pinterest because it's a vehicle with a lot of appeal to women, much like Pinterest itself. So far, two of the women that have been handed a big, shiny check by Honda are putting the funds toward travel. One's going to London, the other is headed to Hawaii, according to Lauren Ebner, American Honda Motor Company's assistant manager of social media. We're watching Honda's board waiting to see what kind of artisanal luxury goods the CR-V inspires.



            Dongfeng-Honda Ciimo debuts at the Beijing Auto Show

            The Dongfeng-Honda Ciimo debuted at the Beijing Auto Show and was listed on the Chinese car market at the same time. Ciimo is a sub-brand from the Dongfeng-Honda joint venture, their first car is based on the old Honda Civic and simply called ‘Ciimo’. The line-up will later be expanded with a Ciimo SUV based on the old Honda CR-V.

            Price of the Ciimo-Ciimo starts at 111.800 yuan and ends at 119.800 yuan, and that is not too cheap for a rebadged old Civic! Power comes from Honda’s 1.8 with 140hp, mated to a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic. There will be a 2.0 available in the future but that will push the price up even further. Ciimo will use the existing Dongfeng-Honda dealer-network, when the line-up gets bigger however Ciimo might open its own dealers in China.

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            Honda Concept C & Concept S debut at the Beijing Auto Show – Live Pics

            The Honda Concept S (pic) and Concept C debuted at the Beijing Auto Show. Both cars were designed by Honda in Japan but the Concept C had a Guangzhou-Honda badge on the back, and the Concept S a Dongfeng-Honda badge. Those are Honda’s two joint-ventures in China, and both cars are intended for the Chinese car market and other upcoming markets in Asia.

            Honda Concept C

            The Concept C, with Guangzhou-Honda badge, previews a new mid-size luxury sedan that will hit the market around 2013. It is slightly bigger than the Honda Accord, currently the biggest China-made Honda. Honda didn’t say what was under the bonnet, likely nothing, but to sell in China it needs powerful 4-cylinder patrol engines or even better a V6. Honda said they were considering a hybrid as well, those however are very unpopular on the Chinese market.

            Honda Concept S

            The Concept S, with Dongfeng-Honda badge, is a hatchback-wagon sorta thing that previews a new hybrid that has to compete with the Toyota Prius Wagon. The Prius Wagon however is currently not sold on the Chinese market and will likely never. The Concept S is slightly smaller than the Concept C. Honda didn’t say anything about production, but did say its design was inspired by dragons. We believe…
            Last edited by tokyodream; 26-04-12, 06:39.
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            • http://www.examiner.com/review/2012-...to-a-new-level

              2012 Honda Civic Hybrid takes fuel economy to a new level

              When you think of Honda, you most likely think of fuel economy. But when you think of the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid, you should think of serious, big-time, gi-normous fuel economy.
              You also get a pretty good sedan in a practical yet reasonably attractive package.
              The Civic Hybrid is rated at 44 mpg city and highway, allowing you to go a very long way on a tank of gasoline.
              It also offers surprisingly good interior room for both front and rear passengers.
              Trunk space is also more than adequate.
              The seating is comfortable and visibility is good.
              In fact, the Civic of today feels almost like a mid-size sedan, rather than a compact.
              That comes as a result of the move made by Honda a few years ago to upsize its vehicle lineup.
              Honda had just introduced its popular Fit subcompact, which would become its main small car.
              That role was previously held by the Civic, which got a little larger, making it almost like a mid-size sedan.
              The Accord, one size up, got yet a little larger, making it almost like Honda's large sedan.
              Yet despite these changes, Honda was able to maintain great fuel economy in each.
              The Civic Hybrid takes that fuel economy to a new level.
              But this fuel sipper is no wimp when it comes to getting out on the highway.
              Acceleration is steady and sure.
              The power plant is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that's linked to a continuously variable transmission and a lithium-ion battery powered electric motor that boosts overall power to 133 horsepower.
              As for styling, the Civic won't win any awards for design innovation.
              There's a new grille, headlights and taillights.
              But at the same time, its traditional sedan lines aren't cringeworthy.
              The same is pretty much true on the inside.
              It's very functional, if not spectacular.
              The instrument panel is neatly arranged and easily viewed by the driver. The fit and finish and quality of materials are good.
              But the main reason to be interested in this car is for its great mileage.
              You can drive and drive and drive, and wave at all those folks lined up digging for their wallets to grab almost four bucks for one gallon of fuel.
              You can switch the car into "Econ" mode and gain even better fuel economy.
              The Civic Hybrid can be had for right around $25,000, nicely equipped.

              If you want to drive green, and yet still be in a practical, comfortable vehicle, the Civic Hybrid is an outstanding choice.



              Autos: Honda's Fit is a hit

              Long ago, Honda grabbed the heart of the small car market, and it is not letting go now.

              Witness the second-generation Fit, a worthy heir to the original Civic and arguably the finest example of the small, tall, entry-level car.

              Fit is not just affordable but easy on the eyes, roomy and fun to drive.

              It's remarkably versatile, with four seating configurations to accommodate various types of cargo or passengers.

              Introduced in Japan in 2001, Fit became an instant hit, prompting an array of competition such as the Toyota Yaris and Nissan Versa. Today's Kia Rio, Chevrolet Sonic and Ford Fiesta are also serious challengers.

              The bulbous hatchback was introduced in Canada and the U.S. in 2006 as a 2007 model but was updated only two years later.

              With the fuel tank positioned below the front seat, the rear seats of the Fit have room to fold very low, creating an unusually large cargo space in such a small car.

              In fact, the Fit does not feel so small, even for drivers measuring 6 feet or more in height. The roofline arcs nicely over the heads of passengers, and the back seats are roomy enough for three adults.

              With an overall length of just 13.5 feet, the interior provides a capacious 90.8 cubic feet of passenger volume. Even hauling five passengers, the Fit provides 20.6 cubic feet of storage space, which is comparable to a mid-size wagon.

              Fit's secret weapon is its 60/40 split rear "Magic Seat," which offers multiple seating and cargo-carrying configurations. With its one-motion operation, it can fold flat into the floor to expand rear cargo volume almost instantly. The Fit's interior can also be converted to tall-object mode or long-object mode based on the shape of the cargo.

              You might expect wimpy performance for a car in this class, but Fit can sprint when you want it to, especially under the direction of a five-speed stick.

              The 1.5-liter, i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine is rated at 117 horsepower, which sounds pretty meager. But you have to factor in the Fit's light weight to understand the tolerable power-to-weight ratio.

              A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a five-speed automatic transmission is available. Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters on Fit Sport models equipped with the available automatic transmission allow for manual gear selection.

              When equipped with the automatic transmission, Fit has an Environmental Protection Agency city/highway/combined fuel economy rating of 28 city, 35 highway and 31 combined miles per gallon. The better equipped Fit Sport rates 30 combined miles per gallon with automatic transmission. All manual transmission-equipped models are rated at 29 combined mpg.

              With the stick, the Fit Sport zips through traffic to the accompaniment of enthusiastic sounds from the high-revving engine. The blend of maneuverability, tight control of the torque and excellent sight lines gives the driver a terrific sense of confidence.

              The Fit Sport interior is quite sophisticated, with dark metallic dashboard components for a unified color theme. Fit Sport gains chrome accents around instrument displays for the 2012 model year. All models receive newly designed console-mounted center beverage holders along with console ambient lighting. All models also receive added sound insulation measures in the floor, front fenders and A-pillars, plus thicker front corner-window glass, to help create a quieter cabin.

              Two new colors are available: Blue Raspberry Metallic and Orangeburst Metallic, which replace similar colors from the earlier model year.

              With prices beginning at $15,325 for the base trim level, the Fit tops out near $20,000 with the Sport trim and navigation system. The review car, a Fit Sport with five-speed manual transmission, carried a base sticker of $16,910.

              While the review car was built in Japan, Honda will begin producing North American models at a new $800 million plant in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico.

              "Last year, more than 85 percent of the Honda and Acura models sold in America were built in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, using domestic and globally sourced parts, and this will reach more than 90 percent in the coming years," said Rick Schostek, senior vice president of Honda of America Manufacturing.

              2012 HONDA FIT SPORT

              TYPE: Front-drive, five-passenger, four-door, subcompact hatchback.

              PRICE: $16,910 base, $17,680 as tested.

              WHERE BUILT: Sayama, Japan.

              KEY RIVALS: Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa, Kia Rio, Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Sonic.

              POWER: 1.5-liter, 117-horsepower, SOHC, 16-valve 4-cylinder engine; five-speed manual transmission.

              FUEL ECONOMY: 27 city, 33 highway, 29 combined mpg; estimated annual fuel cost $1,915.

              WHEELBASE: 98.4 inches.

              CURB WEIGHT: 2,359 pounds.

              STANDARD: Front/side/head-curtain air bags, air conditioning, rear window wiper/defroster, 16-inch alloy wheels, halogen headlamps, fog lights, tilt-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40 split/folding rear Magic Seat, 160-watt six-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system.



              Indian Honda Civic re-launched in China as Dongfeng Ciimo

              The Ciimo is based on the eighth generation Civic sold in India, but has been customized for China.

              Now some of us crib that carmakers generally use India as a dumping ground by launching old, defunct models while the rest of the world gets the updated range – the Toyota Qualis and the Chevrolet Tavera being a couple of examples. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that an older generation model is not fit for the market anymore. In fact we believe that as long as the car manages to look great, offer good mechanical efficiency and return good fuel economy, it has every right to stay in the market – even if that means co-existing with a newer generation model of the same line-up. How else do you think does India still love so many versions of the Maruti Suzuki Alto – no matter what they are re-badged as?

              Coming back to the news then, the eighth generation Honda Civic sold in India – which we believe looks better still than the new one launched in the Japanese market – has been re-badged and re-packaged as the Dongfeng Ciimo for China. The Ciimo will be marketed as a middle-class sedan developed specifically for China by Dongfeng-Honda. It will be powered by a 1.8-litre i-VTEC petrol engine which claims to return a fuel economy of over 14 kmpl.

              As can be seen in the photos, the interiors are largely similar to the ones you find in the Indian Honda Civic – however the Ciimo uses a different steering wheel and doesn’t get any steering-mounted controls. The Ciimo will be offered with both manual and automatic options. Dongfeng will price the Ciimo at RMB 111,800 (Rs 9.3 lakh approx) for the base model, which is more or less similar to the price on the Honda Civic in India.

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              • http://www.leftlanenews.com/end-of-t...echnology.html

                End of traffic jams?: Honda to test congestion minimizing technology

                Honda says it has developed a new technology that could one day rid the world’s roads of traffic jams. The Japanese automaker will begin real world testing of the technology next month.

                Developed in conjunction with the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Tokyo, Honda says the technology has the ability to “detect the potential for traffic congestion and determine whether the driving pattern of the vehicle is likely to create traffic jams.”

                Honda will conduct the first public road tests of the technology next month in Italy – followed by similar tests in Indonesia this July – but the traffic jam-reducing tech has already shown promise in test simulations. Honda says the system has increased the average traffic jam speed by 23 percent and improved fuel economy of vehicles caught in the jam by eight percent.

                The system works by detecting a driver’s acceleration and deceleration patterns and determining if those actions are likely to result in traffic congestion. The system then displays appropriate information to the driver via a color-coded gauge to encourage smooth driving. Honda says this information helps to prevent further sudden acceleration and deceleration of trailing vehicles, which ultimately helps the flow of traffic.

                Honda recognizes that the human element of its systems could be a sticking point, so the automaker is also testing a system that links vehicles via a cloud-based system. In addition to relaying traffic conditions between vehicles, the automated system also uses Adaptive Cruise Control to keep a constant distance between vehicles. Honda also notes that the cloud-based system increases average fuel economy by another four percent.

                Honda has yet to announce when its congestion minimizing technology will be available on a road-going vehicle, but the time is certainly coming.



                Honda Aims at Recovering 10% Market Share in the States

                Honda plans to recover more than 10% market share in the U.S. as soon as possible.
                “The North American market is slowly recovering, while we’re entering new segments in Asia,” said Fujio Ando, senior managing director at Chibagin Asset Management. “We’re expecting to grow faster than the overall market.”
                In 2012 Honda espects the overall U.S. market sales to reach 14.3 million units, up from 13.5 million in 2011. In the States, the company’s biggest and most profitable market, sales of the remodeled CR-V crossover have jumped by more than a quarter so far this year. For this year Honda forecast an operating profit of 620 billion yen ($7.7 billion), up from 231.36 billion yen from previous year.
                “It’s a pretty positive forecast, but they were the worst hit automaker by the tsunami and the Thai floods, so they should be returning or have returned to normal production,” said Fujio Ando.
                Honda managed to rapidly recover from the disasters in Japan and Thailand, more than doubling its fiscal fourth-quarter operating profit, ending five straight quarters of year-on-year decline. The operating profit in the first three months jumped to 111.98 yen ($1.4 billion).



                Honda quarterly profit jumps on improved sales

                TOKYO (AP) - Honda's January-March profit jumped 61 percent as the Japanese automaker sold more cars and motorcycles in a turnaround from a disaster-battered 2011. It forecast record global sales of 4.3 million vehicles for this fiscal year.
                Honda Motor Co., which makes the Accord sedan, Fit subcompact and Asimo robot, reported net profit of 71.5 billion yen ($882.7 million) for the fiscal fourth quarter, up from 44.5 billion yen a year earlier.
                The results underline a recovery at all Japanese automakers from the sales plunge that hit last year after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disrupted the supply of auto parts from northeastern Japan.
                Tokyo-based Honda's quarterly sales improved 8.7 percent to 2.41 trillion yen ($29.7 billion), mainly because of rising sales in Japan and North America.
                It achieved record quarterly sales of motorcycles at 3.5 million bikes, up nearly 18 percent from a year earlier, with demand especially robust in Asia and South America.
                Demand for its auto models was also strong, including the Odyssey minivan, the remodeled CR-V sport-utility vehicle as well as hybrid models.
                For the fiscal year ended March 31, Honda's profit fell 60 percent to 211.4 billion yen due to the disruptions to production from the tsunami disaster in Japan and last year's flooding in Thailand where Honda has assembly lines.
                The automaker has also been hurt by an unfavorable exchange rate. A strong yen erodes the overseas earnings of Japanese exporters such as Honda. The dollar been trading near 80 yen compared with 86 yen the previous year.
                But Honda is confident of a rebound, forecasting record global vehicle sales and an annual net profit of 470 billion yen - more than double what it earned last fiscal year.
                It sold 3.1 million vehicles worldwide for the fiscal year ended March 31.
                The recovery tale is likely to be repeated at other Japanese automakers. Japan's No. 1 automaker Toyota Motor Corp. reports earnings May 9. Nissan Motor Co., the nation's No. 2 automaker, reports earnings May 11.
                Not so upbeat were the results at Mazda Motor Corp., whose January-March profit slipped to 5.1 billion yen ($63 million) from 9.9 billion yen a year earlier.
                For the fiscal year ended March, Mazda's losses ballooned from 60 billion yen to 107 billion yen ($1.3 billion) as vehicle sales declined across all regions except for North America.
                Mazda, based in the southwestern city of Hiroshima, plans a return to the black with a 10 billion yen ($123 million) profit for the fiscal year through March 2013.


                Acura's Starring Role In Marvel's The Avengers

                SLOUGH, UNITED KINGDOM – Apr 27, 2012: Honda’s luxury brand, Acura, has joined forces with Marvel Entertainment, LLC, for this summer's most anticipated film, Marvel’s The Avengers, which is premiered in the UK this Friday. Following, the use of Acura models in Marvel’s 2011 film Thor, Acura is building on its established role as the official vehicle of S.H.I.E.L.D.
                S.H.I.E.L.D., the international peacekeeping agency of the Marvel Universe, has a leading role in this film portrayal of the iconic comic book series. Throughout Marvel's The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents drive various Acura vehicles, including the MDX, ZDX and TL models; the completely redesigned 2013 RDX will make a cameo appearance. In addition, an Acura convertible sports car was created specifically for the film.
                "Acura is developing an impressive second chapter as the official vehicle of the cutting-edge S.H.I.E.L.D. organisation, enabling us to reinforce Acura's brand philosophy of innovation and advancement, and leverage excitement for the new ILX, RDX and NSX supercar concept product news announced earlier this year," said Susie Rossick, Acura Brand Manager.
                The hub of Acura's advertising campaign for Marvel's The Avengers, http://www.SHIELDops.com, allows fans to immerse themselves in the world of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Marvel's The Avengers. Users can rise within the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. by testing Avengers-inspired technology mounted to S.H.I.E.L.D.-Edition Acura vehicles.
                The tests take place within different combat simulation environments that correspond with the four main characters: Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America and Thor. As users attain a specific S.H.I.E.L.D. rank, they earn the chance to win movie passes and S.H.I.E.L.D. gear, including a branded tactical flashlight, a replica Acura convertible sports car (created for and featured in Marvel's The Avengers) and a virtual keyboard.
                Last edited by tokyodream; 28-04-12, 06:03. Reason: completare
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                • http://www.leftlanenews.com/honda-re...ear-ahead.html

                  Honda records strong quarterly earnings, predicts record year ahead

                  After being hamstrung by natural disasters and a strong yen in 2011, Honda’s January-March profit shot up 61 percent on increased automotive and motorcycle sales. The automaker expects the positive momentum to continue, forecasting record global auto sales this fiscal year.

                  Honda’s overall sales were up 8.7 percent, with its motorcycle division enjoying record sales of 3.5 million bikes. The automaker recorded a quarterly profit of $1.4 billion, an improvement from $570 million the year before and its first earnings increase following five quarters of decline.

                  Japan’s No. 3 automaker will look to capture a 10 percent market share in the key United States market and grow its overall global auto sales by 38.4 percent to 4.3 million vehicles for the fiscal year ending March 2013. Honda moved just 3.1 million vehicles in the prior fiscal year due in part to the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan and widespread flooding in Thailand, both of which significantly disrupted the automaker’s production capabilities.

                  The record strength of the yen also eroded Honda’s profits on overseas exports.
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                  • Why I hope the NSX saves Honda


                    You are here: Home » Manufacturers » Acura » Why I hope the NSX saves Honda
                    Why I hope the NSX saves Honda
                    Chris Burdick | Apr 28, 2012 | 0 comments

                    Acura NSX

                    At the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, Honda/Acura unveiled the new NSX, which has a target launch of spring 2014. Like the original NSX this new iteration will feature a two seat design with a mid-mounted V6, but the similarities stop there. The new design incorporates a V6 hybrid powertrain, the latest version of SH-AWD (super handling all-wheel drive) system, and a newly designed dual clutch transmission.

                    The original NSX was born back in 1991 as a lightweight rear wheel drive sports car. It was sold around the world as a Honda and as an Acura in the states. The NSX was never known for its power, rather its handling, silky smooth transmission, lightweight, and easy-to-drive nature were its strong suits. It was a remarkable, ground breaking vehicle in its day. According to Ben Cochran, Director of Dealer Services at GoAuto, the NSX was the first car with an all-aluminum monocoque body, first equipped with variable valve timing (VTEC), and the first variable volume intake manifold.

                    What is even more remarkable is that in a short five years after selling cars outside Japan, the NSX was born. This passion for pioneering technology, innovative design, quality, making driver’s cars led Honda to many successful vehicles, such as:

                    Civic Si
                    Integra & Integra Type R
                    RSX Type S
                    CRX Si
                    Del Sol
                    NSX Type R

                    Only one of those cars is still produced today, the Civic Si, and in its class of compact fun-to-drive cars it trails far behind the competition of the Subaru WRX, Mazda Speed 3, and Volkswagen GTI. In fact the Civic Si came in fifth in a seven car test for Car and Driver. The Civic model line was redesigned for 2012 and tested so poorly that Honda is going back to the drawing board and promises an update for 2013.

                    In the 90’s Honda was an innovator and lead the charge. VTEC was such a ground breaking innovation that separated the brand from the competition, but now everyone has variable valve timing. And while everyone else is exploring turbo charged engines, Honda discontinued it’s only turbo motor (RDX). Most manufacturers have six and seven speed automatic transmissions, while most Honda’s have five speeds.

                    So what happened to the manufacturer that had the passion and drive to build the first NSX? Where did they stray from their values? Did they become compliant in their ways? Was it because the branched out to robotics and aerospace? Could it be due to poor leadership?

                    You are here: Home » Manufacturers » Acura » Why I hope the NSX saves Honda
                    Why I hope the NSX saves Honda
                    Chris Burdick | Apr 28, 2012 | 0 comments

                    Acura NSX

                    At the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, Honda/Acura unveiled the new NSX, which has a target launch of spring 2014. Like the original NSX this new iteration will feature a two seat design with a mid-mounted V6, but the similarities stop there. The new design incorporates a V6 hybrid powertrain, the latest version of SH-AWD (super handling all-wheel drive) system, and a newly designed dual clutch transmission.

                    The original NSX was born back in 1991 as a lightweight rear wheel drive sports car. It was sold around the world as a Honda and as an Acura in the states. The NSX was never known for its power, rather its handling, silky smooth transmission, lightweight, and easy-to-drive nature were its strong suits. It was a remarkable, ground breaking vehicle in its day. According to Ben Cochran, Director of Dealer Services at GoAuto, the NSX was the first car with an all-aluminum monocoque body, first equipped with variable valve timing (VTEC), and the first variable volume intake manifold.

                    What is even more remarkable is that in a short five years after selling cars outside Japan, the NSX was born. This passion for pioneering technology, innovative design, quality, making driver’s cars led Honda to many successful vehicles, such as:

                    Civic Si
                    Integra & Integra Type R
                    RSX Type S
                    CRX Si
                    Del Sol
                    NSX Type R

                    Acura/Honda NSX rear

                    Only one of those cars is still produced today, the Civic Si, and in its class of compact fun-to-drive cars it trails far behind the competition of the Subaru WRX, Mazda Speed 3, and Volkswagen GTI. In fact the Civic Si came in fifth in a seven car test for Car and Driver. The Civic model line was redesigned for 2012 and tested so poorly that Honda is going back to the drawing board and promises an update for 2013.

                    In the 90’s Honda was an innovator and lead the charge. VTEC was such a ground breaking innovation that separated the brand from the competition, but now everyone has variable valve timing. And while everyone else is exploring turbo charged engines, Honda discontinued it’s only turbo motor (RDX). Most manufacturers have six and seven speed automatic transmissions, while most Honda’s have five speeds.

                    So what happened to the manufacturer that had the passion and drive to build the first NSX? Where did they stray from their values? Did they become compliant in their ways? Was it because the branched out to robotics and aerospace? Could it be due to poor leadership?

                    Acura/Honda NSX side

                    I could speculate all day about what happened. But what I do know is that if this new NSX is sign of things to come we are in good hands. Honda’s current CEO, Takanobu Ito is passionate about racing and wants to make Honda known for making more than just quality cars with high resale values.

                    In the next year we should see a refreshed Honda Civic Si, an entirely new Honda Accord – the V6 coupe being one of the fastest front wheel drive cars out today, then in a couple years the new NSX. The future is looking bright for Honda.



                    The ‘near luxury’ car buyer: Myth or reality?

                    Honda Motor Co.’s newest sedan has an efficient four-cylinder engine and its marketing plays up features like Internet radio, not power or speed.

                    This isn’t the new Honda Civic. It’s the Acura ILX, a car built on a similar foundation as its parent company’s Civic that Acura hopes will give it a head start in the market for diminished luxury.

                    The Acura ILX, and rivals such as the Buick Verano and Lexus CT 200h represent a bet by some auto makers that demand is pent up for cars that are small and frugal like economy models, but come equipped with some of the comfort features, flourishes and badges of a luxury brand.

                    Acura executives say they believe the “near premium” segment in which the compact ILX will compete could grow by as much as 16% a year, on average, through 2017—faster than any other luxury-market segment.

                    And Honda HMC +1.56% isn’t the only company taking aim at consumers looking for status on a budget. German luxury brands have said they plan to bring to the U.S. more economical compacts and subcompacts they sell in Europe.

                    General Motors Co. GM -0.80% recently launched its entry in the near-premium segment, the Verano. Based on the Chevrolet Cruze, the Verano is the first compact model offered under the Buick brand in the U.S. since the slow-selling Skylark was dropped more than a decade ago. GM also has a new, smaller Cadillac model due out in the fall, the ATS, that it is positioning as a rival to BMW’s 3-series.

                    Honda’s vice president for national marketing, Mike Accavitti, said the ILX is a response to a change in the mind-set of many affluent consumers.

                    “Since the Lehman shock, we have seen a fundamental shift in luxury buyers’ philosophy,” he said. “We are seeing more rational behavior in purchases.”

                    Acura also wants the ILX to lure members of Generation Y, the buyers between 18 and 34 years old who have landed decent jobs, want a luxury-brand car with a distinctive design, but don’t really care how fast it goes—or so Acura executives believe. This target customer lives in or near a big city such as New York, Los Angeles or Chicago, where much of the time cars can barely get past 40 miles per hour in rush hour traffic.

                    The ILX starts at $26,795 (including freight charges), and ranges up to $35,295 for a loaded hybrid. That looks like a reasonable price if the competition is defined as German luxury cars like a BMW 3-series, which starts at about $35,000.

                    But the success of the ILX and similar cars will depend on buyers who may not fit the molds imagined by marketing departments.

                    “There’s kind of a move for people to go to these smaller cars and still get the bells and whistles,” said Rob Troxel, a longtime Honda fan who’s looking for a replacement for the loaded 2009 Civic EX his wife drives. “Miles per hour is not as important as miles per gallon,” he says.

                    Troxel might sound like a member of a focus group that gave Acura’s marketing department the template for its target customer profile. But he’s 65 years old—a baby boomer, just like most of the people who buy new cars in the U.S. And while he likes the concept of an economical luxury car, he is on the lookout for telltale shortcuts that betray a car’s cheaper origins.

                    He tried a Verano, he said, but rejected it because the seat recliner was a manually operated, Chevy-style handle, not a smooth power device.

                    As for the Acura ILX, he said if the price is much over $30,000 he’d consider Acura’s more-powerful—and expensive—TSX. Troxel also questions why the Acura only offers a five-speed automatic, not the six-speed its rivals typically feature.

                    Edmunds.com says 16% of people who used the car-shopping site to research the ILX in March also looked at the TSX. The next most cross-shopped cars against the ILX were the Acura TL and the Honda Accord. Among models offered by Honda rivals, ILX customers looked most at the Lexus CT 200h, a compact hatchback that Toyota Motor Corp.’s luxury brand is aiming at the same younger buyers Acura wants.

                    On the road, the 2.0 liter, four-cylinder, 150-horsepower ILX is quiet and the steering is precise. But even standing on the gas pedal doesn’t produce much excitement. The 201-horsepower, 2.4 liter model is more responsive, but it only comes with a six-speed manual transmission, a deal-killer for most buyers.

                    The Buick Verano, like the ILX, is aimed at drawing a younger customer to the Buick brand. It comes with a four-cylinder engine, with greater horsepower than the ILX, 180. The Buick offers a six-speed automatic to the Acura’s five-speed.

                    The real challenge makers pushing econo-luxury autos is that many cars without luxury badges on the hood offer many of the “luxury” features, and often more power, for less money. And power still matters.

                    Danial Hyder, 32, works in corporate finance at the Detroit area offices of Robert Bosch GmbH, a big German auto-parts supplier. Hyder said he owns an Acura MDX and a 2006 BMW 5-series. He looked at the ILX but concluded that the car didn’t measure up to rivals in the same price range.

                    The car he ordered: a 2013 Taurus SHO, the 365-horsepower muscle car version of Ford’s F -2.27% sedate, large sedan.

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                    • http://www.indiandrives.com/automati...-in-india.html

                      Automatic cars witness boost in India

                      The Indian auto market has witnessed steep rise in demand for automatic cars. Data suggests that one out of every six, car buyers prefers an automatic gearbox to a manual transmission. Moreover, the demand has not limited to luxury sedans and SUVs, but small car buyers are also opting for automatic transmission.

                      According to Mr. Jnaneshar Sen, Senior Vice President Marketing & Sales, Honda India, the conditions of driving in the country is very rough and challenging, making automatic transmission a practical option. Indian drivers tackle through crammed city roads, rising traffic density and stop-n-go commuting on the road.

                      With automatic transmission, the drivers find it easy to smoothly cruise through the driving conditions with a single shift and clutchless driving. It does away with the complicated dodgy gearbox with six shifts and employs accelerator and brake pedal to make driving easy. With the need of clutching and de-clutching gone away, the overall driving effort is reduced by 60 percent in comparison to manual cars. This drift towards automatic transmission cars, the major automotive manufacturers are compelled to offer the volume-driven, small cars with automatic transmission choice. Small car segment has automatic options in the Hyundai i10 and i20, Maruti A-star, Dzire, etc.

                      Although the top-end automatic transmission cars cost about 15 to 30 percent more than the manual counterparts, the buyers are still liable of going for the automatic cars. According to Maruti Suzuki India’s Managing Executive Officer of Marketing, Mr. Mayank Pareek, the Indian market has only recently been exposed to automatic transmission cars and there is a great potential in the segment with the prevailing conditions. He also suggested that Indian drivers get numbed left leg because of continuous clutching and de-clutching, which is why the automatic transmission is the best option.

                      Honda India has also reported rapid sales of its automatic transmission cars and Mr. Jnaneshwar Sen suggested that the new Honda City automatic accounted for 13 percent of the total sales of the sedan and now the figure has risen to 23 percent. Moreover, while 32 percent of the total sales of the Honda Civic sedan sold are automatic variants, the high-end models of CR-V and Accord sell over 60 percent automatic variants. Mr Sen also announced that with improvement in technology, the automatic cars are delivering fuel efficiency figures similar to that of manual transmission cars.

                      German automakers like Mercs, BMW and Audi have promoted the automatic transmission cars by offering automatic versions in premium class sedans. With the coming of bigger fishes like Nissan, Volkswagen, Renault and Skoda, the Indian auto market has witnessed a growth in automatic transmission segment from 2 percent to 14 percent in past five years.

                      According to Mr. Arvind Saxena, MD Hyundai India, the diminishing price gap between automatic and manual cars is also a major factor in promoting sales of AT cars. The automatic gearbox replaces the traditional six speed gearbox and employs up to eight speed shift without having to move the lever. Some cars also sport the pedal shifters, which bring the joy of manual driving. Indian customers these days are opting automatic transmission in cars like and Honda City etc.


                      Should Honda’s Concept C Be the Next Accord ?


                      After several years of seeming to be in a design and inspirational funk, it seems like Honda, in both its namesake bread-and-butter brand, as well as its upscale Acura brand, have finally found some mojo, showcasing some interesting and compelling concepts, and showing promise with forthcoming future products. However, that’s not to say everything has been uniformly outstanding.

                      At the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, there was a collective shrug by the press when the Accord Coupe “Concept” was shown. The concept was barely distinguishable from the current production model. Aside from Honda’s next-generation Earth Dreams powerplants, there was nothing particularly compelling or groundbreaking about the car. This was in stark contrast to the enthusiastic reception the Acura NSX concept received.

                      If the coupe concept shown in Detroit is an indication of what the next-generation Accord is going to look like, then styling changes will be evolutionary, at best. However, a concept shown at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show shows an entirely different potential styling direction for a midsize sedan, and one we generally find a lot more interesting.

                      The Honda Concept C pairs a bold front-end styling treatment with a coupe-like side profile that shows influences from the Mazda6 and Hyundai Sonata, two of the more daringly-styled entries in the traditionally staid midsize segment. Although the chromey beak on the concept may not be universally adored by all onlookers, overall, it is a huge improvement over the understated and somewhat dated lines of the current model.

                      If the Detroit coupe concept is indicative of a mid or late-cycle refresh on the current model with more comprehensive mechanical changes, we’d be inclined to be accepting of the mild change. But as the styling direction of a new, re-invigorated, re-energized Honda, we much prefer the Concept C.

                      What do you think? Should the next Accord look more like the coupe concept from Detroit, or the Concept C from Beijing? Which do you think is a more likely candidate to be the next Accord?


                      Autos inventory key to gauging popularity
                      Rising supplies mean demand is falling off


                      One of the more arcane numbers automotive pundits follow is sales inventory, or how many selling days worth of cars are sitting on dealer lots nationwide.

                      Industry experts consider 60 days worth of inventory to be average. Knowing this number, you can track a vehicle’s popularity.

                      Consider, for example, Japan’s Honda Motor Co Ltd.

                      You might expect the subcompact Honda Fit and CR-V crossover to be popular. They are. There’s a scant 35-day supply of the Fit hatchback, and a mere 24-day supply of the CR-V crossover nationwide, according to Automotive News.

                      By contrast, there’s a 73-day supply of the Ridgeline pickup and a 109-day supply of the Accord Crosstour. The Crosstour’s daring design might be the chief cause of its poor reception among buyers, a symptom shared with Ford Motor Co.’s Ford Flex.

                      The Flex, a three-row crossover, uses retro station wagon styling not unlike that of a hearse. That might explain its 122-day supply. The Lincoln variant, the MKT, has a 148-day supply. Both vehicles are really nice to drive. But their styling? Well, like the Crosstour, they look better once you drive them.

                      But it’s more than style that causes cars to stack up like firewood in July on dealer lots. Sometimes, it’s because the car is exiting production and with it, any marketing support.

                      Two full-size American cars no longer being built linger on dealer lots, according to Automotive News. The Lincoln Town Car, from Ford’s luxury division, has 113-day supply. General Motors Co.’s Cadillac DTS has a 110-day supply.

                      To anyone who follows industry sales, these numbers are no surprise. But there’s one set of figures that might: sports car inventory.

                      In Americans’ rush to embrace practicality in the form of crossover SUVs and compacts, sports car sales are suffering.

                      GM’s Chevrolet division has a 151-day supply of Corvettes and a 102-day supply of Camaros.

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                      • http://paultan.org/2012/04/30/dongfe...vic-for-china/

                        Dongfeng-Honda Ciimo – an 8th-gen Civic for China

                        Dongfeng-Honda has introduced the Ciimo sedan specifically for the Chinese market – if the shape in the photos look familiar, it is; the Ciimo is pretty much the eight-generation Civic, repackaged for China.

                        The car – which made its debut in Beijing – is available in only one engine variant form, this being the 1.8 litre i-VTEC, mated to either a five-speed manual or five-speed auto transmission. Kit includes ABS with EBD and active headrests.

                        Pricing for the Ciimo begins from 111,800 Yuan, and word is that the Ciimo name won’t just be worn on this one, but rather on a series of models as it becomes a sub-brand. Reports indicate that a SUV based on the CR-V is next on the cards.



                        Honda gets 500 new workers in UK plant

                        Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) on Monday introduced the second shift in Car Plant 2, as announced last December. The 500 new employees take the total number of workers at the Swindon plant to 3,500.

                        The Japanese firm said the second shift coincided with growing demand for its new Civic hatchback models.
                        In addition to the new Civic and the successful Jazz, 2012 will also see the mass production launch of the new European CR-V and the introduction of a new small diesel engine, both of which will be produced at HUM.
                        Production at the Wiltshire plant is forecast to double to 180,000 this year.
                        New Honda Associate, Dan Smith, spoke about his excitement at starting work at Honda, “I am really looking forward to building the new Civic here at HUM. Over the past few months we have been through all kinds of training and now it’s finally time to get started!



                        IndyCar rules in favor of Honda, against Chevy, in turbocharger dispute

                        Borg-Warner makes the turbos for all three IndyCar engine suppliers, Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus, but the engine makers provide two compressor shrouds of their own design for homolgation by the series. Honda's singe-turbo engine is down on power compared to Chevrolet's and Lotus' twin-turbo motors, and Chevrolet has won all every race so far and taken all pole positions this season. Honda had a new shroud ready for the Long Beach GP and IndyCar allowed the change, but Chevy protested so Honda wasn't permitted to make the switch.

                        A three-man panel was selected to hear Chevy's appeal, and their verdict in favor of Honda means that the Japanese automaker was permitted to swap the shroud before this weekend's São Paulo race. The new shroud is said to be worth 10 to 15 more horsepower, but in the end, Chevrolet-powered racers managed to finish in seven of the top 10 positions.

                        Chevy had been contesting the ability to make an engine change at this point in the season, when there are no constant-parity clauses in the regulations and IndyCar has an agreed date in mid-June for such alterations to create parity. Honda's argument was that an agreement in 2010 that was meant to prevent turbo wars does allow the change it sought to make. The panel supported Honda's interpretation of the parity argument.

                        Chevy has said it will not appeal the decision. Now it's up to the Honda-powered drivers fitted with the new 0.74 A/R compressor cover to show they can do better than second place.

                        Last edited by tokyodream; 01-05-12, 08:23. Reason: completare
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                        • http://paultan.org/2012/05/01/honda-...-fun-to-match/

                          Honda Earth Dreams Technology – aiming for best in class fuel consumption in every segment, with fun to match

                          Along with concepts like the EV-STER and Micro Commuter, Honda officially revealed its banner for next generation technology called Earth Dreams Technology at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. The company, and president/CEO Takanobu Ito, promises both to care for the environment and provide joy of driving under EDT. From what we’ve heard and experienced, it sure smells as sweet as Eau De Toilette!

                          There are few main weapons in the Earth Dreams Technology arsenal, comprising new petrol and diesel engines, a CVT gearbox, a fresh “two-motor” hybrid system, electric SH-AWD for efficient performance and of course, a compact electric powertrain for EVs.

                          With these, Honda is aiming high. No, forget high, let’s make it THE top. With Earth Dreams Technology, Honda is looking at being the fuel efficiency leader in every vehicle class within three years – how’s that for a mission? Alongside this FC target is a plan to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% for all products sold worldwide by 2020, relative to emission figures from year 2000.

                          Continue reading after the jump.

                          Let’s start with petrol engines and what Honda is so famous for, VTEC. Honda has enhanced its much vaunted variable valve timing and lift control system for better thermal efficiency and reduced friction. This will benefit both ends of the scale – fuel efficiency and higher output.

                          This “new VTEC” will be homed in a new engine series which has a new structure and higher expandability. The new range will include players in every engine class – from the JDM minicar standard of 660 cc to a 3.5 V6 that Americans require. Four cylinder units displacing 1.3, 1.5, 1.8, 2.0 and 2.4 litres will sit in the middle.

                          Another major shift is the use of the Atkinson cycle, till now only seen in Toyota’s hybrid models. The Atkinson cycle provides high efficiency at the expense of power density. It’s also not the strongest at low engine speeds, so this is where Honda’s twin cam VTEC know how comes into play, normalising the situation. Honda plans to use the Atkinson cycle from 1.3 to 2.0 litre sizes; no change for engines outside this range.

                          That’s not all, as 1.3L engines and above will all receive direct injection. The 1.8 and 2.0 engines, likely to power Honda’s future C-segment cars like the Civic and CR-V, will also get high capacity EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation). If used with motor assist in a hybrid, the 2.0L engine will come with an electric water pump, eliminating the need for a belt in the auxiliary drive and reducing friction.

                          Honda gave us a sample of this next gen engine, which in 2.4L guise features direct injection, DOHC VTEC, VTC, high tumble port, double arm chain system plus “extensive friction reduction measures” and Idle Stop. With all these, Honda claims 5% improved economy and 5% better output, along with 10% more torque – the latter is also more accessible thanks to a friendlier torque curve.

                          The improvements over today’s K24A is noticeable. Housed in an Accord Euro and paired to a CVT, the new engine has sharp response on take off, opposed to today’s “comes alive at high rpms” character. Can’t quite remember the top end feel though, no thanks to the CVT. But one thing’s for sure – it performs with vigour that’s not very common in the class. Figures? Over 181 hp and over 240 Nm is what they’re ready to reveal at this point.

                          Japanese carmakers are always critisised for their lack of diesel engine development, so when we were told that there’s a new oil burner for sampling, we were naturally excited. Honda will be replacing the 2.2L diesel it uses in Europe now for a thoroughly modern downsized unit – a 1.6L that’s aiming for best in class acceleration and fuel efficiency. I can see people at VW and PSA scratching their heads in disbelieve, but Honda is saying it with a straight face.

                          Firstly, this new 1.6L diesel is compact and has the world’s lightest body, according to its maker. Optimising engine rigidity and combustion pressure allowed them to use an aluminium open deck for the cylinder block, saving previous grams. Reducing mechanical friction was also a main objective, and the result is on par with current Honda petrol engines. There’s also a new compact and more efficient turbocharger.

                          This engine will make roughly 120 hp and 300 Nm of torque, but boy, it feels much better than that. Also demo-ed in an Accord Euro, but with a six-speed manual gearbox, you hear no diesel clatter in the car, and there’s no turbo lag. What’s nice is the way it revs so cleanly without any lack of breath or added vibration at high rpms.

                          “Like a petrol engine” is often used to describe nice diesels, but this is even smoother revving than many petrols. And since manual gearbox feel is something of a Honda trade secret, the package is top notch. In Malaysia, we can start writing a song dedicated to Honda titled “If Only”.

                          Honda is on a mission to inject sportiness and fun driving back into the mix, after focusing solely on green for some time, and the new SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) represents this efficient performance mix well. Developed for future large vehicles, the new SH-AWD is essentially a “hybridised” version of the physics defying tech. Presently, SH-AWD is a mechanical torque vectoring rear axle that can be found in high end models like the Legend and US market Acuras.

                          The electric SH-AWD was housed in an Accord body for sampling. Up front is the new direct-injected 3.5-litre V6 with 310 hp and 360 Nm. It is assisted by a 40 hp, 130 Nm electric motor and mated to a self-developed seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. At the back, each rear wheel is connected to a 27 hp, 70 Nm electric motor. The result is four-wheel drive without a link between front and rear axles.

                          Each rear motor is independently controlled, and can deliver either positive or negative torque. Instead of just directing torque to the outside wheel for more traction, SH-AWD can simultaneously generate power from the inside wheel, neutralising power use.

                          It’s sort of like taking from one hand and putting it into the other, in every corner. The front wheels does the usual regenerating thing. It’s all extremely efficient, and Honda says that this combo can deliver V8 go with four-cylinder fuel economy. And of course, there’s the physics defying traction. View this short video to better grasp the concept.

                          How Honda's SH-AWD works:


                          We tried the SH-AWD Accord mule on a very short loop of the Motegi road course, and yours truly came away very impressed. Here’s a big heavy car that can corner like few other. There’s so much more traction in the corners when the regular FWD Accord would have already washed wide, leading me to carry higher than expected speeds in the corners.

                          It was a super brief stint, but the slalom run gave the Accord, which is already the entertainer of the class, a chance to show off its nimble feet. It danced, not plowed, around the cones, and the car’s tail played along. Ok, it wasn’t drifting, but it was obvious that it wasn’t just front end grip dragging the car around. The only negative factor is major body roll, but that’s not part of what’s being tested here. Highly promising.

                          There was also a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox in the evaluation car. It wasn’t conspicuous, which is a good thing to report for a DSG type ‘box.

                          There you go, one afternoon worth of exciting discovery at Motegi. Many enthusiasts, me included, have been lamenting the “death” of Honda’s enthusiast/engineering streak, replaced by an obsession with eco and hybrid. The condolences are premature, and I’m happy to know that there are exciting times ahead from the brand. Just that this time, performance will be fused with eco consciousness.

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                          • April 2012 Sales: Honda Accord, Toyota Camry See Huge Jumps, Nissan Rogue Sets Record


                            Toyota rocketed ahead of its Japanese competitors in April, with total sales of 178,044 units across all of its brands for a gain of 11.6 percent over the company’s April 2011 performance. With sales of 122,012, Honda improved sales from last month but was flat compared to April of last year. That was the case for Nissan as well, with its 71,329 units sold among both brands representing a decrease of 0.3 percent.
                            April 2012 Sales: Honda Accord, Toyota Camry See Huge Jumps, Nissan Rogue Sets Record imageToyota’s/Scion’s Hots:

                            Toyota Camry: The 2012 Camry was once again the automaker’s overall best-seller for April. Toyota moved 36,820 Camrys last month, a 20.9-percent increase in year-over-year sales.

                            Toyota Prius: No surprise here, as Toyota doesn’t yet break out Priuc C and Prius V sales from the regular Prius. The sub-brand’s sales jumped 101.7 percent over the same period last year, with Toyota sending a Prius home to 25,168 new owners.

                            Scion iQ: Although the smallest Scion in the lineup, the diminutive iQ beat out its slightly larger sibling, the Scion xD, by 46 units. Since the beginning of this year, 3485 iQs have been sold, with 962 of those sold in April.
                            Toyota’s/Scion’s Not-So-Hots:

                            Toyota FJ Cruiser: FJ Cruiser sales in April were just as rough as the SUV. Toyota sold 994 FJ Cruisers in April compared to the 1246 sold during the same period last year, a 20.2-percent year-over-year decrease.

                            Toyota Sienna: Toyota’s popular minivan was down 17.5 percent in April. The family-mobile’s 9451 units is still about 100 units above the Highlander’s April performance.

                            Scion tC: While all three non-iQ Scions were down in April, the brand’s usual best-seller fell the hardest, selling only 2008 units compared to last April’s 2674 units. The drop represents a 24.9 percent decrease, and it’s unclear how the car will fare once the Scion FR-S arrives on the scene.
                            April 2012 Sales: Honda Accord, Toyota Camry See Huge Jumps, Nissan Rogue Sets Record imageLexus’ Hots:

                            Lexus CT: Lexus’ sporty little hybrid hatchback saw sales increase 85.1 percent compared to April 2011, with 1620 units sold.

                            Lexus GS: It appears Lexus gave its customers exactly what they wanted with the revamped 2013 Lexus GS. All the hard work that went into that car paid off, as sales skyrocketed to 2006 units sold from just 385 units last April.
                            Lexus’ Not-So-Hots:

                            Lexus HS: It’s not surprising to see Lexus prioritize production and sales of other cars, with the HS 250h model making way for the ES 300h hybrid model. Just 28 units were sold in April, down from 279 units in April 2011.

                            Lexus GX: While the LX is actually up 71.2 percent in year-over-year sales, the GX fell hard with a 26.3-percent decrease, for 751 sales.

                            April 2012 Sales: Honda Accord, Toyota Camry See Huge Jumps, Nissan Rogue Sets Record imageHonda’s Hots:

                            Honda Accord: Bouncing back from a rough March, the Honda Accord led sales volume for the Honda brand in April with 35,385 units sold – an increase of 25.6 percent over the 28,180 units sold the same month in 2011. This re-crowns the Accord as the number-two best-selling Japanese midsizer behind the Toyota Camry.

                            Honda Civic Hybrid: The Civic was second in sales volume, at 24,423 units sold in April. Though the compact scored high in the sales volume arena, the numbers were down 8.8 percent from the 26,777 units sold in April of last year. Included in the Civic’s total sales, however, was the Civic Hybrid, which saw a 533.2-percent spike at 766 units sold.

                            Honda CR-V: Though its performance from last month didn’t carry over into April, the new CR-V was still one of Honda’s best-sellers. Selling 23,627 units for the month, the CR-V gained 9.0 percent over the 21,683 units sold in April 2011.

                            Honda Odyssey: The Odyssey was the best-selling Japanese minivan in April, at 10,476 units sold – a 5.2-percent gain over the 9954 units sold the same month last year.
                            Honda’s Not-So-Hots:

                            Honda CR-Z and Insight: Honda’s dedicated hybrid models didn’t fare so well in April, with the CR-Z hatchback selling just 334 units for an 81.6-percent decrease, and the compact Insight selling 738 units for a drop of 72.1 percent.

                            Honda Fit: Though it originally launched with the slogan “the Fit is go,” Honda’s B-segment subcompact was not go in April, as it dropped 60.5 percent at 3202 units sold. Starting with the 2014 model year, U.S.-spec Fits will be made in Mexico.

                            April 2012 Sales: Honda Accord, Toyota Camry See Huge Jumps, Nissan Rogue Sets Record imageAcura’s Hots:

                            Acura MDX: The champion of Acura takes reign again in April, with 3952 units sold. The top-seller hasn’t budged much compared to last year’s numbers, with only 40 more units sold this year. While things remain steady for the MDX, the arrival of the all-new seven-passenger Infiniti JX could mean trouble.

                            Acura RDX: The completely redesigned 2013 Acura RDX recently debuted at this year’s Chicago auto show, and it’s already proved to be quite a hit after the refreshed crossover went on sale last month. Despite being Acura’s fourth-best seller, year-over-year sales were up 47.7 percent last month, with 1984 RDX crossovers sold.
                            Acura’s Not-So-Hots:

                            Acura RL: It appears Acura dealers have forgotten about the RL because sales for the sedan bombed in April. Only 33 customers opted for a brand-new RL, which represents an 81.8 percent drop versus sales in April 2011. The TSX and TL had flat sales in April, with 3138 and 2997 units, respectively.

                            Acura ZDX: The polarizing ZDX is definitely not for everyone, and sales numbers reflect it. Sales of Acura’s unique “sports coupe” sagged 59.7 percent, with only 71 units sold compared to the 176 ZDX crossovers sold during the same month last year.

                            April 2012 Sales: Honda Accord, Toyota Camry See Huge Jumps, Nissan Rogue Sets Record imageNissan’s Hots:

                            Nissan Rogue and Versa: The Japanese automaker’s compact crossover repeated last month’s second-place performance in overall sales volume, with 8563 units sold versus 8432 units sold in April 2011 – a gain of 1.6 percent. The compact Nissan Versa wasn’t far behind at 8335 units sold in April, up 30.0-percent over the 6413 units sold the same month last year.

                            Nissan Quest: Nissan’s best year-over-year performer was the Quest minivan, which sold 1958 units in April compared to 999 units the same period in 2011 for a 96.0-percent gain. While that number represents an improvement over last year’s performance, it still trails far behind the sales of the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey.

                            Nissan Titan, Frontier, and Pathfinder: Nissan had several bright spots in the truck and SUV categories, with the full-size Nissan Titan selling 1568 units for a gain of 25.1 percent over last year; the midsize Frontier moving 4148 units for a 21.9-percent increase; and the truck-based Pathfinder SUV selling 2057 units – an increase of 26.5 percent.
                            Nissan’s Not-So-Hots:

                            Nissan Altima: Nissan’s midsize sedan once again led sales volume for the brand, posting sales of 16,239 units. Despite being Nissan’s best-seller in April, the Altima was down 5.8 percent from the 17,232 units sold the same period last year. With the 2013 model arriving in June, however, the dip in sales might be attributed to customers waiting for the new model.

                            Nissan Cube: The quirky Nissan Cube again proved to be a slow seller in April, with only 573 units sold for the month, compared to 1733 units sold the same period last year – a decrease of 66.9 percent.

                            Nissan Leaf: Sales of the all-electric Leaf dipped in April, despite a strong March. The EV sold 370 units for the month, a decrease of 35.4 percent from the 573 units sold in April 2011.

                            Infiniti’s Hots:

                            Infiniti JX: In its first full month of sales, the JX crossover has landed in second place behind the current best-selling G lineup. The JX was hot on the heels of the G Sedan in April, at 2079 units sold.
                            April 2012 Sales: Honda Accord, Toyota Camry See Huge Jumps, Nissan Rogue Sets Record imageInfiniti’s Not-So-Hots:

                            Infiniti EX: Not surprisingly, the niche EX crossover was a slow seller in April. At 226 units sold, a drop of 48.5 percent from the 439 units sold the same month last year, the EX continues to be an oddball in Infiniti’s lineup.

                            Infiniti M: The Infiniti brand’s current flagship sedan had a bad month in April, at 461 units sold versus 843 the same period in 2011 – a 45.3-percent decrease.

                            Infiniti G Sedan: Once again, the G Sedan was Infiniti’s volume leader in April. But in spite of the high volume, the luxury sedan was down 19.2 percent from last year, at 2090 units sold versus 2588 sold April 2011. The G Coupe fared worse with 872 sold, a 31.2-percent drop.

                            Source: Toyota, Honda, Nissan



                            Honda Cruises To $44 On U.S. And Japan Recoveries

                            Honda delivered impressive earnings in the last quarter in spite of still being scarred by the Thailand floods and Japanese earthquake. The company saw improved sales in its motorcycle, automobile and power segments along with stable improving results from its financial segment.

                            Honda competes principally in the automobile market with other global car manufacturers such as Toyota, GM, Ford and Hyundai. Our current price estimate of $44 for Honda’s stock is around 15% above the current market price.

                            North America and Japan drive auto sales

                            While Honda’s motorcycle sales grew at 17.8% last quarter, car and power product sales were up by almost 15%. The company’s sales for the quarter grew by 8% to $29.7 billion while profit grew by 61% to $882.7 million.

                            The company’s improved sales in automobile segment were mainly driven by the resurgence of the auto industry in the U.S. and Japan. In Japan, the government created a positive environment for the auto industry through tax incentives for fuel-efficient cars and new subsidies to scrap older vehicles.

                            Car industry sales in Japan jumped by almost 47.5% in the last quarter. The U.S. auto industry growth was mainly driven by a recovering economy, an aging fleet of vehicles and lower impact of oil prices on end users. Car sales by all automotive manufacturers in U.S. jumped by 19.5% in the last quarter.

                            Honda’s Japan sales were helped by its introduction of new Fit Shuttle / Hybrid, N-Box and Freed Hybrid cars. In North America, the biggest automotive market in the world, Honda’s unit sales were up over 100% as the company’s Civic, Accord and Odyssey models continued to attract customers in large numbers.

                            Expansion in Operating Margins

                            Honda saw a nice expansion of operating margins in all its units. While the both motorcycle and automobile operating margins were helped by increased sales volume and a favorable model mix, the automobile segment was also helped by a reduction in SG&A costs. The factors hurting the margins were increased R&D costs and a negative effect of currency. The operating margins for power systems was also helped by sales volume and favorable model mix, but was hurt by an increase in SG&A costs.

                            The favorable macroeconomic conditions for the auto sector are expected to continue through the end of this year and Honda will do well if it is able to continue the momentum. We expect its focus on fuel efficiency and new models to yield rich dividends in the coming quarters.



                            American Honda Reports April Auto Sales:

                            CR-V Sets April Record, Accord Sees 41-Percent Gain, All-New 2013 Acura RDX Fast Out of the Gate

                            05/01/2012 - TORRANCE, Calif.
                            American Honda today reported April 2012 U.S. sales of 122,012 units, an increase of 10 percent based on the daily selling rate*. The Honda division posted April 2012 sales of 109,837, an increase of 9.2 percent compared to April 2011. Acura's U.S. April sales of 12,175 were up 18 percent compared to April 2011.

                            - Honda Accord sales up more than 40 percent compared to April 2011, demonstrating the strength of Accord, even as an all-new version is set to debut this fall.

                            - New April sales record for CR-V. Accord, CR-V, Odyssey and Ridgeline all post double-digit percentage sales gains compared to last year.

                            - Honda Civic Hybrid sales up more than 600 percent on heightened fuel-price sensitivity.

                            "With double-digit sales growth in April, the Accord continues to be the retail sales leader in the mid-size segment," said John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president of sales. "As other manufacturers resort to fleet sales, the quality and value of the Honda Accord continues to win new customers even as we prepare to launch an all-new model this fall."

                            - 2013 Acura RDX is fast out of the gate, with sales of the all-new SUV up more than 65 percent compared to same period last year.

                            - All core Acura models (TL, TSX, RDX and MDX) post double-digit increases compared to 2011, while MDX remains Acura's best selling model.

                            - The all-new ILX compact luxury sedan goes on sale May 22.

                            "We're delighted to see customers embrace the right-sized 2013 Acura RDX," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. "It's great to see so many new owners recognizing the remarkable combination of class-leading fuel economy, performance and luxury in our new SUV."

                            *The daily selling rate (DSR) is calculated with 24 days for April 2012 and 27 days for April 2011. Year-to-date, the DSR is calculated with 101 days for 2012 and 102 days for 2011. All percentages reflect DSR.

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                            Honda, Acura sales back on the plus side in April

                            Honda Canada reported this afternoon combined April sales of 12,800 units represented a four per cent increase over last year's figures.

                            The Honda Automobile Division reported April sales of 11,303 units, up four per cent from last year, led by the Civic (up 15 per cent ) and CR-V (up six per cent). The Acura Division reported April sales of 1,497 units, up 10 per cent over last year, with increased sales of Acura RDX (up 76 per cent) and TSX (up 35 per cent).

                            "We are pleased to see a great sales start of the all-new 2013 Acura RDX compact luxury SUV, which went on-sale last month," said Jerry Chenkin, executive vice president, Honda Canada Inc. "Canadian built Honda Civic and CR-V have shown a steady sales increase in April. Both vehicles are designed to provide Canadian customers with best in-class value. And we would like to thank Canadians for continuing to embrace the Civic, keeping it as the leader in its segment year-to-date." Honda of Canada Mfg in Alliston produces the Civic Sedan, Si and Coupe in Plant 1, and Civic Sedan, CR-V, Acura MDX sport utility and Acura ZDX vehicles in Plant 2. It employs approximately 4,000 associates.
                            Last edited by tokyodream; 02-05-12, 06:17.
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                            • http://www.carnewschina.com/2012/05/...se-car-market/

                              Dongfeng-Honda Ciimo sub-brands into the Chinese car market

                              The Dongfeng-Honda Ciimo debuted at the Beijing Auto Show last week and it has now officially entered the smoking hot Chinese car market. Ciimo is a sub-brand from the Dongfeng-Honda joint venture. The ‘Ciimo’ is their first car based on the last-gen Honda Civic sedan. Next op is a Ciimo SUV based on the last-gen Honda CR-V. Price for the Ciimo starts at 111.800 yuan and ends at 119.800 yuan.

                              Design is basically Civic except for new badges and new light-units. Developing this first Ciimo must have been very cheap indeed. Power comes from Honda’s 1.8 with 140hp, mated to a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic. There will also be a 2.0 available in the future. Ciimo will use the existing Dongfeng-Honda dealer-network, when the line-up gets bigger however Ciimo might open its own dealers in China.



                              Honda sales mixed in April – Civic drops while Accord, CR-V jump

                              Honda Motor Company Ltd.'s April sales slid even as some models posted significant gains.
                              Sales last month fell 2 percent to 122,012 vehicles from 124,799 a year earlier. The drop came from Honda's car division, where sales fell 5 percent to 70,251 from 73,709 in April 2011. Its light truck division's sales rose 1 percent to 51,761 from 51,090.
                              Part of the decline can be attributed to the Japanese automaker's popular Civic sedan, which saw sales fall 9 percent in April. The company sold 24,423 Civics last month, down from 26,777 a year earlier. Sales of the compact Fit tumbled 61 percent to 3,202 compared with 8,116 the company sold in April 2011.
                              Sales of the flagship Accord improved 26 percent. The company sold 35,385 Accords in April, up from 28,180 a year earlier. Sales of the CR-V crossover sport utility vehicle increased 9 percent to 23,627 from 21,683.
                              The luxury Acura TL posted a 4 percent sales gain to 2,997 cars from 2,887 a year earlier. Sales of the crossover Acura RDX spiked 48 percent to 1,984 last month from 1,343 a year ago.
                              Columbus Business First, a sister publication of Los Angeles Business, reports sales unadjusted for selling days in the month, Honda’s report accounts for three fewer days in April 2012 than in April a year earlier. Honda’s sales results are available here.
                              Honda's (NYSE:HMC) North American base -- American Honda Motor Co. Inc. -- is based in Torrance.



                              Compact Crossover Sales: Honda CR-V Out in Front for April

                              The compact crossover continues to provide volume close to that of the midsize sedan class and, for April, the new Honda CR-V was the segment’s best-selling example at 23,627 units sold. That number represents an improvement of 9.0 percent over April 2011, when the model sold 21,683 units. In second-place was the Chevrolet Equinox with 18,262 units sold – an increase of 7.1 percent compared to the 17,067 units sold the same month last year.
                              The final podium spot was occupied by the current-generation Ford Escape, which sold 16,986 units. The Escape may have landed in third place this month, but an all-new model will arrive soon. That might help explain the Escape’s 20.0-percent dip in sales from last April, when it sold 21,240, as customers may just be waiting for the new one to go on sale and Ford sells the last remaining 2012-model-year crossovers.
                              The fourth best-seller for the month was the Toyota RAV4, with 15,196 units sold for a decrease of 2.5 percent from the 15,586 units sold in April 2011. The Nissan Rogue, despite having its best April ever, only managed to snag fifth place with its sales of 8563 units, representing a gain of 1.6 percent over April 2011’s 8432 units. In sixth place was the successful Equinox’s platform-mate GMC Terrain, which sold 7839 units for a gain of 8.8 percent over the 7205 units sold the same month last year. While the CR-V was on top for April, combined Terrain and Equinox volume put GM ahead of all other players in this segment.
                              Model April 2012 sales April 2011 sales Percentage change
                              Honda CR-V 23,627 21,683 9.0
                              Chevrolet Equinox 18,282 17,067 7.1
                              Ford Escape 16,986 21,240 -20.0
                              Toyota RAV4 15,196 15,586 -2.5
                              Nissan Rogue 8563 8432 1.6
                              GMC Terrain 7839 7205 8.8
                              Source: Honda, GM, Ford, Nissan, Toyota


                              Last edited by tokyodream; 03-05-12, 06:04. Reason: completare
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                              • http://paultan.org/2012/05/03/honda-...d-car-battery/

                                Honda to recycle rare earth metals in hybrid car battery

                                Honda to recycle rare earth metals in hybrid car battery
                                May 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm By Chris Ng Filed Under Cars, Honda, International News

                                Honda is making hybrid engines a little bit friendlier to the environment. And I don’t mean by a new more efficient engine that cuts more emissions. Honda Motor Co. and the Japan Metals & Chemicals Co. have joined forces to establish the world’s first process to extract rare earth metals from various used parts in Honda products.

                                This is not an experimental process but one that actually works. The recycling will happen in an actual recycling plant in a mass-production process.

                                Before the end of the month, the partnership will begin extracting rare earth metals from used nickel-metal hydride batteries, which are current present in a majority of hybrid cars on the road. The batteries will be collected from Honda hybrid vehicles at Honda dealers inside as well as outside of Japan.

                                Here is how it works (an exerpt from the press release):

                                Honda had been applying a heat treatment to used nickel-metal hydride batteries and recycling nickel-containing scrap as a raw material of stainless steel. However, the successful stabilization of the extraction process at the plant of Japan Metals & Chemicals Co., Ltd. made possible the extraction of rare earth metals in a mass-production process with purity as high as that of newly mined and refined metals.

                                The newly established process enables the extraction of as much as above 80% of rare earth metals contained in used nickel-metal hydride batteries. Honda will strive to reuse extracted rare earth metals not only for nickel-metal hydride batteries, but also to a wide range of Honda products. Moreover, Honda will further expand the recycling of rare earth metals in the future as the newly established process enables the extraction of rare earth metals from a variety of used parts in addition to nickel-metal hydride batteries.

                                So, if you own a Honda hybrid or will be owning one soon, you can rest easier knowing that your car is a little bit greener.



                                Souped-up Honda Odyssey minivan set for One Lap of America endurance race (slideshow, video)

                                LINCOLN, Alabama -- The Honda Manufacturing of Alabama Racing Team will compete in the 2012 Brock Yates One Lap of America endurance race, driving a souped-up Odyssey minivan in the contest that starts Saturday in South Bend, Ind. Two members of the HMA Racing Team, Paul Street and Steve Manley, will represent Honda's Lincoln auto plant in this year's race. The One Lap circuit includes track events in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin over the course of a week.
                                The time trials are on road courses, banked ovals and drag strips.

                                The souped-up Odyssey has a modified V-6 engine with 523 horsepower, thanks to the help of a single turbocharger. A stock Odyssey 3.5-liter V-6 is rated at 266 horsepower.

                                Honda Team in One Lap of America Race May 2, 2012

                                A team from Honda Manufacturing of Alabama will go to South Bend, Indiana, to participate in the 2012 Tire Rack One Lap of America race. The event covers 10 states and 8 tracks in 7 days. They have modified an Odyssey to drive in the race. Watch video

                                The HMA Racing Team competed in the One Lap races in 2006, 2007 and 2008, but participation was suspended until this year because of the global auto industry slowdown. Employees, however, continued to voluntarily build race vehicles on their own time, including modified Odysseys, Pilot SUVs, Accord sedans and Ridgeline pickups. The vehicles are used in morale and team-building activities at the Honda plant.

                                Last edited by tokyodream; 04-05-12, 05:54. Reason: completare
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