Ultimele articole din presa straina referitoare la Honda

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  • http://news.taume.com/World-Business...-vtec-se-23504


    Honda has introduced its fuel-saving Idle Stop technology to the Jazz 1.2 i-VTEC to further demonstrate the company’s commitment to reducing emissions and improving efficiency.
    The Jazz 1.2 SE with Idle Stop delivers a combined fuel economy of 54.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 120 g/km – representing an improvement of 3 g/km. This drop in CO2 emissions means the car now sits in tax band C and costs only £30 a year to tax.

    The Jazz SE with Idle Stop is available to order now for £12,870 OTR and sits above the S grade (with air con) in the model line up. It also benefits from the addition of Auto Climate Control and body coloured door handles and mirrors.

    Idle Stop technology is already a standard feature in all Honda’s hybrid models – CR-Z, Jazz Hybrid and Insight – as well as across the new Civic range. The Idle Stop system improves efficiency by automatically switching off the engine when the car comes to a stop and is put in neutral with the foot off the clutch. The engine springs back into life as soon as the clutch is depressed.

    Your Honda, Your Way
    The popular Jazz supermini continues to benefit from the ‘Your Honda, Your Way’ campaign which was launched at the beginning of the year. This campaign gives customers the opportunity to create their very own exclusive package by choosing three of the following complimentary options:

    3 years servicing & road side assistance
    Fourth year extended Honda Happiness guarantee
    3 years 6.4 per cent PCP with 0 per cent deposit
    3 years 0 per cent HP with 35 per cent deposit – new addition
    3 years road tax
    £300 insurance contribution



    Sporty Civic gets a bigger engine

    Honda’s sportiest and most fun-to-drive Civic, the 2012 Si, has a freshened interior and exterior, more power than ever and higher fuel economy ratings than its predecessor.

    In fact, the Si’s new, 201-horsepower, naturally aspirated, 2.4-liter four cylinder is the same engine that’s in the much-pricier 2012 Acura TSX and gives the 2012 Si new spirit, even if it’s not turbocharged power.

    The 2012 Civic Si also has new fuel economy ratings of 22 mpg in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway from the federal government compared with 21/29 mpg for the 2011 Si.

    Meantime, the Si’s manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, of $23,145 for a base coupe is lower than the $24,765 for a 2012 Volkswagen GTI 2-Door that has a 200-horsepower, turbocharged four cylinder. The Si’s base price also is lower than the $24,795 starting retail price of a 2012 Mazdaspeed3 with 263-horsepower, turbocharged four cylinder.

    The sole transmission for the Civic Si models — sold as coupe and sedan — is a close-ratio six-speed manual that needs only a light touch to move smoothly through the gears.

    The clutch pedal in the test Civic Si Coupe wasn’t fussy, and the lack of an automatic transmission wasn’t a drawback except during a lengthy traffic backup when the car crawled along for miles and my left leg tired of pushing the clutch pedal.

    The new Si engine is the largest displacement powerplant put in U.S.-market Si cars. The horsepower increase over last year’s 197 might seem minor, but peak horsepower now comes at 7,000 rpm instead of 7,800 rpm so there’s a bit less rev noise to get the full power.

    More importantly, torque is up from last year’s 139 foot-pounds at 6,900 rpm to 170 foot-pounds at 4,400 rpm. The availability of peak torque at lower rpm puts accelerative power in the range where more drivers — enthusiasts or more mainstream types — will get to use it.

    The tester pulled itself along with zip in city traffic and could move with urgency — and with loud engine revving sounds —when kept in low gears.

    It didn’t feel taxed even when scooting by a line of other cars, and at less than 2,900 pounds, the Si coupe didn’t feel heavy. But neither did it feel tinny or too light amid bigger vehicles.

    Note the Civic Si, like all Civics, comes with a lengthy list of safety features, including electronic stability control with traction control, antilock brakes, Brake Assist and six air bags.

    The test car rode on 17-inch all-season tires, and there was a good amount of road noise that came through to passengers. The radio’s volume was constantly being adjusted to account for noisy road surfaces and the sounds from nearby diesel semis.

    The Civic Si test car’s steering had a lighter feel than expected. But this was predominantly at city speeds. On highways and country roads, steering felt more secure.

    The new Si exterior styling is a subtle blending and cleaning up of the previous model.



    Honda Motor Co. recognizes Hudson firm

    American Honda Motor Co. Inc. President and CEO Tetsuo Iwamura on May 31, presented the company's Premier Partner Award to Intrapromote LLC of Hudson for excellence in organic search engine optimization of American Honda's consumer-facing sites, including automobiles.honda.com and www.acura.com.
    Integrated search and social agency Intrapromote was one of 15 award recipients selected from 41 suppliers nominated by American Honda associates nationwide.
    This is the second time Honda has recognized Intrapromote with a Premier Partner Award. Intrapromote was also awarded this distinction in 2005.
    "As we enter our 11th year of working with American Honda, we're thrilled and honored to receive our second Premier Partner Award," said Erik Dafforn, president of Intrapromote. "We are proud to be part of the Honda success story, and we are fortunate to work with an organization that publicly acknowledges its partners in this way."
    The Premier Partner Awards were established in 1998 to recognize suppliers who embrace American Honda's philosophy of exceeding customer expectations.
    This year's award winners represent excellence in a variety of industries including logistics, transportation, marketing, consulting, security and much more.



    Honda demonstrates the Uni-Cub: personal mobility meets 'Uniracers'

    This weekend in Tokyo, Honda took the wraps off its Uni-Cub personal mobility device concept, showing the public what the self-balancing, motorized "unicycle" is capable of. The Omni Traction Drive System in the Uni-Cub uses a system of small wheels that rim the main drive wheel, propelling the vehicle 90 degrees left or right. The result: the seated rider can smoothly and (seemingly) effortlessly move in any direction just by leaning — front, back, side-to-side, or any combination thereof. A representative from Japan’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation took the Uni-Cub through its paces during a short 10-minute demo, showing off the device’s tight turning radius by repeatedly looping backward inside a ring of spectators. The moves looked tricky to pull off, but we’re told that it’s really easy to learn — supposedly you can pick it up in 10 minutes.
    The Uni-Cub's top speed is 6kph (about 3.7mph), and its lithium-ion battery pack will keep it running for about an hour at that pace. Of course, no 21st Century vehicle would be complete without a smartphone app, and Honda's allows the rider to rotate his or her Uni-Cub on the spot (say, to turn and face someone), as well as call it over from across the room (video below). Also, if you're worried about the vehicle's performance on hills, we learned it can tackle grades of up to 8 percent. Honda hasn't announced any plans to put the Uni-Cub into production, but it will start letting the public test drive it in spring of 2013.




    The Environmentally Friendly 2013 Honda Fit EV Will Soon Be Available At Honda Cars Of McKinney

    Honda Cars of McKinney in McKinney, TX will soon be carrying the brand-new 2013 Honda Fit EV.
    Dallas, Texas (I-Newswire) June 17, 2012 - Honda Cars of McKinney is pleased to announce that it will soon be carrying the brand-new 2013 Honda Fit EV. The 2013 Fit EV is latest competitor in the segment of electric vehicles, and it raises the bar in terms of efficiency and performance.

    The 2013 Honda Fit EV sets a new standard in terms of efficiency, returning 132 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) city and 105 MPGe on the highway. The purely electric Fit EV doesn’t use a drop of gasoline and produces zero emissions. The 2013 Honda Fit EV has earned a 82 mile combined driving range rating by the EPA, which ranks it higher than its competitors: the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Ford Focus Electric.

    Many drivers may avoid electric vehicles because they think they are slower than their gasoline powered counterparts, but the 2013 Honda Fit EV turns that idea on its head. The 2013 Fit EV’s 92kW electric motor produces 118 lb.-ft. of torque, which is a 77% increase from the Fit’s gasoline engine.

    The superior diving experience doesn’t stop with increased power. The 2013 Honda Fit EV offers a 3-mode drive system, which allows drivers to tailor the driving experience to their preference. SPORT mode provides that driver with a boost of performance and the ECON button will stretch miles between charges.

    The 2013 Honda Fit EV is packed with the technological features drivers crave. The available smartphone application allows drivers to monitor the charge of their vehicle when they are nowhere near it, and drivers can even remotely engage the climate control system to ensure their Fit EV is comfortable as soon as they get in it.

    The standard Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with Voice Recognition displays range circles that indicate how far the vehicle can travel on its current charge, and is able to locate the nearest charge station when the driver asks it to. The 2013 Honda Fit EV also features a rearview camera and automatic climate control.

    If you are interested in learning more about the award-winning 2013 Honda Fit EV, or in being one of the first to schedule a test drive visit Honda Cars of McKinney of McKinney, TX. Their friendly staff will be happy to assist you in finding the perfect Honda vehicle to fit your lifestyle. You may also visit Honda Cars of McKinney online at, http://www.hondacarsofmckinney.com/.

    About Honda Cars of McKinney

    Honda Cars of McKinney, http://www.hondacarsofmckinney.com/, of the McKinney, TX area carries an extensive inventory of new and used Honda cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans. The dealer’s finance specialists work with a vast array of lending sources to guarantee their customers get the most complete and comprehensive financial package available. In addition, the Texas Honda dealer provides auto services and Honda parts.

    About Honda Cars of McKinney:
    Honda Cars of McKinney, the #1 Certified Honda Dealer in Texas, carries an extensive inventory of Honda cars, trucks, vans and SUVs and works hard to get its customers into the vehicle they have always wanted. The service department strives for complete customer satisfaction in all provided services, from general maintenance to major repairs. Honda Cars of McKinney, serving the Dallas area, is sure to offer exceptional customer service.

    Company Contact Information
    Honda Cars of McKinney
    David Robinson
    601 S Central Expy
    Phone : (800) 566-0438
    Last edited by tokyodream; 18-06-12, 05:54. Reason: completare
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    • http://www.automoblog.net/2012/06/18...ake-things-up/

      Honda Appoints New Head of American R&D To Shake Things Up

      There was a time when Honda was the automotive industry’s darling. Their cars showed a focus on engineering, and were generally stylish and well-developed vehicles that led their respective classes. As far as enthusiasts go, cars like the Acura NSX and Honda S2000 added a shine and luster to the brand. Today, Honda doesn’t have any true sports cars. CR-Z? Joke. Civic Si? Sorry, it isn’t going to cut it.

      They can’t even give us the Type R model. Honda has recognized this problem, and is trying to put some steps in place to fix it. It is similar to the way Toyota has gone about things. In North America, Honda has appointed its first American head of Research & Development, Erik Berkman. According to Automotive News the appointment came from Honda President Takanobu Ito, who worked with Berkman in the 1990s.

      Berkman has been responsible for some successful products, such as the 2004 Acura TL. That generation of the TL is generally regarded as the best of the breed, and the market responded accordingly. It sold 77,000 units on year, the best figure posted so far and the highest in its segment. He had to fight for the car to be produced though. Honda is known for its tight control of costs – it has never lost money, even through the worst parts of the global economic recession. Impressive, no doubt. You can tell where the cost came from though by looking at its current products. Berkman says that the next Civic boasts much-improved interior quality and that the Accord will be the best iteration yet.

      “You’re going to find that Accord is a very well-balanced product that is the best overall product in everything, whether we’re talking about interior packaging, content of the vehicle, the fuel economy of the vehicle,” he said. It “will be one of the most feature-rich vehicles we’ve ever made.” That’s good, because it needs to be. “Having high expectations or pressure is what’s necessary to get us to a point where we’re performing,” he said. “We want everybody to fall over and go: There it is again. There’s that Honda we used to praise.” He hit the nail on the head there. It’s good to see someone having such a good sense of what needs to be done. Hopefully the company gets to the point where we’re all saying that once again.



      Honda to rely on racing efforts to woo back enthusiasts?

      A scan of recent Honda headlines shows a corporate entity that you'd think few people, and even fewer CEOs, would complain about: in spite of the odd recall, Honda sales are up, it tops an ALG survey on perceived quality, has excellent relations with suppliers, was granted the right to alter its struggling IndyCar engine and then powered the car that won the Indy 500, and its intergalactically popular CR-V beat the new Mazda CX-5 in a Consumer Reports test. And it is the only major automaker to never record an annual loss. Ever.

      Yet those who look closer know more: the current Honda isn't the same company that got us to love the brand in the first place. The automaker has been saying for a while now that it is determined to be the alchemist it once was, committing to building smartly engineered, fun-to-drive cars. For the first time in its history it has promoted an American, Erik Berkman, to the position of North American Research and Development chief to do just that. According to Automotive News, Tetsuo Iwamura, Executive Vice President of Honda North American says "What we expect him [Berkman] to do is, through this good knowledge and experience, fulfill his dream of making North America strong." Obviously, there's no pressure at all.

      There are two other lines in the Automotive News story that give an indication of the tough road Berkman has before him. One was this: "He's planning changes in styling, materials, driving dynamics and technology across the Honda and Acura model lines." That doesn't represent merely building a fun car; that statement would more closely equate to a change in corporate philosophy for a company that keeps an eye on costs with an intensity that would make a wolf spider jealous.

      But Berkman, an engineer, has a 30-year history with the company and major successes on his record: he worked on the 1999 Honda Odyssey and 2001 Acura CL, his team designed the multiple-Indy 500-winning engine, and he led the development of the 2004 Acura TL sport sedan – a car he had to fight for, and whose sales repaid his commitment and the company coffers.

      Berkman didn't go into details about what he's planning, but we know it will involve more racing, including tracked-out versions of the NSX, and, taking the 2013 Accord as a guide, making incremental improvements and adding features everywhere. In Berkman's own words, the second crucial line in the story is what he feels is his mission: "We want everybody to fall over and go: There it is again. There's that Honda we used to praise." Carry on, sir – we'll be watching.



      Honda Fit EV Faces Tough ROI Arguments

      While Honda is focusing on how its 2013 Fit EV trumps the competition in MPGe and range, critics and competitors point out that the Fit EV's price point is out of whack.

      When basing an electric vehicle on a conventional gasoline-fueled model, return on investment arguments are inevitable (even if they seldom represent apples-to-apples comparisons). Here's how the story plays out for the Fit: though Honda will only lease the Fit EV, the converted electric has an MSRP basis of $29,125. That price includes the federal government's $7,500 tax credit, which means that the actual MSRP of the Honda Fit EV is $36,625. Meanwhile, the conventional Fit is one of the most economical cars on the road, with a MSRP range from $15,325 to $19,690, dependent upon trim level.

      So the argument goes that the electric Fit costs at least twice as much as its conventional counterpart. According to USA Today, the average driver (13,500 miles per year) would spend $445 to "fuel" (28.6 kilowatt hours per 100 miles at 11.6 cents per kilowatt hour) the electric Fit per year. On the flip side, a conventional Fit (31 miles per gallon) would cost approximately $1,552 to fuel per year. That works out to an annual savings of $1,107 in favor of the Fit EV. But due to its up-front cost, the payback period for the Fit EV (as compared to the conventional Fit) works out to be 11 years. Given that the average new vehicle is owned for less than 6 years, choosing the Fit EV over its conventional counterpart isn't a wise financial decision. Of course, that's not the main driving force behind most buyers' decisions to purchase an electric vehicle. However, as automakers begin to eye the mainstream public, electric vehicles will have to operate on better financial terms when compared to conventional vehicles.

      Perhaps a more useful price comparison for now is between the Fit EV and the Nissan LEAF ($35,200 to $37,250), Mitsubishi i ($29,125 to $31,125) and Ford Focus Electric ($39,995). However, the Fit EV will be produced in very low numbers and is the only vehicle in this group to be offered on a lease-only basis.



      Ever Wonder How Honda’s Headlights Got That Way?

      In the same way that documentaries dissect their subjects in order to provide a more complete view of the whole, a new series of Honda ads each hone in on a single feature of the auto company’s latest models.

      As sponsors of Channel 4's Documentaries, Honda has launched this new TV campaign, created by Wieden + Kennedy London, which links brand and programming together. The tagline "The More We Look, The More We Learn" could be applied to the documentaries themselves, or the ads/"idents" which use footage that looks as though it came from a documentary to illustrate features of several different Honda products.

      The campaign also includes a new website developed and created by Collective London, which indulges the kind of curiosity that accompanies an interest in documentaries. On the website, users will find a game that’s played with a series of questions themed ‘How curious are you?’ The site will Channel 4 content throughout the year.

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      • http://www.leftlanenews.com/honda-pi...st-appeal.html

        Honda pins enthusiast revival hopes on motorsports engineer

        While sales of the Honda Civic sedan and coupe seem to be bouncing back after a rough start last summer, the Japanese automaker says that it realizes it lost touch with what was once a dedicated enthusiast base. All hopes of rekindling that passion lie on the automaker’s new North American market research and development chief, Erik Berkman, who was plucked from the automaker’s IndyCar efforts.

        Berkman’s team at Honda’s motorsports arm was responsible for designing the new-for-2012 turbocharged V6 that has powered half of the race-winning cars so far in the 2012 IndyCar season – including the racing car driven to victory by Dario Franchitti.

        Berkman is hardly new to Honda passenger cars – he recently served as the automaker’s new VP of logistics and corporate planning – but he is the first American to hold the high-ranking top research and development position.

        “I know that there is a particularly high expectation for Honda to get back that magic it had at one time,” Berkman told Bloomberg at Honda’s Raymond, Ohio, research and development center. “What are we going to do, complain that expectations are too high for us? That we want low expectations? That’s not right.”

        Bloomberg points out that Berkman’s task of upgrading the automaker’s current products while still keeping them profitable won’t be easy. Honda is the only major automaker to have never posted an annual loss, even through the recent recession and even despite generally negative reviews for many of the company’s recent products.

        Berkman’s first task will be to turn around the Civic, which is selling well but was derided by critics. A refreshed Civic is set to be unveiled ahead of this fall’s auto show season and Berkman says it will bring with it a few “tweaks” including upgraded interior materials and revised driving dynamics.

        “If we do that [improve the Civic], we’ll knock off one more criticism,” Berkman said, acknowledging the generally negative reviews the 2012 Civic has seen.

        Thirty-year Honda veteran Berkman succeeded Hiroshi Takemura, who was sent back to Japan to take over the deputy director of automobile operations after the Civic got off to a rough start last year.

        In Berkman’s years with Honda, his most controversial product was also his most heavily-praised. As the development lead on the 2004 Acura TL, Berkman took Honda in a new direction with more distinctive styling and premium items like Brembo brakes.

        “It was so controversial, it almost didn’t happen,” Berkman said. “It was too much for some people.”

        But Berkman’s sedan was a hit, selling 70,000 units in 2004 to become the best-selling luxury sedan on the market. That TL is widely credited with shaping Acura into a genuine luxury brand, a position the automaker has nearly lost thanks to a number of questionable products over the last few years.



        MT Poll: How Can Honda’s New North American R&D President Bring the “Magic” Back?

        Eric Berkman is the first American to ever serve as Honda’s North American R&D president. He has big plans for Honda that could have a significant impact on the automaker’s success or failure in the near future.
        “I know that there is a particularly high expectation for Honda to get back that magic it had at one time,” said Berkman in an interview with Automotive News. “What are we going to do, complain that expectations are too high for us? That we want low expectations? That’s not right.”
        Berkman joined Honda over 30 years ago as a product engineer and worked his way up the ranks into Honda’s U.S. R&D unit. He worked on a number of vehicles including the 1994 Honda Accord wagon and 2001 Acura CL coupe, but he is best known for the development of the 2004 Acura TL sedan. It was the top-selling luxury sedan in 2004, but Berkman said he faced a number of internal challenges to get it approved.
        Berkman is also a motorsports enthusiast. Last month Honda scored a victory at the Indianapolis with a racecar powered by a V-6 racing engine developed by Berkman’s team. His racing passion and product intuition are two reasons why Honda President Takanobu Ito placed him at the helm.
        And Berkman has wasted no time since starting the position back in April. When the current-gen Civic received harsh criticism for a bland and cheap interior, he helped push the mid-cycle refresh year ahead of schedule. While we watch for Berkman to try changing public perception of Honda, we’d like to hear from you in the poll below: What should Berkman focus on as he looks for ways to improve the Honda and Acura lineup?



        Honda is planning to overhaul its bland image

        Honda’s new North American research and development chief is out to reinvent the brand through its racing heritage.

        Honda Motor Company knows it can’t remain where they are and remain competitive in the new global automotive market. Even though the Japanese company is the only major automaker to have never had an annual loss, they know they have lost their former reputation of having cars that are innovative, sporty and fun to drive. If they don’t change quickly, they will slowly begin to die.
        Honda plans to win back its reputation for innovative cars in the face of improving Korean, U.S. and German competition as well as recent critical reviews. In order to accomplish the goal of bringing back the mojo that Honda had in the 80’s, they have appointed 30 year Honda veteran Erik Berkman, to be chief of Honda’s North American R&D team.

        Competition is forcing Honda to change

        Honda is feeling the pressure from the South Koreans who have been gaining ground steadily over the past few years. Even though Honda's U.S. sales in 2007 more than doubled the combined U.S. deliveries of Hyundai Motor Co. and sister company Kia Motors Corp., the Koreans came within 1 percent of Honda last year. And the Accord which was the best-selling car in the U.S. in 2001, has been overtaken by Toyota’s Camry every year since then.
        According to Automotive News, Tetsuo Iwamura, Executive Vice President of Honda North American says "What we expect him (Berkman) to do is, through this good knowledge and experience, fulfill his dream of making North America strong." Honda executives are counting on the new R&D chief to do big things.
        Berkman has a long history in racing and knows the company will need to get back to its motor sports passion. The engine designed by a team led by Berkman, won the Indianapolis 500 last month. Founder Soichiro Honda, said, "If Honda does not race, there is no Honda" And Berkman may be just the right man for the job. Honda has deep roots in racing and Berkman will need to draw from that racing history to improve the struggling brand.
        Berkman has a 30-year history with Honda and has many major successes on his resume, He worked on the 1999 Honda Odyssey and 2001 Acura CL, his team designed the multiple-Indy 500-winning engine, and he led the development of the 2004 Acura TL sport sedan. The car was a major feather in Berkman’s cap whose sales repaid his commitment and was a huge financial success for Honda.

        Berkman has a big job ahead

        Honda’s reputation has suffered greatly the last few years and the company needs to move quickly to regain their lost status. "Honda is off the rails; they still build a great car, but they aren't leaders," said John Wolkonowicz, an independent analyst in Boston who specializes in automotive history. "In the '80s Honda, had the best cars on the market. They drove the best, had great fuel economy and people really loved them."
        We should see new technology and innovative cars coming out of Honda in the future as Berkman takes the lead in the R&D department. Honda President Takanobu Ito, who worked with Berkman at the U.S. R&D center in the 1990s, and Executive Vice President Tetsuo Iwamura, head of North American operations, have high expectations for him. Iwamura said, "He's planning changes in styling, materials, driving dynamics and technology across the Honda and Acura model lines."
        If Berkman brings his racing knowledge to his new position, there could be some exciting new things coming out of Honda in the next decade. And the new R&D chief said he is out to restore Honda’s image to its former glory. "We want everybody to fall over and go: There it is again. There's that Honda we used to praise." It will be interesting to see what new innovative sporty models come out of Honda in the near future.



        Honda to Double India Share in Global Motorcycle Sales

        Honda Motor Co. (7267) expects to more than double India’s share in its global two-wheeler sales as the company adds small-engined motorcycles and opens outlets to widen reach in villages and towns.
        “India will want more motorcycles as infrastructure grows, technologies improve and people’s incomes rise,” Keita Muramatsu, chief executive officer of Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt., said in an interview in Mumbai today. The Tokyo- based automaker will add 100-cc models and increase its penetration in rural markets, he said.
        Honda, which in 2010 exited a 26-year partnership with Hero Group (HMCL), sold 1.99 million two-wheelers locally in the year ended March 31 surpassing TVS Motor Co. (TVSL) as India’s third-biggest seller of motorcycles, according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. The world’s biggest motorcycle maker will increase its outlets and service centers in the country to 2,000 by the end of March 2013 from 1,500 in the previous 12 months, Muramatsu said.
        Honda expects sales in India to contribute 30 percent of its total two-wheeler volumes by 2020 from 13 percent at present, Muramatsu said.
        Two-wheeler sales in India, the world’s biggest market after China, may climb by as much as 13 percent in the 12 months ending March 31, slowing from a 14 percent pace a year earlier, according to SIAM. Industrywide sales was 13.4 million units in the year ended March 31, according to the industry group. Hero MotoCorp Ltd., renamed after Honda sold its stake, is the nation’s biggest motorcycle maker.
        Honda Motorcycle, which will open a new factory near Bangalore, in southern India in the first half of next year, introduced its cheapest motorbike in the Indian market, the 110- cc Dream Yuga in Mumbai today, starting from 48,028 rupees ($857).
        The company expects to sell 300,000 Dream Yugas by March 31, Yadvinder Guleria, vice president for sales, said at a press conference in Mumbai today.



        2012 Honda Civic Vs 2012 Toyota Corolla: Compact Comparo

        Other cars may steal the headlines, but the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla have spent plenty of time in the best-sellers lists.
        That's because each offers a wide range of talents to a wide range of individuals and families. They may lack the excitement of other models, but if you want a safe, comfortable, cheap-to-run four-door sedan, one or the other is probably near the top of your shopping list.
        With the Corolla rapidly ageing and the Honda relatively new to the market, which is most relevant to the cost-conscious buyer?
        Read our reviews of the 2012 Honda Civic and 2012 Toyota Corolla

        Gas mileage

        There was a time when the Civic and Corolla were among the most economical cars on the market.
        Indeed, it was Honda that really made the first move in the 1970s, launching its Civic into a market winded by the fuel crisis. With 30 mpg--and even 40 mpg, if driven carefully--it was comfortably two or three times more economical than many of the other popular cars of the day.
        The Civic is still efficient now, though it's the hybrid version you really want if gas mileage and low emissions are a concern. For those who can't stretch to the 44 mpg, $24,050 hybrid (and don't want to buy used), a regular, 5-speed manual transmission Civic with a 1.8-liter gasoline engine can be had for $15,755, and it'll do 31 mpg combined.
        Add a little more green from your wallet for the auto transmission and you get a little more green at the pumps, with 32 mpg combined and 39 highway.
        Either way, the Civic out-punches the Corolla. With a manual transmission, the $16,130, 132-horsepower Corolla manages 30 mpg combined, and 34 highway.
        You also spend extra to get less with the auto, which can only reach 29 mpg combined. Still, both automatic Civic and Corolla are rated at around 33 mpg by drivers entering real-world figures on the EPA's fueleconomy.gov website.


        In other respects, both cars are quite similar. Familiarity may have bred contempt with the Corolla's styling, and being very kind we could describe it as "inoffensive".
        The Civic looks a little more sleek and modern, though again it's nothing particularly special to behold. It's a similar story on the inside, though here the Civic has more of an advantage, with its dual-level instruments and high-tech feel. Unfortunately, the plastics themselves err on the 99c-store kid's toy side of nasty, so it's better to look at than it is to touch.

        2011 Toyota Corolla

        The Corolla is to exciting interior design as a barn is to the Louvre, but it's comfortable at least and if you avoid the base model, the equipment levels are good. Interior space is similar in each. The Civic offers 3 cubic feet extra space inside, at 95 cu. ft, and each has 12 cubic feet of trunk space.
        Both should prove reliable too--these are cars renowned for going on and on, so they'll get you there even if they don't entertain on the way. When we reviewed the Corolla we described its handling as "somewhere between inoffensive and soggy". The Civic fares better, its handling described as "rewarding". Both manage to ride well, so neither will be uncomfortable on longer drives.


        Choosing between Civic and Corolla is unlikely to be one of the most exciting decisions of your life, but both are worthy options in the compact class. Both have a talent for meeting the needs of buyers unconcerned by such niceties as style and image, while costing relatively little to buy and run.
        You'll get greater gas mileage from each maker's hybrid cars--Honda offers the Civic Hybrid and Insight in that class, Toyota fields the slightly larger Prius--but with the reassurance of new-car warranties the low MSRPs of each car combined with 30 mpg-plus economy makes them good choices.
        The Civic is more talented all-round, but you can be sure that Toyota will up the game another step with its next Corolla.


        Last edited by tokyodream; 20-06-12, 06:28. Reason: completare
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        • http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/...t=1&f=93559255

          Why A Strong Yen Means More U.S. Jobs

          The cost to build a Toyota Prius hasn't changed much in the past five years — if you measure the cost in Japanese yen. But if you measure the cost in dollars, it's a different story. In 2007, it cost Toyota about $16,000 to build a Prius. Now, it's more like $24,000.

          That's because the value of the yen has risen relative to the dollar. In 2007, $1 bought 124 yen; today, $1 buys just 79 yen.

          Toyota and other Japanese car makers haven't passed that higher cost on to U.S. consumers, partly because it would be awful for sales. Instead, the companies have cut back on incentives for buyers, limited exports of cars from Japan, and cut material costs in cars. Auto analysts and critics have pointed to the push to control costs as a reason Consumer Reports downgraded the Honda Civic (this was a big deal among car people).

          At the same time, the strong yen (among other factors) has Japanese automakers looking to build more cars in the U.S. Toyota plans to add more than 3,000 jobs in the U.S., and increase production at it assembly and engine facilities in the U.S. Nissan has said that within a few years, 90 percent of the cars it sells in the U.S. will be made here.

          The strong yen also means goods made in the U.S. can be sold more cheaply in Japan. American carmakers have never had much of a presence in Japan, where domestic car makers control more than 90 percent of the market. But with American cars growing smaller and the strong yen helping prices, this may be a moment for American manufacturers to start building a market in Japan.

          As we've noted before, "weak currency" sounds bad, and "strong currency" sounds good. But for economic growth, the opposite is often true.



          Consumer Report: Fuel-Efficient Vehicles

          With high fuel prices, everyone is looking for ways to save on gas. Automakers are heavily promoting new fuel-savers.

          Toyota’s Game of Life ads highlight the much-anticipated Prius c, a smaller, less expensive version of the Prius. Ford is promoting its new gas-saving Focus, the SFE version. Meanwhile, Honda is advertising its new Civic fuel-saver, the HF, and Chevy is touting its Cruze Eco.

          How well can those vehicles stretch your fuel dollars?

          Let’s start with the Prius c. It got 43 miles per gallon overall, and in city driving the Prius c delivers an amazing 37 mpg, which is the highest of any car Consumer Reports has tested. But the Prius c is slow to accelerate. The ride is stiff and the cabin is noisy, too.

          The Ford Focus SFE, the Honda Civic HF, and the Chevy Cruze Eco are all promising 40 mpg or better on the highway.

          Consumer Report’ tests show that all three cars do get 40 mpg or better, as promised. Fuel economy was 1 to 3 mpg better than the regular versions of the cars. But you pay $500 to $800 extra for those fuel-saving options.

          A better choice is the Mazda3 i Skyactiv, which rated higher in Consumer Reports’ tests. Plus it gets better gas mileage and costs less than the Cruze Eco and Focus SFE.

          Consumer Reports says that if your heart is set on a Prius, rather than buying a Prius c, you’re better off getting a good used Prius. It scores much higher in tests, gets 44 mpg, is reliable, and gives you a lot more room.



          New Volkswagen Passat Vs Skoda Superb Vs New Honda Accord: Comparison

          The luxury car segment in India is growing out to be one of the most vicious battlefields where nearly all of the major heavyweights in the automobile market are locking horns with each other. Volkswagen, Honda and Skoda are presently the leading luxury car makers in India with a lot of models. These come after BMW, Mercedes Benz and Audi which roll out premium luxury segment cars. It has been a while since luxury sedans started making their way to India anticipating it to be one of the most thriving automobile markets in the world. The market of luxury cars in India is increasing at a very fast rate and one of the toughest rivalries lies between Honda, Volkswagen and Skoda.The prime sedans of these respective heavyweightsconsist of Skoda Superb, Honda Accord and Volkswagen Passat. These three cars fall in almost the same price range but we should know what sets them apart in terms of their exteriors, interiors, mileage and ergonomics.
          Exteriors: -

          Volkswagen Passat: – This is one of the first sedans of Volkswagen in India and is the single conglomerate of one of the most revered brand names in the automobile industry including Bugatti, Skoda, etc. Volkswagen is eagerly looking forward to expanding in India and over the past few years, the company has maintained a reputation amongst its counterparts. The exteriors of Volkswagen Passat have been done up well. There is a sunroof which is totally operated electronically and can be tilted as per the convenience of the person sitting inside. The headlamps fitted to Passat are Bi-Xenon which comes with cornering lights. VolkswagenPassat comes in two tire variants one of which is 16-inch whereas the other one is 17-inch. These are purely alloy wheels that have been installed in order to give the car a sporty as well as luxurious outlook. The windows on the sedan have been fitted with chrome-plated strips and the boot lid of the car also has chrome-plated strip. Below the headlamps, there are day-time LED lines which we usually get to see in Audi sedans.

          Skoda Superb: – It is said to have one of the most elegant designs ever as Skoda owners are one of the most proud customers owing to the fact that when it comes to interiors as well as exteriors of any Skoda car, it is bound to strike a chord with car enthusiasts. The dynamics of Skoda Superb are praiseworthy and the exteriors of the sedan are done up by pure chrome. Superb is also available in 16-inch alloys and 17-inch alloys. The turn indicators come with OVRMs. There is an additional boot lid spoiler attached to the car and the exhaust tail pipes of the car have been properly polished in order to prevent them from corroding. Skoda has always been appreciated for the cars it has rolled out of its unit and now the automobile heavyweight is looking forward to bringing more and more inputs to India which will be based on totally new designs. The first car of Skoda to make its way into India was Octavia which was highly revered owing to its dynamic exteriors as well as interiors.

          New Honda Accord: – Honda Accord has always been showered praises by car enthusiasts as the sedan is considered as the trump card of Honda. The exterior design of the car is sleek and stylish along with the length of the car. The design of the New Honda Accord is said to be much better than its predecessor as the successor comes laden with an Electric sunroof along with Front Chrome Grill. The trunk of the car also has a spoiler and Accord comes with large alloy wheels giving it an altogether more dynamic look. The OVRMs are of the same colour as the body of the car and are attached with turn indicators. There are fog lamps attached both to the front headlights as well as rear taillights. Antenna of the car is purely made of glass which though makes it fragile but helps in catching radio frequencies easily. Additional features of the car include the hood damper, aerodynamic sideline, etc.

          Interiors: -

          Volkswagen Passat: – It seems that maybe a Passat fares well when it comes to interiors as Volkswagen has done a lot to give the best to their customers. The interiors of Volkswagen Passat have a lot to offer to its customers.The quality as well as crafting of Volkswagen Passat has been done with optimum expertise in order to give the passengers an elegant feel.The panels fitted in Passat are colour oriented and well-coordinatedalong with which, there is an instrument that is fitted in order to ensure the proper functioning of the panels. The panel of the car has been designed using premium wood and the seats of the car have been done up using premium leather of the best quality. The whole of the interiors give a very luxurious outlook to the car and thus this is what sets Volkswagen Passat apart from New Honda Accord and Skoda Superb.

          Skoda Superb: – Though Volkswagen fares well when it comes to interiors, we should not underestimate Skoda as the interiors given to Skoda Superb are class apart. Skoda has ensured that they live up to the expectations of the customers and thus have constructed the upholstery using premium nappa leather.There are quite many upmarket features that have been put into Superb such as Leather gear knob, Leather steering wheel, Power lumbar support, Wooden garnish on instrument cluster, etc. Skoda has always ensured that their cars complement the interiors and exteriors. Thus in order to compete with other cars of its class, Skoda Superb was given lavish and elegant interiors as the exteriors of the car received thumbs-up.

          New Honda Accord: – If Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Passat have impressive interiors, then Honda fares well over both of these owing to the fact that the interior cabin of Honda Accord is much more spacious than that of its counterparts. Thus, the passengers seated inside Accord will have more leg room than those seated inside Superb and Passat. Along with leg room, the passengers are treated to a better shoulder space as well. Three passengers can easily be seated in the rear seat comfortably. The seats have been done up using high-quality leather and are beige coloured. Upholstery has wooden trims which add to the elegance of the car and thus Honda Accord also scores well in terms of interiors.

          Ergonomics: -

          Volkswagen Passat: – The latest version of Volkswagen Passat is available only in the diesel variant in India owing to the fact that Volkswagen realized how the demand for diesel cars was increasing in India due to the sky-rocketing price hike of petrol. More and more people are now going for diesel and CNG powered cars rather than petrol. New Volkswagen Passat will be powered by a 2.0 L 4-cylinder CRDi Diesel enginewhich has a capability of churning out a maximum power of 170PS at 4200rpm along with a maximum torque of 350Nm at an impressive 1750-2500rpm range.

          Skoda Superb: -There are a total of 3 engine variants in which Skoda Superb is available in the Indian market. One of these is the 1.8 Litre petrol variant which has the capability of delivering a maximum power of 160PS at 4000rpm whereas the other variant is a 2.0 L diesel engine capable of churning out a maximum power of 260 PS at 1000rpm along with a peak torque of 35kgm at 1750rpm. A third variant is there and this is the powerful 3.6 Litre petrol engine that shells out a maximum power of 141.4 PS at 4000rpm.

          New Honda Accord: – Honda Accord unfortunately is not available in diesel variant and has only two variants both of which run on petrol. First are the 2.4 Litre 4-cylinder i-Vtecpetrol engines which hold the capability of churning out maximum power of 180PS at 6500rpm and then are the 3.5 Litre petrol engines that shells out a maximum power of 275 PS at 6200rpm along with a maximum torque of 339 Nm at 5000rpm.

          Mileage: -

          Volkswagen Passat: – Volkswagen Passat has only one engine and that gives out a mileage of 11kmpl if the car is moving in a city but in case of highways it goes up to 15kmpl.

          Skoda Superb: -Superb has two petrol variants and one diesel variant out of which the 1.8 Litre petrol variant gives out a mileage of 9kmpl in city and 13kmpl on highways whereas the 3.6 Litre petrol engine gives a mileage of 6kmpl in city and 9kmpl on highways. The 2.0 Litre diesel enginesgive a mileage of 11kmpl in city and 14kmpl on highways.

          Honda Accord: – Honda Accord comes with two engine variants both of which run on petrol. The 2.4 Litre petrol variant engines are capable of giving a mileage of 8kmpl in city which increases to 11kmpl on highways. On the contrary, the second engines variant are the 3.5 Litre petrol which has the capability of giving a mileage of 7kmpl when the car is moving in a city and this mileage increases to 9kmpl as soon as it enters highway.

          Conclusion:- If all the above features are to be considered then we should say that in case of exteriors, Skoda Superb fares better than Volkswagen Passat but stays in tough competition with New Honda Accord. But when it comes to interiors, Volkswagen takes the lead and when it comes to mileage, once again Volkswagen takes the front seat.

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          • http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2012/06/jd_power_associates_results_le.html

            J.D. Power & Associates results: Lexus, Honda, GM prosper

            General Motors Co., boosting the reliability of Cadillac and Chevrolet models, had its best performance ever in J.D. Power & Associates’ new-car quality survey, with three of four brands above the industry average.
            Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus luxury line topped the survey for the second consecutive year and its namesake brand ranked eighth. Honda Motor Co. had the highest-rated mainstream brand at No. 5, one spot ahead of its Acura luxury line. Jaguar leaped 18 spots to a tie for second with Porsche AG. BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan Motor Co.’s Infiniti also placed in the top 10.
            GM’s Cadillac luxury line climbed to fourth from ninth on the Westlake Village, California-based market research firm’s Initial Quality Study, which measures consumer complaints in the first 90 days of ownership. GM’s GMC truck and sport-utility vehicle brand ranked 12th, while Chevy was 15th, just above the industry average, J.D. Power said today in a statement. GM’s Buick brand ranked 17th, two levels below the industry average.
            “This is GM’s best performance in the 26-year history of the study,” David Sargent, J.D. Power vice president for global vehicle research, said in an interview. “They’ve come a long way, they’ve focused their attention on four brands and a smaller product lineup.”
            Ford Motor Co. continued to suffer from complaints about its touch screen dashboard controls, as its namesake brand fell for a second year to 27th and Lincoln remained below-average at 18th. Ford ranked fifth in the study two years ago.
            J.D. Power’s study is a bellwether quality survey that helped established Honda’s and Toyota’s reputations for reliability in the U.S. The study is considered an indicator of long-term dependability, which leads to better resale value. Automakers work hard each year to improve their scores.
            Jaguar, owned by India’s Tata Motors Ltd., jumped on the strength of its XJ model, which was the most improved vehicle in the survey, Sargent said. The car was new in 2010, when it had more than 40 problems per 100 cars just on its navigation system in last year’s survey, said David Pryor, Jaguar North America vice president.
            “Customers do respond to this,” Pryor said in a telephone interview. “We’re the biggest improver in the survey. For our brand in particular there are some misperceptions out there about where our quality is from the past. This is one of those really strong proof points out there for consumers that quality has gotten a lot better at Jaguar. It’s class leading; it’s industry leading.”
            GM’s Chevy Malibu was the top ranked mid-size car, beating out the Ford Fusion and Honda Accord, which tied for second. The GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado were the top two full-size pickups, while the Cadillac SRX ranked third among mid-sized premium SUVs.
            GM this year is replacing the Malibu with a redesigned version of the car. The Detroit-based automaker was helped by not having many new model introductions, Sargent said.
            “GM had a year when they didn’t have a lot of big launches, where there is more opportunity for things to go wrong” he said. “GM was swimming with the tide a bit this year.”
            Chrysler Group LLC also rose in the rankings, led by its Ram truck brand climbing to 14th, two spots above the industry average. Last year, Chrysler had no above-average brands and its Dodge line was the market’s worst. This year, Dodge ranked 29th, tied with Mitsubishi and Volkswagen and leading small-car brands Mini, Fiat and Daimler’s Smart.
            “Chrysler improved more quickly than the average,” Sargent. “But they’re coming off a fairly low base, so as a whole, they’re still below average.” Chrysler is majority owned by Fiat SpA.
            Chrysler’s Jeep brand improved one step to rank 23rd on the strength of the Grand Cherokee, which was in a four-way tie for third place among mid-size SUVs. Chrysler’s namesake brand fell to 25th place this year, from 16th last year.
            “Chrysler still has some challenges and some way to go,” Sargent said.
            Ford’s fall can be attributed almost entirely to consumer complaints about its MyFord Touch dashboard controls, he said. Its Mustang, Taurus and Expedition SUV, none of which are equipped with MyFord Touch, all ranked best in their categories.
            “If it wasn’t for the MyFord Touch system, Ford would be average or better,” Sargent said. “But Ford is going to roll this technology on to more and more vehicles. So as it becomes more prevalent across the Ford portfolio, there is a danger that things will get worse before they get better.”
            Ford sent a software upgrade to 377,000 owners in March after J.D. Power had completed its survey. Ford said yesterday the results of that fix would show up in next year’s rankings.
            Honda’s namesake brand slipped from second to fifth. Honda’s CR-V was the top-ranked compact SUV, the Japanese automaker’s only category winner. Last year, Honda topped seven vehicle categories, including compact car. While the redesigned Civic, criticized by Consumer Reports magazine, lost the category crown, it remained among the segment’s top three.
            Honda’s CR-Z and Fit factory in Suzuka, Japan, received J.D. Power’s highest award for plant quality. Honda’s Marysville, Ohio, factory, which makes the Accord and Acura TL, was the second-highest ranked plant in North and South America, trailing only Toyota’s Lexus RX plant in Cambridge, Ontario.
            “Honda, historically, has been one of the best, if not the best, manufacturer at avoiding launch issues and getting the vehicle right before they put it out on the street,” Sargent said. “And they’ve done it again this year.”
            Toyota’s namesake brand, after stumbling two years ago during recalls over unintended acceleration, had its second consecutive year in the top eight, slipping one spot from last year even as its score improved 13 percent to 88 problems per 100 vehicles. Toyota’s Corolla won the compact-car segment and was the top non-premium vehicle in the survey, Sargent said.
            Toyota’s Lexus line equaled its market-leading performance last year with 73 problems per 100 vehicles. The LS was the top- ranked premium car, the ES 350 was first among entry-premium cars and the RX topped the mid-size premium SUV category.
            Nissan’s namesake brand rose to 13th from 24th place last year. The Yokohama, Japan-based company’s Infiniti luxury line ranked 7th, up one place from last year.
            Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s largest automaker, fell to 18th place, from 11th last year and scored below the industry average for the second straight year. Its affiliate, Kia Motors Corp., tied with Hyundai and Ford’s Lincoln brand, with 107 problems per 100 vehicles. Kia’s performance improved 5 percent.
            Small-car brands Fiat and Smart were added to the survey this year, bringing the number of makes to 34. They tied for the worst scores.
            J.D. Power said its study was based on surveys of more than 74,000 purchasers of 2012 model-year cars, trucks and SUVs. Owners answered a 228-question survey about their first 90 days of ownership. The study was conducted between February and May. J.D. Power is a unit of McGraw-Hill Cos.
            J.D. Power also cited plants producing Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche models for quality awards. No U.S. automaker received a quality citation for a factory from J.D. Power for the second consecutive year.
            “It certainly doesn’t seem to be the people who work on the line,” Sargent said of U.S. automakers being shut out of factory awards again. “It’s more around the design of the product. The Japanese historically have been very good at designing products which are relatively easy to put together.”



            Honda to recycle rare earths from hybrid batteries in what it says is auto industry first

            TOKYO - Honda Motor Co. said Wednesday it will start recycling rare earths and other key materials in hybrid auto batteries this year — a key innovation in the Japanese automaker's effort to be green.

            Japan is dependent on imports, mostly from China, for rare earth elements, which are essential for making high-tech products, but a steady supply has been periodically threatened over political disputes with China.

            Beijing, meanwhile, has defended its export curbs on rare earths as an environmental measure and rejected a World Trade Organization challenge by the United States, Europe and Japan. China has about 30 per cent of rare earths deposits but accounts for more than 90 per cent of production.

            Honda officials said the company was targeting September or October to begin recycling of rare earths. They said it would be a first for the auto industry.

            Honda President Takanobu Ito acknowledged uncertainty about the future of Japan's energy policy, which has been thrown into doubt by the nuclear crisis set off by the earthquake and tsunami last year.

            "In the long term, we hope to move to renewable energy sources that won't harm the environment," he said at headquarters in Tokyo.

            Last year's disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant led to a nationwide shutdown of Japan's 50 working reactors. Public worries are growing about the safety of nuclear technology as well as contamination from radiation from Fukushima.

            Ito outlined Honda's efforts to reduce pollution and global warming, including experimental projects to combine solar with its fuel-cell cars — what he called the Honda "dream" to derive energy solely from nature and emit just water.

            Fuel cells are powered by the energy created when hydrogen combines with oxygen to produce water. They are still too expensive for commercial use and remain experimental.

            Ito said Honda's roots lie in its determination to develop a fuel-efficient gasoline engine to clear U.S. pollution-control regulations of the 1970s. Honda's CVCC engine was the first in the world to clear the standard. Japan later adopted similar pollution regulations.

            Ito stressed the environment was a pet theme for founder Soichiro Honda, who repeatedly reminded workers the auto sector must share the responsibility for reducing emissions.

            The maker of the Odyssey minivan, Asimo humanoid robot and Super Cub motorcycle is undergoing a strong recovery from a disaster-battered 2011, a rebound playing out at other Japanese automakers, including Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co.

            Honda's January-March profit rose 61 per cent from the previous year, and it's projecting record global sales of 4.3 million vehicles for this fiscal year.

            The earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan in March 2011 disrupted the supply of auto parts and sent sales plunging and battered profitability at all the Japanese automakers. Last year's flooding in Thailand especially hurt Honda, whose assembly lines were directly hit.


            Honda Issues Environmental Annual Report 2012

            the Honda Environmental Annual Report 2012 (Japanese language version), summarizing results of the company's environmental initiatives for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, as well as targets for the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2013. In order to address climate change and energy issues, which Honda views as most important in business management, Honda has established targets to reduce CO2 emissions from its motorcycles, automobiles and power products sold worldwide. In addition, striving to minimize the environmental footprint of its corporate activities in Japan, Honda has developed mid-term plans for environmental initiatives related to corporate activities. In the report, Honda discloses a wide range of information, including such targets and plans as well as progress made during the previous fiscal year.
            Published annually since 1999 which makes this year's report the 15th edition, the Honda Environmental Annual Report serves both as an annual report on the targets and progress of environmental initiatives based on the Honda Environmental Statement released in 1992, and as a communication tool for collecting feedback and comments from a broad range of outside parties regarding Honda environmental policies and practices.
            The principal achievements announced in the report for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, are at http://world.honda.com/news/2012/c12...ort/index.html .
            About Honda
            Honda Motor Co., Ltd. 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 .

            Honda Media Inquiries [email protected]



            New City to boost Honda sales

            KUALA LUMPUR (June 21, 2012): Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd expects the introduction of its New City model to help the company achieve its sales target of 46,500 vehicles for the financial year ending March 31, 2013.
            The New City, which was unveiled yesterday, is the first completely knocked down (CKD) model from Honda Malaysia since production resumed in April.
            Managing director and CEO Yoichiro Ueno said it aims to sell 2,000 units of the New City per month this financial year.
            "Since the launch of the first-generation Honda City in 2001, this model has been well received by the market. As at April 2012, Honda Malaysia has sold 113,005 units. In fact, the Honda City is our best-selling CKD model in Malaysia.
            "With our production currently operating at full speed, we are pleased to announce that we have cleared the 3,000 Honda City back orders that we received during the production halt period," he told reporters at the launch yesterday.
            He added that it is confident of achieving the monthly sales target as the City variant is popular among Malaysians with sales of close to 2,000 units per month for the current City model before production was affected.
            The New City is priced (on-the-road) at RM85,980 for Grade S and RM90,980 for Grade E. Of its monthly sales target of 2,000 units, Ueno said it expects 70% to comprise the Grade E variant and 30% from Grade S.
            "In line with the launch of the New City, Honda Malaysia now offers a five-year warranty with unlimited mileage for the New City customers who maintain their vehicle according to schedule. This new offer will enable customers to enjoy six times free labour service, up to 100,000km."
            Ueno added that it may consider offering the new after-sales package to other models if market response is good.
            He also said the impact from foreign exchange is much smaller now as it is increasing its local content.
            Although Honda Malaysia is still importing some components from Japan, it has begun sourcing some parts from other countries like Thailand and Indonesia, he said.

            Last edited by tokyodream; 21-06-12, 06:13. Reason: completare
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            • http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/21/457...es-annual.html

              Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Files Annual Report on Form 20-F for Fiscal Year Ended March 2012

              its annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended March 31, 2012. The web site address, from which Honda's annual report on Form 20-F can be accessed, is http://world.honda.com/investors/library/form20_f/ .


              Preview: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP


              For years, the Honda Civic has been the import tuner’s car of choice. You name it and there is a highly modified part. It runs to the point where there is a modification for just about every meaningful component along with myriad performance add-ons. Not to be left out of this highly lucrative market, Honda has added the Honda Factory Performance (HFP) package to the Civic Coupe. In all, there will be 400 units offered.

              The starting point is the Civic Si. The HFP package, which is offered in either black or white livery, then adds deeper front and rear air dams, bolder side sills and a tasteful deck lid spoiler. It also brings attractive 18-inch wheels wearing P215/40 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. That’s pretty much the extent of the exterior changes, badging aside.

              Beneath the sheetmetal, however, the HFP’s suspension has been heavily massaged. The new springs, which drop the ride height by 10 millimetres, complement the new high-performance dampers. These mods and the better tires bring a car that really does hunker down and eat fast on-ramps. The Si is no slouch in this department. The HFP is so much more focused — the poise and pointability as the ragged edge nears is appreciably sharper. The unspoken benefit is it accomplishes this without trashing the ride quality.

              The HFP arrives with the same 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine that powers the Si. This means 201 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. This engine pulls strongly at first, then gives the driver a swift kick in the pants at 5,000 rpm when the i-VTEC (intelligent Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) system begins to do its thing. When this happens, the engine seems to take a deep breath and sprint toward redline with ever growing purpose. This is an engine that must be revved to get the very best out of it. When pushed toward its 7,000-rpm redline, it really does sing a sweet siren. There is none of the grating thrashiness that defines so many high-revving engines — this one produces a deep bassy note whenever i-VTEC begins to weave its magic.

              The power is put down through a six-speed manual gearbox, a helical limited-slip differential and the front wheels. The transmission is the model of civility, pun intended. The short throws, defined gate and progressive clutch mean it’s a cinch to run through the gears at the speed required. As the ratio spacing from first to fourth gear is tight and the engine revs so freely, the shifter has to be worked with alacrity to keep things at a roaring boil. The Si HFP snicks through its gears so seamlessly it is a very easy drive regardless of whether inching along in stop and go traffic or wailing around a race track.

              The helical limited-slip differential makes a big difference, especially when the speeds are low and the engine’s output is nearing its peak. First, it eliminates the unbridled wheelspin that is the norm with an open-centre differential. Here, the instant one wheel begins to spin, all the power is directed to that wheel, which forces the traction control system to kick in and kill the launch performance. The limited-slip differential helps to keep both front wheels engaged in the business of providing traction, which cuts said wheelspin, minimizes traction control intervention and, as a bonus, helps to control torque steer. As a result, launching the Si HFP is both fast and entertaining. It also helps through a fast corner — typically, the inside wheel tends to spin because of its unloaded condition. The Si HFP keeps both wheels in the game.

              All of this gives the Si HFP the ability to scamper to 100 kilometres an hour in 6.6 seconds and, more importantly, it accomplishes the 80-to-120-km/h passing move in 4.4 seconds.

              Remarkably, it does this in third gear, and it does so just before hitting redline.

              The HFP also managed to return surprising fuel economy. Even though the car was driven with enthusiasm during the test, it still attained an average of 8.9 litres per 100 kilometres.
              Inside, the HFP’s only outward signs are the brilliant red floor mats and red ambient interior lighting. The rest of the Si HFP will be familiar to any Civic Si coupe owner — delightfully bolstered front bucket seats and tight access to the rear seat. The materials are very good, the fit and finish is exemplary and, in spite of the two-tier dashboard, the information is relayed to the driver in a clean and uncluttered fashion. True, I don’t care for the digital speedometer, but the rest of it comes together nicely with the exception of the Sequential Rev-Limit indicator. As the revs rise and i-VTEC kicks in, a number of amber dots illuminate until the last red dot comes on and tells the driver the engine is producing maximum output and about to crash into the rev limiter. Given the exaggerated tachometer in the lower tier, it is fairly described as overkill.

              While the outward changes to the Civic Si HFP are fairly subtle in nature, the improvements in the handling characteristics are anything but. The Si is sharp; the HFP is significantly more so. As such, it is that much more fun to drive, and without costing an arm and a leg in the process.



              Honda Accord Tourer
              Sleek looking Honda Accord Tourer estate is underpinned by the appeal of Honda's strong reputation for reliability and build quality

              Latest deal price: from £18,622 to £27,396
              For : Refined, reliable, well equipped
              Against : A bit anonymous, getting on in years, small boot

              On paper, the Honda Accord Tourer has a lot going for it: peerless reliability and build quality, a reasonable price, excellent standard equipment and a capable range of petrol and diesel engines. Yet there’s something missing: it can’t quite match the VW Passat for badge desirability or the Ford Mondeo for driver appeal. The Accord is definitely a car you buy with your head rather than your heart, but it will reward you with years of safe, comfortable and hassle-free motoring. Buyers looking for maximum practicality may be put off by its smaller-than-average boot, however.

              Our choice: Honda Accord Tourer 2.2 i-DTEC 150 ES GT Nav


              The Accord Tourer is a handsome, well proportioned and sleeky styled car, yet it can feel a bit anonymous alongside more distinctive rivals. Sweeping, angled lines predominate, and the large front grille and headlights are certainly imposing, but the overall effect is not very memorable. Inside, luxurious materials and rock-solid build quality are the order of the day, but the Accord is let down somewhat by a confusing dashboard layout. The tapered windows make it feel a little claustrophobic in the back seats, too. A large transmission tunnel helps give the cabin a snug, driver-focused ‘cockpit’ feel.
              Driving and Performance

              While it’s not a scintillating driver’s car, the Accord Tourer does boast an impressive line-up of engines. The 2.0 and 2.4-litre petrols employ Honda’s i-VTEC variable valve timing technology to offer decent fuel economy combined with a wide spread of power and torque. But the star of the show is the 2.2-litre i-DTEC diesel engine. Honda is a relatively recent adopter of diesel compared to other mainstream manufacturers, but it’s caught up quickly, and this smooth, powerful, torquey and frugal motor suits the Tourer down to the ground. Ride and handling are focused more on occupant comfort than driver engagement, so the Accord is more at home on the motorway than tackling your favourite B-road.
              MPG and running costs

              The 2.4-litre petrol engine offers the most performance in the range, but the downside is low-thirties fuel economy. The 2.0-litre offers a better compromise, reaching a claimed 40mpg, but the diesel is the one to go for if running costs are a priority, as it will top 50mpg and be cheaper to tax thanks to its lower CO2 emissions. Honda servicing is a little more expensive than mainstream rivals like Ford and Vauxhall, but insurance costs should be reasonable and overall the Accord is quite affordable to own for a car of this size. Resale values are better than the previous model, too.

              This is the one major area where the Accord Tourer falls down. With the rear seats in place, its boot actually holds less than its four-door saloon counterpart – a consequence of its swoopy rear lines. But if you just want the flexibility and ease of an estate car without the sheer carrying capacity of rivals like the Skoda Superb, the Accord Tourer is still a good choice. Legroom in the rear is another bugbear, but the front cabin is comfortable and spacious. A handy underfloor storage cubby goes some way to making up for the space limitations elsewhere.
              Safety and reliability

              Honda has perhaps the best reliability record of any major manufacturer, so provided the service schedule is adhered to, problems with an Accord Tourer will be extremely rare. A two-year-old, 60,000-mile Accord Tourer passed Auto Express’ rigorous stripdown test with flying colours, and the marque always performs well in our Driver Power ownership survey. The Accord hold its own when it comes to safety as well, with additional features such as anti-whiplash front headrests and a trailer stability system to add to more regular kit like airbags and electronic stability control. Euro NCAP gave it five out of five stars for crash safety, too.

              For an alternative review of the latest Honda Accord visit our sister site www.carbuyer.co.uk



              Locally produced CR-V, Accord, and Crosstour help Honda shine in J.D. Power quality study (Audio included)

              Honda is the highest ranking mass-market (non-premium) brand for the second consecutive year and fifth among all industry nameplates in J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Study (IQS) for 2012. The Honda and Acura brands achieved the best scores in their histories of the current generation of IQS. The Honda brand held onto its position as the highest performing mass-market brand by improving on its industry-leading score of a year ago and for the fourth straight year overall. The Acura brand also improved and ranks sixth among all nameplates.
              The all-new 2012 Honda CR-V (pictured) produced in East Liberty earned the highest score in the compact crossover SUV category, while five other Honda models finished second in their respective segments. In fact, the Accord manufactured in Marysville (midsize car), the Odyssey (minivan), the Crosstour made in East Liberty (midsize crossover SUV), the Ridgeline (midsize pickup) and the Fit (sub-compact car) finished just behind the segment leader. The Pilot ranked third, just behind the Crosstour, in the midsize crossover SUV segment. All of these models except the Fit are manufactured in North America using domestic and globally sourced parts. The IQS ranks vehicles based on a measure of reported problems per 100 vehicles (or PP100).
              "For the second consecutive year our performance demonstrates our consistent commitment to deliver the highest quality for our customers," said Tetsuo Iwamura, president & CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Thanks to the efforts of Honda associates in R&D, in manufacturing and in sales, we were able to continue to improve quality performance in this key industry ranking."
              In the manufacturing area, 2012 marks the second consecutive year that a Honda plant has earned the top assembly line award globally. The 2012 J.D. Power and Associates study recognized the Suzuka, Japan plant, Line 3, as the only global Platinum Award, for production of the Honda Fit and CR-Z. The Marysville plant, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this fall, earned a Silver Plant Quality Award for production of the Honda Accord and Acura TL and RDX. In 2011, Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, LLC earned the IQS Platinum Award.

              Listen to Honda spokesperson Ron Lietzke discuss the significance of the award. Download Audio File

              The J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Study serves as an important tool for consumers in evaluating the quality and design of new vehicles. Since 1987, J.D. Power and Associates has been surveying owners to measure the initial quality of new vehicles after the first 90 days of ownership.



              2013 model year pivotal to many carmakers

              It’s summer and, believe it or not, we are halfway through 2012. The auto industry is always quick to move on to the next year and, while 2012 has been especially strong for the auto industry, 2013 looks just as promising.
              Some carmakers are giddy about introducing some of their new vehicles, chock full of new technologies and showing off some of the latest design trends. Fuel efficiency is a common thread as automakers look to squeeze as much efficiency out of every engine.
              Here’s what’s new for the 2013 model year.


              Honda’s luxury line redesigns the RDX and refreshes the TSX line as well. All-new for 2013 is the ILX. This compact sedan is a brand new model for Acura which will offer three drivetrains, including a hybrid version. It will be a high-mileage vehicle with a pricepoint in the mid to upper $20,000s.

              Big things are happening for this German automaker in 2013. Audi launches five new vehicles including an all-road version of the A4. But most exciting will be the RS 5 and the S6. The RS 5 is a coupe version similar to the A5, but with a lot more power (to the tune of 450 HP). And the S7 is similar to the A6 sedan, but with a twin-turbo V8 engine.
              BMW redesigns the M5 and M6 models and introduces three vehicles to the fleet. The BMW 640 Grand Coupe is a stretched-out version of the 6 series line with rear-wheel drive and a choice of turbocharged engines. BMW also introduces the X1, a smaller-sized crossover with a four-cylinder (or optional six cylinder) engine. The X1 will be available in RWD or AWD.
              Buick had much of its excitement in recent model years, but will introduce the compact crossover Encore later this year. The Encore will have a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and will seat up to five passengers. It will be available in AWD or FWD.
              Many consider 2013 to be a pivotal year for GM’s luxury brand. Two new vehicles will be introduced, one that replaces a dated line of vehicles and one that is Caddy’s first offering in a segment. The XTS is a full-size sedan (something Cadillac has excelled at in the past) that replaces the DTS and STS line. The XTS is highlighted by a V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission. Then there’s the Cadillac ATS. A compact Cadillac, which is almost unfathomable to consider. The ATS will have engine varieties including 4-cylinder, turbo 4-cylinder and a V6 engine. RWD and AWD versions will be available. Price for the ATS starts as low as $33,000.
              Chevy turns its attention to its small vehicles. 2013 brings new styling to the Sonic and Cruze, as well as a redesign of the Malibu. Chevy also introduces a new minicar, which will be even smaller than the Sonic. The Spark will seat up to four and have four doors and a small 1.2-liter engine. Prices start as low as $12,000 for the Spark which will be available for purchase mid-year.
              Much like Cadillac, 2013 will be a very important year for the Dodge brand. The Dodge Dart is a compact car with a choice of three engines. Dodge is touting the Dart as a vehicle that is highly customizable with numerous ways to personalize. The Dart is priced between $16,000 and $20,000.
              Ford will launch one new vehicle in 2013 – the C-Max, which is a hybrid, multi-purpose vehicle. But, for Ford, 2013 represents a year of new looks, instead of new vehicles. Watch for new looks on the entire Super Duty line of trucks. But, the two most important updates are that of the Escape and the Fusion. The Fusion boasts an all-new look and a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 37-MPG efficiency. The Escape crossover gets its first full redesign. Three different engines will be available as well options for FWD and AWD.


              Honda focuses on updating many of its vehicles in model year 2013. Its two most popular cars, the Accord and Civic, will have updated styling and improved fuel economy. Neither of these models will be available until late 2012.

              Look for an updated Elantra later this year that will get close to 40 MPG. Hyundai also redesigns the Santa Fe for 2013.
              Nissan’s luxury brand is mostly status quo in 2013, but will introduce the three-row crossover JX35. A V6 engine will produce 265 HP, with a starting price of $40,000 for the JX35.
              Gone is the Kia Amanti, in is the Kia Cadenza. The Cadenza will have a 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engine option. The Korean car maker also redesigns the Forte for model year 2013.
              Toyota’s luxury brand focuses on redesigns of the ES and GS lines. The GS350 will be available with a gas or hybrid gas-electric engine for extra fuel economy.
              The Lincoln brand is working hard to recover from the tougher economic times. Much of this recovery will hinge on the redesigned MKS. The new-look sedan will have Ford’s EcoBoost V6 engine and will be available in AWD. The Lincoln MKT will also be restyled for 2013.
              Mazda replaces the Tribute with the CX-5. This small SUV seats five and has a 4-cylinder engine and Mazda’s SkyActiv technology which brings a combined fuel economy of 28 MPG.
              Even Mercedes-Benz gets into the small-car, fuel economy craze with the 2013 B-Class. The German carmaker also introduces the new CLC-class. This smaller version of the CLS will offer entry-level luxury pricing.

              Riding the wave of resurging sales, Nissan redesigns several of its mainstay vehicles including the Altima, Sentra and Pathfinder. The 2013 
Altima (which will also be available as a hybrid) will have an estimated 
38 MPG and an available 270 HP, 
V6 engine.
              Toyota has done a decent job of branding Scion as a younger, hipper model line. That trend continues with the all-new Scion FR-S. Scion partners with Subaru to produce this rear-wheel drive car with 200 HP and a 
4-cylinder engine.
              Speaking of Subaru, the Japanese automaker introduces the BRZ, a vehicle similar to the aforementioned FR-S. It also will have a 4-cylinder engine with 200 HP and rear wheel drive as well as a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Pricing for the BRZ starts at $25,000.
              2013 will be a subdued year for Toyota. Most models are carryovers, with a few refreshed looks. The 
RAV4 and Land Cruiser will both have redesigned looks for the 2013 model year.
              The German automaker is seeing an upsurge of sales in America. 2013 will see a redesigned CC available in 4 or 6-cylinder engine. VW will also add a hybrid version of the popular Jetta to the 2013 model year, which will get an estimated 45 MPG, combined. The hybrid Jetta will have a lithium-ion battery pack.

              Last edited by tokyodream; 22-06-12, 07:55. Reason: completare
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              • http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...w/14350596.cms

                Honda to introduce sedan variant of its successful Brio hatchback

                NEW DELHI: Japanese car maker Honda plans to notch up some fast numbers in India by introducing a sedan variant of its successful Brio hatchback and segment it below Honda City, its popular sedan. Honda's strategy honed in the last two years will continue with the Brio sedan - after Jazz & Brio hatchback - is expected to hit the market in 2013.

                Honda plans to target first-time new car buyers, a strategy that is hugely successful with India with other car maker as with the new sedan that will be priced and positioned much lower than its highest selling City allowing options to garner a larger chunk of customers. Several players in India have succeeded by adding a trunk to its hatchbacks.

                Maruti Swift-DZire combination has been a blockbuster with both cars becoming segment leaders while Tata Motors' Indica-Indigo duo the first in the league has also been successful. Europe's largest car maker Volkswagen has tasted success with the Polo-Vento combine and its sister subsidiary Skoda Auto also joined the league with the Fabia-and Rapid car offerings that were built on the same platform. Mirroring the success of its peers, Toyota, the Japanese car maker, has created ripples in the Indian compact car market with its Etios sedan and Liva hatchback models helping the company to become India's fourth largest car maker. "Honda's downsizing strategy will continue with the Brio sedan expected to be in the market in 2013.

                Like its hatch counterpart, Brio Sedan will first be marketed in Thailand , with India to follow by the fourth quarter just before the start of the festival season," said Ammar Master, automotive analyst with JD Power Asia Pacific. The analyst added that the Brio sedan will give Honda added strength as it complements the City in India's highly competitive sub-compact sedan market. While an allnew mini multi passenger vehicle, also based on the Brio platform could also to be added to India.

                "Named Brio MPV in our forecast, we expect production to begin in India by early 2015," the same analyst added. Honda's communication department , however, did not confirm the development. "We do not comment on media speculations," the company spokesperson said. Honda, which operates as a joint venture Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI), is facing challenges with sagging sales in the Indian market, which has rapidly shifted in favour of diesel cars.

                This has forced the company to develop some aggressive product plans to regain market share. Though it plans to bring a diesel for Brio hatchback sometime later this year, some new products starting from the Brio sedan would be added in a staggered manner to keep the momentum going.



                Honda gets good rankings

                LINCOLN — Honda received quality rankings across the board in J.D. Power and Associates’ Initial Quality StudySM (IQS) for 2012.

                American Honda Motor Co. Inc. announced Wednesday it is the highest ranking mass-market (non-premium) brand for the second consecutive year. Honda came in fifth among all industry nameplates such as Lexus, Jaguar, Porsche and Cadillac in the study.

                The products made at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama in Lincoln fared well in the study, with the Honda Odyssey coming in at No. 2 in the midsized van category, the Honda Ridgeline coming in at No. 2 in the midsized pickup truck category, and the Honda Pilot coming in at No. 3 in the midsized crossover/SUV category.

                "We believe we are going in the right direction when it comes to quality and we are pleased with the industry rankings of the Odyssey, Pilot and Ridgeline. But we also know that as we improve so does our competition, so that is why we are committed to improve our quality every day," said Mark Morrison, manager of Corporate Affairs and Communication at HMA.

                "This continued commitment to quality will be critical as we increase production capacity to 340,000 vehicles and engines in 2013 and prepare for the addition of the Acura MDX to our lineup in Alabama."

                The Honda brand was able to hold on to its position as the highest performing mass-market brand by improving on its industry leading score from one year ago and for the fourth straight year overall.

                "At Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, we strive daily to deliver high quality products — both vehicles and engines,” Morrison said. “We are pleased that this year’s key quality survey reflects improved results from the efforts of our team of 4,000 associates."

                The J.D. Power and Associates’ Initial Quality Study helps consumers evaluate the quality and design of new vehicles. Since 1987, J.D. Power and Associates has surveyed vehicle owners to examine and measure the initial quality of new vehicles after the first 90 days of ownership.



                Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd Selects Aras and Minerva for New Model Project Management Pilot Implementation

                Andover, MA, June 22, 2012 --(PR.com)-- Aras®, the leading enterprise open source Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software solution provider, today announced that Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd (HUM) has selected Aras Innovator® and Minerva for its new model project management pilot implementation. HUM joins the extensive and growing number of companies that have chosen Aras due to its open and attractive business model combined with a broad set of product capabilities.

                A Discovery Workshop conducted by Minerva provided HUM with the confidence that Aras Innovator could deliver the scope of the pilot required and allowed all parties to recognize the complexity of the HUM new model process requirements.

                HUM is a fully integrated car manufacturing facility based in Swindon, Wiltshire. HUM produces the complete vehicle; engine casting, machining and assembly, BIW pressing, welding and painting, final assembly and dynamic test. The current model lineup includes Jazz, CR-V and the all new Civic which has been developed as a unique model for the European market.

                From the company’s early years, it was recognized that Europe embodied a truly challenging and competitive spirit. Embracing this was key to Honda realizing its dream of becoming a recognized world-class car manufacturer. Also, in establishing its global operations, Honda follows a policy of manufacturing products in the regions where there is customer demand.

                “We at Minerva are excited to work with HUM. We feel confident that our collaboration will generate a show case example of how to optimize complex business requirements in the new product introduction process,” said Leon Lauritsen, Director at Minerva.

                About Minerva
                Since 1996 Minerva has implemented Enterprise solutions in both PLM and ERP. Minerva has established itself as Europe’s largest Aras implementation partner. Our customers value that we challenge their current ways of operating and that they are assisted in getting a better insight in the options available in order to reach these goals. At Minerva we not only help describing the customers' current state and the ways to reach the ultimate end goal, we also implement the systems to support the change management process. Minerva has also established themselves as large contributor to Aras in terms of provided different add-on capabilities. These add-ons are technical productivity tools, integrations and also full industry solutions. For additional information visit www.minerva-plm.com/aras/home

                About Aras
                Aras is the leading provider of enterprise open source Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software solutions. Freedom from licensing eliminates up-front expenses and per user costs while superior technology makes Aras the most advanced enterprise PLM solution suite available. Customers include Motorola, Freudenberg, GE, Hitachi, Lockheed Martin, Textron and TEVA Pharmaceuticals. Aras is privately held with global headquarters in Andover, Mass. For additional information visit www.aras.com or follow us on Twitter @aras_plm

                Product and service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

                Aras Corporation
                Marc Lind



                2012 Honda Civic Si

                Souped-up Honda Civic has plenty of virtues

                The 2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe HFP is a sleek performance package that includes upgraded handling, suspension, and a big jump in torque.

                In just a few weeks during the annual IndyCar Series race weekend, Toronto’s Exhibition Place will be once again filled with the sound and fury of up-to-700 horsepower race cars, screaming along Lake Shore Blvd. at close to 370 kilometres per hour.
                As usual, Honda will be a big part of the race weekend. Since 2009, the Japanese automaker has been the event’s title sponsor. And for the third time in four years, a Honda-powered race car will be looking to take home the checkered flag.
                One of the teams that employ the North American-developed Honda V6 race engine is Chip Ganassi Racing. Scotland’s Dario Franchitti is one of Ganassi’s drivers. He’s not only won two out of the last three Toronto IndyCar races, he’s also coming straight off his third Indianapolis 500 win just last month.

                Yet despite Honda’s past and potential future success at the Toronto event, there are race fans that snub their noses at IndyCar racing, mainly Formula One zealots. And with Honda’s departure from the F1 circuit in 2008, and the cancellation of its S2000 sports car one year later, the company’s reputation as a maker of fun-to-drive cars has taken a hit.
                Which is why I’m here at Niagara Regional Airport. Honda is on a mission to remind us that yes, they still know how to make cars for driving enthusiasts, cars that can be driven hard on closed circuits.
                Cars like the new-for-2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe HFP.
                As most driving enthusiasts know, the addition of a few letters to any car’s name is usually a positive thing. The additional “HFP” stands for Honda Factory Performance. It’s the second HFP model Honda Canada has recently released, following last year’s Accord Coupe HFP.
                Like the larger Accord, the “performance” part of the Civic Si HFP focuses on handling and styling upgrades.
                Over the five-passenger, front-wheel-drive Civic Si two-door (the Si sedan is not available), the HFP model adds a specific suspension package (progressive springs with 10 millimetre lower ride height, re-tuned shocks with higher damping force, and adjustments to the alignment and balance of the car), one-inch larger 18-inch alloy wheels with Michelin Super Sport performance tires (instead of the Si’s 17-inch all-season tires), front, side, and rear underbody body-kit pieces, plus HFP exterior badging and interior floor mats.
                Honda Canada says the $4,006.68 extra the HFP package costs over the $25,990 Civic Si is a 50 per cent discount compared to a customer having the pieces installed at their local Honda dealer.
                Every other nut and bolt on the HFP model is pure Civic Si, which isn’t such a bad thing.
                Along with the rest of the compact Civic lineup, the Civic Si was redesigned for 2012. The Si ditched the older, higher-reviving 2.0-litre four-cylinder in favour of the 2.4 L unit from the Acura TSX. It also gained the sports sedan’s snickety-snick six-speed manual gearbox (there is no automatic available on either the regular Civic Si or HFP).
                While horsepower only goes up by four to 201, torque jumps to 170 lb.-ft. — a noticeable 31 lb.-ft. gain. Not only does the 2012 Civic Si go from 0-100 km/h about a half-second quicker now (in the mid-six-second range), the extra torque at lower revs means the car’s power is much more accessible.
                Before the HFP suspension changes, the current Civic Si was already one of the best-handling front-drive coupes you could buy. Understeer is limited to a minimum. And the car’s ride never beat you up over bad pavement. Fortunately, the HFP setup only enhances those characteristics.
                Before I took the car to the airport runway track for a good thrashing, I spent the morning driving on public roads in and around Niagara-on-the-Lake. And despite the suspension’s lower height, stiffer shocks, and tires with less sidewall depth, the Civic Si HFP’s ride never gave grief to this driver’s rear-end.
                At the track, Honda officials first laid out a low-speed, tight-knit slalom course. Then a second, looser setup, where you get the Civic Si HFP up to illegal road speeds. In both instances, the additional grip from the Michelins was very noticeable. But when the rubber could be provoked into sliding, the HFP’s rear-end rotated around progressively — almost like a rear-drive car.
                Admittedly, the Civic Si HFP isn’t as race-ready as one of Ganassi’s Honda race cars. In fact, the changes to the suspension don’t upset the ride quality that much. The HFP’s body motions remain in complete control, with only sharp, concrete patches filtering back to the driver.
                The only negative is the added road noise from the high-performance Michelins. Something the targeted buyer will surely put up with for the added grip over the Si’s less aggressive rubber.
                So are the HFP upgrades worth your hard-earned money?
                If you’ve already bought into the cooking Civic Si’s qualities, the HFP upgrades seem like a “no-brainer.” The extra styling bits add more character. And at just under $30,000, the Civic Si HFP’s price is right inline with Volkswagen’s GTI, the car it most equals in all-around driveability.
                In fact, if Honda Canada is listening, an HFP version of the more versatile Civic Si sedan should be its next model.
                As founder Soichiro Honda once said, “If Honda does not race, there is no Honda.” And the 2012 Civic Si Coupe HFP is the closest thing to a race car in a Honda showroom today.
                However, you may need Franchitti’s Honda race car to get to the dealer quick enough to get one.
                Honda Canada is making only 400 copies of the 2012 Civic Si HFP this year. And in the two months the model has been on-sale, about 300 have already been sold.

                First Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe HFP

                BASE PRICE: $29,996.68
                ENGINE: 2.4 L I4
                POWER/TORQUE: 201 hp/170 lb-ft.
                TRANSMISSION: Six-speed manual
                FUEL ECONOMY L/100 km: 10.0 city, 6.4 highway
                COMPETITION: Ford Focus ST, Hyundai Veloster Turbo, Kia Forte Koup, Scion tC, Mini Cooper, Mazdaspeed3, Nissan Sentra SE-R, Volkswagen GTI
                WHAT’S BEST: Suspension upgrades improve handling without sacrificing ride quality; more masculine styling.
                WHAT’S WORST: High-performance tires add road noise.
                WHAT’S INTERESTING: Honda Canada has not committed to building the Civic Si Coupe HFP after this year’s inventory has been sold.

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                • http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hon...ica-2012-06-24

                  Honda aims to increase exports from North America

                  TOKYO--Honda Motor Co. (HMC, 7276.TO) aims to boost annual auto exports from North America by fivefold from the current level as early as in 2017 to take advantage of the dollar's weakness, the Nikkei reported in its Sunday edition.

                  The Japanese auto maker will increase annual exports of vehicles it assembles at its factories in North America to 150,000 vehicles per year by 2017.

                  Honda plans to increase its annual production capacity in North America by 15% from the current level to 1.87 million vehicles by 2014.

                  Over the longer-term period, vehicles it will build for exports to China, Southeast Asian nations among other counties would make up slightly less than 10% of the total output in the region within five years at the earliest. It aims to roll out vehicles for exports mainly from its U.S. plants.

                  The move underscores Honda's attempt to bring its U.S. plants to its export base, with the shipment volume from the U.S. reaching almost equal to the export volume from Japan, the paper said.



                  Mountain Wheels: Honda's re-imagined CR-V grows on you

                  You might not associate the chunky and rugged, seemingly I-70-in-a-blizzard-ready Honda CR-V with the Washington D.C. suburbs but … it turns out those busy and upwardly mobile folks seem to love the older models of Honda's popular small SUV (especially the third-generation version, last refreshed in 2007).

                  As a result, my travels there this week in the 2012 version of the Comfortable Runabout Vehicle (yep, that's what the letters stand for) elicited a bit of interest. And also demonstrated that the gradually evolving CR-V, now in its fourth generation since debuting in the U.S. in 1997, is a well-appointed vehicle that has certainly improved over the years.

                  You can fit five people in adequate traveling comfort, and there's a pretty serious amount of storage, as well.

                  Output from the new 2.4-liter four-cylinder is also up 5 horsepower to 185 total (and 163 lb.-ft. of torque), though I noted that even with a sea-level-friendly 2WD model, the setup feels a little austere — and made me wonder how you'd feel hauling along at high altitude.

                  Matched to a five-speed automatic, that powertrain occasionally rubbed me the wrong way, as it opted to defer into a slightly groaning-toned lower gear while maintaining those irksome 55 MPH East Coast speed limits at around 1,600 RPM — requiring a pretty healthy stomp to get a kickdown and more power.

                  I determined that part of this relates to the Honda's more prominent Eco Mode (there's a green button on the left side of the dash and plenty of stickers on the outside of the cabin): When activated, throttle response is muted for fuel savings.

                  Like the Civic I drove last year, the CR-V also features Eco-Assist on its instrument panel. Drive in a civil and efficient manner and the edges of the instruments begin to glow in a brilliant green mode, or they don't if you don't.

                  Overall, I only generated 20.7 mpg in the process, mostly urban driving: Honda's window sticker suggests the little SUV is rated at 23 city and 31 highway. Real-time all-wheel drive is available for those of us at altitude. The 3,400-pound vehicle will also tow up to 1,500 pounds.

                  Ride is pleasant on standard 17-inch wheels, and electric power steering makes for easy handling, with a marginally brittle ride over broken pavement, but a comfortable feel.

                  Big improvements are the CR-V's reinvented design and a lowered seating and cargo height, giving it a much more car-like ride. The whole package is indeed a good looker, and the slightly lowered roof height shows off design influences that make the Honda look a bit more upscale like a Volvo XC-70 than the boxy bombs of the old days.

                  I especially liked a new convex mirror added to the driver's side mirror, a little disorienting at first but offering much improved blind-spot visibility. There's also a multi-angle rear backing camera.

                  Under the CR-V's nose and the slightly arched hood is an angled overhang that makes it look like one of those intensely aftermarket-adapted, offroad-oriented old Land Rover Discoveries — I suspect it's a moderately capable soft-roader as a result.

                  Most prominent are the beautifully designed, upright rear brakelamps; the rear windows are now sharply arched, and the tail takes on a much broader look.

                  You get soft but pleasant interior features, highlighted with a strip of glossy marble-style trim under the dash, and bright but simple controls.

                  Adaptations to load the inevitable groceries and cargo being hauled around in the CR-V are plenitudinous. The rear seats fold very easily, especially when you pop the crank handles in the rear cargo area: Seat bottoms pop forward and the setbacks flop out of the way, allowing you to do so with one hand.

                  That slightly peculiar rear lift gate (the handle is hidden way down by the bumper, not mid-gate like most other makes) does indeed rise to reveal a lower cargo area height, and with the rear seats dropped, you get 71 cubic feet of storage.

                  Electronics are easy to use and not overly flashy: a pleasant 160-watt stereo with multiple input options (iPod, Bluetooth streaming audio, XM radio and more) and a small “intelligent multi-informational display” which provides vivid color and can be integrated to incorporate Pandora Internet radio and configured to read out your incoming text messages, for safety.

                  My EX-L model came outfitted with upright but thoroughly comfortable, leather-appointed seating in front and back, and a roof-mounted DVD entertainment system for the rear passengers — the DVD head unit takes up most of the space in the cavernous center console box between the front seats.

                  That deep box also means no direct A/C or heat venting to your rear passengers, but the folks I carried around on the weekend said the air flow was fine in the rear.

                  Last edited by tokyodream; 25-06-12, 08:05.
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                  • www.marketwatch.com/story/honda-named-brand-of-the-year-in-the-2012-harris-poll-equitrend-equity-study-2012-06-25

                    Honda Named "Brand of the Year" in the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend® Equity Study

                    Honda is Highest Ranked Brand in "Full Line Automotive" category based on consumers' perceptions of familiarity, quality, and purchase consideration

                    TORRANCE, Calif., June 25, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Honda has been recognized as the "Brand of the Year" in the "Full Line Automotive" category according to the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study. Honda received the highest numerical Equity Score among full line automotive brands included in the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study(1). Harris Poll EquiTrend is an annual brand health assessment from Harris Interactive that surveys thousands of U.S. consumers online about their brand perceptions, measuring key touchstones including familiarity, quality and purchase consideration.

                    "This study offers strong evidence that the Honda brand continues to be well-regarded by American consumers," said Mike Accavitti, vice president of National Marketing Operations for American Honda. "The combination of strong brand equity and a fresh line-up of new models that resonate with customers will drive strong growth for us this year."

                    Connect with Honda: Media Newsroom (for journalists): www.hondanews.comFor consumers: http://automobiles.honda.comYou Tube: www.youtube.com/hondaFlickr : www.flickr.com/hondanewsTwitter : www.twitter.com/hondaFacebook : http://www.facebook.com/HondaPinterest : http://pinterest.com/honda/On Google+

                    (1) The 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study was based on opinions of 38,529 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over surveyed online between January 31 and February 20, 2012. Your opinion may differ. "Highest Ranked" and "Brand of the Year" were determined by a pure ranking of a sample of full line automotive brands.

                    SOURCE American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

                    Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved



                    Honda focuses on costs, mileage to take on Hero

                    Technology to become the driving force, says Honda chief
                    Mumbai, June 25:

                    Nearly two years ago, Honda Motor Company’s global President & CEO, Mr Takanobu Ito, had dwelt on the strategy for the next decade where emerging markets would play a big role.

                    In his presentation, he had said, “Today, key competitors in those (emerging) markets are Chinese and Indian makers. In order for Honda to remain a market leader, it must not only maintain the high attractiveness and quality of products but also further improve cost-competitiveness to match the low prices of these competitors.”

                    Since then, Honda has called its quits with its ally of 26 years, the Hero Group and, in the process, ceded two valuable bike brands – Splendor and Passion – which account for annual sales of nearly four million units.

                    It is this number that will be on the radar of HMSI (Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India), the 100 per cent arm of the Japanese automaker.

                    “Top quality and performance will be our priorities and we will consistently focus on higher capacity along with (higher) mileage. Our challenge is to reduce running expenses for motorcycle riders in the mass segment,” Mr Keita Muramatsu, President & CEO of HMSI, told Business Line.

                    This will become a reality once Honda R&D becomes part of the Manesar facility from October. “Technology will become the driving force for us along with the challenge of keeping costs in check,” he added.

                    Honda has already made it known that India will contribute to 30 per cent of its global volumes by 2020, more than twice the present level of 13 per cent. This is not all; over the next couple of years, annual volumes in India at four million units will be at par with Indonesia before overtaking it to become Honda’s largest two-wheeler market in the world.

                    In addition, there is a strong possibility of the company sourcing components from India for its operations in the Asean region as well as back home in Japan where costs are spiralling.

                    Experts say this exercise could get a fillip once the FTA (free trade agreement) momentum is in place.

                    “India can play a bigger global role in the future for Honda but, for now, the domestic market is important,” Mr Muramatsu said.

                    HMSI believes the key to leadership is creating two more models like the Activa that can do one million units each a year.

                    The Dream Yuga marks an important initiative in bikes for a company whose strength is better known in gearless scooters.

                    Now with the Hero partnership passé, HMSI plans to focus extensively on the mass commuter segment which accounts for a lion’s share of volumes.

                    “Our direction is going down right from the 150cc and down to 125cc and finally to 100cc, even while the market has been upgrading. Creating additional value for the customer is, therefore, a priority for Honda,” Mr Muramatsu said.



                    Honda unveils Odyssey and Pilot

                    MANILA, Philippines - Honda is back with a proverbial vengeance.

                    Not only has it refreshed its entire lineup this early in the calendar year, but the Japanese automaker now expands its Philippine portfolio with the unprecedented simultaneous launch of two Honda premium products — all-new iterations of its midsize SUV the Pilot, and minivan Odyssey.

                    After a lengthy absence from the automotive industry radar due to the tsunami in Japan and massive flooding in Bangkok (inundating the Honda manufacturing plant there) last year, Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) lost no time getting back in the game — unveiling the City in January, the all-new Civic and Jazz Special Edition a month later, and the all-new CR-V in April.

                    In his speech at the launch event held at the NBC Tent in Taguig, HCPI president and general manager Tatsuya Natsume enthusiastically said: “So far this year, we have seen the recovery of the Philippine automotive market, with monthly sales from February exceeding the same period last year. With (the) favorable economy, we see further potential for growth.”

                    HONDA CARS PHILIPPINES, INC. president and general manager Tatsuya NatsumeHONDA CARS PHILIPPINES, INC. president and general manager Tatsuya Natsume

                    The unveiling marks the first time that HCPI is introducing two all-new vehicles, and certainly underscores the bullish sentiment. The Pilot and Odyssey units will come as CBUs straight from Honda’s Alabama factory line, and actually share a number of characteristics: pricing (the Pilot goes for P2.6 million, the Odyssey for P2.8 million), power plants (a 3.5-liter, V6 iVTEC), and even a marketing slanted towards larger-family use.

                    It’s a peg with savvy, for sure, as Pinoys are renowned for having extended familial ties. The promise of space, safety and style will surely resonate in the target market. HCPI surely hopes so.

                    The Odyssey is dubbed the “ultimate family vehicle,” interpreted by Honda’s designers in four thematic concepts: “chic new styling, class-leading performance, advanced family safety and ultimate utility.”

                    Honda R&D Americas, Inc. principal engineer and manager Stephen Frey was at the launch to personally explain the concept behind what has proven to be the United States’ bestselling minivan in its class, moving 10,000 units monthly.

                    HONDA R&D AMERICAS, INC. principal engineer and manager Stephen FreyHONDA R&D AMERICAS, INC. principal engineer and manager Stephen Frey

                    At outset, Frey said that Honda used focus groups composed of target customers to help “evaluate original concepts and original mockups.” More interestingly, Honda bosses discovered that much insight could be gleaned from within the organization itself. The fourth-generation Odyssey now thus sports “unique features that came directly from our family members,” he continued.

                    In addition, Frey added that the minivan interestingly drew inspiration from a “modern European airplane,” and was purposefully executed in light of a so-called 100-meter design test. The story goes, explained the Honda designer, that “at the beginning of (its) development, (the designers) put competitive vehicles in a parking lot.” They stood 100 meters from them and discovered something surprising. “The styling was so similar, we couldn’t tell which was which,” he maintained.

                    The Odyssey’s “lightning bolt” design is among the efforts made to distinguish the vehicle from the pack. Complementing the styling paradigm are more horsepower, torque, and better acceleration times — along with more length, width, and space.

                    Frey also underscored that they wanted the new Odyssey to be both functional and “cool” for larger families.

                    Meanwhile, the Pilot is not just a burly big brother to the successful CR-V CUV, but features distinct American design cues (along with voluminous space) that should make it appeal to families on the lookout for space.

                    Honda’s midsize ute promises a unique value proposition of “intelligent family adventure,” — translated into “leading engine technology, safety for everyone and concern for environment.” The Pilot accommodates eight, or all the stuff you can cram once you fold the second and third seat rows in any of six configurations. Honda also brags about the Pilot’s tailgate with glass hatch that accommodates wider loads.

                    Kerry McClure, principal engineer at Honda R&D Americas, Inc. — also present at the launch — revealed at the launch that, much like the Odyssey, feedback was sought from within the company. Development on the new Pilot commenced in 2005 and was actually finished in 2008, although waylaid by the dire economic situation in that period.

                    HONDA R&D AMERICAS, INC. principal engineer Kerry McClureHONDA R&D AMERICAS, INC. principal engineer Kerry McClure

                    Since then, the Pilot has also posted similar sales numbers with the Odyssey, and notched industry accolades, too. “Overall, the product’s been received very well,” McClure declared.

                    It shares platform components with its Honda sibling, but is designed to take on more challenging terrain, and can be called upon for some heavy hauling. “It can carry people and their ‘toys’ like a camper or boat,” said McClure. “It’s bold, modern, masculine — fun to drive and fun to use.”

                    Indeed, as HCPI reenters the game, one can almost feel a sense of urgency. It seems it’s as much about getting back as it is about raising the stakes. - Rappler.com



                    Best cars for young drivers

                    Finding a suitable car for a teen can be a headache.
                    It's all about finding a balance between safety, reliability, and affordability.
                    The 2009 Toyota Camry, 2009 Honda Accord, 2010 Volkswagen Jetta and 2002 Volvo v-70 may all have something in common: their size.
                    "The larger cars, the SUVs, have more of a chance for rollover. If you get into a smaller size compact car, you run into the issue of when they get hit. The result's not so good," said auto broker Jeremiah Mowry.
                    And while they're used cars, they still boast good gas mileage, easy maintenance, and a little bit of bling, like navigation systems, leather, and sunroofs.
                    For those who want to put their kids in a new car, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata got top marks, and for those who want to take parenting to the next level, a device called Blue Link, which will set parameters how far your kids can go and how fast.

                    Last edited by tokyodream; 26-06-12, 07:43.
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                    • http://www.autoblog.com/2012/06/25/h...in-new-survey/

                      Honda tops Ford as America's favorite auto brand in new survey

                      Market research firm Harris Interactive has revealed that Mercedes-Benz and Honda are the two strongest auto brands in America according to its survey of more than 38,000 people.

                      The survey, known as the 2012 Harris EquiTrend study, puts a number to all of those warm and fuzzy feelings people have toward a particular brand as a way to measure its equity. Broken down a different way, the survey points out that American's favorite automotive brands are German and Japanese.

                      Mercedes took top honors in the Luxury Automotive Brand of the Year for the second year in a row. It was followed by BMW, Lexus, Cadillac and Acura.

                      In the Full Line Automotive Brand of the Year category, Honda grabbed the top spot, beating out Toyota, Ford (last year's winner), Chevrolet and Nissan. (Apparently Harris' definition of "full line" differs a bit from ours, as brands like Subaru and Hyundai were also included).

                      Harris doesn't provide much guidance about what sort of questions it asked to survey takers, but the final results seems to closely resemble America's sales totals as well. This suggests people tend to like what they buy, or at least like what they've bought. Scroll down to read the press release to see what Harris says are America's favorite in-car audio brands, motorcycle marques, tire companies and so on.

                      2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend® Automotive Scorecard: Mercedes-Benz and Honda Lead;

                      Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com Debuts as Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year
                      Napa AutoCare, Bose Car Audio, Pennzoil Motor Oil, Michelin, Garmin, and Yamaha Motorcycles rank highest in their categories

                      NEW YORK, June 25, 2012-After three years of turmoil and consumer skepticism, the automotive industry is beginning to rebound. With new car sales finally on the rise, two manufacturers - Mercedes-Benz and Honda - reign supreme in successfully harnessing their equity and leading their industries as Brands of the Year. In fact, Mercedes-Benz is enjoying this achievement for the second year in a row, according to the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend® (EQ) study, a yearly brand-health assessment from Harris Interactive, one of the world's leading custom and multi-client market research firms.

                      Mercedes-Benz Retains Title as Lead Luxury Auto Brand

                      In a segment where luxury is synonymous with superb quality and craftsmanship, the Mercedes-Benz brand resonates more strongly with consumers than any other luxury automotive brand included in the Harris Poll EquiTrend study. Mercedes-Benz's strong performance in EQ has earned it the Luxury Automotive Brand of the Year accolade for the second year running.

                      "Mercedes-Benz and Lexus have been battling over this top ranking for the last eight years," says Mike Chadsey, Senior Consultant for Harris Interactive's Customer Relationship Consulting team. "Mercedes has ranked at the top for two years in a row and four of the last eight years, while Lexus has made it to the top spot three times. BMW is also usually within the top three, with especially strong scores over the last three years. Quality and Purchase Consideration both play important roles in these annual rankings," says Chadsey.

                      Beyond these perennial leaders, Cadillac, Acura, Infiniti, and Audi also rank above the category's average equity score.

                      Honda: America's Favorite Full Line Automaker

                      The ranking was close and the results are in - Honda overtakes both Toyota and Ford to become the 2012 Full Line Automotive Brand of the Year. It replaces last year's top-ranked automaker, Ford.

                      Having overcome some quality concerns and recalls in 2011, Toyota has come back strong. It climbs into second place, which is up two notches from its fourth-place position in 2011, and that much closer to the top spot it held only two years ago in 2010. Toyota's increase in brand equity is the largest of the brands measured in the category.

                      Although its equity score has actually increased, Ford has slipped to third place in the 2012 rankings- a further testament to the highly competitive nature of the automotive market. Chevrolet, Nissan, Subaru, Hyundai, and Volkswagen also rank above average in the full line automotive category.

                      In addition to measuring the brand equity of the luxury and full line automotive manufacturers, EQ also measures the auto industry's ancillary products and services, including tires, motor oil, and service centers, among others. Here's a look at the top brands in each category and how each of the categories stacks up overall:

                      Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com Debuts as Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year

                      Online auto sales sites constitute a new Harris Poll EquiTrend category for 2012, and Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com earns the Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year accolade, followed by Edmunds.com in second place. KBB.com is the more familiar brand, due largely to its long heritage and strong association as the industry benchmark for used car values. Additionally, KBB.com enjoys high Quality scores, compared to other brands surveyed.

                      Napa AutoCare Takes Brand of the Year Title in EQ Debut

                      First-time EQ brand, Napa AutoCare outranks 19 competitors to earn the Automotive Service Center Brand of the Year accolade in the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend study. Discount Tire, also a new brand to the EQ study, places second, surpassing last year's top-ranked brand, Goodyear Tire and Service Network, which fell to third. National Tire and Battery, Valvoline Instant Oil Change, Firestone Automotive Service Centers, Walmart Tire & Lube Express, and Mobil 1 Lube Express all round out the top eight brands above the category average.

                      Bose Tops New Car Audio Category

                      Another of Harris Poll EquiTrend's new categories is Car Audio, where Bose debuts as the Brand of the Year. This is an especially important finding for luxury automotive manufacturers, which select branded audio systems that fit their own brand promises and appeal to consumers.

                      "Bose enjoys very strong Familiarity, Quality, and Purchase Intention scores among the general population, as well as top-ranked Leadership and Brand Momentum scores. Clearly, Americans see Bose as a leader within its category, as well as a brand that has a bright future," says Chadsey.

                      Well-known by consumers, Harman/Kardon, Boston Acoustics, Infinity, and Alpine all ranked above the category average.

                      Pennzoil Motor Oil Makes It Three Years in a Row

                      In a category filled with many well-known brands, Pennzoil takes the Motor Oil Brand of the Year honor for the third consecutive year. Despite a large drop in overall Familiarity, Pennzoil retains its strong Quality and Purchase Intention scores to keep its top ranking. Mobil 1, Valvoline, Rotella, Quaker State, and Castrol motor oils also placed above the category average.

                      Michelin Enjoys Six Years as America's Tire Brand

                      Michelin continues to dominate the automotive tire market, achieving the highest-ranked position in the Harris Poll EquiTrend study for six consecutive years. As usual, Goodyear and BF Goodrich round out the top three brands in the 2012 study. Bridgestone, Pirelli, and Cooper also rank better than the category average.

                      Garmin Navigates to Top Position

                      Garmin is ranked as the GPS Navigation Brand of the Year for 2012. Garmin leads in key aspects of brand equity, including Familiarity, Quality, and Purchase Intention.

                      Yamaha Cuts off Harley-Davidson

                      Gains made in Quality and Purchase Consideration by Yamaha pushed the brand ahead of Harley-Davidson to secure the Motorcycle Brand of the Yearaccolade in the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend study.

                      Higher scores in Familiarity, Quality, and Purchase Intention helped move Yamaha ahead of Harley-Davidson.

                      About Harris Poll EquiTrend®

                      Harris Poll EquiTrend® is a leading Brand Equity tracking study conducted by Harris Interactive that measures and compares brand health for more than 1,500 brands. The study was conducted online from January 31 through February 20, 2012 and analyzes the responses of over 38,500 consumers on key measures of brand health - including how well the public knows a brand, how positively they think of the brand and their consideration to do business with or donate to a brand. Each brand is rated 1,000 times among respondents who are familiar with the brand. Harris Interactive has conducted its EquiTrend study regularly since 1989, and can offer yearly trended data from 2005. The Equity Score, a key take-away from EquiTrend, has been validated against financial performance by Georgetown University.

                      These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

                      The Harris Poll EquiTrend® study results disclosed in this release may not be used for advertising, marketing or promotional purposes without the prior written consent of Harris Interactive.

                      Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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                      • http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/...ards-challeng/

                        Honda Civic Natural Gas has green rewards, challenges

                        WHEELS EDITOR

                        Honda has sold a natural-gas powered Civic since 1998, but it will make a bigger push this year to put more of these alt-fuel compacts in more garages.

                        Commercial fleets and utilities are the biggest users of natural-gas vehicles, which evolved as one remedy to meet air-quality mandates. Honda is the only major automaker to offer a retail vehicle powered by compressed natural gas. Its Civic Natural Gas (renamed this year from GX) uses a modified version of the standard Civic’s 110-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. It is the cleanest internal-combustion engine tested by the EPA and federally certified as an “Inherently Low Emission Vehicle” for zero evaporative emissions. The majority of compressed natural gas used in the U.S. is produced and refined here. And the car is built in Greensburg, Ind.

                        Along with the “green” rewards of ownership are other incentives. Natural gas prices range from $1.86 to $2.99 per “gallon” and a full tank (about the equivalent of eight gallons of gasoline) is capable of 190 to more than 200 miles. That doesn’t compare to the gasoline-powered Civic’s 300-plus range, but it is much farther than most electric cars. And fueling in public is somewhat easier. There are eight stations in San Diego County that pump CNG and there is an option for a home-fueling station – and the home rate for natural gas is less than at the public pumps, a Honda spokesman said.

                        Fuel economy is 1 mpg less than for the standard Civic: 27 mpg city, 38 highway and 31 combined. But the bigger incentive for this Civic is that it qualifies for single-occupant, car-pool lane stickers in California.

                        Honda sells a couple thousand a year and has upped availability this year to 197 dealers in 36 states, which are mostly in the West, Southwest and Southeastern states. Extreme cold – below minus-four degrees – can cause starting problems and can create fueling issues, such as leaks.

                        Sold in two trim levels, pricing starts at $27,095, including the $790 freight charge from Greensburg, Ind. The top-line model – $28,595 – adds voice-operated navigation that will highlight CNG stations and other points of interest. The pricing is about $5,600 more than a gasoline Civic, but the EPA estimates that a nat-gas driver will save $7,350 in fuel costs over five years of ownership.

                        Performance isn’t as sharp as the gasoline Civic’s 140-hp, but around town the pace is good. Interstate merging requires a heavy foot, but cruising at 65 mph and higher is easygoing. The five-speed automatic will keep giving downshifts to get the job done as demanded by the driver.

                        Under the skin, the driving experience is Civic civil. Good seats, good sightlines and roomy for a compact with a comfy ride. But there is some noticeable reflection of the dashboard top in the windshield and the audio unit has small buttons.

                        The compromise in CNG is providing space for the tank that has to be strong enough to contain 3,600 pounds per square inch of pressurized gas. In the Civic, the reinforced CNG tank takes about half the trunk space, leaving 6 cubic feet. That’s enough for many grocery bags but not large parcels. And the reinforced tank adds about 90 pounds over the standard Civic’s curb weight.

                        As with a diesel-powered car, the owner will learn the locations of nearby fueling stations. And if one isn’t close to home or work, the incentive tends to fade, or it would for me.

                        There is a learning experience for the first time fueling, mostly because two stations had broken pumps. The fueling process isn’t difficult and a video at the pump is fairly explanatory. Basically, attach and lock the high-pressure hose and flip the lever on the pump. There is a loud air lock and the fueling begins in surges.

                        For those with smartphones or tablets, www.cngprices.com lists stations and pricing.

                        The owner of a Civic powered by natural gas makes a choice to be different and to do his or her part for cleaner air. And that person can drive with just a little more swagger when passing that car consuming imported oil.


                        [email protected]
                        PUMP CHALLENGED

                        My first time out looking for CNG in the Honda Civic Natural Gas was a bit of an adventure. I found a nearby station, swiped a credit card and waited for the video tutorial on how to attach the hose. But the video screen was heavily scored with graffiti and the screen display was a blurry snowstorm of static. I went into the station and asked for help but the attendants, basically, threw up their hands and said “We don’t know, that pump is operated by someone else, a completely different company.”

                        I still had half a tank (a full tank is the equivalent of eight gallons of gasoline) and wasn’t concerned. Back at the car, I went to the voice-activated navigation system and asked as directed by the voice guide: “Find nearest CNG station.”

                        The Siri-like female voice replied: “Pardon, no command was heard.” So I repeated louder. Same response. I got louder and enunciated so that I could be heard across the street.

                        I then asked, “What time is it?” And Siri heard that just fine. And she could respond with the correct day and date but no other search questions.

                        I almost pulled out my iPad to pull up www.cngprices.com, which also lists stations and pricing. But I referred to the handy station guide Honda provided and punched in the route for another station.

                        The fuel gauge dropped another notch as I drove off. And the next station’s pumps were not functioning. A sign on the pump directed me back to the station I just left. My next choice was a SDG&E location that had 24-hour service. The routing was perfect and the pump almost was. After swiping my credit card, the video came up but there was a black disc the size of a quarter right in the center of the screen, which may have been six-inches across. After three viewings, I felt confident and pushed the button to be given my ID number to proceed pumping.
                        The Honda Civic Natural Gas can be driven solo in the high-occupant-vehicle lanes.
                        The fueling process isn’t difficult . . . once you've done it.

                        The fueling process isn’t difficult and the how-to video at the pump is fairly explanatory. Basically, attach and lock the high-pressure hose and flip the lever on the pump. There is a loud air lock and the fueling begins in surges.

                        That pump gave about seven-eighths of a tank, which can sometimes be attributed to the power of the pump, whether capable of 3,000 psi or 3,600 psi. Owners talk about getting “Good fill” and less-than-full experiences, such as mine, were common comments from users at CNGprices.com.

                        There also were varied reports of broken pumps, erratic pressures, unexpected pump closures, etc. I made a mental note to never let a CNG vehicle get below half a tank. The auto club now has charging trucks to help EVs that run out of juice, but an out-of-fuel CNG vehicle requires a tow to a fueling station – and cross your fingers a pump is working.

                        While out driving the next day, I tried the voice system again and this time a list of stations appeared on the screen. I’ll blame the user and a first-timer’s fumbling.
                        The Honda Civic Natural Gas can be driven solo in the high-occupant-vehicle lanes.
                        2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas at a public natural gas fueling station.

                        Get more auto updates at www.Facebook.com/MaynardsGarage.



                        Honda and Mercedes-Benz Top Harris Interactive Brand Rankings

                        It was a tough 2011 for Honda, with two natural disasters crippling the company’s sales and a poorly received refresh to the famed Civic. But American survey respondents have apparently read past that story: a survey by Harris Interactive named Honda the most-loved automotive brand in the nation, edging out top luxury brand Mercedes-Benz.
                        Harris Interactive’s annual EquiTrend study looks at brand equity, a proprietary measure of a brand’s health and standing with consumers and the general public. In 2011, it named Ford the full-line manufacturer with the most brand equity and put Chevrolet in second place; Honda came in third. In the luxury carmaker category, Mercedes-Benz topped Lexus and BMW.
                        This year, the luxury landscape looks much the same: Mercedes-Benz sits atop the group of luxury car brands with a 61.02 equity score. BMW managed to edge out Lexus this year, 58.71 to 58.4. Other top brands include Cadillac (58.39), Acura (56.32), and Audi (55.36).
                        But fortunes have turned in the full-line category: Honda managed a two-place jump in a year, topping the full-line category with a 62.55 score. Toyota took second place with a 62.51 score, and last year’s number one, Ford, took third place with a 62.1. Chevrolet, last year’s second place, fell to number four with a score of 61.95.
                        What does this mean? A high brand equity number signals good brand health and a good standing with potential buyers, so these numbers suggest that Japanese brands are back in a big way. It also shows that many brands have a lot of work to do: Chevrolet’s sibling brand Cadillac made the top eight spots in luxury cars, but Buick ranked below average; likewise, Lincoln faltered while Ford continued its reign as the best American brand. Conversely, Hyundai scored an above-average ranking (showing lots of improvement over last year, when it rated below average) while Kia didn’t make the cut.
                        In the meantime, it looks like there’s some competition on the horizon: if Harris Interactive’s metrics are an accurate predictor of sales success, Honda’s new Accord sedan could prove an even more serious competitor for the Toyota Camry than it already is. Honda’s obviously thinking the same thing: American Honda VP of National Marketing Operations said “the combination of strong brand equity and a fresh line-up of new models that resonate with customers will drive strong growth for us this year.”
                        Source: Harris Interactive



                        Consumer Reports : Best deals on fuel-efficient cars for July 4th

                        Jun 26, 2012 With the approach of the July 4th holiday, car dealers are advertising deep discounts to clear inventory in anticipation of the arriving 2013. To help shoppers find independence from pain at the pump, our price analysts have assembled a list of the best deals on the most fuel-efficient cars.
                        For this round-up, we focused strictly on those vehicles that delivered 24 mpg overall in our tests, or better. (We also have tools and lists to help you find the best by car type.)
                        To ensure these picks are good cars, as with all our Best New Car Deals, each meets Consumer Reports' criteria to be recommended. These vehicles scored well in our testing, had average or better reliability in our subscriber survey, and performed well in government or insurance-industry safety tests, if evaluated.
                        And to be a good deal, they must offer national incentives of at least a 5 percent discount off the retail price. Many may also carry regional incentives.
                        From this list, the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, and Nissan Altima stand out with deep 15-percent discounts on high-scoring cars. While all have performed quite well in Consumer Reports tests, keep in mind that each will soon be replaced by a redesigned sedan -, which may explain why the dealers are looking to move them.

                        Make & model Expires MSRP ($) Invoice price ($) Customer rebate Dealer incentive Bottom line price
                        Potential savings below MSRP
                        CR's overall fuel economy
                        2012 Toyota Corolla (auto) 7/9/12 18,670 17,330 No No Get the Bottom Line Price
                        2012 Toyota Corolla 7/9/12 16,890 16,003 No No Get the Bottom Line Price
                        2012 Mazda3 i Touring 7/9/12 19,495 18,683 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price
                        2012 Kia Forte 7/9/12 18,350 17,510 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
                        2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata 7/2/12 27,895 26,412 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price
                        2012 Mazda3 i Touring (auto) 7/2/12 20,345 19,497 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price
                        2012 Kia Forte Koup 7/9/12 17,950 17,130 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
                        2012 Nissan Sentra 7/2/12 20,540 19,208 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
                        2012 Kia Forte 7/9/12 18,850 17,990 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
                        2012 Lexus FX 450h 7/9/12 47,700 44,891 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price
                        2012 Nissan Altima 7/2/12 23,490 22,070 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
                        2012 Honda Accord 7/9/12 24,070 22,099 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price
                        2012 Acura TSX 7/2/12 30,905 29,151 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price
                        2012 Mazda3 s Grand Touring (auto) 7/2/12 24,995 23,938 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 5%+ 25
                        2012 Acura TL 7/2/12 36,600 34,422 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 10%+ 24
                        2012 Ford Mustang 7/2/12 27,105 25,194 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 10%+ 24
                        2013 Ford Mustang 7/2/12 26,995 24,965 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 10%+ 24
                        2012 Infiniti G25 7/2/12 34,895 32,402 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 10%+ 24
                        2012 Suzuki SX4 7/2/12 20,564 19,772 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 10%+ 24
                        2012 Ford Fusion 7/2/12 23,770 22,012 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+ 24
                        2012 Mazda6 7/2/12 22,275 20,652 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+ 24
                        2012 Nissan Altima 7/2/12 26,350 24,477 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+ 24
                        2013 Mazda6 7/2/12 22,520 21,312 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 5%+ 24
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                        Competition Heats up in Canada for RealTime

                        Acura team keeps strong position in GTS championship

                        MOSPORT, Canada (June 25, 2012) – The stiff competition within the Pirelli World Challenge GTS Championship came to a head at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park during a doubleheader weekend. The very nature of the high-speed track combined with recent rules adjustments for some of the competition made the event an uphill battle for RealTime Acura drivers Peter Cunningham and Nick Esayian. The team has never been one to shy away from a challenge, and a valiant performance helped the team maintain strong positions in the GTS Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ Championships.

                        Qualifying – Race One
                        The doubleheader in Mosport got off to a rocky start for the RealTime bunch. Up against powerful Ford Mustangs, Kia Optima Turbos, Chevrolet Camaros and Porsche Caymans on one of the fastest circuits World Challenge visits, Cunningham’s fast lap of 1:26.517 (102.319 mph) placed him sixth on the GTS grid.

                        Esayian and his No. 34 RealTime/Acura/HPD Acura TSX missed GTS qualifying for Race One. The car experienced an engine problem in practice, forcing the team install a brand new motor. The change could not be completed in time for qualifying, meaning Esayian was forced to start Saturday’s race from the back of the grid.

                        Saturday – Race One
                        Saturday’s race began with a full-course caution period seconds after the standing start for a GT car stuck in the gravel at turn one. Cunningham’s No. 42 RealTime/Acura/HPD Acura TSX circulated in sixth for two laps behind the safety car, while Esayian nestled into 14th.

                        On the restart, Cunningham fell to seventh and was immediately under pressure from the No. 55 Ford Mustang FR500S of Richard Golinello. The Acura held off the Mustang for the next seven laps, but Cunningham fell to eighth just before the race’s second full-course caution ― a lengthy one to clean up a fire from a GT car.

                        After 10 laps of caution, the race finally resumed on lap 20 and Cunningham made his move on Golinello’s Mustang. Plenty of oil dry remained on the track where the fire cleanup had taken place, creating a large cloud of dust as the field went through. Golinello chose to brake at the sight of the dust cloud, but Cunningham opted for a quick lift and sped back into seventh, where he would finish eight laps later.

                        “Considering the competition we’re facing here in Mosport, we feel lucky to finish in seventh today,” Cunningham said. “The Acura is as fast as any GTS car in the high-speed corners and as a team we’re faster than we’ve ever been at Mosport, but it’s tough to keep up with the higher-horsepower cars on the long, uphill back straight, which unfortunately for us leads to the primary passing zone.”

                        Esayian moved up to 14th early in Race One, but the issue that forced him to miss qualifying re-emerged in the race. Esayian pulled the car into pit lane and retired the car before the midway point. He didn’t walk away empty handed, however, as his quick start earned him the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start Award.

                        Qualifying – Race Two
                        RealTime’s uphill battle became steeper in Race Two―the benefits of a positive performance adjustment for the Ford Mustangs becoming ever more apparent. Cunningham qualified ninth with a lap of 1:27.431 (101.250 mph).

                        Esayian was once again unable to qualify his Acura after a bad crank sensor caused the car to misfire. Though Esayian would be forced to start from the back of the grid again, the crew felt confident about finding and fixing the problem early.

                        Sunday – Race Two
                        Sunday’s race began with a bit of déjà vu, as a full-course caution was issued seconds after the cars left the grid. In those few moments, however, Cunningham advance to eighth.

                        After the restart, Cunningham’s Acura was entangled in web of Ford Mustangs. He quickly chased down the No. 50 Ford Mustang Boss 302S of Paul Brown, but had to simultaneously defend himself from Golinello once again.

                        On lap 14, Golinello took advantage of the battle between Cunningham and Brown to pass both cars on the back straight. Cunningham turned the pass into an opportunity for himself, finally making the pass on Brown. Three laps later, Cunningham was around Karl Poeltl’s Porsche 996 and on the following lap the Acura was around Golinello’s Mustang and into sixth.

                        For the remaining 12 laps, Cunningham kept the Mustang at bay with Golinello making a bid up the back straight on seemingly every lap. In the end, the Acura crossed the stripe 1.361 seconds ahead of the Mustang for a sixth-place finish.

                        Cunningham’s drive from ninth to sixth earned him the Sunoco Hard Charger of the Race Award.

                        “It’s been a tough weekend, so sixth place almost feels good,” Cunningham said. “Our competition has been very fast this weekend in Mosport, but the team’s done its best to keep us in the game. This race was much more fun than Saturday’s, even if I had a Mustang in my mirror every time I hit the back stretch.

                        “The GTS points were already tight coming into this weekend and with the results in Mosport they should be even closer. With another doubleheader coming up at Mid-Ohio, I hope the tide can change back in our favor quickly.”

                        Starting from the back of the grid, Esayian moved into 14th before the lap one full-course caution. After the caution, Esayian continued to pick up positions through the race’s halfway point, when he found himself 12th and pressuring the No. 29 Chevrolet Camaro of Harry Curtin.

                        With 10 laps to go, Esayian made a move on Curtin in turns eight and nine, but with a backup motor not quite up to the task, he was unable to complete the pass. The move cost the Acura some momentum and prevented Esayian from taking a second shot at Curtin until the final lap. Once again, Esayian dove to the inside of Curtin through the last complex of turns, but could not capture the position. Esayian crossed the finish line in 12th, just 0.141 seconds behind Curtin.

                        “What a long weekend,” Esayian said. “In my whole career with RealTime, I think I’ve had only two motors let go, so this has been very uncharacteristic for the team and not a fair representation of them or the car. Sometimes in racing, you just have weekends like this, but you can’t throw in the towel.

                        “I felt good in Race Two, but the engine I had was not nearly as strong as our normal package. With all the uphill sections at Mosport that really made it tough to get up through the field.

                        “Keeping things in perspective, I’m still sixth in the points and nobody made considerable ground on me. I’m confident things will turn around at Mid-Ohio.”

                        Cunningham managed to lose only one point to Andy Lee in their battle for the GTS Drivers’ Championship. Lee now leads Cunningham by 11 points (981 to 970).

                        Despite his misfortune in Mosport, Esayian holds sixth place in the Drivers’ Championship, 60 points back from fifth (678 to 618).

                        Acura slipped to second in the GTS Manufacturers’ Championship. The top three marques are separated by just six points; Ford leads with 49 points, followed by Acura with 45 and Chevrolet with 43.

                        Rounds eight and nine of the Pirelli World Challenge GTS Championship from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park will air on NBC Sports, Saturday, July 7th at 5PM ET.

                        Next Up
                        RealTime Racing can claw back to the points lead with another doubleheader weekend on the horizon; rounds 10 and 11 will take place in five weeks at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course August 3 – 5. Both races will air live on http://www.world-challengetv.com. Live timing and scoring is available on http://www.world-challenge.com.

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

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                        Last edited by tokyodream; 27-06-12, 08:25.
                        Iubesc masinile japoneze. Ele nu mint, nu inseala !
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                        • http://www.leftlanenews.com/2012-har...n-the-u-s.html

                          2012 Harris Poll finds Honda favorite full-line automaker in the U.S.

                          A poll of over 38,000 U.S. drivers has revealed that Honda and Mercedes-Benz are the top automaker brands in their industries for 2012. The Harris Poll EquiTrend found these to be the favorite brands in the U.S., by measuring their equity.
                          Honda just edged out Toyota and Ford, with the American automaker taking the top spot last year. In the luxury nameplate fight, Mercedes-Benz was atop the charts for the second straight year, just ahead of BMW, Lexus, Cadillac, and Acura.
                          Exactly how Harris put numbers on such a subjective metric hasn’t been revealed.
                          The Motorcycle Brand of the Year went to Yamaha, which was just ahead of Harley-Davidson. Yamaha scored higher in the poll’s Familiarity, Quality, and Purchase Intention categories.
                          Other brands that topped the Brand of the Year list include Bose for Car Audio, with Harman/Kardon, Boston Acoustics, Infinity, and Alpine all ranking the average.
                          Pennzoil was the Motor Oil Brand of the Year for the third straight year, while Michelin was the most favorite tire brand. Garmin was the most popular GPS brand.


                          Honda’s production racer and the illusion of equality


                          Some of the best riders in the world are going to be heading into a tight space this week at Assen — and I don't mean the famous 'Cathedral' turn one entry. Those in charge of putting bikes on the MotoGP grid will convene in the travelling Dorna office to talk rookie rules, spec ECUs and other pending topics on the grand prix agenda.
                          The game-changing speculation since Silverstone has surrounded the strong possibility of Honda making a new, more economically accessible bike for 2014 and beyond, based on the RC213V. The project is rapidly gathering pace, just as it looked as if the future was becoming more settled in the swiftly-evolving premier class.
                          Such a machine would involve some pretty standard factory-enforced cost-cutting measures (sticking with a standard valve engine, for example) combined with new rule adjustments like the spec ECU. What you'd be looking at is a series of 'production racers' that are sure to be keenly received by smaller teams looking to make a move to MotoGP.
                          At the moment, there is a middle ground created by the success of Moto2 and the on-track competitive failure of the CRT scheme. The prestige of MotoGP has been chipped away slightly and aspiring simply to get on the grid isn't worth the struggle —just as becoming a professional backmarker isn't. The ability of the top teams to find sponsors for a cheaper class - in which they can win and gain exposure for their clients' products - is becoming easier than putting together either an uncompetitive CRT project or an expensive satellite team. Look at how prospective MotoGP entries for Thomas Luthi and Stefan Bradl (before LCR Honda saved the day) fell apart when the sponsors baulked at the costs of 1000cc racing.
                          Honda's idea is an old-school one, with a base in the days of 500cc competition. Production racers then were the likes of Suzuki's RG, the Yamaha TZ and Honda's own effort, the RS. Big investment from factories, competitive satellite bikes and a downturn in results eventually put paid to the scheme, however, and we haven't seen anything similar since the NS500V two-stroke back in 1997. Honda themselves have dipped their toes into CRT with the CBR1000RR and FTR chassis, quickly seeing that this is not the way forward.
                          This 2014 machine could be the bike which sets everything in motion. Honda's position as innovators, trendsetters and driving force in the direction of the championship cannot be understated. They are the factory who pushed for the 800cc change, who used their pull to produce a complete turnaround in the intermediate class and gain complete control with the Moto2 tender (Hiro Aoyama's 250cc World Championship came on the only competitive Honda in the category, in a special effort that had been lacking as the factory left two-strokes behind), who still carry the most sway as the factory with the most competitive bikes on the grid and largest budget.
                          It's going to take Honda to make Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta's vision a reality: an end to the expensive satellite bike system. This season, following the move to 1000cc, these bikes are able to stick with their factory counterparts; next year, they probably won't. Regardless, the teams running a customer Ducati, Yamaha or Honda will have to pay upwards of one million euros for the privilege, on a leasing deal rather than having anything to show for their efforts after the Valencia finale.
                          Production racers, not entered as a CRT in order to avoid rival factories having the option to claim the engine, will be purchased. The results may even be the same as under the current satellite scheme, but it makes much sounder economic sense.
                          The dangers? In an ideal world, everyone would be on factory bikes; just different enough in characteristics to make things interesting, but without any obvious disparity. It's the biggest pipe dream in MotoGP and, in its absence, one can only hope that the seams don't show when possibly four different levels of competition are run in the same race. Without a truly level playing field, the illusion of competition has to be maintained. Is that going to be possible with the factory bikes way out in front, the satellite bikes struggling or gone, a production racer finding its way and the CRT-applicable machines an anachronism before they even get into gear?



                          Honda finance arm is a leasing powerhouse

                          LOS ANGELES -- American Honda may be No. 5 in sales in the United States, but its captive finance arm is No. 1 in an increasingly important arena: leasing.
                          In the first quarter, American Honda Finance lease deals accounted for more than 16 percent of all new-vehicle lease transactions industrywide, according to Experian Automotive. That led Toyota Financial Services, Ford Motor Credit and Nissan Infiniti Financial, which all had about 11 percent share of the leasing market.
                          "With Honda, there is a stronger emphasis and push on leasing products," said Melinda Zabritski, Experian's director of automotive credit.
                          As the economy rebounds, leasing is becoming a larger part of many automakers' finance portfolios. LeaseTrader.com predicts leasing could represent as much as 40 percent of the new-vehicle market by 2020, up from about 10 percent in the depths of the recession.
                          According to Edmunds.com, leasing represented 21 percent of all transactions in the first quarter of 2012, down from 24 percent in the first quarter of 2011.
                          Honda grabbed some share by not wavering in its commitment to leasing despite the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008 and the 2011 Japanese earthquake, said Eric Lyman, vice president of residual value solutions for Automotive Lease Guide
                          "There always are consumers who will lease," he said.
                          Dealers respect Honda's commitment to leasing, says Art Wright, a Honda dealer in Lehigh Valley, Pa., since 1972.
                          "A lot of [third-party] sources are here today, then they go to the next hot model," Wright said.
                          "Honda has sold the whole idea of owner retention over the long haul with very competitive programs in the marketplace. Dealers have rewarded that attitude with their business."
                          Lease leaders
                          American Honda's captive remains No. 1 in share of the new-vehicle lease market.
                          1st qtr. 2012 1st qtr. 2011 1st qtr. 2010
                          American Honda Finance 16.50% 20.20% 19.70%
                          Toyota Financial 11.40% 13.70% 19.70%
                          Ford Motor Credit 11.40% 7.60% 6.50%
                          Nissan Infiniti Financial 10.80% 10.20% 10.90%
                          Ally (GMAC in 2010) 9.00% 11.60% 5.90%
                          Source: Experian

                          Honda has used data-mining techniques to stay in touch with customers throughout the lease period, which helps with loyalty, said Charles Aiesi, senior manager for sales for American Honda Motor.
                          Honda also offers loyal customers niceties when the lease ends, such as no lease-termination fee and flexibility in voiding charges for minor dents and dings, Wright said.
                          "Honda has instilled the idea that because of a customer's loyalty, they will make the process smoother and easier," he said.
                          The 2011 J.D. Power and Associates dealer financing satisfaction survey ranked Honda fourth in retail leasing satisfaction, trailing Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Ford.
                          Honda also is helped by strong residual values, the result of low sales to daily rental fleets and an aversion to customer cash incentives. Strong residuals mean lower lease payments because the depreciation from its sticker price won't be so high.
                          For example, even though Honda's Accord sedan is the mid-sized segment's oldest entry, it still holds 50 percent residual value after three years of ownership, according to ALG. That ties it with the Toyota Camry, which was redesigned last fall, and trails only the Hyundai Sonata at 53 percent.
                          "Honda's variable market spend is in lease subvention, not customer cash," Lyman said. "If they do cash, it's dealer cash. They stay away from heavy discounting of the vehicle, which can do damage to brand value. Their starting point is definitely stronger."
                          Honda also encourages dealers to buy leased vehicles at the end of term, before they reach auction, which reinforces residual values, said Jeff Williams, American Honda Finance senior manager of sales and marketing.
                          American Honda Finance has boxed out many third-party lenders, garnering 98 percent of all Honda and Acura leases.
                          But banks such as Wells Fargo and third-party lenders such as Capital One are re-entering the leasing sector. Honda isn't blinking.
                          "We are taking notice," Williams said. "But retail banks come and go, and often they are unrealistic in their programs. Dealers understand how we drive customers back to the dealerships, and banks don't care about that."
                          Who's leasing?
                          Among mainstream brands, Honda placed second to Volkswagen in leasing penetration — leases as a percentage of new-vehicle volume — in the 1st quarter, according to Experian.
                          Volkswagen 42.80%
                          Honda 33.60%
                          Nissan 26.40%
                          Hyundai 21.50%
                          Ford 20.30%
                          Toyota 19.20%
                          Chevrolet 10.70%


                          Last edited by tokyodream; 28-06-12, 08:18. Reason: completare
                          Iubesc masinile japoneze. Ele nu mint, nu inseala !
                          ACURA & HONDA SUV FAN CLUB ROMANIA - http://daimyo.ro/index.php?action=forum


                          • http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hon...pan-2012-06-28

                            Honda Sets All-Time Monthly Record for Automobile Production Outside of Japan

                            Tokyo, Jun 28, 2012 (JCN Newswire via COMTEX) -- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced a summary of automobile production, Japan domestic sales, and export results for the month of May 2012.

                            Worldwide Production
                            May 2012 Year-to-Date Total
                            Units vs.'11 (Jan-May 2012)
                            Japan 74,043 +113.1% 495,196 +121.9%
                            Outside Japan 283,576* +176.0% 1,297,856 +42.4%
                            Worldwide Total 357,619 +160.1% 1,793,052 +58.1%

                            Production Outside of Japan
                            North America 150,908** +152.6% 748,217 +67.1%
                            (USA) 107,854** +156.5% 541,068 +62.1%
                            Europe 15,911 +215.3% 69,858 +53.8%
                            Asia 101,362** +217.7% 416,052 +13.8%
                            (China) 53,966** +144.4% 285,933 +18.6%
                            Others 15,395 +154.6% 63,729 +21.8%
                            Overseas Total 283,576* +176.0% 1,297,856 +42.4%
                            * Record High for any Month
                            ** Record high for May

                            Production in Japan for the month of May 2012 experienced a year-on-year increase for the sixth consecutive month (since December 2011).

                            Production in regions outside of Japan experienced a year-on-year increase for the fourth consecutive month (since February 2012), setting record high production for any month. This includes all-time monthly records for May production in North America, USA, Asia, and China.

                            Worldwide production experienced a year-on-year increase for the fifth consecutive month (since January 2012).

                            Sales in the Japanese Market
                            Vehicle Type May 2012 Year-to-Date Total
                            Units vs.'11 (Jan-May 2012)
                            Registrations 31,570 +48.3% 224,075 +53.8%
                            Mini-Vehicles 26,349 +246.0% 131,837 +136.8%
                            Honda Brand Total 57,919 +100.4% 355,912 +76.7%

                            Honda's automobile sales in the Japanese market for the month of May 2012 experienced a year-on-year increase for the fifth consecutive month (since January 2012).

                            New vehicle registrations experienced a year-on-year increase for the ninth consecutive month (since September 2011).

                            Sales of mini-vehicles experienced a year-on-year increase for the fifth consecutive month (since January 2012).

                            - Vehicle registrations - excluding mini-vehicles

                            Fit was the industry's third best-selling car among new vehicle registrations for the month of May 2012 with sales of 14,536 units. Freed was the industry's fourth best-selling car with sales of 8,142 units.

                            - Mini-vehicles - under 660cc

                            N BOX was the industry's top selling car in the mini-vehicle category for the month of May 2012 with sales of 19,355 units.

                            Exports from Japan
                            May 2012 Year-to-Date Total
                            Units vs.'11 (Jan-May 2012)
                            North America 11,666 +84.3% 73,480 +30.3%
                            (USA) 11,423 +98.3% 71,799 +32.8%
                            Europe 2,832 +192.0% 12,715 +22.4%
                            Asia 2,863 +253.0% 21,311 +225.1%
                            Others 3,618 +230.4% 22,784 +94.7%
                            Total 20,979 +127.9% 130,290 +53.2%

                            Total exports from Japan in May 2012 experienced a year-on-year increase for the fifth consecutive month (since January 2012).

                            About Honda

                            Honda Motor Co., Ltd. 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]

                            Copyright (C) Japan Corporate News NetWork


                            Honda, Mercedes Most Respected Car Brands

                            A poll from Harris Interactive attempts to show what people really think about automakers' reputations.

                            Honda and Mercedes-Benz are the most respected car brands in America -- the former among mainstream manufacturers, the latter among luxury badges -- according to the latest poll from research company Harris Interactive.

                            Of all luxury automakers, Mercedes came out on top for the second year in a row, followed by BMW, Lexus, Cadillac, Acura and Infiniti. Audi, which has been seeing month-over-month sales increases for more than a year, finished last.

                            For nonluxury automakers, Honda was ranked first, followed closely by Toyota -- this, despite less-than-stellar opinions of the new Civic and Toyota's massive recent recalls. The other automakers, in order, were Ford, Nissan, Chevrolet, Subaru, Hyundai and Volkswagen.



                            Suzuki, Honda go for Splendor’s share

                            CHENNAI: Two big competitors. Two mass-market motorcycles. One target: The 6-million-unit-a-year executive commuter segment, dominated now by Hero's Splendor. Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) and Suzuki Motorcycles India (SMI) have decided to steal Splendor's show but have completely different strategies in place.

                            Honda's Dream Yuga and Suzuki's Hayate have been launched with a view to capturing the executive market. However, Suzuki has positioned Hayate as the most affordable bike in the segment while Dream Yuga is the most expensive. Honda says the strategy is to charge a premium for what it calls the 'best in class' performance. The brand ambassadors signed on also show the competition - Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan respectively. Suzuki is focusing on rural markets while Honda is looking to triple its network. Bike marketers say the pool is big enough for all players to grow but the target is a single product - Splendor.

                            Suzuki, the smaller of the two brands, is clear it does not want to take on Honda. Atul Gupta, V-P, sales and marketing of SMI says, "They (HMSI) have been around much longer and their network is three times bigger than ours. So, they are far ahead of us. But the pie is big enough for everybody."

                            Suzuki's strategy is to price the product affordably and attack rural and semi-urban markets. "We need to differentiate ourselves in the customer's mind, so we've opted for a competitive pricing," says Gupta. Together with the pricing, having mass market hero Salman Khan as brand ambassador is what Suzuki is riding on right now.

                            The hinterland focus means aggressive doubling of touch points (which includes everything from dealerships to service points or even a sales representative) to 600 in 12 months and 1,200 in three years. With nearly 10,000 units sold in 30 days and a target of 1.8 lakh units in 12 months, the company is confident it can up the motorcycle share in its total sales from 20% to 30%. Scooters, though, will still remain its bread, butter and jam.

                            For HMSI, the game is completely different. The Dream Yuga is priced highest in the category - higher than market leader Splendor. Y S Guleria, V-P of sales and marketing for HMSI explains, "Our product is priced according to the value the overall package offers. It has best-in-class mileage, 8.5 bhp horsepower, smallest turning radius, lower maintenance cost and tubular tyre option. It offers more."

                            The pricing is clever considering the respect Honda commands in India. But, bikes don't sell on respect alone - volumes ride on the distribution network. "We are clear this (executive-commuter segment) is a much larger market that needs expansion of our front end," says Guleria.

                            HMSI's target - increase sales-and-service touch points from 1,500 to 2,000 by this year and back it up with an aggressive promotional and advertising campaign, featuring primarily Akshay Kumar.

                            Like Suzuki, HMSI isn't riding away from scooters anytime soon. The market leader in the scooter segment, it's only looking to shift the scooter to motorcycle ratio just a wee bit - from 59:41 to 50: 50. But, its volume target for the Dream Yuga shows just how it means business.

                            "We aim to sell 3,00,000 units of Dream Yuga this year as part of our overall target of 2.75 million units," says Guleria. That's more than 20% of the overall two-wheeler market. Given that more products - scooters and motorcycles - are underway, the battlelines have just been drawn.



                            Toyota, Honda Post Jumps in Production

                            TOKYO—With government subsidies helping drive demand, Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. each produced more than twice as many vehicles in Japan in May as they had a year earlier, when they were still feeling the effects of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami on their supply chains.

                            The jump at Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s second-biggest car maker—Toyota and Honda are No. 1 and No. 3, respectively—was a smaller 5.2%, reflecting the greater progress it had made by May of last year in clearing its post-quake supply bottlenecks.

                            The upbeat domestic sales come as many Japanese auto makers continue to face the pressure of a strong yen in their export markets. The currency’s high value makes the price of vehicles built in Japan less competitive overseas and also diminishes income earned overseas when repatriated.

                            The auto makers are preparing for a plunge in demand once the ¥300 billion budgeted for subsidies runs out, which is expected by the end of the summer. Looking to boost sales of fuel-efficient cars such as hybrids and compact models, the government is offering buyers either ¥70,000 yen or ¥100,000 ($886 or $1,266), depending on the vehicle.

                            “It’s hard to say if it will end in July,” Toshiyuki Shiga, Nissan Motor Co. chief operating officer, said earlier this month, adding that Nissan will look to minimize the impact on its sales by releasing five new models that it hopes will stoke demand.

                            The industry also hopes that continued government tax breaks for fuel-efficient cars will help to support demand.

                            Toyota built 274,811 vehicles in the home market in May, more than double the 107,437 it produced a year earlier. Its domestic sales also more than doubled, to 117,638 vehicles from 50,597, thanks to demand for its Prius hybrid and Aqua compact hybrid.

                            Honda’s domestic output in May hit 74,043 vehicles, up from 34,746 a year earlier, with sales in the home market soaring to 57,919 from 28,901, boosted by demand for its Fit compact, Freed minivan and NBox mini car.

                            Nissan said its domestic production rose 5.2% to 84,201 vehicles and domestic sales grew 17% to 44,339 vehicles.



                            Willey Honda In Utah Earns Honda's Highest Dealership Honor

                            This is the 2nd year Willey Honda has earned Honda's highest dealership honor, the Honda President's Award.

                            American Honda Motor Co., Inc., is proud to announce that Willey Honda of Bountiful has earned the Honda President's Award. This annual award is presented to top-ranking Honda dealerships across the country, based on their achievement of excellence in all areas of operation - customer service and satisfaction, sales, training, and facility operation for the prior calendar year. This is the second year Willey Honda has earned Honda's highest dealership honor.

                            The President's Award was established in 1995 to challenge dealerships to provide a superior automotive experience. Each year the objectives are modified to stay ahead of current market trends. A major component of the program focuses on the customer experience and is measured via customer satisfaction surveys. To earn this distinction, Willey Honda met the lofty program objectives established for the 2011 calendar year.

                            "Earning the President's Award is a yearlong commitment that requires the dedication of every dealership team member," said John Mendel, executive vice president of Automobile Sales for Honda. "There are currently more than 1,000 Honda dealerships in the United States. Willey Honda is one of only 144 to earn this distinction for 2011."

                            "Honda is proud to recognize the accomplishments of its top dealers. You will recognize their success by the President's Award trophy and mementos displayed throughout the dealership. I invite you to experience for yourself the advantage of doing business with an award-winning Honda dealership."

                            Willey Honda carries the full line of Honda vehicles, including the all-new Honda CR-V, the ever-popular Accord and Civic, four alternative-fuel vehicles, and the redesigned Pilot. For more information on these and all of Honda's award-winning vehicles, visit www.willeyhonda.com.

                            About Willey Honda:

                            The Willey Family has been in business here in Bountiful since 1949 and has been very successful thanks to a commitment to customer service and attentiveness in listening to customers. Willey Honda customers give rave reviews about the entire retail facility. All vehicles are priced with "One Fair Price," the best upfront, hassle-free price on the vehicle of your choice without the haggling, negotiating, pressure or surprises.

                            Media Contact:
                            Walker Willey
                            Willey Honda

                            PR courtesy of Online PR Media.

                            Last edited by tokyodream; 29-06-12, 06:30.
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                            • http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2012/06...ecord-for.html

                              Honda Posts a New Monthly Record for Automobile Production Outside of Japan

                              It was to be expected that Honda's production numbers throughout 2012 would be significantly improved over last year, which was marked by the catastrophic Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, but the company did better than that recording a new all-time monthly record for vehicle production outside Japan in May with 357,619 units, up by 176 percent.

                              In Japan, Honda's automotive output grew by 113.1 percent in May over the same month last year to 74,043 units. Overall, Honda's worldwide production reached 357,619 units, up 160.1 percent.

                              Honda has seen its output grow for the fourth consecutive month in Japan and the fifth consecutive month worldwide.

                              From the beginning of the year (January through the end of May), Honda has produced 495,196 vehicles in Japan (+121.9%) and 1,297,856 units outside its home market (+42.4%) for a total of 1,793,052 (+58.1%).

                              Honda also reported an increase in automobile sales in the Japanese market of 100.4 percent for the month of May 2012, and 76.7 percent from the beginning of the year.



                              Newly redesigned 2013 Nissan Altima challenges Toyota Camry and Honda Accord in San Diego

                              Information contained on this page is provided by companies via press release distributed through PR Newswire, an independent third-party content provider. PR Newswire, WorldNow and this Station make no warranties or representations in connection therewith.
                              SOURCE Mossy Nissan

                              SAN DIEGO, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Mossy Nissan, San Diego's premier Nissan dealer since 1982, is proud to offer the totally redesigned 2013 Nissan Altima for sale in San Diego County.
                              The 2013 Nissan Altima is the most refined, efficient, upscale Nissan Altima ever built. It offers numerous benefits to San Diego new car buyers, including: Premium exterior styling with a powerful presence and improved aerodynamics, luxurious interior design, improved ride comfort, and better 0 - 60 mph acceleration than other top-selling mid-size sedans.
                              The 2013 Nissan Altima also offers dozens of available innovative features that San Diego new car buyers won't find in a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, including:
                              • Nissan's next-generation Xtronic CVT® Continuously Variable Transmission that delivers up to 38 Nissan MPG freeway
                              • Next-generation Safety Shield Technologies, including Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Moving Object Detection
                              • NASA-inspired "zero-gravity" seats for maximum driving comfort
                              • Easy-Fill Tire Alert, which sounds the car horn to notify a person filling a tire with air when the tire reaches recommended tire pressure
                              • Headlights that automatically switch on along with the windshield wipers
                              • Push-button ignition, which allows a driver to start the car while the key remains in the driver's pocket or purse
                              • Nissan Intelligent Key® with Remote Engine Start which allows the driver to start the engine and turn on the air conditioning without entering the car
                              • NissanConnect(SM) and NissanConnect(SM) Navigation with a suite of Bluetooth® phone connectivity features, including hands-free text message integration, Pandora® playback, and real-time Google® POI (Places of Interest) search
                              • Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display with 4-inch color screen standard on every model, which is customizable, easy-to-use and integrates key information right in front of the driver

                              The newly redesigned 2013 Nissan Altima is on sale now at all six Mossy Nissan locations in San Diego County. For locations, directions, and information, San Diego new car buyers can visit www.MossyNissan.com

                              About Mossy Nissan:

                              Mossy Nissan invites San Diego car buyers to Drive Better, For Less® with Rock Bottom Pricing- their lowest available price right up front, clearly marked on every new Nissan at all six San Diego locations: NATIONAL CITY, EL CAJON, KEARNY MESA, OCEANSIDE, ESCONDIDO and POWAY.

                              ©2012 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.



                              Better Late Than Never: Honda to Update Infotainment System, Preview This Summer

                              In-car technology is evolving quickly, with automakers like Ford trying to keep up by constantly updating infotainment systems. Honda, on the other hand, has moved a bit slower in the infotainment game, but the Japanese automaker is getting ready to show off a new HondaLink system in July.
                              Honda is moving away from using satellite data for its connected services, though Wired magazine’s Autopia blog says Honda reps don’t know if the newer system will utilize a built-in modem or work through a driver’s smartphone. Its first efforts at improving connectivity were revealed at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, where Honda announced its partnership with Aha Radio. Through the Aha radio app, users could stream thousands of audio feeds. The 2013 Honda Accord (view a spyshot of the car’s interior here) will be the first in the lineup to be available with the app. At this point, it’s unclear which vehicles will get Apple’s Siri Eyes Free function, but we’d again bet on the 2013 Accord.
                              The revamped HondaLink system will make its official debut in the Honda Fit EV, but seeing as the Fit is only arriving in select markets, many won’t benefit from the system until it becomes available on the new 2013 Accord, which goes on sale this fall.
                              Source: Autopia



                              CAW Trying to Unionize Workers at Honda Ontario Plant

                              Canadian Auto Workers president Ken Lewenza says the group is making progress in organizing workers at Honda’s Ontario plant. However, things could get rocky depending on the result of the CAW’s contract talks with General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler in September. The outcome of those negotiations could greatly influence the union’s progress in organizing Honda workers.
                              Workers at Honda’s Alliston plant in Ontario recently received a company handout that said their wages of about $31 an hour were at the same level as workers at the Detroit Three’s facilities in the region. However, the CAW claims the calculations omit lower-paid contract workers, and instead include full bonuses that not every worker receives. Honda’s Alliston plant builds the Honda Civic and Honda CR-V, as well as the Acura MDX and Acura ZDX. Honda representatives were not available for comment – we’ll update this space as soon as we have more information.
                              Winning comparable wages isn’t the only item on the union boss’s agenda; Lewenza also wants to improve relations between labor and management. “We’re competitors,” he said to WardsAuto, “but if everyone is concentrating on wages, they’re going to go down.”
                              Lewenza has had his sights set on the Honda plant, along with two Toyota manufacturing sites in Canada because it could help strengthen union membership. While some Honda workers may support the labor union, CAW Quebec director John-Pierre Fortin told us things haven’t been moving as fast with Toyota. “It’s a matter of interest and the number of individuals we’ve been approached by,” Fortin said. Honda has demonstrated both.
                              The upcoming talks with the Detroit Three will put issues like the strengthening Canadian dollar on the table. Some automakers complain it’s made Canada the most expensive place to build vehicles, WardsAuto says. With new union members, the CAW could gain greater bargaining power — the labor group currently represents roughly 25,000 Detroit Three factory workers.
                              Honda and Toyota transplant factories aren’t the only ones affected by unions. The United Auto Workers has attempted to convince workers at Nissan’s factories in Tennessee and Mississippi that pay disparities exist between the two plants.
                              Source: Wards Auto


                              Last edited by tokyodream; 30-06-12, 07:00. Reason: completare
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                                Japan eyes driverless cars by early 2020s

                                Expressways in Japan could start seeing self-driving cars in 10 years, according to discussions by Tokyo and carmakers.

                                I can't wait for the era of self-driving cars. I can't believe it's 2012 and we still have to turn a steering wheel and push pedals to get around while we could be doing better things like sleeping, reading, or actually watching the scenery roll by instead of the road.

                                The Japanese government has started talks on the goal of getting self-driving cars on public roads by the early 2020s.

                                The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism has said it's the first in the world to seriously consider robot cars for the masses, according to Nikkei Automotive News.

                                Participating automakers include Nissan, Toyota, Fuji Heavy Industries, Honda, and Mazda. The ministry plans bimonthly talks on the topic.

                                A major issue that will take up lots of talk time is how to assign responsibility in accidents involving self-driving cars. If there's no human driver, who's to blame?

                                It's the same debate that's swirling around UAVs that could one day wield lethal force without a human in the loop.

                                While automakers wouldn't want to take responsibility for self-driving cars in accidents, one option being mooted is companies that would lease automatic cars to drivers, like rental cars.

                                The robo-wheels could debut on special lanes on expressways in Japan, according to Nikkei.

                                (Via Nikkei Automotive Technology)

                                Honda Manufacturing of Alabama to hire more than 100 professionals


                                BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Honda Manufacturing of Alabama LLC will hire more than 100 engineers, managers and other professionals over the next three months to support the addition of the Acura MDX to its lineup, the company announced today.
                                It's the most recent of several rounds of hiring related to the luxury sport utility vehicle, which is expected to begin rolling off the assembly line in Lincoln sometime next year. Acura is Honda's luxury vehicle division, and the MDX will be the first Acura product built by Alabama workers.
                                The company is hiring professionals for jobs in production management, purchasing, engineering, quality assurance, data analysis and other fields, according to postings on its website.
                                Honda previously announced it would hire about 50 professionals and about 140 people for assembly line and related jobs and has been filling those jobs at a rate of about 25 a month, said Ted Pratt, Honda spokesman.
                                Fifty-six jobs were posted on the careers page at www.HondaAlabama.com late Friday. More are expected to be added, the company said. The $2 billion plant now employs about 4,000.
                                Honda's Alabama operation "has a wide variety of job opportunities," said Mike Oatridge, vice president.
                                "The increased responsibility we now have as a major source of Honda's light truck production in the U.S. has opened new opportunities for employment," Oatridge said in a prepared statement. "We have immediate openings, particularly in the professional engineering disciplines and for those with experience in supplier purchasing and parts procurement."
                                Salaries for the new positions were not disclosed, and Pratt said they will vary depending on responsibilities and applicants' level of experience.
                                The Talladega County plant now produces three models -- the Odyssey minivan, Pilot SUV and Ridgeline pickup -- plus the V-6 engines that power them. It will spend $275 million to increase production capacity and move assembly of the MDX from Canada to Alabama.
                                Honda began building vehicles in Lincoln in November 2001, and announced plans to move MDX production to Alabama last year.


                                High revving racers secure Honda partnership


                                High revving racers secure Honda partnership
                                Honda New Zealand is to become an official partner of the Motul Honda Cup - one of the fastest growing motorsport championships in New Zealand.
                                The iconic Japanese brand will be launching four new models over the coming year, on the back of the already launched Civic sedan and the sporty new CRZ. July is a busy month for Honda with the all new Euro Civic hatch, two new models of the well proven CRV being released and City and V6 Accord back in stock.
                                "Motul Honda Cup has a nice synergy with CRZ's "Play in the real world" slogan, which is what the organisers and drivers in the Honda Cup are doing in a great safe environment," explained Graeme Meyer, Head of Marketing.
                                "They are all great enthusiasts for Honda and racing, and have worked hard to make their series thrive during difficult times globally for motorsport. We are pleased to be supporting a great race class."
                                Honda New Zealand will support the series with a CRZ Course and Safety car and access to parts and expertise used widely on the racing cars during 2012-2013 Summer Championship, which includes many contemporary models as well as older machinery this year.

                                The new CRZ Honda Cup Safety car will make its public debut at the forthcoming Speedshow event at the ASB Showgrounds, before becoming a working part of the Honda Cup winter and summer series.
                                "The recognition and support we will receive from Honda New Zealand is huge news for us," said Series Director Alan Stewart.
                                "We have created the biggest one-make Japanese racing class in New Zealand and after a hugely successful debut summer season, we are expanding with a winter series in the South Island and continuing our rookie-focussed winter series in the North.
                                "We have major objectives for the Motul Honda Cup that focus on close, exciting and value for money racing and we could not do that if the basic product wasn't top notch. Honda is famed for its reliability and performance as a brand and has a long and successful heritage in motorsport all over the world. To be waving the flag as an officially recognised Honda series is really a huge step forward for us."

                                Last edited by tokyodream; 02-07-12, 08:00. Reason: completare
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