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    Dongfeng Honda Concept S Product Film Introduced at the Beijing Motor Show Wins an Award in the Automotive Brand Contest 2012

    Wuhan, China, Sept 7, 2012 - (JCN Newswire) - Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd. announced that its product film featuring the Concept S, which was first introduced at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show, won an award within the concept car category of the Automotive Brand Contest 2012 organized by the German Design Council.

    The Automotive Brand Contest includes the participation of automakers and related suppliers, and evaluates international automotive brand designs. While more than 350 entries were submitted in this year's contest, Dongfeng Honda's Concept S product film was highly evaluated as it successfully appeals to the fashionable and urban charm of the vehicle.

    The film highlights the styling design of the vehicle's upper body that features a gentle streamlined curve, slim pillars and the large front glass which generates the image of a large field of vision and transparency as well as the sturdy design of the lower body. Moreover, the design of the front grill, long-slit headlights and innovative and unique rhombus-shaped fog lights strongly express the advanced technologies applied to this vehicle.

    In order to offer value that exceeds the expectations of Chinese customers, Honda developed the Concept S as a global model based on the needs of Chinese customers. From the initial stage of product planning, Chinese associates worked together with Japanese development team members to study the lifestyles of younger generations in China. The mass production model based on the Concept S will be exhibited at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show, and will go on sale in 2013 through Dongfeng Honda.

    About Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd.

    Established: July 2003
    Capital investment: US$350 million
    Capitalization ratio: 40% Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    10% Honda Motor (China) Investment Co., Ltd.
    50% Dongfeng Motor Group Co., Ltd.
    Location: Wuhan, Hubei Province
    Representative: Yasuhide Mizuno, President
    Employment: Approximately 6,900 associates
    Products: CR-V, Civic, Spirior, CIIMO, ELYSION
    Sales network: 332 dealer locations (as of June 2012)

    About Honda

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

    Source: Honda


    Media Inquiries
    [email protected]

    Copyright 2012 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. www.japancorp.net



    VIDEO: 2013 Honda Civic CNG, Clean But Gutless

    2013 Honda Civic CNG

    It looks like a Honda Civic. It drives like a Honda Civic. It is all things Civic, except for what’s under the hood and inside the trunk. This is the Honda Civic CNG. The CNG stands for what it runs on, compressed natural gas.

    Honda performed a few tweaks to the 1.8 liter, four-cylinder engine like special fuel injectors, beefier connecting rods and a stiffer rear suspension for the weight of the tank.

    With the mods, you lose 30 horsepower. Zero to 60 with the CNG engine takes close to 11 seconds. It’s slow and it feels like it, especially when you are going up a hill or trying to merge onto the freeway.

    And where do you fill up? Well right now the infrastructure is limited. There is a handy app on the navigation screen to help you find a fill station. There are just 400 CNG stations around the country. Some states don’t have them yet. If you live in California, you are better equipped than the rest of us. With a range of somewhere around 300 miles, you do get a wave of range anxiety when the compressed gas gauge gets below half.

    There is another problem. The tank that holds he compressed natural gas cuts trunk space in half. Not cool.

    I commend Honda for offering a car that drives well, burns cleaner cheaper fuel and delivers a respectable 27 mpg city, 38 mpg highway. The lack of trunk space, range worries and a gutless engine will probably add up to too many compromises for the average car buyer. The Honda Civic CNG is a work in progress.



    Minister backs plant as new car launched

    THE latest Honda to be wheeled off the production line in Swindon has been given a Government seal of approval.

    Business secretary Vince Cable was at Honda’s South Marston plant yesterday for the launch of the new CR-V model.

    The latest car is part of a £267m investment by Honda into the Swindon plant, in the single biggest investment in its UK manufacturing base for more than decade.

    The cash injection has supported the roll out of the new Civic and CR-V, with 500 staff already recruited and trained to deliver the models.

    Mr Cable took part in a tour of the works and watched the first finished cars come off the line.

    “This investment is great news for Swindon and the automotive sector,” he said. “What is important is that Honda are putting their faith in the UK economy and in the workforce at Swindon.”

    Prime Minister David Cameron owns an earlier model of the CR-V, which he has called a ‘beautiful machine’, and when asked if he would be buying the new model, Mr Cable said: “My wife has a Honda Jazz which is a good car. If I was ever going to get a new car this would be on my list.”

    Production at the plant is forecast to be double last year’s figure, by up to 183,000 units at the end of the year. Honda aims to increase that figure to 250,000 units per year before 2015.
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    At the moment there are 45 CR-Vs being produced every day and by the end of November 450 CR-Vs will be produced by the factory daily.

    Dave Hodgetts, managing director of Honda UK, said: “It is fantastic for us to have Vince Cable here, and I know the associates are extremely proud.

    “I have been in the factory for 20 years and there are always rumours about Honda leaving. But this investment shows the commitment to the Swindon factory.”

    Honda has invested more than £1.5bn in its Swindon manufacturing operation to date and also produces the Jazz in the town. The plant was hit by supply difficulties due to the flooding in Thailand last year, which led to hours being reduced in the run-up to Christmas.

    The new investment has given associates reassurance about their job security according to project manager Luke Haywood, 42, from Abbey Meads .

    He said: “It is really good news, which has come at the right time for us because we have been through a difficult time.

    “For me to see the new CR-V being rolled out is like being an expecting father, because of the years of hard work that have gone into this.

    “It is a good looking car and we have had a good response to it.”

    The investment has also supported the recruitment of 500 new associates, taking the total workforce to 3,500.

    One of those is 22-year-old Sean Pooley, of Shrivenham , who started working at the plant three weeks ago.

    He said: “I think the investment is good and has provided a lot of new jobs.

    “It is exciting to see the car being produced on the line.”

    The new Honda CR-V is set to be in car show rooms by the end of next month.



    No one loves the Honda N600 more than Tim Mings

    If you've ever owned and classic vehicle, you know that keeping one on the road requires a number of untold sacrifices. Of time, of money, and of parts cars.

    What about operating a shop that caters only to one specific vintage model? Ask Tim Mings. As a devotee to the Honda N600 and the world's only full-time N600 mechanic, he's owned over 300 of the little hatchbacks and bought out a slew of new old stock inventory to keep as many of the cars on the road as possible. Currently, his collection include the very first Honda N600 sold on American shores: serial No. 1.

    Mings says that if you own or have owned an N600 in the greater Los Angeles area, there's a good chance he either has worked on it or will work on it in the near future. We admire his devotion. Check out the quick clip of Mings' exploits below.

    VIDEO => http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=bA2pKLS-JEc

    Last edited by tokyodream; 09-09-12, 08:23.
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    • http://commercial-news.com/local/x10...is-fun-fun-fun

      Little Honda is fun, fun, fun

      In the 1960s, the country went completely nuts for Honda motorcycles. The best-selling Honda Cub got 200 miles per gallon and cost $215.

      A hit song was titled “Little Honda.” Honda ads appeared in major magazines and newspapers. A radio jingle ended with: “Go, little Honda! Go, little Honda! You meet the nicest people on a Honda!”

      It’s taken me nearly 50 years, but I finally got myself a little Honda. Riding my red 1982 Honda Super Cub is a blast. I’m hooked.

      It all began so innocently. Every July, I go to a big antique bicycle and motor scooter show in Portland, Ind., not far from the Ohio state line. I went this year, looked around for hours, but didn’t buy one bicycle.

      For some reason, I was more intrigued by the little motorcycles and motor scooters that were being bought, sold, traded and ridden through the fairgrounds where the show is held. All the riders were smiling, talking to other riders, and having a great old time.

      From little acorns grow big oaks. Back home, I started doing research online into small Hondas — the kind I heard so much about when I was 10, 11 and 12 years old. As it turns out, the Honda Cub and Super Cub are the most popular motorized vehicles ever made — with more than 60 million sold.

      The design is simple, cheap, reliable, and bulletproof, with a step-through frame, four-cycle engine, and a “semi-automatic” three-speed transmission. You shift with your left foot, but there’s no clutch, so you can stop in any gear and it won’t kill the engine.

      The Super Cub gets 100-plus miles per gallon and zips along at 30-40 mph.

      Within a week, a saw an ad for a 1982 Honda Super Cub.

      The guy who owned it used to have a motorcycle shop and was thinning his collection. The 30-year-old bike had 14,000 miles on it, but it ran like a sewing machine and was as quiet as a whisper. I learned that in 1982, Honda made two major improvements to the Super Cub: a 12-volt system replaced the old six-volt one, and electronic ignition was added to eliminate troublesome ignition points. You can start it by pressing the start button or using the kick starter.

      I didn’t know how to shift the thing, so the seller put it in third gear and let me ride it around the block. I didn’t go more than 20 miles an hour, but it felt like I was flying. Within 15 minutes, I was a motorcycle owner.

      I bought a repair manual and helmet, changed the oil (one pint capacity), pumped up the tires, greased the chain, replaced the speedometer cable, charged the battery, installed a center stand, and helped my sister recover the original seat. I bought a helmet and practiced riding every evening.

      Working on it, riding it, and seeing the reactions of other people is fun, fun, fun.

      Go, little Honda!



      Honda scores in Top 10 best-selling vehicles in August

      New-car sales in August continued a trend that dates to May: massive gains for Toyota and Honda relative to an earthquake-stymied 2011, with solid — albeit smaller — gains among other major automakers.

      Both Japanese automakers led the march toward higher auto sales as the industry's seven biggest automakers gained 20.4% in August sales as higher incentives and more credit availability sent shoppers to showrooms. It comes despite rising transaction prices, up $2,338 or nearly 8% on the average car vs. last August, according to CNW Marketing Research.

      By Honda, Wieck
      The highest gains among big sellers came from the Honda Accord and Civic, whose combined sales nearly doubled, even though a new Accord is just around the corner and the redone Civic received lukewarm reviews. Toyota Corolla and Matrix sales increased nearly 50%, and Japan's three biggest automakers gained 37.9% in August sales. That's more than three times the percentage gain for their Detroit Three rivals.

      But Detroit had its own winners, including the new Ford Escape and popular Chevrolet Cruze. That's good news for GM: The Cruze had a bad July, leaving dealers with a 91-day supply of the compact sedan to start August — 37 days more than the industry average. GM continues to sell the car with few incentives, which could bolster resale values for Cruze owners down the road.

      By GM
      GM sales increased 10.1%, but Chevy Malibu sales, mostly the outgoing 2012, fell 18.8%, leaving it off the top sellers list for the second month in a row. The redesigned 2013 Malibu rolling out now should help, GM says, as it replaces "depleted stocks" of 2012s.

      Ford, meanwhile, jumped 12.6% on strong demand for its F-Series pickup and crossovers, as well as the Focus and outgoing 2012 Fusion cars. F-Series sales gained nearly 20% on slight incentive gains, and that's before a refreshed 2013 F-150 reached dealers en masse.

      Pickup sales fought seesawing factors as higher gas prices battled sustained growth in the housing market, with annualized housing starts this year outpacing almost every month in 2011. The result? It's hard to say. Sales for full-size pickups gained 15.8% — good, but below industry gains for the month.

      Here are the top 10 sellers:



      INSIGHT-GM's Volt: The ugly math of low sales, high costs

      GM losing as much as $49,000 per Volt sold

      * Cheap leases likely only exacerbate the losses

      * GM still years away from break even on the car

      * New plug-in competitors soon from Ford, Honda

      By Bernie Woodall and Paul Lienert and Ben Klayman

      Sept 10 (Reuters) - General Motors Co sold a record number of Chevrolet Volt sedans in August - but that probably isn't a good thing for the automaker's bottom line.

      Nearly two years after the introduction of the path-breaking plug-in hybrid, GM is still losing as much as $49,000 on each Volt it builds, according to estimates provided to Reuters by industry analysts and manufacturing experts.

      Cheap Volt lease offers meant to drive more customers to Chevy showrooms this summer may have pushed that loss even higher. There are some Americans paying just $5,050 to drive around for two years in a vehicle that cost as much as $89,000 to produce.

      And while the loss per vehicle will shrink as more are built and sold, GM is still years away from making money on the Volt, which will soon face new competitors from Ford, Honda and others.

      GM's basic problem is that "the Volt is over-engineered and over-priced," said Dennis Virag, president of the Michigan-based Automotive Consulting Group.

      And in a sign that there may be a wider market problem, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi have been struggling to sell their electric and hybrid vehicles, though Toyota's Prius range has been in increasing demand.

      GM's quandary is how to increase sales volume so that it can spread its estimated $1.2-billion investment in the Volt over more vehicles while reducing manufacturing and component costs - which will be difficult to bring down until sales increase.

      But the Volt's steep $39,995 base price and its complex technology - the car uses expensive lithium-polymer batteries, sophisticated electronics and an electric motor combined with a gasoline engine - have kept many prospective buyers away from Chevy showrooms.

      Some are put off by the technical challenges of ownership, mainly related to charging the battery. Plug-in hybrids such as the Volt still take hours to fully charge the batteries - a process that can been speeded up a bit with the installation of a $2,000 commercial-grade charger in the garage.


      The lack of interest in the car has prevented GM from coming close to its early, optimistic sales projections. Discounted leases as low as $199 a month helped propel Volt sales in August to 2,831, pushing year-to-date sales to 13,500, well below the 40,000 cars that GM originally had hoped to sell in 2012.

      Out in the trenches, even the cheap leases haven't always been effective.

      A Chevrolet dealership that is part of an auto dealer group in Toms River, New Jersey, has sold only one Volt in the last year, said its president Adam Kraushaar. The dealership sells 90 to 100 Chevrolets a month.

      The weak sales are forcing GM to idle the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant that makes the Chevrolet Volt for four weeks from September 17, according to plant suppliers and union sources. It is the second time GM has had to call a Volt production halt this year.

      GM acknowledges the Volt continues to lose money, and suggests it might not reach break even until the next-generation model is launched in about three years.

      "It's true, we're not making money yet" on the Volt, said Doug Parks, GM's vice president of global product programs and the former Volt development chief, in an interview. The car "eventually will make money. As the volume comes up and we get into the Gen 2 car, we're going to turn (the losses) around," Parks said.

      "I don't see how General Motors will ever get its money back on that vehicle," countered Sandy Munro, president of Michigan-based Munro & Associates, which performs detailed tear-down analyses of vehicles and components for global manufacturers and the U.S. government.

      It currently costs GM "at least" $75,000 to build the Volt, including development costs, Munro said. That's nearly twice the base price of the Volt before a $7,500 federal tax credit provided as part of President Barack Obama's green energy policy.

      Other estimates range from $76,000 to $88,000, according to four industry consultants contacted by Reuters. The consultants' companies all have performed work for GM and are familiar with the Volt's development and production. They requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of their auto industry ties. [Factbox on estimates -- nL2E8K7HPC]

      Parks declined to comment on specific costs related to the Volt.

      The independent cost estimates obtained by Reuters factor in GM's initial investment in development of the Volt and its key components, as well as new tooling for battery, stamping, assembly and supplier plants - a price tag that totals "a little over" $1 billion, Parks said. Independent estimates put it at $1.2 billion, a figure that does not include sales, marketing and related corporate costs.

      Spread out over the 21,500 Volts that GM has sold since the car's introduction in December 2010, the development and tooling costs average just under $56,000 per car. That figure will, of course, come down as more Volts are sold.

      The actual cost to build the Volt is estimated to be an additional $20,000 to $32,000 per vehicle, according to Munro and the other industry consultants.

      The production cost estimates are considerably higher than those for the Chevrolet Cruze, the Volt's conventional gasoline-engine sister car, which Munro estimates at $12,000 to $15,000 per vehicle.

      Production costs typically include such items as parts, material, labor and the cost to run the factory, according to manufacturing expert Ron Harbour, who heads the North American Automotive Practice at Michigan-based consultant Oliver Wyman.


      The Volt costs more to build for several reasons, mostly related to the car's richer content, complex technology and still-low sales and production volumes.

      The basic model has a higher level of equipment and features than the Cruze, which is assembled in Lordstown, Ohio, and has a starting sales price of $17,925. The Volt also has a number of unique parts, including the battery pack, the electric motor and the power electronics.

      Some of GM's suppliers also impose cost penalties on the automaker because the Volt's production volume remains well below projections.

      Still, as the company wrestles with how to drive down costs and increase showroom traffic, Parks said the Volt is an important car for GM in other respects.

      "It wasn't conceived as a way to make tons of money," he said. "It was a big dip in the technology pool for GM. We've learned a boatload of stuff that we're deploying on other models," Parks said. Those include the Cruze and such future cars as the 2014 Cadillac ELR hybrid.

      The same risky strategy - gambling on relatively untested technology - drove massive investments by Toyota Motor Corp in the Prius hybrid and Nissan Motor Co in the Leaf electric car.

      Toyota said it now makes a profit on the Prius, which was introduced in the United States in 2000 and is now in its third generation. Sales of the Prius hybrid, which comes in four different versions priced as low as $19,745, have almost doubled so far this year to 164,408.

      Other such vehicles haven't done nearly as well. Nissan's pure-electric Leaf, which debuted at the same time as the Volt and retails for $36,050, has sold just 4,228 this year, while the Honda Insight, which has the lowest starting price of any hybrid in the U.S. at $19,290, has sales this year of only 4,801. The Mitsubishi i, an even smaller electric car priced from $29,975, is in even worse shape, with only 403 sales.

      Toyota's unveiling of the original Prius caught U.S. automakers off guard. GM, then under the leadership of Rick Wagoner and Bob Lutz, decided it needed a "leapfrog" product to tackle Toyota and unveiled the Volt concept to considerable fanfare at the 2007 Detroit auto show.

      The car entered production in the fall of 2010 as the first U.S. gasoline-electric hybrid that could be recharged by plugging the car into any electrical outlet. The Obama administration, which engineered a $50-billion taxpayer rescue of GM from bankruptcy in 2009 and has provided more than $5 billion in subsidies for green-car development, praised the Volt as an example of the country's commitment to building more fuel-efficient cars.


      GM's investment in the Volt has so far been a fraction of the $5 billion that Nissan said it is spending to develop and tool global production of the Leaf and its associated technologies and the reported $10 billion or more that Toyota has plowed into the Prius and various derivatives over the past decade.

      But there will inevitably be more development costs for future generations of GM plug-ins and it could still could be years before GM sells enough Volts to bring the cost down to break even.

      The average per-car costs for development and tooling will drop as sales volume rises. But GM will need to sell 120,000 Volts before the per-vehicle cost reaches $10,000 - and that may not occur during the projected five-year life cycle of the first-generation Volt.

      Parks said the company also is continuously reducing production costs on the current Volt and its successor. "There is a strong push on the cost of the Gen 2 to get the car to make money and to be more affordable . . . Virtually every component in the next-gen car is going to be cheaper," he said.

      One obvious way to pull down costs is to push up volume - but GM is paying a hefty price to do so.

      The automaker just ended a special Volt lease program that offered customers a low monthly payment of $279 a month for two years, with some high-volume dealers dropping the payment to $199 a month after receiving incentive money from GM, with down payments as low as $250. The company said about two-thirds of Volt customers in July and August leased their vehicles, compared with about 40 percent earlier this year.

      Before GM resorted to discounting Volt leases, sales were averaging just over 1,500 cars a month. A huge part of that reason was consumer push back over the price, according to Virag of Automotive Consulting.

      Volt's nearest competitor, the Prius, is priced at $24,795, with a newer version, the Prius Plug-In, starting at $32,795.

      Parks said the sales pitch for the Volt was "difficult" because of the sticker price and the car's technical complexity. But the discounted leases have helped lure more non-GM buyers into Chevy showrooms. Their number-one trade-in: Toyota Prius.

      Raymond Chevrolet, in suburban Chicago, sells an average 1,000 Chevys a month, including three to seven Volts. Dealership president Mark Scarpelli said that "some people who like the concept of an electric vehicle find it cost-prohibitive."



      GALLERY: 2013 Honda Accord Coupe looking good

      Last week, we gave you full details on the all-new 2013 Honda Accord sedan, as well as the 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). Now put your hands together for the sexy one in the family, the 2013 Honda Accord Coupe. “Accord Coupe” may be an alien concept here, but not in North America, where Honda has been selling two-door versions of its D-segment Accord for a long time.
      Changes made to the latest-gen Accord sedan apply here as well, so the Accord Coupe gets a slightly more compact footprint while still providing improvements in key interior dimensions including rear legroom and trunk volume. The two-door comes in LX-S, EX, EX-L and EX-L V6 trim levels.
      Two Earth Dreams powertrains (click here to read more about Honda Earth Dreams) are available, including a new 2.4 litre four-cylinder with Honda’s first use of direct injection in North America, and a 3.5 litre V6 with revised VTEC + Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) functions.

      The four-pot, which makes 185 hp and 245 Nm of torque, is paired to a CVT, which replaces the old five-speed auto, or a new six-speed manual gearbox. The 278 hp/342 Nm SOHC i-VTEC V6 unit can be had with the same stick shift or a new six-speed automatic transmission.
      Looks wise, besides the fact that it’s a different car aft of the A pillars, the Coupe’s front end is set apart with a large lower radiator opening and twin faux brake scoops, which double as fog-light nacelles on all models except the LX.
      It’s easy on the eyes, as you’ll discover in the gallery after the jump. Click here for pics/info of the 2013 Accord Sedan and here for more on the 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid.

      Click image for larger version

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      Last edited by tokyodream; 10-09-12, 10:48.
      Iubesc masinile japoneze. Ele nu mint, nu inseala !
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      • http://www.chicagotribune.com/classi...,6118530.story

        Honda Motor sets Accord prices for U.S. market

        (Reuters) - The Accord, the most essential model to the North American success of Honda Motor Co , will have a base price of $22,470 when it goes on sale next week in U.S. showrooms, the company said on Monday.

        The base price of the 2013 Accord model is slightly less than the best-selling mid-size sedan, the Toyota Motor Corp Camry, and is an increase of less than $300 from the current Accord model.

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        Honda is counting on the 2013 Accord when it goes on sale September 19 to close the gap with Camry in the U.S. market's largest and most competitive segment. The Camry leads with an 11.1 percent share and Accord is second at 8.7 percent.

        The Japanese carmaker has sold almost 220,000 Accords through August in the U.S. market, up 35 percent from last year, but far off the pace of 1998 through 2001 when Accord's U.S. sales annually topped 400,000.

        The base price for top-selling mid-size cars in the United States by sales volume through August are the 2012 Camry at $22,850, the 2013 Accord, the 2013 Nissan Motor Co Altima at $22,280, the Ford Motor Co 2013 Fusion at $22,495, the General Motors Co 2013 Chevrolet Malibu at $23,150, and the Hyundai Motor Co 2013 Sonata at $21,670.

        Ford, like Honda and its Accord, has yet to begin sales of its 2013 mid-size Fusion.

        Prices include destination charges but not dealer or manufacturer discounts.

        An Accord LX with more standard equipment than the base sedan will be priced at $34,220.

        Following the Accord sedan, Honda will roll out a coupe version in October and a plug-in hybrid version early next year. A conventional hybrid model will go on sale in the summer of 2013.

        The base coupe version will be sold at $24,140, including destination charges, Honda said.

        (Reporting By Bernie Woodall; Editing By Ryan Woo)

        Copyright © 2012, Reuters



        Why Is No One Talking About Honda?

        U.S. new car sales rose sharply in August, according to two leading industry sources. And there's reason to believe that the big jump could be the start of a longer-term cycle.

        According to leading auto industry research firm Edmunds, August car sales jumped 20% from the same month a year ago, to 1.29 million vehicles. Sales were also up 12% from July. Japanese companies led the way, with sales at Honda ( HMC ) soaring 61%, followed by Toyota ( TM ), which saw its sales rise 42%, and Nissan (Other OTC: NSANY.PK), where sales jumped 13%.

        The Detroit Three saw more modest gains, with sales at Chrysler rising 12% on the month, Ford ( F ) increasing by 9.8% and General Motors ( GM ) seeing a 6.4% rise.

        TrueCar.com largely backed up Edmunds' findings, showing a 17% increase in U.S. car sales in August.

        "Sales showed signs of flattening out in the first couple months of summer, so August's sales figures will come as a nice surprise for everyone in the auto industry," said Edmunds' senior analyst Jessica Caldwell.

        Many Old Clunkers are Nearing the End of The Road

        One factor driving new car sales is the sheer age of the country's current vehicle fleet. According to R.L. Polk and Co., the average U.S. car was 10.8 years old in 2011-an all-time high. That mainly reflects the fact that Americans held off on new car purchases during the recession.

        Instead of trading up, drivers have been doing all they can to keep their old rides on the road. This is the main reason why auto parts sellers like AutoZone ( AZO ) have seen their sales soar in the past few years-while two of the Detroit Three carmakers were forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

        Still, you can only keep an old car going for so long before the mounting repair bills start to eat up any money you're saving by holding out. When you combine that with greater incentives from carmakers-particularly as they look to clear out space for new 2013 models-and a continuing economic recovery, it looks like more and more shiny new vehicles will be driving off the nation's car lots in the coming months.

        High Gas Prices Give Small Cars Big-Time Appeal

        As many U.S. cars head for the scrap heap, gas prices continue to rise: the average pump price in the U.S. was $3.83 a gallon on Friday, up $0.21 from a year ago. It also broke the Labor Day record of $3.68 a gallon.

        That's largely due to the impact of Hurricane Isaac, which closed refineries on the Gulf Coast. But consider that for the entire month of August, gas prices are up $0.31-or 9.2%-from August 2011.

        Concerns about rising fuel prices, along with increased awareness of environmental issues like climate change, have prompted many consumers to switch to smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles. Ford, for example, recently said that its Focus compact is on track to become the world's best-selling car, passing another long-time top seller in this space, the Toyota Corolla.

        Reliability Is More Important Than Ever Before

        Along with increased fuel efficiency, cost-conscious post-recession buyers are placing a higher-than-ever premium on longevity and reliability. That's a place where Honda, in particular, really shines.

        Two of the company's cars, the Civic and the Accord, recently grabbed the number two and three spots on AutoGuide.com's list of the top 10 most reliable family cars. "This list would probably have no credibility if the Honda Civic didn't appear on it," said AutoGuide. "For decades now, the Civic has become synonymous with reliability and dependability, not to mention affordability."

        Further bolstering the Civic's image is the fact that it was also recently named the most reliable used car in the U.K. based on a survey by What Car? magazine and Warranty Direct. It was the seventh straight year that the Civic won the title. "Reliability is so important to motorists, especially when times are tough," said Chas Hallett, the magazine's editor-in-chief. "Honda is exceptionally good at this."

        Honda Is Rebounding Quickly From Last Year's Natural Disasters

        The company had a rough 2011. First the Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown in March shuttered a number of its factories, then flooding in Thailand caused parts shortages that weighed on its sales. The low year-earlier numbers were one of the reasons why it has seen such big sales increases so far this year.

        In its latest fiscal quarter, which ended June 30, 3012, Honda's overall sales surged 42.1%, to 2.44 trillion yen, or $30.7 billion. The company saw strong gains in all of its regions except for two: Europe, where sales fell 2.0%, and South America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, where revenue declined a combined 4.2%. Both setbacks were largely due to the negative impact of foreign exchange rates.

        Net profits jumped 314.3% from the year-ago quarter, to 131.7 billion yen, or $1.7 billion.

        The continued strength of the Japanese yen is a drawback to investing in Honda, because it continues to reduce the value of the company's overseas sales (In the last quarter, 82% of Honda's revenue came from outside Japan). Still, the company continues to forecast a $6-billion profit for its fiscal year ending March 2013, more than double its earnings in the previous year. It also expects to sell 4.3 million vehicles in the current year, up 38.4%, with North America supplying 40% of the total.

        The company also benefits from its diversified business, which sets it apart from many other automakers: in addition to cars, it makes motorcycles and power equipment, such as lawn mowers, snow blowers and generators. The motorcycle business is an ongoing bright spot for Honda: in the latest quarter, it sold 2.4 million units, up 21.4% from a year ago.

        To top it off, Honda pays an attractive dividend compared to many other automotive stocks: Quarterly payments of 19 yen per share ($0.24 U.S.) yield 2.5%. Honda isn't the only company paying an attractive dividend in this market. Check out The Top 5 Companies that Pay Dividends for more low-risk picks that pay dividends above 5%.

        Article originally posted here .

        The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.


        Honda Motor Renames India Unit


        MUMBAI — Honda Motor Co.'s India unit has renamed itself Honda Cars India Ltd., following the dissolution of its joint venture with Siel Ltd .

        The earlier name of the unit was Honda Siel Cars India Ltd.

        Honda formed the joint venture with Siel in December 1995. The shares were later transferred to the Indian company’s parent, Usha International Ltd., although Honda retained its name in the unit.

        Last month, Usha exited the venture by selling its stake to the Japanese auto maker for 1.8 billion rupees ($32.50 million).

        This is the second partnership that Honda has ended in India.

        In 2010, the auto maker sold its entire 26% stake in India’s largest two-wheeler maker–then called Hero Honda Ltd . and now renamed Hero MotoCorp Ltd. — to India’s Hero Group to focus on its fully owned two-wheeler unit, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Ltd.

        Honda Cars makes the Brio and Jazz hatchbacks as well as the City, Civic and Accord sedans at its Greater Noida factory in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. It also imports the CR-V sport-utility vehicle to India.



        Honda Reveals Price for All-new 2013 Accord

        Completely redesigned for the new model year, the 2013 Honda Accord has received extensive enhancements to just about everything—except its price. The all-new Accord will be stickered from $21,680 when it goes on sale on September 19, representing a price bump of just $200 over the 2012 version. It’s a high-value MSRP that delivers a high-efficiency Honda capable of 27 mpg city/36 mpg highway/30 mpg combined, along with standard features like:
        • Alloy wheels
        • Rearview camera
        • Expanded-view driver’s mirror
        • Bluetooth HandsFreeLink
        • USB/iPod integration
        • Pandora Internet radio compatibility
        • SMS text-messaging functionality
        • Dual-zone climate control
        • 160 watts worth of audio enjoyment

        That’s the entry package with the Accord’s new “Earth Dreams” 2.4-liter I4 engine, but the sedan also is available with that same green technology upgrading its 3.5-liter V6—the most powerful V6 ever offered in the car—at a sticker of $30,070. Here, drivers will enjoy 278 hp, 252 lb.-ft. of torque and the best EPA marks of any V6-powered mid-size sedan: Up to 21 mpg city/34 mpg highway/25 mpg combined.
        The 2013 Honda Accord sedan also will launch with two fresh models as part of its lineup (and that’s in addition to both hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants coming early next year). The Accord Sport has been configured for younger drivers and delivers bigger, 18-inch wheels, fog lights, a decklid spoiler, dual-chrome exhaust finishers, enthusiast-tuned suspension and steering, and, on models with a CVT, paddle shifters. The spunky Sport model opens at $23,390 with a six-speed manual or $24,190 with the CVT.
        Then there’s the elegant 2013 Accord Touring, now the range-topping member of the lineup, which brings high-tech goodies like LED lighting, adaptive cruise control, satellite-linked navigation, Honda’s blind-spot warning system, forward-collision alert and a V6 engine, all starting at $33,430.
        “The 2013 Accord excels in all areas with sophisticated design, a luxurious interior, world-class dynamic performance, class-leading standard features and legendary Honda quality, all at a tremendous value for the customer,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales, American Honda Motor Co. Inc., “2012 is the year of the midsize sedan, and the new Accord will once again solidify Honda’s position at the head of the pack.”



        Ford designer: 2013 Fusion to challenge Toyota, Honda and even BMW

        The fact that the 2013 Ford Fusion is aimed at the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord in the U.S. midsize market doesn’t surprise anyone.

        But Ford’s Chris Hamilton, the Fusion’s chief designer, will no doubt raise some eyebrows following his statement that Fusion owners will have no reason to feel inferior to BMW owners.
        “We’re going to attack these cars and raise the game. There’s a gaping hole for a car that’s affordable, but elegant and sophisticated,” Hamilton told Inside Line about the Camry and the Accord. He added that he is glad Toyota maintained its traditional silhouette instead of choosing a coupe-like appearance for the new Camry.
        “Luckily, the new Camry remained as a two-box sedan. An important trend in Europe and China is that there’s a faster, sleeker look coming through,” Hamilton added. This trend is also followed by the 2013 Fusion, which is light, sleek, athletic and coupe-like while still remaining practical and a five seater, according to its designer.
        “We want people to feel proud of the Fusion. We’re trying to make them feel that Ford is a good choice, and to be able to park next to a BMW and feel OK,” Hamilton said. He revealed that Ford designed the most upmarket versions of the Fusion first and then worked out how to make the entry-level versions. The result is that even the entry-level Fusion models will look sharp.



        2013 Honda Accord Adds Thousands of Dollars in New Standard Features with an MSRP Starting Under $ 22,000

        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 American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
        Pricing for all-new Accord remains consistent with outgoing model
        TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The dynamic all-new 2013 Honda Accord Sedan will debut at U.S. dealers nationwide on September 19, with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) ranging from $21,680 for the well-equipped Accord LX to $33,430 for the luxurious Accord Touring model, plus a destination and handling charge1 of $790 per vehicle. The Accord Coupe will go on sale October 15 with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) starting at $23,350 for the sporty LX-S model plus a destination and handling charge1.
        (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120910/LA70869-a )
        (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120910/LA70869-b )
        (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100923/HONDALOGO )
        The all-new Accord adds thousands of dollars worth of standard features and technologies with average pricing across the sedan lineup increasing by less than $300. The price of the most popular Accord LX (4-cylinder) trim is up by only $200.
        The 2013 Honda Accord has been fully redesigned from the ground up to deliver new levels of refinement, sophistication, fuel efficiency and fun-to-drive performance in the midsize segment. Every new Accord is equipped with alloy wheels, and standard features now also include a rearview camera, an Expanded View Driver's Mirror, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, USB/iPod® integration, Pandora® internet radio compatibility, SMS text message function, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system.
        "The 2013 Accord excels in all areas with sophisticated design, a luxurious interior, world-class dynamic performance, class-leading standard features and legendary Honda quality, all at a tremendous value for the customer," said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "2012 is the year of the midsize sedan, and the new Accord will once again solidify Honda's position at the head of the pack."
        New to the Accord Sedan lineup for 2013 are the Sport and Touring models. The Accord Sport targets younger buyers with the addition of 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights,10-way power driver's seats, a decklid spoiler, dual chrome exhaust finishers, paddle shifters (on CVT models), a stiffer tower strut bar and exclusive suspension and steering tuning. Positioned between the Accord LX and Accord EX, the Sport model is equipped with the 2.4-liter direct-injected all-aluminum VTEC® engine paired to either a 6-speed manual or Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The Sport model is value priced with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $23,390 plus a destination and handling charge1.
        The luxurious and technology-packed Accord Touring is equipped with a powerful V-6 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. Equipped with Honda's first application of LED headlights and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), the Accord Touring sedan is priced with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $33,430 plus a destination and handling charge1.
        The 2013 Accord lineup is powered by a wide array of new Earth Dreams™ powertrains, which includes the first U.S. application of Honda's next-generation 2.4-liter direct-injected VTEC 4-cylinder engine. The 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe will also offer a more powerful and efficient Earth Dreams VTEC V-6. Three transmissions are available, including the first-ever application of a continuously variable transmission (CVT) on 2.4-liter 4-cylinder models, a six-speed automatic on V-6 models, and 6-speed manual transmissions on 2.4-liter 4-cylinder models and the 3.5-liter V-6 Coupe.
        The 2013 Accord successfully balances fun-to-drive performance with fuel efficiency. Accord Sedan 4-cylinder models paired to the CVT earn an impressive 27/36/30 mpg2 city/highway/combined EPA fuel economy ratings (an increase of 3/2/3 mpg compared to the previous model) and the V-6 models achieve class-leading EPA fuel economy ratings of 21/34/25 city/highway/combined mpg2 (an increase of 1/4/1 compared to the previous model) making it the most fuel-efficient gasoline-powered vehicle in the V-6 midsize sedan class.
        Other new Accord technologies include the first application of the all-new cloud-based HondaLink™ system featuring Aha™, which lets drivers put away their smartphones and still stay connected to the people, music and social media they love. Also debuting on the 2013 Accord is Honda LaneWatch™ blind-spot display, which uses a camera integrated with the passenger-side mirror and the vehicle's 8-inch color display to provide for an enhanced view of the passenger-side roadway. LaneWatch is standard equipment on EX and above versions of the Sedan, and EX-L versions of the Coupe.
        Celebrating 30 years of Accord production in the United States, the all-new 2013 Honda represents the expanding capabilities of Honda in North America. The Accord is producedby Honda of America Mfg. Inc. in Marysville, Ohio, using domestic and globally sourced parts. Its engines are produced at Honda plants in Anna, Ohio and the transmissions are produced at Russells Point, Ohio, and in Tallapoosa, Georgia. The Marysville Auto Plant earned a Silver Plant Quality Award from J.D. Power and Associates in its 2012 Initial Quality Study.
        The 2013 Honda Accord is covered by a 3-year/36,000-mile Limited Vehicle Warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty, and a 5-year/unlimited-mile Corrosion Limited Warranty.
        2013 Accord Sedan Pricing:
        Model Transmission Pricing EPA ratings2
        4-cylinder models
        Accord LX 6-speed MT $21,680 24/34/28
        CVT $22,480 27/36/30
        Accord Sport 6-speed MT $23,390 24/34/28
        CVT $24,190 26/35/29
        Accord EX 6-speed MT $24,605 24/34/28
        CVT $25,405 27/36/30
        Accord EX-L CVT $27,995 27/36/30
        Accord EX-L with Navi CVT $29,995 27/36/30
        V-6 models
        Accord EX-L V-6 6-speed AT $30,070 21/34/25
        Accord EX-L Navi V-6 6-speed AT $32,070 21/34/25
        Accord Touring V-6 6-speed AT $33,430 21/34/25
        2013 Accord Coupe Pricing:
        Model Transmission Pricing EPA ratings2
        4-cylinder models
        Accord LX-S 6-speed MT $23,350 24/34/28
        CVT $24,200 26/35/29
        Accord EX 6-speed MT $25,025 24/34/28
        CVT $25,875 26/35/29
        Accord EX-L CVT $28,070 26/35/29
        Accord EX-L Navi CVT $30,070 26/35/29
        V-6 models
        Accord EX-L V-6 6-speed MT $30,350 18/28/22
        6-speed AT $30,350 21/32/25
        Accord EX-L Navi V-6 6-speed MT $32,350 18/28/22
        6-speed AT $32,350 21/32/25
        Additional media information including detailed pricing features and high-resolution photography of the 2013 Accord is available at www.hondanews.com. Consumer information is available at automobiles.honda.com.
        Connect with Honda:
        Media Newsroom (for journalists): http://www.hondanews.com/channels/ho...mobiles-accord
        For consumers: http://automobiles.honda.com/accord
        YouTube: www.youtube.com/honda
        Flickr: www.flickr.com/hondanews
        Twitter: www.twitter.com/honda
        Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HondaAccord
        Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/honda
        On Google+: https://plus.google.com/+honda
        1MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $790 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
        2Based on 2013 EPA ratings estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.
        ® The Bluetooth word mark and logos are owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and any use of such marks by Honda Motor Co., Ltd is under license.
        ® iPod is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. All rights reserved. iPod not included.
        ® Pandora, the Pandora logo and other Pandora marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Pandora Media, Inc. or its subsidiaries worldwide.

        ©2012 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.


        Last edited by tokyodream; 11-09-12, 12:37.
        Iubesc masinile japoneze. Ele nu mint, nu inseala !
        ACURA & HONDA SUV FAN CLUB ROMANIA - http://daimyo.ro/index.php?action=forum


        • http://www.vtec.net/articles/view-ar...cle_id=1094166

          2013 Honda Accord V6 EX-L 6MT Coupe





          New Infographic Takes a Look at Eight Generations of the Honda Accord

          On the occasion of the announcement of pricing for its 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe models earlier today, Honda is taking a ride back to the future with an infographic that puts the spotlight on each generation of the mid-size model since the company began producing the car in the States in 1982.

          The infographic includes a handful of interesting data such as the base model's curb weight, wheelbase length, entry-level engine, starting price in USD, and the highlights of each of the eight generations of the U.S.-built Accord, which you can then compare.

          For example, we see that the 1982 Accord was fitted with a 75hp 1.8-liter engine and tipped the scales at 2,184 pounds (990 kg) while priced from $8,245.

          The new Accord in entry-level guise is almost two-and-a-half times more powerful at 185hp, has a 12.8 inch longer wheelbase and is close to 50 percent heavier at 3,254 lbs (1,476 kg) while costing 2.6 times more than the 1982 model at $21,680.

          We'll assume that some of you might want to compare the starting prices of the Accord with the "Median" and "Mean" household income levels in the United States, so we added a historical table (1975 to 2010) from the U.S. Census Bureau.

          Below you will also find the definitions of median and mean income from U.S. Census Bureau:

          What is the difference between a median and a mean?

          "Median income is the amount which divides the income distribution into two equal groups, half having income above that amount, and half having income below that amount.

          Mean income (average) is the amount obtained by dividing the total aggregate income of a group by the number of units in that group. The means and medians for households and families are based on all households and families. Means and medians for people are based on people 15 years old and over with income."



          2013 Honda Accord Priced from $21,680 to $33,430* in the U.S.

          On September 19, the all-new 2013 Accord sedan will arrive in U.S. showrooms with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) starting at $21,680 for the base LX sedan and rising to $33,430 for the V6 Touring model, excluding a destination and handling charge (*) of $790.

          The two-door 2013 Accord Coupe will go on sale about a month later on October 15 with prices ranging from $23,350 for the four-cylinder LX-S model to $32,250 for the V6 EX-L with Navigation, again not including a $790 destination and handling charge.

          Both the sedan and the coupe are offered with a choice of two gasoline engines, the new Earth Dreams 2.4-liter direct-injected four-cylinder VTEC unit delivering 185HP and 177 lb-ft in standard guise and 189HP and 182 lb-ft in Sport trim available on the sedan only, and a 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 278HP and 252 lb-ft.

          There are three available transmissions, including the first-ever application of a continuously variable transmission (CVT) on 2.4-liter 4-cylinder models, a six-speed automatic on V6 models, and 6-speed manual transmissions on 2.4-liter 4-cylinder models and the 3.5-liter V6 Coupe.

          The Accord Sedan 4-cylinder models paired to the CVT earn EPA fuel economy ratings of 27mpg city, 36mpg highway and 30mpg combined (up 3/2/3 mpg respectively compared to the previous model), while the V6 models return 21mpg city, 34mpg highway and 25mpg combined (an increase of 1/4/1 mpg respectively over the older model).

          All Accords come equipped with standard alloy wheels, a rearview camera, an Expanded View Driver's Mirror, Bluetooth, HandsFreeLink, USB/iPod integration, Pandora internet radio compatibility, SMS text message function, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system.

          New for the 2013 Accord Sedan are the Sport and Touring trim levels. The Sport comes fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights,10-way power driver's seats, a decklid spoiler, dual chrome exhaust finishers, paddle shifters (on CVT models), a stiffer tower strut bar and sportier suspension and steering tuning plus a small power increase. Prices start at $23,390 plus a destination and handling charge.

          The Touring model adds several amenities such as Honda's first application of LED headlights and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and is priced from $33,430 plus a destination and handling charge.

          Next year, Honda will expand the range with two more sedan models, the 2014 Accord Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV).



          2013 Honda Accord Sport [w/video]
          Restoring Our Faith In The Brand That Soichiro Built

          It's been a rough couple of years for Honda fans. Those of us who filed willingly behind the big H banner in days gone by have found ourselves making excuses for the death of the S2000, the inadequate mileage and compromised driving characteristics of the Insight hybrid, and the unworthy successor to the CRX throne, the CR-Z. But surely we could forgive Honda a few transgressions. After all, this is the manufacturer that my generation cut its driving teeth on. Hordes of us can recite engine, transmission and chassis codes at length and on command the way our fathers knew Chevrolet big-block VINs by heart because, after all, this is a manufacturer we love.

          But with the addition of ungainly and uninteresting products like the Accord Crosstour, many of us couldn't help but take the company's missteps personally. When the 2012 Civic rolled out, even Consumer Reports, a publication that routinely hails Honda products as more crucial to living a fulfilled life than a quality washing machine, infamously didn't recommend the compact. Was our favorite automaker intentionally trying to piss us off? If so, it was working.

          So when Honda announced the arrival of the 2013 Accord, we approached the reveal with measured skepticism. Like a dog suffering under the feigned throw-the-ball trick, we had no interest in going down the now familiar path of excitement and disappointment. This time around, Honda was going to have to prove it still knew how to build a competitive car.

          Competitiveness starts with stylishness, which is something the Honda design department seems to have struggled with of late. Fortunately, the 2013 Accord is a remarkably good looking vehicle. Designers have managed to revitalize the exterior without making the sedan unrecognizable, which is important for a model that's sold 11 million units in the U.S. alone since Honda began manufacturing the Accord here some 30 years ago. Engineers shortened the new generation by 3.6 inches, which has done much to take the heft out of the design. With abbreviated overhangs front and rear, the new Accord doesn't look as portly as its predecessor, and that's a huge step in the right direction.

          Up front, the 2013 model can't help but look attractively aggressive thanks to its swept headlamp arrays and inset fog lamps. Of course, the chicken-wire mesh lower grille of our Sport trim tester helps in that department, too. All in all, the front clip seems to have cribbed from the Acura design playbook of 2004, which is by no means meant as a slight. We dig it.

          That aforementioned Sport trim is one of two new lines in the Accord stable. Higher up the chain, buyers will now find Touring models available on the order sheet. Snugged between the lowly LX and slightly nicer EX, the Sport trim delivers a range of aesthetic adjustments outside that include the 18-inch wheels you see here, as well as a deck lid spoiler and a whopping four-horsepower nudge in grunt from the direct-injection four-cylinder engine under the hood. Be still our beating hearts. The interior also gets a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle-shifters on CVT-equipped models. Honda says the new trim line is an effort to lower the age of the average Accord buyer.

          Honda says the new Sport trim is an effort to lower the age of the average Accord buyer.

          Viewed broadside, it's easier to get a glimpse of the sedan's massive passenger cell and expansive greenhouse. Honda managed to maintain the Accord's cavernous cabin and actually expand trunk volume while clipping the vehicle's overall length thanks to some packaging cleverness, and the result is a bit of a bubble roof. Surprisingly enough, the 2013 Accord has managed to maintain its slim A and C pillars even in the face of harder-to-ace roof-crush safety tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Given how readily engineers have come to embrace chunky arches, the thin lines are a welcome sight.

          Step to the vehicle's rear, however, and the design begins to look awfully familiar. The sedan's stern has more than a little Hyundai Genesis in the mix thanks to a set of sweeping tail lamp arrays that reach around the rear quarters. It's difficult to tell the two machines apart in a quick glance, especially when the Accord is wearing the dark silver paint of our tester. We aren't typically fans of faux chrome, but the bright strip along the trunk deck didn't hurt our feelings as it serves to tie the aft to the side sill treatment and front grille. The Sport trim serves up a set a dual exhaust outlets that deliver a nice burbly note on start up, which is a nice trick for the four-cylinder.

          I'll admit, I actually sighed with relief when I plopped myself into the driver's seat. After wincing my way through the schizophrenic Picasso dash of the ninth-generation Civic, I was prepared for all manner of cabin travesties inside the 2013 Accord. Instead, I was met with a mature and attractive instrument panel without an overabundance of buttons. Snappy faux brushed-metal accents separate control clusters for the climate controls and stereo, though higher trims get a new touch-screen interface for the media system. All models get a huge eight-inch LCD display to handle video from the standard rear-view camera, as well as a new optional blind spot camera system.

          LaneWatch is a new piece of safety tech that uses a small camera in the passenger-side mirror to keep an eye on the vehicle's blind spot. Hit the right turn signal when changing lanes and the eight-inch display immediately switches to the side-view feed, complete with helpful distance markers to let you know if it's clear to get over. You can also leave the feed on all the time or turn it off completely if you find it too distracting. Make no mistake, this tech is going to show up on every car on the market very soon. LaneWatch is standard on EX models and above, and while our Sport tester did not come equipped with the gear, we shot a quick video of the tech in action on an EX model. Check it out below.

          Otherwise, the 2013 Accord offers comfortable seats with plenty of adjustment as well as lots of head room and leg room for both front and rear passengers. The sedan gives front passengers 42.5 inches of leg room and rear occupants 38.5 inches. That's an extra inch in the way back compared to the 2012 model, and gives the Accord an extra 2.4 inches of leg room in back over the also-new 2013 Nissan Altima. The Altima makes up that gap up front, however, with an extra 2.5 inches of leg room for front occupants. Even so, buyers opting for either sedan would have to struggle to feel cramped inside. Even with full-grown adults up front, there's ample room in the rear for jolly-green passengers.

          Honda has also stretched the rear cargo area 1.1 cubic feet by re-engineering the trunk floor. The flat load surface combines with a redesigned trunk spring mechanism that intrudes on the rear space by just 1.2 inches. The old hardware required 3.9 inches of travel to function properly.

          In the engine department, Honda has finally stepped out of the last century by gracing its volume model with a direct-injection 2.4-liter four-cylinder. The lump is good for 185 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 181 pound-feet of torque at 3,900 rpm in standard trim. Our Sport model made 189 horsepower at the same revs while turning out one more pound-feet of torque at the same engine speed. The base numbers mark a jump of seven horsepower and 20 lb-ft of torque over the 2012 model. More importantly, Honda managed to pull 27 miles per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highway from machines equipped with the new CVT gearbox.

          For comparison's sake, the old five-speed automatic delivered four mpg less in city driving and two mpg less on the highway. Models boasting the six-speed manual of our tester, meanwhile, get along with 24 mpg city and 34 mpg highway – a jump of one mpg in both categories. The Accord loses out to the Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima in highway fuel economy by one and two mpg, respectively, but ties the Ford and falls one mpg behind the Nissan in combined driving.

          As nice as the six-speed manual is, we were more impressed by the CVT.

          Like Honda engines of old, the four-cylinder loves a good caning with plenty of pull well into redline at just under 7,000 rpm. Likewise, the six-speed manual feels fantastic, proving Honda hasn't forgotten how to make a gearbox that's both tactile and accurate without being too coarse. Clutch throw is a bit on the soft side, but appropriate for a family hauler with aggressive pretentions. As nice as the six-speed manual is, we were more impressed by the CVT. Make no mistake, there are few acronyms in the automotive vernacular that can send us wincing quicker than that of the continuously variable transmission, but this band box isn't a curse on driving.

          At mid to three-quarter throttle, engineers have programmed simulated steps to make the CVT behave like a standard automatic transmission. The idea was to expunge any of the notorious "rubber band" sensation from the drivetrain. Smother the carpet with the throttle, however, and the CVT will put the engine where it makes the most power and hold it there in perpetuity. Not a bad compromise.

          No matter which transmission buyers settle on, they'll be greeted with a car that feels incredibly quick for the segment – quicker than competition like the Toyota Camry. Jumping up to interstate speed takes no effort, and launches from a dead standstill are executed with just a little torque steer at very high rpm. We imagine most drivers will never get there. Brakes are crisp and linear with good initial bite, which help give the 2013 Accord a confident feel. At highway speeds, though, the Honda continues to struggle with road and wind noise. The company's engineers say they've done plenty of work to quiet the cabin down, but it falls well behind competitors like the Volkswagen Passat and Chevrolet Malibu.

          But what the Accord lacks in cabin civility, it largely makes up for in driving dynamics. The new generation bows with a MacPherson strut design up front and an independent multi-link set up in the rear, giving the sedan enough compliance to comfortably overcome broken and uneven pavement without sacrificing handling. Unfortunately, engineers also saddled the new model with electronic power steering, and while the system is precise enough for our needs, it also feels incredibly synthetic. The driver gets very little in the way of feedback from the steering wheel, diluting an otherwise excellent driving sedan in the pursuit of better fuel economy.

          Buyers looking to step into a 2013 Honda Accord will need to cough up $21,680 for an LX model with a six-speed manual gearbox, though stepping up to the CVT will add an extra $800 to the bottom line. LX guise includes Bluetooth, a rear-view camera, USB connection and dual-zone climate control as standard equipment. Our Sport tester, meanwhile, carried a base price of $23,390, and all prices exclude a $790 destination fee. At $1,710 over the base LX, the Sport is a good value given the aesthetic adjustments inside and out. With the excellent manual gearbox, a little extra pep and a set of attractive wheels, this is likely the Accord we'd have for daily duty.

          So where does all this put the 2013 Accord in the mid-sized fray? Coming into this model year, the Accord's place among the segment's top three sellers was Honda's to lose, but the next-generation sedan has the chops to ensure long-time Honda buyers will drive away from the dealer with a machine worthy of the badge on the hood. This is the Accord as we know it best. While there is no revolutionary engineering on hand, the model delivers plenty of power, solid fuel economy, lots of space and a compelling drive for accessible money.

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          • Honda Pilot a solid family hauler


            In 2009, Honda gave the Pilot a complete overhaul and was so happy with it they carried it over into 2010. So, aside from different paint choices and interior colour combinations, the 2009 and 2010 editions of the Pilot are essentially the same animal.

            It came in four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L and Touring. Power for all was delivered by a 3.5-litre V-6 that was also found in the Ridgeline and Odyssey minivan. It featured Honda’s variable valve timing feature as well as a variable cylinder management program that shuts down up to four of the engine’s cylinders, depending on driving conditions. During highway driving, for example, the system deactivates cylinders depending upon load and speed, and the whole thing was completely unobtrusive. A small “eco” light on the dash lets you know when the engine is running at maximum efficiency, but otherwise, it was all hush-hush. This gave the 2009 Pilot a Tier 2/Bin 5 – or ultra low emissions vehicle – emissions rating from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

            There was but one transmission choice: a five-speed automatic with a manual shift mode, and most trim levels of the Pilot came with a full-time all-wheel-drive system that featured a 4WD locking mode, accessed via a button to the right of the ignition switch. The base LX model was front-drive only.

            The AWD system featured a front-drive bias, and all AWD versions came with a hill start assist feature that prevents the vehicle from rolling backward when stopped on an incline. For the market it was aimed at and the duty it was intended for, this system was more than adequate, but if the odd off-road foray was on the agenda, it could handle that as well.

            When Honda re-did this edition of the Pilot, one of the areas they apparently worked on was body structure integrity and reducing NVH (noise, vibration, harshness). It seemed to be mission accomplished here. Apparently body rigidity was tightened up as well, and in combination with redesigned engine mounts and a program Honda called Active Noise Control, the ’09 Pilot may have been the quietest one of all.

            In terms of storage and carrying capacity, it had the customary fold-down second- and third-row seats and, with everything laid flat, boasted some 589 litres of cargo space. Everything worked simply, was easy to get at and the second-row seats had a separate lever for third-row seat access. Still a bit of a stretch to get back there, but no worse than anything else in this category.

            Transport Canada has one safety recall on file, and it concerns the front seat belts, which may separate from the anchor during a crash and expose occupants to injury. This glitch affects all Pilots manufactured from 2009 through to 2011, but is easily corrected by dealers.

            The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has 11 technical service bulletins for this edition of the Pilot. These range from a tendency for some models to pull to the right even when driving on a level road, to problems with spark plugs fouling at random, to assorted software issues. Apparently, there were also problems with the moonroof, which drew electricity from the battery even when the vehicle was parked, or reversed itself while closing.

            With the exception of the electrical gremlins and paint and trim issues, the 2009 Pilot gets top marks from Consumer Reports and earns a “better than average” rating with a “best bet” award. The magazine says the Pilot had a reliability rating some 27 per cent above average when new in 2009 and retained its “impressive functionality” in this year. Some comments from owners: “interior styling and materials cheap compared to some other brands,” “cabin noise seems quieter” and “strongly recommend any family to purchase one.”

            Although market research company J.D. Power doesn’t give the ’09 Pilot any top marks, most areas fare well. With the exception of features and accessories dependability, it gets an average or better than average grade across the board.

            These days, depending on the model and equipment level, you can expect to pay from about $20,000 to just less than $30,000 for a 2009 Pilot. The 2WD LX is significantly cheaper than its AWD counterparts, and the top of the line Touring is almost a full $10,000 pricier than the base LX.

            Tech specs

            2009 Honda Pilot

            Original Base Price: $36,820; Black Book: $20,600-$29,400; Red Book: $20,525-$27,475

            Engine: 3.5-litre V-6

            Horsepower/Torque: 250 hp/253 lb-ft

            Transmission: Five-speed automatic

            Fuel Economy (litres/100 km): 13.1 city/9.1 highway; regular gas

            Alternatives: Hyundai Veracruz, Chevrolet Traverse, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-9, Mercedes GLK 350, Nissan Murano, Saturn Outlook, Subaru Tribeca, Toyota Highlander



            2013 Honda Accord vs. 2012 Toyota Camry Comparison Test

            We switch to a different coffee shop the same week that we drive the 2013 Honda Accord EX and 2012 Toyota Camry LE. Our new place serves up double ristretto espressos for the same price as the single shots at our old watering hole, and we swear the foamed milk is denser and more flavorful.

            In reality, of course, we're patronizing two coffee chains that are serving up pretty much the same product. Likewise, Honda and Toyota are trying to sell you, me, your dad, your boss's niece and 300,000 other people similar family cars for a similar price.

            As in our latte, though, it's the details in these midsize sedans that matter. Subtle things that an ordinary person might overlook are everything to a car guy with a commute.

            Honda made dozens of small improvements to the Accord for 2013, and in our full test, we found that they really changed the car for the better. But we already own a 2012 Toyota Camry and enjoy driving it to work. Although we suspect these family sedans may still be the same cup of Folgers, we won't know for sure without a head-to-head taste test.

            So You Want To Spend $25,000
            Your typical midsize sedan shopper envisions spending $25,000 before tax. That target necessitates a four-cylinder engine rather than a V6, and some self control when optioning the car.

            Our 2013 Honda Accord EX has no extras other than a continuously variable transmission (CVT), an $800 option over the standard six-speed manual gearbox, resulting in a total price with destination of $26,195.

            That's $320 more than the 2012 Accord EX from our last midsize sedan comparison test ($25,875) and there are more amenities here. Finally, we can make a hands-free call without an aftermarket earpiece, plus we can start the car with the key fob in our pocket (yes, it has a keyless ignition). We don't mind the standard back-up camera, either, even with the Accord's good sight lines, and having another tiny camera on the passenger-side mirror to help us check our blind spot is useful, too.

            Tracking down a 2012 Toyota Camry (the 2013 model isn't out yet) that matches the 2013 Accord EX's equipment list proves to be a fool's errand, however. Actually, such a car does exist — it would be an SE model with the optional Convenience package, moonroof, power driver seat and floor mats, and a theoretical price tag of $26,755. Toyota doesn't have such a car to lend us, though, and our own navigation-equipped Camry SE is too expensive ($28,658). Instead, we settle on a Camry LE with the power driver seat ($440) and an as-tested price of $23,925. We would have taken a moonroof ($915) and 17-inch alloy wheels ($799), but it isn't to be.

            Apart from its lack of cameras, though, the Camry LE has you covered in the key areas. True, there's no dual-zone climate control like there is in the Accord (as Toyota limits this luxury to the XLE model), but our interpersonal relationship with a significant other perseveres nevertheless, as we are able to negotiate a mutually acceptable fan speed with our better half. We don't have the Honda's trial XM subscription or Pandora integration either, but we can still stream Bluetooth audio or hook up to the Camry's USB port. Poor man's AM radio comes in fine in both cabins, though Dodgers announcer Vin Scully sounds more lifelike through the Accord's speakers.

            One Is Quicker and More Efficient
            Usually, our friends chuckle when we start describing the adequate acceleration of four-cylinder midsize sedans.

            Nevertheless, there's plenty going on between the 2013 Honda Accord and 2012 Toyota Camry. See, Honda has replaced its usual automatic with a CVT. But you won't dread this one. Oh, the revs climb when we floor the throttle on the on-ramps, but as soon as we lift, our desired speed achieved, the engine rpm drops back without the usual CVT springiness as if we've just gotten an upshift from a conventional automatic. Also, Honda's new direct-injected, 2.4-liter four-cylinder has a smooth power delivery, and although its sound is unmemorable, it's not unpleasant.

            Handling still matters in a front-drive midsize sedan. A well-damped ride will keep you from dozing off mid-commute.

            And while this Honda Accord EX is only rated at 185 horsepower — 5 fewer horses than the last EX we tested — it feels stronger. Torque is the reason, as the 2013 EX's inline-4 is rated at 181 pound-feet at 3,900 rpm versus 162 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm for the 2012 version. This makes the 2013 Accord one of the quickest four-cylinder models in the class (non-turbocharged) with its 7.8-second 0-60-mph time and quarter-mile of 15.8 seconds at 91.2 mph.

            Meanwhile, the Camry's 178-hp, port-injected 2.5-liter engine provides more off-the-line grunt in spite of its lower torque rating of 170 lb-ft at 4,100 rpm. But move out for a pass on the freeway or some back road and the six-speed automatic makes you wait around for downshifts. This is a well-tuned automatic, mind you, but it's up against Honda's unexpectedly good CVT, which is quicker at processing requests. The Camry LE reaches 60 mph in 8.4 seconds (8.0 with a foot of rollout as on a drag strip) and the quarter-mile in 16.1 seconds at 88.2 mph.

            Honda has also gained the upper hand in fuel economy, as the 2013 Accord has a 30 mpg combined EPA rating to the Camry's 28 mpg combined rating. During our comparison test, the Accord averaged 26.3 mpg to the Camry's 24.9.

            You Care About Handling
            Handling still matters in a front-drive midsize sedan — if only because a well-damped ride and good steering feel will keep you from dozing off mid-commute.

            And if that's the goal, the 2013 Honda Accord EX is the car to get. It's highly controlled as it goes down the freeway, and should you end up on a road with a bunch of turns, the Honda is actually kind of fun. Its new electric power steering might initially catch you off-guard with its light effort, but soon you realize the steering action is precise and also surprisingly informative.

            In contrast, the Camry LE's electric steering isn't particularly accurate and has little to say. This is also true of our long-term Camry's steering, but our SE is otherwise amenable to cornering. Not so with this LE, which has a softer suspension calibration and smaller, all-season P205/65R16 Firestone Affinity Touring S4 tires. The car is slow to change heading and generally unhappy when the road isn't straight.

            Slalom and skid pad performance reflect these differences. The 2013 Accord goes through the slalom at an impressive 65.5 mph, while the Camry is down at 61.0 mph. For reference, a four-cylinder Camry SE goes through the cones at 65 mph even. On the skid pad, the Accord manages 0.83g on its 215/55R17 Michelin Primacy MXV4 tires, while the Camry LE tops out at 0.77g.

            Braking is a wash. The Toyota has a firmer pedal, which we like, but its 129-foot 60-0-mph stopping distance is long for this class. So is the Accord's 128-foot braking distance.

            If you're fanatical about ride comfort, you'll prefer the Camry LE, which is noticeably more compliant than the Accord and our Camry SE. Like its predecessor, the Accord EX rides smoothly, but there's a firmness that your dad might not like. Cabin noise levels are comparable, as the Accord registers 62.0 decibels at 70 mph versus 62.5 in the Camry.

            Same Cabin, Different Interior Decorators
            On a functional level, the 2013 Honda Accord and 2012 Toyota Camry are equally good. They have the same wheelbase and track, and their passenger volume and trunk capacity are within 1 cubic foot of each other. They even have the same size gas tank. So if you're looking for gobs of rear legroom or an easy car seat installation, they've both got you covered.

            Yet we'd rather sit in the 2013 Accord EX. Honda paid more attention to interior materials and design (particularly the center stack) in this latest redesign, and the result is a genuinely upscale ambience, even in a working man's Accord with cloth seats. The Honda's driver seat is better shaped and more supportive, too.

            There's nothing seriously flawed about the Camry's design, but as in our SE, the mix of materials feels disjointed and some of the plastics aren't up to snuff for this class. The touchscreen audio interface isn't as slick, either, and we wish there were external AM and FM buttons for switching between sources.

            A Matter of Taste
            "Most automakers would kill for a car to feel this good at the beginning of its life cycle, and the Accord is at the end."

            We wrote that in the logbook during our last midsize sedan comparison. And yes, the 2012 Accord was a good car. It handled well, its huge backseat accommodated 6-footers no questions asked, and its handsome, relaxed-fit sheet metal had a timeless appeal. But it was also slow for its class, and its drab interior had too few amenities to keep you busy during long commutes. So it didn't win that test.

            Now the Honda Accord is back at the beginning, and it wins this test easily. As usual, it's the total package that makes this car special. The new four-cylinder engine and CVT work incredibly well together, providing usable performance and a real-world improvement in fuel consumption. Honda also improved the look and feel of the cabin, while adding the tech features that have become important in this class. In the midst of checking all those boxes, company executives didn't lose sight of details like handling and steering feel — key ingredients in the character of Accords past and present.

            Next to the Accord, the 2012 Toyota Camry LE is down on flavor. It's every bit as useful as the Honda on the inside, but on the road, it's slower and wholly uninterested in doing anything other than taking you to work in comfort. For some, that's enough, especially given this LE model's competitive price tag.

            But we'll pay a bit more for the 2013 Honda Accord's tastier brew. For the moment, it's the car to have in the four-cylinder midsize sedan class.



            HSCI announces its name change to Honda Cars India Limited

            Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI), the leading manufacturer of premium cars in India, has announced its change of name to Honda Cars India Limited (HCIL) following the disinvestment by its partner Usha International Ltd (UIL) from the company. The name change will take place immediately as per the new certificate of Incorporation issued by the Registrar of Companies, Delhi and Haryana. Speaking on the development, President and CEO, Honda Cars India Limited, Mr. Hironori said that the company is always committed to the Indian market and will continue to impress our customers with latest technologies and products from Honda, which will help them to enrich their lives and lifestyles. He also added that it is Honda’s quality, ownership and superior technology is the string that has always been endured by its customers and implementation of the same philosophy will drive the company in future.

            After the backing of Usha International Ltd, HCIL has become 100% subsidiary of Honda in India.
            Honda Cars India Limited (HCIL) the leading manufacture of the commuter cars in India was established in 1995 with a commitment to bring Honda’s latest technology and passenger cars to the Indian customers.
            Honda has two stateof the art manufacturing facilities at Tapukara, Rajesthan and at Greater Noida U.P.
            The company offers extensive products range of various vehicles in different market segment, which includes Honda Brio, Honda City, Honda Jazz, Honda Civic, Honda Accord and Honda CR-V. Honda’s models have always been known for its extensive design and technology apart from its well established qualities like reliability, durability and fuel efficiency.



            Honda City CNG launched in Thailand – from 659k baht

            Honda has introduced the City CNG in Thailand, the company’s first compressed natural gas-powered car. The CNG version of the facelifted City is powered by a 1.5 litre SOHC i-VTEC engine that runs on both petrol and CNG. It complies with Euro 4 emission standards.
            The City CNG’s engine makes 102 PS and 127 Nm of torque, compared to the petrol-only City’s 120 PS/145 Nm. Those interested in the City CNG are likely to see this shortfall as a fair trade for savings at the pumps.
            To sooth fears of carrying a 65-litre tank of flammable gas, Honda has built in safety features that include an electronic safety control box and a solid cross bar with enhanced stability. There’s also a switching button in the cabin with gas remaining display.
            Priced at 659,000 baht for the S version or 706,000 baht for the V spec, the City CNG is eligible for a tax rebate under the Thai government’s first-time car buyer scheme. The factory warranty is the usual three-year or 100,000 km deal.

            Last edited by tokyodream; 12-09-12, 10:33.
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            • http://www.carnewschina.com/2012/09/...eady-in-china/

              Spy Shots: facelifted Honda Accord in Ready in China

              New spy shots from the facelifted Honda Accord in China, it will be launched on the Chinese auto market on September 27. The facelift includes a new grille, new head lights, new rear lights and new bumpers. The Accord is made in China by the Guangzhou-Honda joint venture.

              Current Honda Accord. Price starts at 186.800 yuan and ends at 342.800 yuan. engines: 2.0, 2.4 and 3.5 V6. All engines will continue in the facelifted Accord and price will be about the same.

              Flappy pedals are new and look racy but are connected to same old 5-speed automatic.

              Via: Autohome.

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              • Official Honda Concept S Video May Mean it Hits Production


                When the Honda Concept S hit the stage at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, two models came to mind, the Odyssey and the Jazz. It is slightly larger than your average hatchback, but significantly smaller than the American Honda Odyssey, so the final production name is up in the air. Keep in mind that the Odyssey in some Asian markets has a much lower-slung roof and a shallower windshield rake than the American version, so therein lays the possibility that it could become the new Odyssey.

                Of course, production of the Concept S was never a guarantee, as with nearly every concept car. However, when an automaker produces a video on a specific concept car, you can pretty much rest assured that it will hit production in some form or fashion. That is exactly what Honda has done with the above video.

                Seeing the video and people actually sitting in the seats, the Concept S really seems to have more of an MPV type of setup. All of that headroom and the spacious rear seats nearly eliminate it as a replacement for the Jazz, which is closely related to the Fit in the States. Then again, maybe Honda is trying to gain an edge by making the Jazz slightly larger than your typical 5-door hatchback.

                Either way, we can say that the Concept S’s style is unmistakably awesome and its potential for release just increased 10-fold by Honda releasing this video.

                Hopefully we’ll have an announcement on a production model soon. Those in the U.S., you’ll have to sit this one out, as the Concept S looks like it will be an Asian-market model only.




                Too quirky: 5 reasons why Honda’s car tech will scare away tech-savvy buyers

                Honda is the latest automaker whose well-intentioned technology could hurt sales. Honda should be on a roll with its 2013, ninth-generation Accord that ships mid-September. The Accord will be the first to market with Aha, the entertainment aggregator. Pandora, Bluetooth, USB, and a rear camera come standard. Accords come with an LCD display standard and many have two in the center stack. It expects to receive a Top Safety Pick Plus rating after acing the new small overlap frontal crash test. Fuel economy is up, the car is quieter, and it holds the same people and more luggage in a shorter vehicle. But there are quirks in the tech, efficiency, and safety features. Enough to give some buyers pause.

                Technology is a two-edged sword. BMW discovered that in 2002 with iDrive, the first cockpit controller that replaced too many single-function dashboard buttons with a single controller and too, too many commands to remember. Mercedes-Benz scaled back its tech offerings in 2006 after some didn’t work and others confused buyers. Ford since 2008 has been criticized for the complexity of Ford Sync, MyFord Touch, and most recently the simplified redesign of MyFord Touch — a undesirable kind of threepeat. Cadillac is likely to find Cadillac CUE, the capacitive touchscreen Cadillac User Experience interface, is MyFord Touch by a different name. Now it’s Honda’s turn.

                Here are five Honda advances that customers may not see as fondly as Honda does.

                1. Honda Lane Watch: unbalanced blind spot detection

                Lane Watch is the neatest tech feature on the 2013 Accord: a wide-angle camera in the base of the passenger-side mirror. Flick your right directional before changing lanes and the 8-inch center stack display switches to show an 80-degree area vs. about 20 degrees with a traditional mirror, Honda says. There are even three distance-estimator lines to help gauge the blind spot. (So, technically, Lane Watch should be Blind Watch, which is probably not P.C. enough as a phrase, or Blind Spot Watch. Lane Watch takes the place of automated blind spot detection systems that gauge the distance for you and give you a go/no-go indicator in the outside mirror or window frame, often a steady yellow warning triangle when a car is in your blind spot, that flashes (sometimes accompanied by a steering wheel vibration or warning beep) if you flip the turn signal.

                But on the driver side of the new Accord, the entire warning system is almost non-existent: All you get is an outside mirror with a convex strip on the outer edge. It’s better than nothing but it’s hard for some people to judge distances, especially at night when you’re not seeing cars but headlamp glare. On the Accords I drove, the convex mirror edge didn’t seem to expand the field of view very much (pictured above).

                2. Lane Departure Warning: annoying beep, hidden indicator

                Asian automakers love things that go beep, apparently. If you drift onto a lane marking without your blinker on, Lane Departure Warning (LDW) on the Accord sounds a beep that is annoying (everyone in the car knows you messed up), and flashes a light in the instrument panel that you probably can’t see. It’s in the upper right corner and blocked by the steering wheel unless you move the adjustable wheel way out of position. You can’t disable the beep and just have the flashing light. One device, three strikes. The right way to do it is to gently vibrate the steering wheel, as most European and some American automakers do, or vibrate the seat pan, as the Cadillac XTS and Cadillac ATS do. That even lets you sense if you’re drifting left or right. The best placement for the LDW visual signal is in a multi-information display (the Accord has one and it’s not overused) between the steering wheel and tachometer. (Even better: a head-up display.)

                Honda’s ill-conceived LDW system is paired with a forward collision warning system that shares the LDW camera system. It doesn’t brake the car (as on the Acura Collision Mitigation Braking System) but it does warn you, clearly, quickly and forcefully, to slow down and brake right now. Nothing wrong with Honda’s forward collision warning.

                3. Standard rear camera but no parking sonar

                Honda got out ahead of the 2014 mandate that all cars have a rear camera and cockpit display. That’s good. But it’s not paired with a backup sonar option that may be a better safety tool than the camera. Certainly the two together are the best possible solution. Unless you watch the backup display continuously, you may miss a child or animal that darts behind the car, or you may be watching and not see a currently animate object if there’s sun glare, or if it’s dark and the back-up lamps aren’t very good.

                Sonar can do that and the best sonar systems actually project onto the LCD display green-yellow-red waves front and rear showing how close you are to the object, coupled with faster pinging sounds that become a solid tone when you’re just a few inches away.

                Honda used to offer sonar as a dealer accessory, which made it more expensive ($513 plus installation on the 2012 Accord), but at least you could get it. Honda doesn’t list is as a 2013 Accord accessory.

                4. $2,000 navigation system

                When it comes to navigation, Honda is living on Rip Van Winkle time, snoozing through the pricing freefall of the past three years that has competitors offering navigation for as little as, well, free. For GM and Ford, it’s now $795. Nissan Altima, one of three close competitors (Altima, Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry), sells it for $590. On the Hyundai Azera, a slightly upmarket competitor, it’s free. If you want navigation on the 2013 Accord, it’s $2,000. Ka-ching. Honda does say the 2013 version is “significantly improved” (with features such as casual voice input), as if car technology can be decoupled from Moore’s law that since 1970 has said performance improves and prices fall continuously. (Ask Garmin and TomTom about Moore’s law.)

                5. Plug-in hybrid with reduced EV range

                The Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid electric for 2013 upped the range it covers on battery power from 35 to 38 miles. Honda estimates the Accord PHEV will get 10-15 miles when it arrives early next year. The Volt lists for $40,000. The Accord PHEV will probably be around $35,000, though prices haven’t been set. Buyers may wonder why the newest PHEV coming to market, even if it costs less, has worse, not better range than the Volt.

                On quirky-tech issues 1-4 above, Honda may be on the wrong side of progress. Here, Honda is probably right from an engineering and cost-benefit status. There are more 10-mile trips than 35-mile trips, so why lug around the weight and cost of twice as many lithium-ion batteries? But Honda’s history with hybrids shows they’re better at engineering than marketing. Since 1999, most Honda hybrids have been partial or weak hybrids (definitely not Honda’s term), meaning the hybrid motor runs only as a booster to the combustion engine. Honda calls it integrated motor assist, or IMA. With Honda hybrids that looked like regular cars (other than the Insight) and propulsion systems that couldn’t carry you a mile or two on battery, Honda ceded to Toyota the bulk of hybrid sales over the past decade.

                Give Honda credit for building an interesting PHEV. Toyota also has one now, the Prius Plug-In Hybrid. Maybe there’s strength in numbers.



                Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota Join Forces for Hydrogen
                The tour will last one month, with event stopovers in nine European cities, public will experience benefits of alternative drivetrain

                September 13 marks an extraordinary milestone in the history of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV). Four international car manufacturers will join forces to demonstrate hydrogen-powered FCEVs are not just technologies of the future but of today. A total of 7 FCEVs from Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota will bring their individual hydrogen fuel cell systems to the European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012.

                The tour will last one month, with special event stopovers in nine European cities, where interested public will be given the opportunity to experience the benefits of this alternative drivetrain. Several cities on the tour route will be the first opportunity for the general public to approach and test drive FCEVs where the only emission is water.

                The event aims to reach out to politicians, industry leaders, press and public to help improve awareness around FCEVs, delivering a clear message. While the technology exists for Hydrogen Vehicles today, there is a real need to improve the European hydrogen distribution infrastructure. This tour also marks the most widespread effort to promote FCEVs in Europe this year.

                Starting in Hamburg on September 13th, the FCEVs from participating manufacturers will afterwards move through Hannover, Bolzano, Paris, Cardiff, Bristol, Swindon, London and Copenhagen, supported by local organisations in each city. H2 Logic Denmark will provide mobile refuelling stations in some stopover cities.

                The European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012 is part of the “H2moves Scandinavia” project. The project is the first European Lighthouse Project for hydrogen funded by the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking programme launched by the European Commission and European industry stakeholders. The project focusses on gaining customer acceptance for hydrogen-powered FCEVs and preparing the market for hydrogen fuel cell technology. The experience from operating 19 FCEVs in Oslo and Copenhagen and the corresponding hydrogen refuelling infrastructure shows that the technology is reliable now even in harsh Scandinavian winters.

                Michel Gardel, Vice-President Communications, External and Environment Affairs of Toyota Motor Europe today commented: “Toyota has been active in fuel cell technology for the last 20 years and we are working to commercialise our next-generation fuel cell car by 2015. The European Hydrogen Road Tour is a great opportunity for our company and partners to demonstrate the readiness of the technology to European consumers.”

                Dr. Christian Mohrdieck, Director drive development fuel cell system, Daimler AG points out the importance of this technology: “On our way to zero-emission mobility fuel cell electric vehicles – with their great range while at the same time short refueling times – will play a central role for the future. However, the success of this technology depends crucially on certain conditions being in place, such as the availability of a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure.”

                Thomas Brachmann, Automobile Engineering & Research, Honda R&D Europe (Deutschland) GmbH remarked that “Honda believe fuel cell electric vehicles are the ultimate mobility solution, providing a practical, clean and near silent answer to transport requirements. The European Hydrogen Road Tour offers a great opportunity to give the public, the media and government officials a chance to experience this zero emission technology for themselves.”

                Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe describes their reasons for joining the tour: “Hyundai is proud to be playing an integral role in the European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012. The Hyundai ix35 FCEV clearly demonstrates not only our commitment to producing hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, but also the benefits of FCEV. As the availability and performance of this technology improves, we can look forward to FCEVs providing sustainable mobility to future generations while dramatically reducing climate change.”



                Honda to extend its use of CDTi's new catalyst system - Analyst Blog

                Honda to extend its use of CDTi's new catalyst system

                Ian Gilson, CFA

                Clean Diesel Inc. ( CDTI ) has changed its name to CDTi although its legal name remains Clean Diesel Inc.

                Both Honda and Clean Diesel have announced that Clean Diesel will supply a new palladium only catalyst system (invented by CDTi), first for the 2013 model Accord currently being built in North America, and then to other Honda models. The new system will reduce precious metal content by 22% and Rhodium content by 50%. This cuts the cost of the system by 37% while complying with some of the most stringent emission regulations in the world.

                This business will have a significant impact on Clean Diesel's revenue and profit. Over the past two years the company has been impacted by the problems in Japan that had an effect on parts availability. This catalyst will be used in other Honda cars, presumably Accords being built in other countries, on a sequential basis.

                In August 2012 Honda sales increased by 59.5% to 131,321 vehicles, the Accord increasing by 89%. The seasonally adjusted sales rate was 14.52 million vehicles as compared to 12.8 million vehicles in 2011.

                Please visit scr.zacks.com to access a free copy of the full research report.



                Honda's Reduced Use Of Rhodium Part Of Effort To Shift Away From More-Expensive Metals

                A move by Honda Motor Co. to reduce the amount of rhodium used in auto catalysts is part of an ongoing effort to curtail the consumption of this or any other higher-cost metal that worries manufacturers, analysts said.

                A loss of demand has negative price implications for any commodity.

                Still, while one analyst said efforts to thrift rhodium may mean a further dip in prices, any downside eventually may be limited since the auto sector does not appear to be trying to move away from the metal completely. Another analyst said despite Honda’s decision, rhodium may still rise with the platinum group metals generally due to supply issues in South Africa and improvement in auto sales.

                Honda said last week that it has developed a new catalyst that reduces rhodium use by 50%. The company said it is using this on the North American version of its 2013 Accord, which goes on sale in the U.S. Sept. 19, and the technology will be sequentially adopted to Honda’s other models as well.

                Auto demand accounts for the lion’s share of the rhodium market. The annual yearbook on platinum group metals put out by the consultancy CPM Group pegged global rhodium demand in 2011 at 894,496 ounces, of which 739,177 was for autos. Johnson Matthey’s Platinum 2012 report listed gross global rhodium demand in 2011 at 906,000 ounces, of which 712,000 was for auto catalysts.

                Rhodium spiked to around $10,000 an ounce back in the summer of 2008. All metals were soaring at the time just ahead of the credit crisis, and platinum group metals got an extra boost from South African supply issues. Moves in small and illiquid markets–such as rhodium—can often be more pronounced.

                “It really pushed manufacturers to want to get away from rhodium,” said Erica Rannestad, commodity analyst with the consultancy CPM Group. “So we’ve seen a little bit of moving away from rhodium to catalysts with other technologies in Europe, and now we’re starting to see public announcements that other manufactures are thrifting out rhodium content.”

                Rhodium prices tumbled before 2008 was over as commodities as a whole fell during the financial crisis. After dipping below $1,000, they climbed back to $2,930 by April 2010, but have subsequently slid again and are currently around $1,150, according to Kitco’s charting service.

                “Obviously, it will harm rhodium demand generally,” said Robin Bhar, metals analyst with Societe Generale.

                Rannestad sees scope for a further pullback, with $800 an ounce possible.

                “But longer term, if you look a year out, we could ultimately see that price decline reverse,” she said. “There is only so much thrifting that can be done unless they completely substitute the metal out with these other technologies.”

                There has been an effort to do this with diesel-powered commercial vehicles in Europe, she continued. But this doesn’t appear to be the case so far for smaller, passenger cars that use perhaps one-fourth as much rhodium. “It wouldn’t be economic enough to transfer to that technology by spending the amount of money to re-engineer the catalysts,” she said.

                Still, KC Chang, senior economist who tracks platinum group metals for the consultancy IHS Global Insight, said he expects all of the platinum group metals to rise in the future. He cited supply issues, such as rising electricity costs, labor disruptions and other infrastructure challenges in the key producing nation of South Africa. “It’s very cost sensitive,” he said. Meanwhile, he continued, auto sales are expected to pick up in the U.S. this year.

                Further, he said, the rhodium market is small enough that refiners can try to match their supply to the demand, particularly since the metal is not openly traded on an exchange such as platinum and palladium.

                “So at this point, I think these developments may not necessarily cause rhodium prices to move down any further,” Chang said.

                Honda Replaces Some Rhodium With Lower-Cost Palladium

                As trends of strengthening global auto production and emissions regulations continue, Honda said, the company anticipates demand for platinum, palladium and rhodium to keep rising in the future. As a result, Honda said it has been committed to reducing the amount of precious metals used in catalysts. With its new catalyst, Honda said enhanced performance of lower-cost palladium in purification of exhaust emissions enabled it to replace a portion of rhodium use.

                “The newly developed catalyst allows palladium to speed up the process of absorption and desorption of oxygen, therefore enabling reduced use of rhodium in the purification of exhaust emissions,” Honda said in a prepared statement. “The adoption of this new catalyst will reduce overall use of precious metals by 22% (including a 50% reduction in rhodium) compared to the current model of Accord.”

                The company also said the new catalyst reduced the cost by 37% while complying with California state standards, which it described as among the strictest emissions regulations in the world.

                “We’ve known for a long time that these car companies are going to try to engineer out precious metals due to the high cost,” said one U.S. PGM trader. “There’s not a whole lot of new applications involving rhodium. There’s a lot of rhodium metal overhanging the market. So there is certainly going to be a surplus of metal for some time.”

                Chang said he’s not surprised by the Honda announcement. “This is economics at work,” he said.

                He and other analysts said efforts to switch out of more expensive metals are pretty much ongoing in industry. This is especially the case in platinum group metals since they are more expensive than most, said John Mothersole, senior principal with IHS Global Insight.

                “You have a strong desire among management – no surprise – to minimize costs,” Mothersole said. “That always results when you get spikes in pricing or price strength for any length of time…Engineers, being imaginative and working at things long enough, are almost always able to do that.”

                Likewise, he related, there was a scramble by the industry to cut back on the use of palladium a decade ago when it spiked above $1,100 an ounce amid Russian supply issues.

                Rhodium prices are well down from their peak, but Rannestad said there tends to be a lag between price action and new technology. It takes a certain amount of time for companies to make decisions and re-engineer a product, in this case auto catalysts, and put them into production.

                Further, Mothersole said, high price also tend to lead to increased sources of supplies. In fact, for platinum group metals, one of the big stories in recent years is increased recycling, even in nations such as China that still has a “young” stock of vehicles, he said.

                For 2011, Johnson Matthey listed platinum recycling of 2.05 million ounces, which was more than one-third of the mine supply of 6.48 million. For rhodium, mined supplies were 765,000 ounces, while recycling amounted to 280,000.

                Similar thrifting efforts and attempts to increase supplies are occurring in other commodities, Mothersole said.

                “Supply managers were pulling out their hair over the big spikes in rare-earth prices and there were all kinds of exclamations that our strategic positions were at risk because of uses in certain industries….,” he said. “But you’ve already heard of engineering departments in various organizations redesigning equipment to either reduce consumption or do away with it entirely.”
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                • http://www.chicagotribune.com/classi...,1735944.story

                  Honda bets on new hybrid technology to revive momentum

                  TOKYO (Reuters) - Plenty of people think Honda Motor Co is not the kind of daring, risk-taking company it once was. One of them is Takanobu Ito, who just happens to be the Japanese automaker's chief executive.

                  His solution? A simple, gasoline-electric hybrid technology which he believes will set a new standard for fuel efficiency and recapture the success of the CVCC engine 40 years ago, which helped transform Honda from a small company into a global leader.

                  Carmakers, battling to stand out in an industry hammered by over-capacity and weak demand, are looking for an optimum balance of gasoline and electricity to propel cars after Toyota Motor Corp's triumph with the Prius hybrid.

                  Initially tentative in embracing the technology, Honda believes it has found the right formula with a revamped version of its "one motor" hybrid system.

                  "We believe we have reached a point with hybrid technology ... where we can provide game-changing technology and products," Ito told Reuters on Wednesday.

                  "We believe that rivals will definitely follow us."

                  Honda's new hybrid system will power the next generation of its cars and could be introduced in the remodelled Fit subcompact car by late 2013 in Japan, according to people close to the company.

                  Honda introduced its "one motor" hybrid system in 1999. It is currently used in models including the CR-Z compact sports car and the Fit subcompact, also known as the Jazz.


                  Since becoming chief executive in 2009, the 59-year-old Ito has pushed Honda to come up with its own hybrid technology and repeat the successes of its hard-driving founder.

                  Soichiro Honda championed advances such as fuel-efficient CVCC engines with cleaner tailpipe emissions in the 1970s, and saw them adopted by carmakers including Toyota, Ford and Chrysler.

                  Honda needs that kind of a booster again.

                  Hit in 2011 by a Japanese earthquake and tsunami and floods in Thailand that wrecked its production network, the company also suffered a lackluster launch for the 2012 Civic, which some criticized for an uninspired design and a bumpy ride.

                  It is now counting on the new Accord mid-sized car, its core model for the U.S. market which was launched there this month. Ito said the car's engine, transmission and platform have all undergone improvements, though it still lags behind Nissan's Altima in fuel efficiency.

                  Ito also sees the next Fit series as key to improving the company's performance. For the North American market, the Fit will be built in Mexico and will go on sale in the spring of 2014, sources close to the firm said.

                  Developing new technologies is costly and Honda, which spends about 500 billion yen ($6.4 billion) in R&D annually, does not rule out alliances.

                  "We absolutely won't reject an alliance if we can work together with another company in a way that leads to our customers being more impressed with Honda's products," Ito said.

                  "But if we are just going to put onto our product an advanced technology that another company has developed, then Honda engineers will be deprived of the joy of involvement, so that is not the way to go."

                  (Additional reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Mark Potter)

                  Copyright © 2012, Reuters



                  Honda prepares to launch new hybrid technology in hopes of boosting lagging sales

                  After the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011, Honda hopes to regain lost sales with the launch of a new hybrid system in 2013. Honda CEO Takanobu Ito told Reuters, "We believe we have reached a point with hybrid technology ... where we can provide game-changing technology and products."

                  Plenty of people think Honda Motor Co is not the kind of daring, risk-taking company it once was. One of them is Takanobu Ito, who just happens to be the Japanese automaker's chief executive.

                  His solution? A simple, gasoline-electric hybrid technology which he believes will set a new standard for fuel efficiency and recapture the success of the CVCC engine 40 years ago, which helped transform Honda from a small company into a global leader.

                  Carmakers, battling to stand out in an industry hammered by over-capacity and weak demand, are looking for an optimum balance of gasoline and electricity to propel cars after Toyota Motor Corp's triumph with the Prius hybrid.

                  Initially tentative in embracing the technology, Honda believes it has found the right formula with a revamped version of its "one motor" hybrid system.

                  "We believe we have reached a point with hybrid technology ... where we can provide game-changing technology and products," Ito told Reuters on Wednesday.

                  "We believe that rivals will definitely follow us."

                  Honda's new hybrid system will power the next generation of its cars and could be introduced in the remodelled Fit subcompact car by late 2013 in Japan, according to people close to the company.

                  Honda introduced its "one motor" hybrid system in 1999. It is currently used in models including the CR-Z compact sports car and the Fit subcompact, also known as the Jazz.


                  Since becoming chief executive in 2009, the 59-year-old Ito has pushed Honda to come up with its own hybrid technology and repeat the successes of its hard-driving founder.

                  Soichiro Honda championed advances such as fuel-efficient CVCC engines with cleaner tailpipe emissions in the 1970s, and saw them adopted by carmakers including Toyota, Ford and Chrysler.

                  Honda needs that kind of a booster again.

                  Hit in 2011 by a Japanese earthquake and tsunami and floods in Thailand that wrecked its production network, the company also suffered a lackluster launch for the 2012 Civic, which some criticized for an uninspired design and a bumpy ride.

                  It is now counting on the new Accord mid-sized car, its core model for the U.S. market which was launched there this month. Ito said the car's engine, transmission and platform have all undergone improvements, though it still lags behind Nissan's Altima in fuel efficiency.

                  Ito also sees the next Fit series as key to improving the company's performance. For the North American market, the Fit will be built in Mexico and will go on sale in the spring of 2014, sources close to the firm said.

                  Developing new technologies is costly and Honda, which spends about 500 billion yen ($6.4 billion) in R&D annually, does not rule out alliances.

                  "We absolutely won't reject an alliance if we can work together with another company in a way that leads to our customers being more impressed with Honda's products," Ito said.

                  "But if we are just going to put onto our product an advanced technology that another company has developed, then Honda engineers will be deprived of the joy of involvement, so that is not the way to go."



                  The 2013 Honda Accord impresses on our first drive

                  Look up "pressure" in the dictionary and somewhere, a few entries down, you'll see this: "Redesigning the Honda Accord."

                  Not only is the Accord Honda's best-seller here, it also competes against an avalanche of rather competent family sedans. It doesn't help that recent years have brought charges (including from us) that Honda has lost its mojo with a string of so-so redesigns, culminating in the decidedly lackluster 2012 Honda Civic. So saying that Honda has a lot riding on the redesigned 2013 Accord is an understatement.

                  The good news: Based on what we've seen so far from our experiences with two Accords borrowed from Honda, the new car is no Civic. The Accord should certainly hold its own in both the marketplace, and barring unforeseen surprises, in our Ratings.

                  2014-Honda-Accord-Plug-In-Hybrid-int.jpgFirst impressions are that Honda is getting over their electric steering tuning issues that robbed steering feel from other recent Honda and Acura models. Road noise, a persistent Accord complaint, seems better than before. And the new continuously variable transmission (CVT) feels well integrated, lacking some of the annoying traits that sour us on this technology.

                  Although we only got a brief stint in the not-quite-done-yet Accord Plug-In, it was impressive to drive. Acceleration response is enjoyable via the electric's abundant torque, and the car stays in electric-only propulsion even with a good deal of throttle input. We are surprised, though, that Honda is introducing the plug-in hybrid version long before its conventional hybrid. Honda claims this is because it's easier to develop the heaviest, most complex version first. We wonder if Honda hopes to sell a few more of the more-expensive and more-esoteric plug-in model while riding the inevitable wave of customer interest that comes with a freshly introduced car.

                  Another improvement: Honda is playing to win when it comes to feature content. All Accords have a USB connection, Bluetooth, and, most impressively, a backup camera. You also only get satellite radio on EX and higher trim levels. There are still some shortcomings to Honda's strict no-options order structure: You can't get a power driver's seat in the LX (it only costs a few hundred dollars in most rivals) and you can't get a sunroof in the Sport.

                  2013-Honda-Accord-blind-spot-display.jpgHonda is also incorporating a lot of electronic safety features into the latest Accord. Uplevel models come standard with forward-collision warning, as well as a unique feature that uses a camera to show what is in your passenger-side blind spot before you change lanes. We're not so sure about this feature; looking over your left shoulder on the driver's side to merge or pass seems to be more risky (and difficult), yet that side is overlooked by this system. And if the camera is left on, the screen is distracting.

                  This redesigned Accord comes not a minute too soon. Almost every major player in this segment has been redesigned--or soon will be. It will be very interesting to see how all of these sedans stack up. To find out, we'll be buying Accords of our own when they go on sale next week. For now, enjoy our video for other first impressions.




                  HSCI changes name to Honda Cars India Ltd

                  Japanese auto major Honda has changed the name of its Indian operations to Honda Cars India Ltd following the break up of its joint venture with Usha International of the Shriram Group.

                  The erstwhile JV, Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI), will now become a 100 per cent subsidiary of Honda in India.

                  "The name change will be with immediate effect as per the fresh Certificate of Incorporation issued by the Registrar of Companies, NCT of Delhi and Haryana," Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) said in a statement.

                  Last month, Honda bought out Usha International's entire 3.16 per cent stake for Rs.180 crore in the joint venture, which was established in December 1995.

                  Commenting on the development, Hironori Kanayama, president & CEO, Honda Cars India Limited, said, "We are committed to the Indian market and will continue to delight our customers with latest products from Honda, which will enrich their lives and enhance their lifestyles. Honda's quality, superior technology and overall ownership experience is what has endeared this brand to our customers since inception and same philosophy will drive us in future."

                  He said the company was committed to the Indian market and would continue to bring latest products from Honda.

                  With PTI inputs



                  Honda vows to up his scoring for Japan

                  TOKYO — Playmaker Keisuke Honda has pledged to get his shooting boots on after being chastised by manager Alberto Zaccheroni for failing to score in Japan's 1-0 win over Iraq in a World Cup qualifying match.

                  The Blue Samurai, playing without injured Manchester United rookie Shinji Kagawa, outdid Iraq 13-6 on shots with CSKA Moscow midfielder Honda attempting five of them, all in the second half.

                  But it was a close-range header in the 25th minute by J-League striker Ryoichi Maeda that left Japan at the top of Asia's Group B on 10 points with Jordan second on four points. Iraq, Australia and Oman were level on two.

                  Honda said Zaccheroni had told him after the match in Saitama that he was "not satisfied because you could have scored more goals".

                  "Not many people would tell me to get goals," the 26-year-old told Japanese media. "So the manager is very valuable for me. I am thankful because he never seems to be satisfied with me."

                  Honda, positioned behind a single striker, had been prolific in earlier qualifying rounds, hitting four goals in the first two matches in June, including a hat-trick against Jordan.

                  In the 69th minute, he headed over the bar from a cross by Inter Milan defender Yuto Nagatomo and with ten minutes to go Iraq goalkeeper Noor Sabri saved another Honda header onto the post.

                  Honda waxed philosophical about the missed opportunities after the game, citing retired Dutch goalmachine Ruud van Nistelrooy.

                  "I remember one famous striker once saying goals are like ketchup. Sometimes it doesn't come out (of the bottle) and sometimes it spurts out profusely," he said.

                  "It is simply a question of improving. Just keep on shooting no matter how many you may miss."

                  Kagawa was pulled out of Zaccheroni's squad a few hours before kick-off after complaining of discomfort in his lower back during training on Monday.

                  The 23-year-old said the injury wasn't serious but he was unsure when he would be back in action.

                  Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.

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                  • http://www.autonet.ca/auto-news/eco-...a-accord-phev/

                    Honda plugs in to environmental concerns

                    2013 debut for Accord plug in hybrid

                    Engineers at Honda have long had a vision of an idealized future where electric vehicles play a bigger transportation role and harmful emissions become a thing of the past.

                    The latest step in that direction is the 2014 Accord PHEV, the company’s first Plug-in Hybrid, with a gasoline/electric powertrain fittingly called “Earth Dreams.”

                    It will go on sale in North America early in 2013. Pricing has not been announced.

                    The Earth Dreams technology includes a 2.0-litre four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine coupled with a two-motor hybrid drive system. The hybrid system features a 124-kW electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. The gasoline engine produces a maximum 137 hp at 6,200 rpm; factor in the two-motor hybrid-drive and total output jumps to 196 hp – better than Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid.

                    2014-Honda-Accord-PHEV-front-view-imageIt provides up to 28km of EV driving range and a total range of over 800 km, with anticipated fuel economy expected to exceed the equivalent of 2.35 L/100km in full-electric mode.

                    To maximize driving efficiency, the two-motor hybrid system allows the Accord PHEV powertrain to switch seamlessly from all-electric drive, gasoline-electric hybrid drive and direct engine drive. In its default mode upon start-up, Accord PHEV will operate in full electric mode until battery capacity necessitates an automatic switch to gas/electric hybrid operation. At higher speeds, or when asked for more acceleration, the gasoline engine will kick in to provide extra power.

                    2014-Honda-Accord-PHEV-rear-view-imageAn electric servo braking system provides natural brake pedal feel while extending the range over which regenerative braking can take place. Accord PHEV can be fully charged in less than three hours, using a standard 120-volt household electrical outlet, and in under one hour using a 240-volt “Level-2” charger. The free HondaLink EV smartphone application allows owners to monitor the charging state.

                    Accord PHEV will be available in one premium trim level, including all the high-tech features that come standard on the gasoline-powered Touring model: satellite-linked nav system, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, automatic climate control and multi-view rear camera.



                    Honda CR-V Takes Top Spot In New Compact Crossover SUV Comparison, According To KBB.com

                    Comprehensive New-Car Assessment Reveals CR-V Bests Chevy Equinox, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4

                    IRVINE, Calif., Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Honda CR-V is the winner of Kelley Blue Book's all-new 2012/2013 Compact Crossover SUV Comparison according to the expert editors of KBB.com, the leading provider of new car and used car information.

                    (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120808/LA53814LOGO)

                    Concerns about fuel prices may have tempered America's love affair with sport-utility vehicles, but it has by no means brought it to an end. Instead, many Americans seem to be aligning their vehicle shopping based on a realistic assessment of their needs and economic situation. As a consequence, compact SUVs have become one of the hottest vehicle categories in a slowly reviving U.S. auto market.

                    Since 2007, sales of compact crossovers have increased by more than 50 percent, while sales of mid-size SUVs have declined by 70 percent through the same period. In terms of changing market share since 2007, compact crossovers have gained 4.5 points of share relative to a 5 point decline for mid-size SUVs. Today, small crossovers outsell mid-size SUVs nearly 5-to-1.

                    The expert editors of Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com compared five of the top contenders in the affordable compact SUV class. Three are newly redesigned vehicles: the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5. Meanwhile, the current design of the Chevy Equinox has been available to shoppers since the 2010 model year, and the Toyota RAV4 is the group's veteran, with its current design dating back to 2006.

                    KBB.com's editors put these popular vehicles through their paces for a head-to-head car comparison test. They poked, prodded, slammed doors, checked connectivity, cargo holds, front seats, back seats, fit, finish and window stickers. Then they collectively debated details, argued merits, and ultimately came to a consensus.

                    "In KBB.com's recent comparison test of new compact crossover SUVs, the Honda CR-V emerged as the clear winner and demonstrated why it has become one of the best-selling vehicles in America in recent years," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book. "Car shoppers continue to embrace the growing compact crossover SUV class, finding that their perfect balance of utility and economy delivers just what consumers both need and want in their next new vehicle. The Honda CR-V takes first place for its blend of smooth ride and power, competitive fuel economy, outstanding assembly quality, first-rate materials, quiet operation, exceptional comfort and excellent value story."

                    KBB.com's 2012/2013 Compact Crossover SUV Comparison: Sneak Peek at Editor's Comments

                    (Vehicles below are listed alphabetically)

                    2012 Chevrolet Equinox FWD LTZ
                    The Chevrolet Equinox competes in the compact category, but it's by far the biggest kid on this playground, as well as the heaviest. It's also the only vehicle in our test group to come to the starting line with a V6 engine -- 3.0 liters, 264 horsepower, 222 lb-ft of torque -- adding $1,500 to the bottom line...

                    2013 Ford Escape SE
                    The Escape is brand new for 2013, and represents a dramatic change of direction. New foundations, adapted from the front-wheel drive Ford Focus. And a decidedly new look, slick and contemporary, replacing the blocky, truckish look of the previous generation. The Escape's new chassis was the starting point for a very agile dynamic profile -- prompt responses in quick maneuvers, good control of body motions...

                    2012 Honda CR-V EX-L Navi
                    With the exception of 2011, when Japan's catastrophic earthquake and Thailand flooding choked production down to a trickle, the CR-V has been the bestseller in this class for years, and often the bestseller of all SUVs, great and small. Which raises the tricky question of what's next? Honda essentially invented the segment in 1995 with the first-generation CR-V, and subsequent generations have kept the Civic-based crossover at the front of the pack. Introduced last fall, Honda's response to the "what's next" challenge was conservative, even cautious. The wheelbase is unchanged at 103.1 inches -- shortest in this group -- while length and height shrink an inch, to 178.1 and 65.1, respectively. This puts the CR-V at the small end of our test-SUV spectrum, but in typical Honda fashion its interior volume seems to belie the exterior dimensions...

                    2013 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring
                    Launched earlier this year, the CX-5 represents a bold departure for Mazda, wrapped in one of the more obscure slogans in automotive marketing history: Skyactiv Technology. So what does that mean? Basically, Mazda's new system is a total vehicle approach -- in a word, holistic -- to engineering and design, integrating all elements: engine, transmission, chassis, bodyshell, suspension, brakes, steering, everything...

                    2012 Toyota RAV4 LTD
                    The Toyota RAV4 has been with us since 1996, and has maintained a strong presence in the compact SUV class ever since. Although its novel semi-convertible and 3-door variants have long since disappeared, it continues to hold at least one trump card versus its many competitors -- an optional third-row seat...

                    To see the specific rankings, comparison details and full editorial commentary for all five vehicles in KBB.com's all-new compact SUV comparison, visit http://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-...er-comparison/.

                    For more information and news from Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com, visit www.kbb.com/media/, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kelleybluebook (or @kelleybluebook), like our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kbb, and get updates on Google+ at www.google.com/+kbb.

                    About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)
                    Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website www.kbb.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Suggested Retail Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies as well as governmental agencies. Kbb.com provides consumer pricing and information on cars for sale, minivans, pickup trucks, sedan, hybrids, electric cars, and SUVs. Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com ranked highest in its category for brand equity and was named Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year by the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study. Kelley Blue Book Co. Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AutoTrader Group.

                    ©2012 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.

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                    • http://www.statesmanjournal.com/arti...ll|text|News|p

                      Oregon car thieves prefer Honda
                      Official says number of car thefts falling

                      Hondas top the list of most popular cars among car thieves for the eighth year in a row, both nationally and in Oregon, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

                      Accords and Hondas made in the 90s are the most popular.

                      The top three makes of cars on this list, which also includes the Toyota Camry, are also the same for car thefts so far this year in Salem, according to Salem Police Lt. Dave Okada.

                      NW Insurance Council president Karl Newman explained that part of the reason is that those cars are popular with thieves because of their longevity, which increases the value of their parts. They are also easier to steal, he said, because newer and more expensive vehicles often have more sophisticated alarms and anti-theft systems and frequently are stolen to be resold intact or shipped overseas.

                      “They go forever so they’re still around,” Newman said. “(Thieves) get in the cars and there’s a ready market for the parts.”

                      The amount of car thefts in Oregon, Newman said, has been slowly dropping over the past several years.

                      For example, in 2005 Oregon saw 17,444 vehicle thefts and in 2011 there were 8,896 thefts , according to NICB data.

                      Newman said the decrease in this type of crime comes from auto manufacturers making vehicles harder to steal, law enforcement cracking down on the crime and an increase in public education on how to reduce auto theft.

                      Hot wheels

                      Here is a list of Oregon’s most stolen vehicles, according to NICB’s 2011 statistics:
                      1. 1992 Honda Accord
                      2. 1998 Honda Civic
                      3. 1989 Toyota Camry
                      4. 1997 Ford Pickup (Full Size)
                      5. 1998 Subaru Legacy
                      6. 1995 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
                      7. 1994 Acura Integra
                      8. 1997 Toyota Corolla
                      9. 2001 Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
                      10. 1992 Nissan Sentra



                      2013 Honda Accord, Cadillac ATS Among Models Set for Federal Crash Tests

                      Just the Facts:

                      The 2013 Honda Accord, Cadillac ATS and Nissan Pathfinder are among the 54 vehicles set to undergo the latest round of federal crash testing, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
                      NHTSA will rate 33 passenger cars, 16 SUVs, one van and four pickup trucks, including the 2013 Ram 1500 and Toyota Tacoma.
                      The testing covers approximately 85 percent of the new model year vehicles available for sale in the U.S., said NHTSA.

                      WASHINGTON — The 2013 Honda Accord, Cadillac ATS and Nissan Pathfinder are among the 54 vehicles set to undergo the latest round of federal crash testing, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

                      NHTSA will rate 33 passenger cars, 16 SUVs, one van and four pickup trucks, including the 2013 Ram 1500 and Toyota Tacoma. Other new vehicles set for testing include the 2013 Ford C-Max Energi, Ford Fusion Energi, Acura ILX, Cadillac XTS, Dodge Dart, Nissan Altima, Toyota Prius V and Volkswagen Beetle.

                      The test results, which are posted on the window stickers of new vehicles, help consumers to make informed choices about a vehicle's safety.

                      The testing covers approximately 85 percent of the new model year vehicles available for sale in the U.S., said NHTSA. Absent from the list are the 2013 Tesla Model S and the Coda electric sedan.

                      Federal safety regulators will also test certain safety systems, such as lane departure warning and forward collision warning in select 2013 vehicles. They include the 2013 Audi A4, Chevrolet Volt, Ford Taurus, Hyundai Genesis and Subaru XV Crosstrek.

                      NHTSA tests vehicles with the highest sales volumes and compares them, using star ratings, to highlight which vehicles "go above and beyond what is federally required."

                      Five stars represent the highest rating; one star represents the lowest.

                      Edmunds says: Results will be posted online at safercar.gov as vehicles are tested. Ratings for several 2013 vehicles with carry-over designs, such as the 2013 Mitsubishi i, are already posted.



                      Quick Spins: 2013 Honda Accord lineup

                      The 2013 Honda Accord is all-new.

                      I’m sorry if that’s a painfully obvious way to start this report, but it actually might not be that obvious at first glance.

                      The updated Accord has such a strong family resemblance to the one it replaces that I’m embarrassed to admit I mistook one of the old ones for it at the press preview in New York, only catching myself when I sat down.

                      That’s not to say it isn’t vastly improved. The 2013 Accord is completely reengineered with cleaner bodywork, crisper lines and finer details. But the eerie similarity can’t be ignored, (or maybe it can?)

                      Of course when a new Beetle or Mini Cooper or 911 sneaks onto the scene no one blinks an eye if it’s a lookalike. As one of the best-selling cars in America for over three decades, maybe it’s high time that the Accord deserves the same sort of iconic reverence and the associated pass.

                      The 2013 Accord lineup is comprised of five – relatively -- distinct models: sedan and coupe with four-cylinder engines; sedan and coupe with six-cylinder engines; and Honda’s first plug-in hybrid.

                      They all share an impressive interior that’s a step or two above last year’s model, and features a soft-touch one piece dash and chrome silver trim that comes across as Honda’s take on a VW cabin -- these are good things.

                      It’s also slightly larger inside, despite the fact that the car has shrunk three inches in length. The Accord was already one of the more spacious midsize cars -- the government considers it full-size -- and that tradition continues here.

                      New electronic features available across the model range include a standard 8-inch monitor for infotainment functions, Pandora integration, and a new cloud-connected service called HondaLink that hooks up to your iPhone or Android to offer a collection of apps like Twitter, Yelp and Slacker.

                      The most original electronic addition, however, is an optional blind-spot camera mounted on the passenger sideview mirror that sends a wide angle view to the screen in the center of the dashboard whenever you hit your turn signal. It’s useful and extremely cool, but doesn’t actively alert you to the presence of a car alongside yours, you literally have to see it for yourself. The driver’s side has no warning system at all, making do with a sideview mirror that is curved at the outer edge to offer a slightly wider field of vision. Separate monitors that do use lights and sounds to warn of impending frontal collisions and lane departure are also on offer.

                      Aside from that, what you’ve got is a very straightforward take on the midsize formula. To see how it adds up, I took a few of the top models for a spin.

                      Accord Sedan

                      If Honda’s top priority was customer retention, things are looking good for the Accord. My mom owns a 2010 model and first impressions are that there’s nothing about the new one that should keep her from flipping it into a 2013 when her lease is up.

                      The interior is a gem. Bucket seats don’t get much more comfortable than these -- regardless if they are upholstered in cloth or leather -- and the large windows buck the low-roofline trend and offer great visibility. The Accord’s trunk is bigger than before and has a very flat floor, a wide opening and low liftover height. This is Family Car 101 kind of stuff and Honda has aced it. Not everybody does.

                      The base car has a starting price of $22,470 and new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection connected to a six-speed manual transmission. But since no one will actually buy that one I tried out the version with the automatic, which uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT,) a first for Accord, and starts at $23,270.

                      The motor delivers 185 hp and 189 lb-ft of torque, while the infinitely variable gearing of the CVT aims to maximize both its performance and fuel economy potential. As the bread and butter model, the power is spot-on for the class and the engine sewing machine smooth in true Honda fashion.

                      As far as CVTs go, this one’s a winner, with a nicely linear response to throttle inputs and less of the sensation that the car is trying to catch up with the engine that some of these units tend to exhibit. Fuel economy is short of the current best in class Nissan Altima’s 38 mpg highway, but on the high side for the segment at 36 mpg highway, 26 mpg city.

                      Perhaps more interesting is the that the optional 278 hp 3.5-liter V6 manages squeezes 34 highway miles out of every gallon when equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission. It’s only available in the higher trim level Accords, the cheapest being $30,860, but it’s something to think about if you really can’t afford a Civic Si as your second car for fun weekend drives.

                      In either configuration, the Accord’s ride quality is simply exceptional, the cabin hush quiet, thanks in part to a standard electronic noise cancellation system, and did I mention those seats?

                      The only deviation from the Accord norm is the steering, which now uses electric assist and feels ever so less disconnected and lighter than the hydraulic unit you might remember. Car enthusiasts will bemoan this, my mom will probably prefer it.

                      Accord Coupe

                      As of now, the two-door Accord is the midsize sedan-based coupes on the market. It’s been a long time since they’ve been a big seller for any brand, but Honda kept it around in because the Accord’s chief engineer wanted one. Apparently it’s good to be the Large Project Leader.

                      Four and six-cylinder models are available, but the unique set up is the V6 matched to a six-speed manual transmission, which you can’t get in the sedan. Unlike many automakers, Honda builds its own transmissions and the world would be a much better place if it sold them to some of the others. There’s no slop in the stick, at all. It has short, direct throws and never misses a gear. I did find the clutch pedal to be a little on the springy side compared to, say, the Acura ILX 6-speed I recently tested, but I am picking very small nits.

                      That said, the V6 puts a lot of power through the front wheels and, with the hammer all the way down, the very evident torque steer can make things a little squiggly. This would be less of a problem if the engine and exhaust didn’t sound so darn good, specially tuned to match the coupe’s sporty image. Smooth pedal application is advised when the kids are on board -- there is plenty of room for them.

                      Accord Plug-In Hybrid

                      Honda has a checkered history with hybrids, but is going (and plugging) all-in with this one. The example I drove was a pre-production model that wasn’t fully dialed in, but all the major bits and pieces are in place.

                      It works on a similar principle to the Chevrolet Volt, offering an all-electric range of 10-15 miles of all-electric range after which a small gasoline engine runs to turn a generator for longer trips.

                      Honda’s take on this concept combines a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with two electric motors in place of a transmission. One motor generates electricity for the 6.7 kWh battery pack (less than half the capacity of the Volt’s,) the other provides drive, so even when the engine is running it’s still an electric car.

                      Well, almost. Just like their colleagues over at Chevrolet, Honda’s engineers figured out a way to get a little more efficiency out of the system. Between 40 and 80 mph a single gear directly connects the four-cylinder to the axles for a little extra push. Also, even with a full charge, the gasoline engine appears to kick in when you floor the throttle at higher speeds, rather than staying on the sidelines until the battery is depleted, as in the Volt.

                      It’s a pretty seamless system, with the same, very smooth power delivery exhibited by almost all electric cars – including Honda’s Fit EV. The electric motor on the prototype I drove did have a slightly annoying high-pitched whine, but I expect that’ll be ironed out by the time the car goes on sale early next year.

                      Aside from the drivetrain, the main differences are a slightly sparkly but environmentally-friendly cloth upholstery, a large intrusion into the trunk where the battery is housed, a very bold front fascia and Cuisinart blade-look aerodynamic wheel covers.

                      The big questions that remain are just how much will it cost and what its EPA fuel economy rating will be. No word from Honda on either point, but with all of the technology packed into it, a price in the high $30G range is likely.



                      2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite Verdict

                      Versatility Without Compromise

                      Of all the features Honda's minivan offers -- or perhaps in part because of them -- the Odyssey's versatility leaves the most lasting impression. With three rows of seating, this minivan can carry eight people and 38.4 cubic feet of luggage. Tuck the third-row Magic Seat into the floor, remove the (somewhat clumsy) second row seats, and voila! The Odyssey transforms from a touring coach into a cargo van in minutes, able to haul 148.5 cubic feet and up to 1040 pounds of anything your heart desires.
                      Considering its size and incredible usefulness, the Honda Odyssey handles very well, compared with other minivans. The precise steering, firm suspension tuning, and lower-than-expected center of gravity help the minivan feel planted through corners, even while hauling a half-ton of stuff or people. The engine always felt up to the task, and was still able to deliver up to 31 mpg. The blind spot sensors, lane-departure warning, rearview backup camera, parking sensors, and auto-tilt side mirrors give drivers the confidence of knowing exactly where each corner of this vehicle's 202.9-inch-long by 79.2-inch-wide body is at any given time. Parallel parking angst is eased with these handy features, though it's still no match for Infiniti's around-view camera system.

                      Aside from being such a utilitarian machine, the Odyssey offers a plethora of creature comforts. The light gray leather seats have held up nicely over the past 13 months, even with constant use and abuse. Though not quite a refrigerator, the cool box at the base of the center console provides an air-conditioned, insulated compartment for beverages, best used while the engine is running. The rear entertainment system with a 16.2-inch double-wide split screen keeps the kiddos (and coworkers) engaged for hours when used with the dash-mounted DVD player or back seat video inputs. Wireless headphones mean everyone can enjoy their program without disturbing each other or the driver.
                      " If you’re in the market for a minivan, the Odyssey will not disappoint.No need to sacrifice comfort for versatility here!”
                      Though we loved most things about the Odyssey, there were a few features that needed some adjustment. One item I had taken care of at my first maintenance visit was the default programming that unlocked all the doors as soon as I put the transmission into park. I prefer to have manual control of the locking and unlocking of my vehicle's doors, and fortunately the dealer was able to make this simple change. More recently, the power sliding doors were malfunctioning. After taking it in for a later maintenance visit, the dealer re-lubricated the door track, and the power doors were back to normal.

                      One complaint that couldn't be fixed by the dealer was how heavy and awkward the second row seats can be to remove or replace. In order to take full advantage of the Odyssey's carrying capacity, we frequently had to remove them. The seats are heavy and the rugged latches that secure them to the floor require a firm force to release or engage. It takes a bit of practice to get it right, not to mention needing somewhere to store the seats while they're out. Certainly a less convenient solution than the disappearing second row in some other minivans.

                      The Odyssey will be sorely missed. There is something to be said about the luxury of always knowing you'll have enough room for visiting family, a weekend camping trip, or an impromptu visit to the furniture store. As the SUVs are giving way to crossovers (many without four-wheel drive), it raises the question, why not drive a minivan? I have recommended the Odyssey to all my friends with families. It's time to let go of the wood-paneled mommy-mobile stereotype, and recognize that the modern minivan is more than just a vehicle for getting groceries and carrying kids to soccer practice. As our Honda Odyssey Touring Elite proved, you no longer have to sacrifice luxury, ride quality, and conveniences for versatility.

                      2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite
                      Service life 13 mo/27,764 mi
                      Base price $41,840
                      Options Elite package ($2190: High-intensity discharge headlights; blind spot monitoring; Honda DVD rear entertainment system; 650-watt, 12-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system)
                      Price as tested $44,030
                      Problem areas None
                      Maintenance cost $502.31
                      Normal-wear cost $4.51
                      3-year residual value* $21,881
                      EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ 19/28/22 mpg
                      Avg fuel econ 21.6 mpg
                      Recalls None
                      2011 Honda Odyssey Touring
                      Drivetrain layout Front engine, FWD
                      Engine type 60-deg V-6, aluminum block/heads
                      Valvetrain SOHC, 4 valves/cyl
                      Displacement 211.8 cu in/3471 cc
                      Compression ratio 10.5:1
                      Power (SAE net) 248 hp @ 5700 rpm
                      Torque (SAE net) 250 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm
                      Redline 6300 rpm
                      Weight to power 18.2 lb/hp
                      Transmission 6-speed automatic
                      Axle/final-drive ratios 4.25:1/2.36:1
                      Suspension, front; rear Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs
                      Steering ratio 16.4:1
                      Turns lock-to-lock 3.5
                      Brakes, f;r 12.6-in vented disc; 13.1-in disc, ABS
                      Wheels, f;r 7.0 x 18-in cast aluminum
                      Tires, f;r 235/60R18 102T M+S Michelin Primacy MXV4
                      Wheelbase 118.1 in
                      Track, f/r 68.1/68.2 in
                      Length x width x height 202.9 x 79.2 x 68.4 in
                      Turning circle 36.7 ft
                      Curb weight 4519 lb
                      Weight dist, f/r 56/44%
                      Seating capacity 8
                      Headroom, f/m/r 38.3/39.4/38.0 in
                      Legroom, f/m/r 40.9/40.9/42.4 in
                      Shoulder room, f/r 64.4/63.5/60.9 in
                      Cargo volume (beh f/m/r) 148.5/93.1/38.4 cu ft
                      TEST DATA
                      Acceleration to mph
                      0-30 2.6 sec
                      0-40 4
                      0-50 5.5
                      0-60 7.4
                      0-70 9.6
                      0-80 12.2
                      0-90 16
                      Passing, 45-65 mph 3.8
                      Quarter mile 15.7 sec @ 89.2 mph
                      Braking, 60-0 mph 127 ft
                      Lateral acceleration 0.73 g (avg)
                      MT figure eight 28.8 sec @ 0.57 g (avg)
                      Top-gear revs @ 60 mph 1750 rpm
                      CONSUMER INFO
                      Stability/traction control Yes/yes
                      Airbags Dual front, front side, f/m/r curtain
                      Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 mi
                      Powertrain warranty 5 yrs/60,000 mi
                      Roadside assistance NA
                      Fuel capacity 21.0 gal
                      Energy cons, city/hwy 177/120 kW-hrs/100 mi
                      CO2 emissions 0.87 lb/mi
                      Recommended fuel Unleaded regular


                      Last edited by tokyodream; 14-09-12, 08:27.
                      Iubesc masinile japoneze. Ele nu mint, nu inseala !
                      ACURA & HONDA SUV FAN CLUB ROMANIA - http://daimyo.ro/index.php?action=forum


                      • http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...w/16391000.cms

                        Honda, Toyota gain market share as labour woes trouble Maruti

                        MUMBAI: As Maruti Suzuki's production took a hit because of recent labour woes at its Manesar factory in Haryana, the Indian operations of two Japanese carmakers, Toyota and Honda, have emerged as the biggest gainers. In the first five months of fiscal 2013, even as passenger vehicle sales slowed down into single digits, Toyota Kirloskar has gained more than a percentage point in market share by moving from 6.97% to 5.57% a year ago. Honda Cars India has moved up to 2.85% from 1.9% in the April-August period of fiscal 2012. Honda now moves above Volkswagen (VW) whose market share has dipped from 3.19% to 2.41% in the first five months of the ongoing fiscal year.

                        In this period, the share of Maruti, the country's largest car maker, has dropped from 40.3% a year ago to 36.6%. The other gainers are Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata MotorsBSE 4.32 %, whilst Hyundai and the Detroit giants General Motors and Ford joined MarutiBSE 4.28 % and VW on the list ofmarket share losers.

                        "It's the Brio that has helped us gain share; and we will sustain it," says J Sen, senior VP, marketing, Honda Cars India. Some 12,000 Brios were sold in the April to August out of the company's total sales of just under 30,000 in the same period. Honda Car officials say that the Honda City sedan, which was under pressure from the Vento from VW, has been able to keep its nose ahead quite convincingly. In the April to August period Honda sold 11,478 Citys and VW 9,800 Ventos.

                        Honda, however, has its task cut out growing further from here, particularly at the higher end. The Accord, the premium sedan, and compact crossover Honda CR-V have been grappling with slowing growth and Sen admits that "the buying sentiments of customers in thse segments are skewed more towards diesel models."

                        Sen does add that a higher customer satisfaction rating and efforts to tell customers that petrol variants are still competitive compared to diesel are paying off. The Japanese carmaker does not yet have a diesel model in its India portfolio. Honda is counting on the Brio automatic which will be launched next month followed by the Honda City CNG variant to keep up the momentum.

                        Toyota, for its part, has benefited from the competitive pricing of compact car Liva; sales have spurted by 80% to over 11,000 units in the April to August period of fiscal 2013 over a year ago. The other contributor has been the workhorse multi-utility vehicle, the Innova, whose sales shot up by 64% to over 33,000 units in the first five months of the fiscal year. . Toyota now plans to launch utility vehicles on the Etios platform.

                        A Mumbai dealer who did not want to be named said that Japanese automakers are now providing unprecedented support by speeding up delivery after recovering from 2011's earthquake and tsunami and offering price cuts to gain market share. "Maruti Suzuki's loss has resulted in a gain for other manufacturers, particularly in the compact segment," says V G Ramakrishnan, senior director, automotive practice, Frost & Sullivan. He, however, is confident Maruti will be back with a vengeance, with the Swift and Dezire leading the charge. "Honda and Toyota will need to look at new launches fast to keep gaining share," adds Ramakrishnan.



                        Honda's Accord back on track

                        The midsize-car wars are ramping up: Honda next week rolls out its redesigned Accord, the second-best-selling car in the U.S. market for most of the past 15 years.

                        It's going to be a formidable competitor, as always. Honda has changed almost everything about the 2013 Accord, and mostly for the better.

                        The new model is essentially the same size as the 2012, just three-tenths of an inch longer. Trunk space is up by nearly 2 cubic feet, but that may have come at the expense of gas-tank capacity, which is down 1.3 gallons from this year.

                        Honda isn't raising prices much, even though there are an additional “thousands of dollars worth of standard features and technologies,” the company said.

                        Officially available on Wednesday, the Accord will have base prices ranging from $21,680 (plus $790 freight) for the entry-level LX sedan to $33,430 for the top-of-the-line Touring sedan. The prices represent an average increase of $300 across the board, Honda said.

                        While there's no doubt the Accord will be a key player in this segment, the field is crowded with credible entries.

                        Coming on the heels of the Accord will be the completely redone 2013 Ford Fusion, an up-and-comer that until now hasn't had nearly the traction in the marketplace that some of its competitors have enjoyed.

                        Nissan's redesigned 2013 Altima, which made its debut in June, has a head start on the Accord, and it beat the Accord's sales last year for the first time. That made the Altima the second-best-selling midsize car in America.

                        Also near the top of this fray is the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. Chevy began rolling out the redesigned Malibu in stages, beginning in the spring with the high-mileage Eco model with a mild-hybrid drive system. The rest of the models are now on their way to dealers.

                        Toyota redid its perennial best-seller, the Camry, for 2012; and both the Hyundai Sonata and Volkswagen Passat were all new for 2012, and are selling quite well.

                        The stakes are high: This is the largest segment in the market, as midsize cars account for nearly one of every five new vehicles sold in the United States.

                        But Honda probably has more at risk here than any competitor, having lost some of its momentum as a result of the natural disasters in Japan last year and poor reviews of the redesigned compact Civic that arrived for 2012.

                        An early and quick evaluation of the 2013 Accord, though, shows that Honda might be getting the train back on the track: There seem to be no missteps with the new Accord.

                        This is the ninth generation of the Accord and probably the best-looking one yet. The exterior changes are extensive, but they aren't radical — that's just not Honda's style.

                        The car might not have quite the luxury look that Nissan achieved in the new Altima, but it's compelling enough to attract current and past Accord buyers, and some newcomers, too, which will be a major key to its success.

                        Honda says the redesigned Accord's major achievements are its all-new, direct-injected four-cylinder engine, “class-leading safety innovations” and a plug-in hybrid model that will arrive in January as an early 2014 model.

                        As before, the 2013 Accord will be available in sedan and coupe versions, although, as always, the sedan will be the volume sales leader by far. The coupe goes on sale Oct. 15, and prices will begin at $23,350 for the base LX-S model.

                        Six sedan trim levels are offered: the base LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, EX-L V-6 and Touring. EX-L and EX-L V-6 versions include leather interiors.

                        Coupes will come in LX-S, EX, EX-L and EX-L V-6 versions.

                        Available are four- and six-cylinder gasoline and gasoline-electric hybrid powertrains, with manual and automatic transmissions, including a continuously variable automatic, CVT, for the first time.

                        The new, two-motor Accord Plug-in Hybrid sedan will be followed by a conventional hybrid version, without external-recharging capability, sometime next summer.

                        Honda had an Accord hybrid from 2005-07 but discontinued it because of poor sales. It emphasized performance over fuel economy, featuring a V-6 engine instead of a more efficient four-cylinder, and was expensive, about $3,000 higher than the top V-6 gasoline-only model.

                        The new Accord makes more use of high-strength steel to help reduce its weight, and the body has more aerodynamic styling. Both of these changes help improve fuel economy.

                        Honda says the Accord four-cylinder with the CVT has EPA ratings of 27 city/36 highway/30 combined, up 11 percent from the best mileage of the 2012 model.

                        The Altima's ratings are slightly higher, at 27 city/38 highway/31 combined and is best-in-class for a nonhybrid model. The newest Camry four-cylinder model is rated 25/35/28, and the new Malibu with e-Assist, a mild hybrid system, has ratings of 25/37/29.

                        Honda's new “Earth Dreams” 2.4-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine is standard in the Accord. It comes with a six-speed manual gearbox or the optional CVT. With the manual, the EPA ratings are 24/34/28. The engine has 185 horsepower and 181 foot-pounds of torque.

                        The optional 3.5-liter V-6 engine, with 278 horsepower and 252 foot-pounds of torque, has mileage ratings of 21/34/25 and comes with a conventional six-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual is available on the V-6 coupe.

                        Among other new features is the HondaLink system, which “lets drivers put away their smartphones and still stay connected to the people, music and social media they love,” Honda says.

                        Also new is the optional Honda LaneWatch, a blind-spot monitoring system for the right side that uses a camera mounted on the outside mirror on the passenger side.

                        Standard are a rearview camera; an expanded-view driver's mirror, which shows vehicles in the adjacent lane; a hands-free Bluetooth phone link; and USB/iPod connections.

                        Ride and handling have been improved using a new MacPherson strut front suspension that also has a new, lighter aluminum-and-steel sub-frame.

                        Keyless entry and push-button start are standard on the EX, EX-L and Touring models.

                        With the EX-L and Touring sedan models and the EX-L coupe, a Forward Collision Warning system is included. It alerts the driver if there is an impending collision with the vehicle ahead.

                        The EX-L and Touring models also come with Lane Departure Warning, which lets the driver know if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane (with no turn signal in use).

                        There are also new SmartVent side air bags that Honda says “mitigate the risk of excessive air bag deployment force while eliminating the need for the prior Accord's Occupant Position Detection System.”

                        On the Touring sedan model are Honda's first LED projector headlights, while LED daytime running lights are included on all V-6 powered Accords. There are new LED brake lights on all EX-L and Touring models.

                        The Touring sedan also gets Adaptive Cruise Control, which paces the car to the speed of the vehicle it's following.

                        Nine exterior colors are offered for the sedan, including four metallic and five pearl types. New colors are Champagne Frost Pearl, Hematite Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic and Obsidian Blue Pearl.

                        Coupe buyers have a choice of seven exterior colors, including two metallic, five pearl and one solid. New colors are Modern Steel Metallic, Still Night Pearl, Tiger Eye Pearl and White Orchid Pearl, Honda says.



                        Honda CR-V is a right-sized, versatile SUV

                        Sport utility vehicles are a good choice for active families who are constantly on the go. They have lots of cargo space, room for the kids and their strollers or sports equipment, and can handle just about any road condition that comes your way. But, some SUVs are downright huge, never able to fit in the garage and take up all the driveway space. If you're not interested in all that much car, but are in the market for a right-sized SUV, the Honda CR-V is a viable choice.

                        Honda introduced the CR-V in 1997 as a sedan-like alternative to other SUVs, and the name -- Comfortable Runabout Vehicle, or CR-V -- was intended to reflect that vision.

                        Now in its fourth generation, it's still considered to be an entry-level SUV for those who have light-duty off-roading needs. It has ample seating for five, and continues to be a popular model for Honda. The 2012 models receive a total make-over, and with this new redesign Honda adds new styling and lots of technology features, boosts the fuel economy, and enhances some conveniences.

                        All Honda CR-Vs have 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engines that offer 185 horsepower and 163 lb-ft. of torque. Automatic transmissions are standard and they get a fuel economy rating of 23 mpg for city driving and 31 mpg for highway driving.

                        New standard features for 2012 include some refinements to the engine that boosts the horsepower a bit, as well as an Easy Fold-Down 60/40 Rear Seat Split, Eco Assist, Expanded-View Driver's Mirror and Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering. New optional features include intelligent Multi-Information Display, Pandora Internet radio interface, a DVD Rear Entertainment System and FM Traffic, and something called a SMS text messaging function. This, when paired with a compatible phone, can read incoming texts aloud through the audio system, and allow the driver to respond with one of six factory present text messages. I am not sure that encouraging text messaging of any kind -- even if you're responding with a preset message -- is a good idea. A Bluetooth HandsFreeLink phone interface is standard on all models, however.

                        The CR-V has a roomy interior, with good amounts of head and hip room for all passengers. The newly designed rear seat can fold in a 60/40 split, which makes transporting big items easy. The bench is flat and so is the floorboard, which is a bonus for your rear middle passenger. Visibility from the rear is good, too.

                        The rear cargo area has a floorboard that is low enough to make loading things a breeze and not a strain on your back. A cargo cover protects your belongings from prying eyes.

                        As for safety features, the CR-V has a host of the best, and all standard. They include VSA electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist, a host of air bags including side curtain air bags with rollover sensors, front side air bags with a passenger side Occupant Position Detection System, electronic brake distribution, side-impact door beams and front and rear crumple zones. The Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering, a new standard feature, can detect instability in slippery roads and automatically adjusts to help the driver steer in the correct direction.

                        On the road, we found the Honda CR-V was quiet, thanks to new sound-dampening enhancements, and offered a sedan-like ride. Visibility is very good and seats are comfortable and supportive.

                        The 2012 Honda CR-V is a nice-looking, right-sized SUV that is versatile enough to easily accommodate a growing family, or empty-nesters.



                        Honda, Ford spearhead new conflict minerals reporting tool

                        Editor's Note: The iPoint Conflict Minerals Platform is the most recent tool released that enables companies to trace their supply chain. Come back next week for an article from the Responsible Sourcing Network that will provide an overview of the range of systems and tools available for conflict mineral reporting.

                        Managing a web of suppliers isn’t easy. Now companies have an added responsibility: collecting reports from said suppliers on whether they use conflict minerals from war-stricken parts of Africa in their products.

                        The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission passed a ruling in August requiring public companies to examine their supply chains and disclose if their products use tin, tungsten, tantalum or gold from the Democratic Republic of Congo, minerals that are said to fuel the conflict in the Central African nation.

                        But tracing hundreds – and in some cases thousands – of suppliers can be a daunting task.

                        A new web-based tool developed in collaboration with leading automakers aims to simplify the process. The iPoint Conflict Minerals Platform (iPCMP), launched by the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) in partnership with product sustainability experts at iPoint, will help suppliers in all industries identify whether their products contain conflict minerals.

                        More than two dozen auto companies, including Honda, Ford and the Chrysler Group, worked since last year to develop the tool, which enables businesses to publish their conflict mineral status and helps them create reports that adhere to governmental requirements.

                        Many suppliers lack the resources to adequately examine their supply chains, said Tanya Bolden, AIAG’s corporate responsibility program development manager.

                        “The goal throughout this has been to make this process as simple as possible for the various suppliers in our supply chain to engage,” Bolden said. “We fully realize that many of the suppliers don’t have the resources that a tier-1 may have.”

                        The tool, which is based on the EICC-GeSi template, allows companies to request information from their suppliers all the way down to the smelter, said Nick Stein, marketing manager at iPoint.

                        “The solution is simple, yet powerful,” he said. “[It] greatly streamlines reporting processes.”

                        The average tier-1 company has around 2000 suppliers, said Stein. To determine whether conflict minerals are present in the supply chain, a company needs to collect reports from every single one of its suppliers.

                        “There is a huge need for simplified and automated reporting processes, because it would be extremely labor-intensive to do the reporting manually,” Stein said. “iPCMP fills this gap.”

                        To sign up, a company creates an account on the iPCMP website, which Stein says takes less than five minutes. Once logged in, a company can send conflict mineral data requests to its suppliers. Ideally, all companies in the supply chain use iPCMP, said Stein, but the tool can also import and process conflict minerals reports that have been created by suppliers that are not signed up.

                        “This gives users maximum flexibility in creating their reports,” said Stein.

                        Once a company sends its request, the supplier is notified and guided through the process of filling out the reporting form, which is then sent back to the company.

                        Eventually, a company will have collected enough data from its suppliers to create a report that complies with SEC requirements.

                        “iPCMP enables you to aggregate the various reports into a single report, which you then amend with your own company’s information,” Stein said. “Afterwards, you can either pass on this report to your customer, or to the SEC.”

                        There are no limitations on the number of tiers or companies that a business can add and interact with. To learn how to navigate the tool, users can access an e-learning course as well as a user guide. iPoint is also offering introductory webinars.

                        The conflict minerals reporting requirements are very new, Stein said, so as processes and standards emerge, iPoint will add them to the solution. Ongoing supplier engagement is key, he said, to enhance and improve the tool.

                        iPCMP is the latest in a string of initiatives developed by AIAG. Most markedly, the association helped develop the widely-used EICC-GeSI program, which helps standardize information received from suppliers and offers a template that identifies the smelters that process metals in the supply chain.

                        In 2011, the association felt the need to do more to help its members, said Bolden, in anticipation of the SEC's upcoming vote on disclosure requirements which was originally scheduled for April of that year.

                        “We wanted to use [the EICC-GeSI] template, but one that helped us navigate the automotive supply chain and the other companies involved in our supply chain,” she said. “We looked at how we could develop a tool that could support our companies.”


                        Hot Soup Thrown, Honda Burned in Growing Japan-China Tiff


                        Six Chinese patrol boats entered territorial waters near the disputed Senkaku or Diaoyu islands today, escalating tensions in an ongoing standoff between China and Japan.

                        China’s Foreign Ministry said the ships were dispatched to conduct maritime surveillance and a mission of “law enforcement over its maritime rights.” The boats were ordered to leave, but operators on board one of the Chinese ships said, “Diaoyu is China’s territory,” according to the Japanese Coast Guard.

                        “We regret this intrusion,” chief government spokesman Osamu Fujimura said. “We have urged the Chinese to leave immediately.”

                        Relations between Asia’s two biggest economies have plunged to new lows, since Japan purchased the uninhabited rocky islets for $26 million earlier this week in the face of Chinese protests. Tokyo has said the move was meant to prevent any development on the island, known as Senkaku in Japan, and ease tensions as a result.

                        China has urged Japan to revoke the purchase immediately, saying it violates Chinese sovereignty.

                        The ongoing dispute has prompted large-scale anti-Japanese protests throughout China, and threatens to affect trade and tourism in both countries.

                        An executive with Nissan said Sino-Japanese tensions had forced the company to pare marketing events in China, while some Chinese travel companies have stopped selling tour packages to Japan altogether.

                        A spokesman with the Japan National Tourism Organization said the number of Chinese visitors dropped nearly 20% when similar tensions flared up in 2010, but the immediate impact of the latest dispute was unclear.

                        Meanwhile, the Japanese Consulate General in Shanghai said at least four people have been injured as a result of anti-Japanese backlash. In one incident, a Japanese man had hot noodles thrown in his face. In another incident, a man was kicked several times after being asked whether he was Japanese, according to a statement posted by the Consulate General online.

                        On Thursday, a man in Shanghai’s Baoshin District reportedly set his Honda Civic on fire, in front of a Honda dealership, unfurling signs that read “Japanese devils return home.”

                        In Japan, the city of Kobe scrapped a welcoming ceremony for 3,000 Chinese visitors, at the request of the tour organizer, according to the Kyodo News. At least two concerts planned to mark the 40th anniversary of the normalization of Japan-China diplomatic ties have been cancelled in Beijing and Tokyo.

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                        • http://www.insideline.com/honda/cr-z...auto-show.html

                          2013 Honda CR-Z Revealed Ahead of 2012 Paris Auto Show

                          Just the Facts:

                          The 2013 Honda CR-Z, which is set to get more power, was revealed ahead of its debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show.
                          No powertrain specifications were disclosed, but Honda said "the power of both the petrol engine and electric motor has been increased."
                          The 2012 Honda CR-Z hybrid is equipped with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 122 horsepower.

                          PARIS — The 2013 Honda CR-Z, which is set to get more power, was revealed ahead of its debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show.

                          The first full image of the CR-Z was released on Friday. Bits and pieces of the refreshed hybrid were revealed earlier, including such details as restyled alloy wheels, a new instrument panel button marked "S+" and LED headlights.

                          No powertrain specifications were disclosed, but Honda said "the power of both the petrol engine and electric motor has been increased without comprising fuel economy or increasing exhaust emissions."

                          Honda said that performance and the hybrid's European on-sale date will be announced at the Paris show.

                          The 2012 Honda CR-Z hybrid is equipped with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 122 horsepower. The engine is linked to a standard six-speed manual transmission. The EPA says the 2012 CR-Z with the manual transmission returns 31 mpg in city driving and 37 mpg on the highway.

                          The revised 2013 Honda CR-Z will go on sale here in the fall, according to Paul Seredynski, an American Honda Motor Co. spokesman. He said that pricing is not yet available.

                          The 2012 CR-Z starts at $20,485, including a $790 destination charge. The 2012 CR-Z comes in two trim levels, the CR-Z and CR-Z EX.

                          Edmunds says: Is a long-awaited turbocharged version of the Honda CR-Z on tap?



                          Reviewing the Nissan Altima and Honda Accord

                          Two of the three best-selling midsize sedans in the America, the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima, are reviewed in Sunday’s Automobiles section.

                          Both sedans received significant updates for the 2013 model year to compete against the Toyota Camry — the strongest-selling passenger car in 13 of the last 14 years — and defend their market share against arrivistes like the Hyundai Sonata and Chevrolet Malibu.

                          Neither John Pearley Huffman, who reviewed the Accord, nor Lawrence Ulrich, who drove the Altima, could muster much criticism toward the Japanese sedans, so thoughtfully and satisfyingly were their updates performed. Mr. Ulrich is particularly impressed with the fit and finish of the 2013 Altima, as he writes:

                          Altima engineers have evidently been sitting with the cool kids in the Infiniti lunchroom, because the car’s refinement and quiet seems more in keeping with a model from Nissan’s luxury brand.

                          If there is a nagging flaw with these cars, which may be perceived as a strength by many buyers, it is their anonymity. Mr. Huffman writes that the Accord “is still a car that blends into the sprawl like a Starbucks; you only notice it if you look for it,” while Mr. Ulrich calls the Altima’s design “a collection of the clichés of the current midsize class.”

                          Read the entire reviews of the Accord and Altima, and share your thoughts in the comments below.



                          NHTSA to Test 54 Vehicles from 2013MY Under its New, Tougher Safety Regulations

                          The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released on Thursday a list of new cars that it will test as part of its new, tougher five-star safety ratings program. The list includes 54 models from the 2013MY including, 33 passenger cars, 16 SUVs, one van and four pickups. The agency says that the crash tests will provide information on almost 85 percent of vehicles sold in the US and its rollover tests will cover an impressive 92 percent of 2013 models.
                          “Safety is a major factor for consumers shopping for a new or used vehicle”, said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “For American car buyers, our 5-star safety ratings program serves as one of the most trusted and reliable resources to help them select the safest vehicles in the marketplace.”
                          The program, which has been in place since 1978, was revamped in 2010 and became tougher, partly because all the models were getting top grades, and more importantly to make automakers work harder on their vehicles’ safety.
                          The NHTSA’s “More Stars. Safer Cars” program now includes an overall rating, a new side crash pole test and improved crash test dummies that included smaller ones representative of females.
                          Read on to see the comprehensive list of the models that will be tested and view three videos of NHTSA's crash tests.
                          By Andrew Tsaousis

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                          • http://www.studentnewsie.com/new-hon...r-europe-7441/

                            New Honda Civic With The New 1.6L Diesel Engine For Europe

                            Honda has finally put a car around its Earth Dreams diesel engine, which will become available across Europe. The 2012 Honda Civic hatchback with the new diesel engine will debut at the Paris Auto Show later this month.

                            Honda first introduced the Earth Dreams 1.6-liter i-DTEC engine at the Geneva Motor Show. The speciality of the Japanese company’s new Earth Dreams engine is the extremely low amount of fuel it consumes and the carbon emissions which are some of the lowest observed in any production vehicle. Honda achieved this by reducing engine displacement and sacrificing power to bring down carbon emissions, which according to the company, is just 94 g/km. The power rating of the 1.6L i-DTEC engine is 118 hp (120 PS) at 4,000 rpm and 300 Nm (221.3 lb-ft) at 2,000 rpm and it is capable of delivering a fuel economy of 3.6lt/100km (65.3 mpg US or 78.5 mpg UK) (city and highway combined). These figures are applicable for cars which use 16 inch wheels only.

                            While Europe is getting the new fuel efficient and green, Earth Dreams diesel engine in a 2012 Honda Civic hatchback, those in the U.S have there own version of Honda Earth Dreams engine, which is used in the 2013 Honda Accord sedan and coupe. The 2013 Accord models get the Earth Dreams 2.4-liter direct-injected four-cylinder VTEC, which can deliver 185 hp and 177 lb-ft and 189 hp and 182 lb-ft in the standard trim and Sports trim respectively. These engines, paired with Continuously Variable transmissions, deliver fuel economy of 27 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined.

                            The Earth Dreams engines are not the only green initiatives the Japanese automaker has taken. Also making an appearance during the Paris Auto Show will be the new 2013 CR-Z Hybrid coupe and the EV-Ster Concept electric roadster. Also to be seen during the auto show will the European specification Honda CR-V SUV, which will also feature the company’s i-DTEC diesel engine.



                            Honda's foray could remake local industrial landscape
                            JV accord with Japanese automobile giant this week

                            The government is set to sign an initial pact with the Japanese automobile heavyweight Honda to assemble motorcycles in a joint venture (JV), officials say could reshape Bangladesh's industrial landscape.

                            "If every thing goes accordingly, we are hopeful to sign the MoU on Thursday next," Industries minister Dilip Barua told the FE Sunday.

                            "Honda will forge the JV plant with our Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation (BSEC)," Mr Barua added.

                            Chief of Honda Motor Co is expected to attend the MoU signing ceremony, a senior official of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) in Dhaka said.

                            Initial investment of the JV project would be Tk 700 million. The state-controlled BSEC will own 30 per cent stake, while Honda will own 70 per cent in the project, according to the draft of MoU.

                            Within five years of operation here, the company would go for full-scale motorbike manufacturing, the draft MoU said.

                            Analysts say Honda's investment would reshape Bangladesh's future as a new manufacturing hub for automobile items.

                            President of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), A.K.Azad said that Honda's proposal proves that Bangladesh is on the right track to woo investment from top global firms.

                            "The arrival of Honda in Bangladesh can be a big boost for the country's future," he said.

                            "Local talents are leaving Bangladesh to get world-class jobs. This kind of hi-tech industries would open a world of opportunities for them and the industry," Azad added.

                            President of Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JBCCI), Rashed Ahmad Ali said "The cost of production in China has gone high. That is one of the major reasons for shifting the production base to other countries.

                            "Besides, increasing demands in the local market also another reason to lure the Japanese investment," he added.

                            Generally, Honda sets up a plant in a country where 50,000 motorcycles are sold annually. But, in Bangladesh the annual sale of motorcycle is more than two lakh, he added.

                            The joint venture company will soon start operation at a rented abandoned garment factory at Maona in Gazipur, an additional secretary of the industries ministry said.

                            "We are trying to purchase a suitable piece of land for setting up the permanent plant of the JV Company," the additional secretary added.

                            "The motorcycles will be built with the components shipped from India and Pakistan," the ministry official informed.

                            The Japanese company was looking for a local partner over the last few years, but they were not convinced with the private sector. In 2009, they had proposed to the government for setting up the JV.

                            After selling 26 per cent stake in the JV Hero-Honda Company at a cost of $2 billion, Honda set up two manufacturing plants in India and the company is currently operating two other manufacturing plants in Pakistan as well, said media reports.



                            Reality Check From Honda, in Touch With Economics

                            NO one would blame you for interpreting Honda's introduction of the 2012 NC700X as an attempt to bring some sanity back to motorcycling.

                            This model is, in many ways, the "not" bike: not a 175-horsepower sports machine, not a radically stretched cruiser, not some full-boat cross-continent touring rig. Instead, the new Honda -- new to the United States, that is, it is already on sale in Europe -- is aimed at the mainstream, no apology offered.

                            Sure, Honda lists it as an adventure-class entry, but Cycle World magazine's recent naming of the NC700X as its Best Standard motorcycle for 2012 is probably a better indicator of the bike's true mission. It is a tempting choice for riders who want versatility -- and don't need scare-you-to-death speed.

                            Terrific fuel economy tops a long list of attributes that includes clever storage options, stable handling and a price that starts at a reasonable $7,309, including destination charges. Honda will offer a wide range of accessories to elevate what is essentially a no-frills bike in its basic form to one that is suitable for touring and adventure trekking.

                            My test of the NC700X started at the arrivals area of the airport here on a day when the forecast of zero percent chance of rain turned into a deluge. The stock windscreen, less protective than the proverbial fig leaf, provided little cover (a taller and wider screen is a $170 option).

                            The rest of the bike performed flawlessly over hundreds of miles of wet pavement. The suspension's 5.4 inches of front fork travel, and 5.9 inches at the rear from its single-shock Pro-Link layout proved more than adequate for coping with California's deepening array of potholes. I expected a blowout, but the tires put up a good fight against California's excessively grooved concrete freeways.

                            What really helped most in the wet, however, was not having an excess of power -- none of that pesky wheelspin. That's right: I'm extolling the virtues here of a rather pokey bike.

                            Honda said its research showed 90 percent of all motorcycle riders travel at speeds of 85 m.p.h. or less. So, that is where it placed the ceiling of the NC700X's sweet spot of performance for a global market. The NC700X can exceed 85, but time is needed to build up to that momentum.

                            Even when run nearly wide open all the time, the bike's stellar fuel mileage seemed to hold up. Honda says 64 m.p.g. fuel economy is achievable in everyday riding, but more -- sometimes much more -- is attainable.

                            On my four-hour ride from Long Beach to Las Vegas, I stopped hourly to top off the 3.7-gallon tank and assess the mileage. From sea level to roughly 4,000 feet in the Cajon Pass on Interstate 15, I recorded 61 m.p.g. I considered that impressive, as it was uphill much of the way, and I wasn't sure the tank was full when I picked up the bike.

                            For the next hour, across the Mojave Desert, the bike averaged 70 m.p.g. For the final two hours, over four mountain passes, the NC700X managed 72 m.p.g. (A tail wind may have helped.) Undoubtedly, riding at a lower average speed, with more prudent throttle use, would have produced even gaudier numbers.

                            On a wide array of motorcycles, ridden along the same test route over the course of several years, I've seldom observed fuel economy of more than 50 m.p.g. Something around 40 m.p.g. is more the norm. The Honda's result is all the more impressive because of its heft. At 474 pounds, it is no lightweight for a bike with two cylinders.

                            The NC700X is powered by a fuel-injected parallel twin that lays its cylinders forward at a 62-degree angle rather than placing them nearly upright. The undersquare design of the engine -- its 670 cc displacement is the result of a 73-millimeter bore and an 80-millimeter stroke -- helps assure a smooth delivery of torque, which peaks at a very low 4,750 r.p.m. Cost savings were realized by the use of branched passages for the intake and exhaust: only one throttle body and one catalytic converter is needed to serve both cylinders.

                            The placement of the cylinders, along with design possibilities opened up by a new steel trellis frame, offered plenty of space for a handy lockable storage compartment where the gas tank would normally be. It is large enough to fit a full-face helmet or backpack. (The fuel filler is in a small storage area atop the rear wheel.)

                            When outfitted with hard bags and a trunk -- also options offered by Honda -- the NC700X can be a real pack mule. Adding that equipment is not cheap, though, taking the bike beyond the $10,000 level when fully loaded. Two-up touring is possible, but the bike seems a bit small for that.

                            No doubt Honda or an aftermarket supplier will offer a more comfortable seat -- the stock cushion is hard as a park bench, and would be a pretty miserable perch if one tried to sit through the bike's full 250-mile fuel range.

                            Compared with more powerful motorcycles, keeping up with traffic on the NC700X requires more shifting of the standard 6-speed transmission. Fortunately, it runs up and down the gear range with silken precision.

                            Increasing the bike's appeal to practical-minded riders is the optional dual-clutch transmission, a second-generation design that offers three operating modes: full manual push-button shifting as well as automated normal and sport selections. The fuel economy estimate drops to 61 m.p.g. with the dual-clutch transmission and the weight increases by 31 pounds.

                            In part, that gain comes from the inclusion of integrated antilock brakes with the $9,309 dual-clutch model.

                            In most important regards, the bike is perfectly competent. It is agile, economical, well built and, because it is a Honda, likely to be very reliable. For the commuter, it can be a dream machine. For the newbie rider, it is a logical step up from a 125 cc or 250 cc model and a fuel-sipping mode of transportation.



                            Honda Civic 1.8-litre i-VTEC 5 door
                            Honda Civic road test

                            Over the past few years car manufacturers have tried to re-invent the handbrake. Step inside a Rolls Royce, Bentley, Jaguar, Range Rover or Renault and you’ll find that it has been replaced by a simple switch. This is all very well if the vehicle is automatic as these have a helpful anti-roll feature. The difficulty is when they’re manual – they should all have anti-roll but it doesn’t always seem effective - requiring nifty foot work of the clutch and accelerator. Hence, I still prefer the traditional handbrake that can be found in Skodas and Hondas.

                            Even the brand new 2012 Civic has a proper handbrake as you can see by watching the video at testdrives.biz. The Japanese manufacturer realises that it gives more control to the driver. In the latest Civic it resides closer to the front passenger than the driver but nevertheless it’s in a good position – far better than the Land Rover Defender I tested.

                            The ninth generation Civic launched in February stays true to its predecessor with the addition of more accentuated rear lights that protrude from the bodywork and an eye-catching black front grille. But the cool triangular exhausts have sadly disappeared. As ever this Civic is aimed at those considering the bland Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus. Compared to those two it definitely stands out from the crowd.

                            Its five-door design retains that essence of sportiness more akin to a three door by cleverly concealing the rear door handles in the same way as the old Alfa Romeo 156. The aerodynamic design sees a bar across the rear windscreen, which impedes vision somewhat and calls for careful reversing.

                            Inside it is spacious with a particularly good size boot. This 1.8-litre petrol is fairly responsive to drive as well with good low down torque although when worked hard it can be a little raucous. It took me a while to discover how to operate the cruise control and speed limiter buttons found on the right of the steering wheel. They are engaged by pressing the ‘Main’ button, which to me is not logical. However, this system is reliable to within a few mph of the set speed, requiring extra concentration when approaching speed cameras particularly when they’re at the foot of a hill. This cruise control, which can be used at speeds as low as 20mph, works best when the desired speed has been reached on a flat road - it happily maintains progress. Don’t whatever you do though, use cruise instead of the accelerator as progress can be sloth-like. Its six speed manual box is generally decisive. To ensure greater efficiency there is ‘eco’ mode and a reliable automatic engine stop/start, both of which help this vehicle cover 500 miles on its 50-litre tank.

                            Parkers, the car experts, say: “One of the Civic’s strong points is practicality. The boot is far bigger than its competitors’ and there’s loads of room inside thanks to what Honda calls ‘Magic Seats’. The Civic has been awarded a five-star EuroNCAP rating thanks to its plethora of safety equipment including adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation – which applies the brakes if it thinks you’re about to crash.”

                            While it is disappointing that the road tax on this efficient British-built vehicle is so high it is the more fashionable alternative to the VW Golf or Ford Focus.

                            Honda Civic 1.8-litre i-VTEC 5 door
                            New price range: £16,955 - £28,750

                            Economy: 48mpg
                            0-60mph: 8.8secs
                            Top speed: 134mph
                            Road tax: £130 a year

                            Watch the video at testdrives.biz



                            Test Drive: New Honda Accord is likable but not lovable

                            Honda's thorough remake of its popular Accord midsize sedan supplies more proof that competent and exciting apparently are mutually exclusive.

                            You can appreciate the new Accord, on sale Sept. 19. You can consider its refinement and features to be sublimely satisfying.

                            You can be amazed that the ninth-generation Accord lost a little space inside but feels roomier and does have a bigger trunk. Or embrace its crisp good looks and trimmer new size. Be glad of its agile handling, better mileage and big jump in features for small increases in price.

                            But to imagine that anything about the very nice new Accord will have you hopping up and down with enthusiasm -- save for perhaps the power of the optional V-6 -- would be quite a stretch. Probably fine. It is a family sedan, after all.

                            A sportier Accord coupe goes on sale Oct. 15, and that could be better at raising pulses, but it starts at $24,140 for the 4-cylinder and $31,140 for the V-6. The sedan's base price is $22,470 for the 4-cylinder and $30,860 for the V-6. Honda forecasts that coupes will account for just 15% of Accord sales.

                            You can consider Accord sexier than a Toyota Camry, maybe less so than Nissan's new Altima. Not as zoomy-looking as a Hyundai Sonata, more daring than a Volkswagen Passat. Less Euro than the coming Ford Fusion, less American than the latest Chevrolet Malibu.

                            The midsize market is the biggest slice of new vehicle sales, accounting for about one of every four new vehicles sold, and conventional wisdom is that those buyers are mainstream. Don't spook 'em with far-out looks or over-the-top features.

                            But Sonata and its corporate kin, Kia Optima, broke the far-out-looks rule and are selling nicely, thank you very much. Passat offers a diesel, a feature well outside the mainstream in the U.S., and it, too, is rocking right along. So there's wiggle room.

                            Honda added two new trims to the Accord line.

                            Sport sits between the LX starter model and EX premium. It comes with dual exhaust, bigger wheels, different suspension tuning.

                            Touring is the new high-end version. In addition to every other feature available, including the V-6, it comes with LED headlights and adaptive cruise control that keeps the car a set distance from others if it can't hold the set speed.

                            Our drive time in an Accord EX four-cylinder was pleasant, though never pulse-stirring, just as driving most of its rivals is not.
                            What seems best about Accord:

                            Room and comfort: Honda's trimmed the 2013 back to midsize from the previous model's full-size dimensions. Yet the interior feels roomier, not tighter. And the trunk's about 6% larger.

                            Adults fit nicely in back. The front has space to flop long legs.

                            Lane Watch blind-spot feature: Standard on EX models and above, it uses a camera mounted on the passenger's side exterior mirror to show you what's behind and beside when you signal for a right turn. The image pops up in the big display screen in the center of the dashboard.

                            On the left, though, no such help. A special slice of the outside driver's mirror expands the view, but it's no substitute for warning lights that other makers use as blind-spot alerts.

                            Styling: Too bland, some have said, but strikes us as tailored enough to be easy on the eyes and unlikely to look dated soon as flashier sheet metal might. The 3.5-inch cut in length is just enough to make the car look trimmer, fitter than the old model.

                            Driving feel: Most buyers will pick the new four-cylinder engine, a more sophisticated one than the two it replaces. Combined with the continuously variable-ratio automatic transmission (CVT) also new to Accord, it moves the car quickly enough to suit most.

                            Steering, brakes and suspension are tuned well enough to make Accord feel sprightlier than rival Camry, though the ride disappointed. It was a rump-whacker over sharp bumps.

                            Overall, likable but not lovable. You'd have to be a connoisseur of competence to get worked up over Accord. In spite of (or perhaps because of) that, it's a safe bet the car is a midsize, bull's-eye that'll be a threat to unseat Camry as the USA's best-selling car.
                            The details

                            What? Redesign of Honda's most popular car; front-drive, five-passenger, midsize, available as a four-door sedan or a coupe.

                            When? Sedan on sale Sept. 19, coupe Oct. 15. Two gas-electric hybrid versions coming next year.

                            Where? Made at Marysville, Ohio; some could be imported from Japan to meet unexpected demand. Hybrid models made in Japan.

                            How much? $22,470 for base manual-transmission, four-cylinder sedan, including shipping, to $34,420 for V-6 with automatic, leather, navi, all available features. Typical model, about $26,000.

                            Coupe: $24,140 to $33,140.

                            What makes it go? 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated 185 horsepower at 6,400 rpm, 189 pounds-feet of torque at 4,000. Sport model uses dual-exhaust and is rated 189 hp. Available with six-speed manual or CVT automatic.

                            3.5-liter V-6 is rated 278 hp at 6,200, 252 lbs.-ft. at 4,900. Six-speed automatic only on sedans, six-speed manual or automatic on coupes.

                            How big? A little shorter than previous Accord, on a slightly shorter wheelbase.

                            Sedan is 191.4 inches long, 72.8 in. wide, 57.7 in. tall on a 109.3-in wheelbase. Passenger space is 103.2 cu. ft., trunk, 15.8 cu. ft. Weighs 3,192 lbs.

                            How thirsty? Four-cylinder CVT model that most people will buy is rated 27 mpg in town, 36 highway, 30 in city/highway mix.

                            Test car trip computer showed 20.2 mpg (4.95 gallons per 100 miles) in vigorous suburban driving; 33 mpg (3.03 gal/100 miles) in mixed-speed highway driving.

                            Four-cylinder manual rated: 24/34/28. V-6 automatic: 21/34/25.

                            Burns regular, holds 17.2 gal.

                            Overall: Competent, pleasing, unexciting -- a midsize, midmarket bull's-eye.



                            What Are The Odds Honda Will Keep Making The Accord Smaller?

                            Bravo, Honda. You've actually made the new 2013 Honda Accord smaller and, well, slightly less boring. Now keep it up.

                            I think Honda got the message about making their latest bread-and-butter sedan a little better than the flabby outgoing model. It's three-and-a-bit inches shorter, ever-so-slightly lighter and, joy of joys, you can get a six-speed manual and a sunroof on a sedan.

                            I have fond childhood memories of the Accord. My favorite Accords are the third through fifth generations, 1986-1997. This is when Honda got the recipe family sedan, coupe and occasional wagon nailed down. They were fun-to-drive cars that just happened to be practical.

                            I remember my dad's '87 Accord LX (yay, pop-up headlights!) that he tried in vain to teach me to drive stick on. I think I was 15 at the time and unlike my mom's Saab that had all of these elastic responses, the Accord's were shockingly accurate –- even on his well-used example. That was the great thing about old Accords, that this handsome-but-nondescript sedan could be had with great steering, great handling and a precise five-speed manual.

                            My grandmother's last car was a fifth-generation Accord, a beige, autobox 1994 one that looked as nondescript as what all of the women in her quilting circle drove. Before buying, she looked at a Camry and said she didn't like the upholstery. Secretly, I think she nixed the Camry because it didn't have the VTEC engine. This is the same woman who had a 1969 Firebird with the big V8. Granny had a lead foot and the Accord's four-cylinder of this era was a sweet thing that revved and revved. And it's so freaking reliable it's still in the family today.

                            I borrowed it when I took my driving test, which was a great decision. In addition to the pin-sharp precision of the controls, old Accords were really easy to see out of, with a perfect amount of glass area and low hood and short lengths. This is how every teen's first car should be.

                            Not that the Accords made since 1997 weren't fine cars, but everything got too watered down. Where was the steering feel? Why did it take eons for the accelerator to respond to pressures from my right foot? Why does it feel like I'm sitting in a bathtub? If Accord types wanted it to drive like a Camry, we would drive Camrys.

                            The Accord was almost always boring to look at, but it didn't used to be boring to drive. Camrys and Sonatas are innocuous boxes to drive. But Accords? The ones that were good enough to induce a grin if you poked the gas pedal and stirred the gearbox. That's what made them so special. That's why I liked the old ones. If I wanted to buy a big, ponderous driving appliance, I'd buy a crossover.

                            There's hope for the ninth-gen because Honda has reinstated the less-is-more philosophy. I was never enthusiastic about Accords of the 2000s, but things like the six-speed Sport model could convince me to convince people who'd let me borrow their cars to buy one. I just want an Accord to make me grin again.

                            Maybe the shrinking size is a step in the right direction. Maybe they've learned from the new Honda Civic and are trying to correct for their grievous error and reclaim some lost market share.

                            Or maybe they'll cede all their ground to the 2014 Mazda6.

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                            • http://green.autoblog.com/2012/09/15...san-francisco/

                              Zipcar will start carsharing Honda Fit EVs in San Francisco

                              The newest San Francisco treat just might be the Honda Fit EV, which car-sharing service Zipcar says will be available to its customers there starting this month.

                              Zipcar will station Fit EVs at City Hall as well as the InterContinental and Parc 55 hotels. The car-sharing company, which says the EV can be recharged from a 240-volt station in less than three hours, will rent out the car at a starting rate of $8 an hour.

                              Zipcar will also hold demonstrations and free test drives next Monday and Tuesday at San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza. The company says it will add Fit EVs to its fleets in Los Angeles and Portland, OR, this fall.

                              The Fit EV, whose first deliveries were in California in July, has been rated by the EPA to have a single-charge range of 82 miles, or nine miles more than the Nissan Leaf. Honda is leasing out a limited number of Fit EVs in the state for $389 a month. Check out the press release below.

                              CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Zipcar, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZIP), the world's leading car sharing network, and American Honda Motor Co., Inc. today announced the introduction of 2013 Honda Fit EV battery electric vehicles (BEV) into the Zipcar fleet, starting in San Francisco. The addition of the new electric vehicles comes as a result of the program announced by Honda and Zipcar in April 2012, through which Honda became a Zipcar preferred vehicle manufacturer with a focus on hybrid and electric vehicles.

                              The new Honda Fit EVs will be placed in Zipcar locations throughout San Francisco this month, including the InterContinental Hotel, Parc 55 (near the Powell St. BART) and City Hall at 34 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place. These vehicles will be available for hourly reservation by all Zipcar members, starting from just $8.00 per hour. Zipcar and Honda also have plans to introduce additional Honda Fit EV vehicles to Zipcar fleets in Los Angeles and Portland, OR, this fall.

                              To celebrate the introduction of the new vehicles into Zipcar's San Francisco fleet, Zipcar and Honda will be offering demonstrations and test drives of the new Honda Fit EV as part of the "Charge Across Town" EV Week event at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco on September 17 and 18, 2012. The event is free and open to the public, and both consumers and members of the media are invited to preview the vehicle and see how it works with Zipcar's technology.

                              "The introduction of the Honda Fit EVs into the Zipcar fleet allows our members to drive one of the most technologically-advanced vehicles on the road while reducing environmental impact," said Mark Norman, Zipcar president and COO. "These vehicles add to the selection of smart and sustainable options Zipcar currently offers, and will help increase overall awareness of an exciting new technology in a vehicle we know our members will love."

                              Honda's 2013 Fit EV, based on its popular five-passenger Fit, earns a combined adjusted Environmental Protection Agency mile-per-gallon-equivalency rating of 118 MPGe1, and an unprecedented low consumption rating of just 29 kilowatt hours per 100 miles1. The 100-percent electric Honda Fit EV features a 20-kilowatt-hour Lithium-Ion battery and a compact 92-kilowatt AC synchronous electric motor that generates 189 ft-lb of torque. When connected to a 240-volt circuit, the Honda Fit EV battery can be recharged in less than three hours from a low charge indicator illumination point2.

                              The agreement between Honda and Zipcar gives Zipcar members increased access to Honda's most technologically advanced, lowest emission vehicles, making an already transformational service even more sustainable. Zipcar's platform is ideal for the inclusion of these types of vehicles as it allows urban dwelling, tech-savvy drivers to get a firsthand introduction to the newest technology and share that experience within their networks.

                              Zipcar is a longstanding pioneer in using advanced vehicle technologies. It was the first car sharing company in the United States to introduce electric vehicles, starting in Boston in 2002, and the first to offer hybrid vehicles through a partnership with Honda in Seattle in 2003. Zipcar member surveys show a strong interest in the use of advanced technology and alternate fuel vehicles in the program.

                              About Honda
                              Honda offers a diverse lineup of 13 cars and trucks that include the mid-sized Accord, the compact Civic line-up of seven individual models, CR-V crossover SUV and Odyssey minivan. Honda also offers a wide range of fuel-efficient and low-emission vehicles that include the Insight hybrid, Civic Natural Gas (compressed natural gas-powered vehicle), Civic Hybrid, CR-Z (sport hybrid coupe), FCX Clarity (fuel cell-electric vehicle), the Fit EV (electric vehicle) and the soon-to-be-released Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan. Honda began operations in the U.S. in 1959 with the establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda's first overseas subsidiary. Honda has been manufacturing automobiles in America, using domestic and globally sourced parts, for 30 years, beginning with production of the Honda Accord in Marysville, Ohio, in 1982.

                              About Zipcar
                              Zipcar is the world's leading car-sharing service with approximately 730,000 members and 11,000 vehicles in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain and Austria. Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to residents and businesses looking for an alternative to the high costs and hassles of owning a car. More information is available at www.zipcar.com.

                              Zipcar and the Zipcar logo are trademarks of Zipcar, Inc.


                              1 132/105/118 city/highway/combined miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) rating; 82 mile combined (city/highway) driving range rating (adjusted). Ratings determined by U.S. EPA. Your MPGe and range will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery age/condition, and other factors. For additional information about EPA ratings, visit http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/label...ic-label.shtml.

                              2 From low-charge indicator illumination point to full charge1

                              SOURCE Zipcar, Inc.

                              Last edited by tokyodream; 17-09-12, 08:04.
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                              • http://www.manufacturing.net/news/20...plant-in-india

                                Honda Plans To Build Diesel Engine Plant In India

                                TOKYO, Sept. 16 (Kyodo) — Honda Motor Co. is planning to build a diesel engine manufacturing plant in India with an eye to starting its operations in 2013, corporate sources said Sunday.

                                Amid burgeoning demand for diesel engine-powered cars in India, Honda plans to invest about 30 billion yen to build the engine plant within the compound of its existing production site in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, according to the sources.

                                Honda envisions installing diesel engines of around 1500 cc in its compact City and Brio models.

                                Diesel-powered cars are particularly popular in India, where diesel fuel costs less than gasoline because of government price controls.

                                Honda, which now sells no diesel-powered cars in India, has recently been struggling with sluggish sales in the fast-growing market. Rival automakers including Suzuki Motor Corp., whose Indian unit Maruti is the largest automaker in the country, have put greater emphasis on supplying diesel engine-powered cars to the Indian market.



                                Honda Halts China Production for Two Days

                                Japanese automakers announced plant closures in China and warned expatriates to stay indoors as angry protests are expected over the next days.

                                The anti-Japan sentiments have been simmering for decades in China and this weekend all the hate feelings turned into violent attacks and demonstrations aimed at Japanese automakers such as Toyota and Honda, forcing frightened Japanese to hide.

                                “I’m not going out today and I’ve asked my Chinese boyfriend to be with me all day tomorrow,” said Sayo Morimoto, a 29-year-old Japanese graduate student at a university in Shenzhen.

                                Honda already announced it will suspend production in China for two days on September 18th and September 19th trying to avoid damages that could be caused by this territorial dispute between Tokyo and Beijing. Two factories will be shut down, the one in the southern China city of Guangzhou and in the central city of Wuhan. Honda has four facilities in the country, which are ran with Chinese partners, and which can produce 820,000 vehicles annually.

                                “We have decided to suspend production for two days” in the wake of the heightened tensions between China and Japan, Asanuma said.”Our dealers are not in a position to receive car allocations currently,” she said, referring to attacks on some of those stores by protesters over the weekend.



                                Honda spotlights how low the cost of ownership of hybrids really is with the 2013 Insight

                                The cost to own a fuel sipper has never been better and Honda's 2012 Cost of Ownership award from KBB shows how amazingly low it can be.

                                In the United States our daily news, both local and national, reports endlessly, and in amazing detail, about the price changes in the cost of gasoline. If gas goes up ten cents it is a filler story used to make up the half hour (or about 19 minutes of content) the viewer will see. If the cost goes up more than that and there is a holiday such as labor day, or another instance of the never ending crisis in the world where people think their gas comes from like Iraq, it might even be the lead story. However, the truth is many Americans pay more for cigarettes or cable television than they do for gas.

                                More to the point, in the US four or five passenger cars, from the world’s most quality-oriented companies, made well, with incredible reliability that get mid-‘40s or even mid-50s in terms of miles per gallon, are widely available. So why all the fuss? The Honda Insight is a great example of just how amazingly affordable, quality, reliable, gasoline powered cars are in the US.



                                Report: Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Toyota to cease production in China after territorial dispute provokes civil unrest

                                Being of Chinese descent myself, this bit of news isn’t surprising to me. For a little cultural enlightenment, the Chinese and Japanese have always had a general distaste for each other and this has resulted in a clash that’s been embedded in Asian history for centuries. Despite the progression in society, this animosity towards one another still exists in various forms, thankfully however, without the advent of actual war.

                                And this latest report from Reuters is an example of that. The world-renown news agency reports that five Japanese manufacturers of consumer products have been forced to cease production in the Chinese market due to a rather major territorial dispute.

                                Those five companies are Panasonic, Canon—and in relevance to the auto industry—Honda, Mazda, Toyota, and Nissan.

                                The territorial dispute apparently involved a set of islands called the Senkaku by Japan. China chooses to name the island chain Diaoyu.

                                “The gravely destructive consequences of Japan’s illegal purchase of the Diaoyu Islands are steadily emerging, and the responsibility for this should be born by Japan,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei at a news briefing.

                                In essence, in China’s eyes, the Japanese illegally purchased the islands and as a result, the largest outbreak of anti-Japan sentiment broke out in the country this past weekend. Demonstrations and even violent attacks were reported to occur against the five aforementioned Japanese manufacturers, which ultimately has led to their suspension of operations.

                                Potentially exacerbating the anti-Japan sentiment in China is the anniversary of Japan’s 1931 occupation of various parts of mainland China, which then led to the Second Sino-Japanese War—a more focused conflict that took place simultaneously with Japan’s involvement in World War II.

                                To further illustrate the growing tensions, the Japanese government has warned citizens of this upcoming anniversary, which could lead to major civil unrest in parts of mainland China where there are high concentrations of Japanese influence. As a result, many Japanese schools across China have cancelled classes this week.

                                As for the automobile brands, Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co reportedly announced that arsonists in the eastern port city of Qindao, China severely damaged their dealership stores. Though Toyota also said that as of this Monday, factories and offices were operating normally.

                                Honda announced that they’re suspending production in China beginning Tuesday for two days. Mazda also announced the same with its Nanjing factory, which works in conjunction with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. and Ford Motor Co. And lastly, as of Monday, Nissan Motor Co suspended production in China for two days.

                                “I want to leave,” a Nissan executive reportedly told Reuters, “Protests near my home were horrifying over the weekend.”

                                Reuters also reports that the US has reportedly said that they will continue to stand by its security treaty obligations to Japan, however the US will not take a side in this conflict.

                                It will be a bit nerve wracking to watch this conflict unfold as this is a political conflict that has the potential to significantly affect the world economy, particularly with trade and consumer products—a vast majority of the world’s automobile market share belongs to the Japanese auto makers and simultaneously, China currently represents the fastest growing automobile market since the United States.



                                Honda Ridgeline a smooth rider, not a heavy hauler


                                Honda’s Ridgeline pickup is best summed up by describing what it is and what it isn’t.

                                It is a roomy pickup with four full-size doors, a surprisingly smooth ride and a user-friendly interior.

                                It isn’t a work truck for buyers with heavy hauling needs or a passion for four-wheeling, and it doesn’t come in myriad configurations like most pickups.

                                Introduced for the 2006 model year, the Ridgeline has undergone a number of revisions in the years since. The 2012 models receive a few styling tweaks along with a bump in fuel economy. More on that in a minute.

                                I like the Ridgeline as a compromise for people who don’t need lots of grunt. The big advantage is that, with its unibody construction and front and rear independent suspension, it rides smoother and handles more deftly than other pickups.

                                Being a Honda, it also has a well-thought-out interior. Large buttons and knobs are easy to adjust, and there are a host of handy storage nooks and bins. Interior materials aren’t upscale with lots of plastic pieces, but the look is handsome.

                                Honda also aims for the mainstream when it comes to the Ridgeline’s configuration. It comes only with automatic four-wheel drive and only with four doors, providing a roomy ride for five adults.

                                The only engine offered is a 3.5-liter, 250-horsepower V-6, which is spry enough but limits towing capacity to 5,000 pounds. That compares with about 9,000 or so for typical full-size pickups and 6,000 (give or take) for compacts. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard.

                                Click here to see other new car reviews.

                                A 5-foot pickup bed also is the sole option, but it comes with handy tie-downs, four cargo lights, a lockable trunk under the pickup floor, and a unique tailgate that swings not only down, but also to the side.

                                For all its attributes as an alternative to rough-riding pickups, though, the Ridgeline has some negatives.

                                For one thing, it’s pricey, starting at $30,160 including destination fee. Standards cover the basics and then some: air conditioning, power windows (including the rear sliding glass), cruise control, keyless entry, audio with CD player and MP3 playback, and 60-40 folding rear seats with storage underneath. That’s about what you’d pay for a Ford F-150 SuperCrew, but at least five grand more than a compact crew cab such as the Chevrolet Colorado.

                                What bothers me more is fuel economy. The EPA rates the 2012 Ridgeline at 15 miles per gallon in the city, 21 on the highway. I’d expect better out of Honda’s citified pickup, considering the Honda Pilot sport-utility checks in at 17/24, and Ford’s full-size F-150 with four doors and 4WD tops out at 17/23.

                                The Ridgeline is unique in its chunky, Tonka-toy look as well as its market niche. It comes in four styles: RT, Sport, RTS and the leather-trimmed RTL, starting at more than 35 large. Honda’s satellite navigation system with voice recognition, Zagat restaurant information and Bluetooth is available only on the top-end model.

                                Honda Ridgeline

                                Midsize crew-cab, four-wheel-drive pickup

                                Base price: $30,160

                                MPG range: 15/21

                                National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: 4 of 5 stars for rollover resistance; www.safercar.gov

                                Web: www.honda.com

                                Competitors: Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Nissan, Ram, Toyota and Suzuki trucks

                                Bottom line: A compromise for buyers who don’t need the heavy hauling capacity of traditional pickups



                                Honda Makes Accords at Record Pace Amid Midsize Car Fight

                                Honda Motor Co. is building the new Accord sedan at a record rate so dealers can begin sales this week as U.S. competition with midsize cars from Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), Nissan Motor Co. and Ford (F) Motor Co. intensifies.

                                Production of the 2013 Accord was at 6,000 units a week and rising at Honda’s Marysville, Ohio, plant as of Sept. 14, Mike Fischer, production leader for the car, said in an interview. No new Honda model has been built at a faster pace and with fewer flaws, he said.

                                “We’re at a benchmark pace,” said Fischer, an associate chief engineer for Tokyo-based Honda, without elaborating. “Typically, some of our initial indicators for a production ramp-up are set for a three-month level. We’ve challenged ourselves to meet that in one month.”

                                The ninth-generation Accord begins selling Sept. 19 as Nissan boosts output of a revamped Altima, Toyota expands deliveries of the Camry and Ford readies a restyled Fusion. Midsize cars are the biggest sales segment in the U.S. this year, up 22 percent through August to 2.52 million and outpacing the 15 percent increase for all cars and light trucks, according to Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey-based Autodata Corp.

                                Camry, redesigned in 2011, remains the best-selling U.S. car, up 37 percent this year to 280,536. The 2012 Accord follows with sales of 218,665, ahead of Altima at 209,592 and Fusion at 181,865.

                                “Midsize sedans are where everyone is putting their resources right now,” said Michael Robinet, managing director for industry consultant IHS Automotive based in Northville, Michigan. “It’s a knockdown, drag-out battle in that segment.”
                                Production Pace

                                Output of LX, Sport and EX grades of Honda’s flagship sedan with four- and six-cylinder engines will grow throughout the year at the Ohio plant, Fischer said. Production of the 2013 sedan began Aug. 20 and a redesigned Accord coupe will also be made in Marysville starting next month. The plant has produced Accords since 1982.

                                “We’ll be continuing to ramp our production to what that actual peak market condition will be,” Fischer said, without elaborating.

                                Nissan has raised output of 2013 Altimas at plants in Tennessee and Mississippi since May and will further accelerate the pace when both factories build it on three-shift schedules later this year, said Katherine Zachary, a company spokeswoman. As much as 90 percent of Altima sales this month will be of the new car as dealers sell out of 2012 models, she said.

                                Honda’s goal is to sell 350,000 of its new Accords annually in the U.S. Nissan hasn’t set a similar target for Altima. The automaker can build about 300,000 annually and as many as 400,000 by 2013 should demand reach that level, Bill Krueger, Nissan’s vice chairman of the Americas, said in May.
                                Ford’s Fusion

                                Ford is beginning to make 2013 Fusions at a factory in Mexico and starts advertising the car in October. The model will also be built at Ford’s Flat Rock, Michigan, plant in 2013, where the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker is to add a second shift of 1,200 workers, Mark Fields, the company’s president of the Americas, said Sept. 10.

                                Honda’s North American plants rank among the industry’s best, based on J.D. Power & Associates’ annual initial quality survey. The company made the new Accord easier to build, in addition to a new look, engine and technical features.

                                Assembly process enhancements include a new sound damping material that’s sprayed on rather than applied as a sheet; a new one-piece dashboard that eliminates squeaks and rattles and is faster to install; and a new stamping press that shapes body panels more rapidly, all to accelerate production, Fischer said.

                                “We understand this car is the halo vehicle for the company,” he said. “This car is one of those benchmark products that we expect to do extremely well in the market.”

                                Honda’s American depositary receipts fell 2.3 percent to $33.90 yesterday in New York. They have gained 11 percent this year. The company’s U.S. operations are based in Torrance, California.

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