Ultimele articole din presa straina referitoare la Honda

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  • http://www.carbuzz.com/news/2012/10/...ction-7711168/

    Honda Beat on Track for Production

    New roadster from Honda could be based on Fit/Jazz.
    Back in the early 90s, Honda made a small mid-engined, rear-drive roadster called the Beat, a tiny Kei car roadster designed by Pininfarina. It was the last car overseen by company founder Soichiro Honda before he died, when Honda's current president Takanobu Ito was working on developing the original NSX. "I was kind of envious of the little cute sports car," admitted Ito in a recent speech in the United States, in which the Japanese auto exec revealed that Honda would bring revive the Beat with a new compact sports car.

    We first reported on plans for a Honda Beat revival back in June 2011, when it seemed that the roadster would be based on the CR-Z hybrid sport-hatch. Now it seems, however, that the Beat will more likely borrow its underpinnings from the Fit with a design derived from the EV-STER and OSM concepts, though its powertrain could go either conventional or hybrid. One way or another, don't expect the Beat to retain the mid-engine/rear-drive layout of its predecessor, as the new roadster is more likely to go front-drive. Whether that proves enough for Honda to take on the likes of the Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S, or even the Mazda MX-5 Miata, remains to be seen.



    Honda sells its millionth hybrid, sits in Toyota's rear-view mirror for now

    Honda sells its millionth hybrid, sits in Toyota's rear-view mirror for now
    By Jon Fingas posted Oct 16th 2012 1:16AM

    Honda sells its millionth hybrid, sits in Toyota's rearview mirror for now

    Honda's hybrid cars just haven't achieved the same cachet as Toyota's without a poster child like the Prius to drive demand. Nonetheless, the automaker has something to crow about with word that it has sold over a million hybrids worldwide as of the end of September. The milestone comes almost 13 years after the first Japan-bound Insight changed hands in November 1999, and after a significant expansion that includes more specialized cars like the CR-Z coupe you see here. Americans represent almost a third of the total at 318,000 vehicles that are split mostly between the Insight and the Civic Hybrid. Hitting seven digits gives Honda some eco-friendly credibility in a crowded field, although the firm might not want to brag too loudly: Toyota has sold four times as many to date and expects to sell one million hybrids just in 2012.

    Worldwide Sales of Honda Hybrid Vehicles Reach One Million Units

    10/14/2012 - TOKYO

    Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced that cumulative worldwide sales of its hybrid vehicles surpassed one million units as of the end of September 2012. This milestone was reached 12 years and 11 months after the start of sales of the first generation Honda Insight in Japan on November 1999, which achieved a fuel economy rating of 35km/liter1, then rated as the world's most fuel efficient vehicle among all mass-production gasoline-powered vehicles.

    Honda began hybrid vehicle sales in U.S. in 1999 with the 2000 Honda Insight – the first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle sold in America. Cumulative sales of Honda hybrid vehicles in the U.S. market have now reached over 318,000 units, predominately sales of the Insight and Civic Hybrid.

    Capitalizing on the unique features of Honda's original lightweight and compact IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) hybrid system, Honda has been enhancing its hybrid vehicle lineup and currently sells eight hybrid models in approximately 50 countries around the world, including four distinct models in the U.S.

    In May 2012, Honda began to produce hybrid models in regions outside of Japan starting with the Acura ILX Hybrid2 in the U.S., followed by production of the Jazz (Fit) Hybrid in Thailand. Honda will also begin production of the Jazz Hybrid in Malaysia at the end of October in an effort to deliver hybrid vehicles with speed, affordability and low CO2 emissions for customers in Asia where demand for fuel-efficient vehicles is expected to grow in the future.

    In addition to further advancing the current hybrid model offerings equipped with the one-motor IMA hybrid system, Honda is introducing new hybrid systems for mid-size models that will be equipped with a two-motor hybrid system. Additionally, a highly-efficient and high-output three-motor hybrid system, the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® (Super Handling All Wheel Drive), offering both superior dynamic handling and fuel efficiency, will be applied to the Acura NSX and RLX Sport Hybrid model, as well as the successor model of the Legend, scheduled to be introduced in Japan.

    Under the global environmental slogan of "Blue Skies for Our Children," Honda will continue its efforts to further market penetration of hybrid vehicles to realize a low carbon society.

    History of Honda's Hybrid Models

    Month / Model introduced to the market

    Honda's Cumulative
    Worldwide Hybrid Vehicle


    November: First generation Insight


    December: Civic Hybrid


    December: Accord Hybrid (North America only)


    April: 100,000 units


    May: 200,000 units


    February: Second generation Insight

    August: 400,000 units


    February: CR-Z
    October: Fit Hybrid

    December: 600,000 units


    June: Fit Shuttle Hybrid (Japan only)
    October: Freed Hybrid (Japan only)
    Freed Spike Hybrid (Japan only)

    December: 800,000 units


    May: Acura ILX Hybrid (USA, Canada only)

    September: 1000,000 units

    1Measured in 10・15 mode with a 5-speed MT vehicle; roughly 82 m.p.g.
    2Honda products are produced using domestic and globally sourced parts.



    Will Honda be able to surpass Hero in terms of market share?

    MUMBAI: Ashok Tiwari, a 38-year-old government employee from Mumbai, has been riding a Hero Honda Splendor for over a decade. After 1 lakh km, Tiwari wants to buy a new bike.
    But he's undecided between Hero and Honda, the erstwhile partners who had carved the Indian market between themselves but now compete with each other for market share. Tiwari is tilting towards a new Splendor, but the absence of [COLOR=#0000FF !important]the Honda badge[/COLOR] is forcing him to do a rethink.
    Unlike Tiwari, Guranath Balkrishna Dhadwe, a 32-year-old auto spare parts businessman from Mumbai's western suburbs who rides his motorcycle for more than 60 km a day, made the switch when the time came to replace his old bike.
    "Owning a Passion (from Hero) was a good experience. I wanted to get a new bike and my friends recommended Dream Yuga (from Honda). I have been using the bike for the past few months, and I am pleased with it," said Dhadwe.

    Tiwari and Dhadwe are not alone. A recent research report from Antique Broking says many others are doing a similar rethink.
    A survey by [COLOR=#0000FF !important]the firm of Hero[/COLOR] dealerships across the country found a 5-10% drop in conversion of enquiries into sales for its popular models Splendor and Passion. The worry for [COLOR=#0000FF !important]the New Delhi-headquartered Hero[/COLOR] is that it is starting to reflect on the numbers.
    After a 15% growth in FY12 with record sales of 6.2 million units, it seemed Hero MotoCorpBSE 0.60 % had managed the transition post the break-up with Honda well. But the slowdown in the market and rising competition has come as a surprise with sales declining 3% in the first six months of the current fiscal year.
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    In September 2012, Hero posted a 26% decline in sales, its steepest fall in over a decade. The month also saw Hero's flagship brand Splendor, the world's largest-selling two-wheeler brand, ceding the spot to Bajaj Auto's Discover.

    Sales of Splendor have Halved

    Sales of Splendor have almost halved from 2.4 lakh units in April 2012 to a little over 1.20 lakh units in September. During the same sixmonth period, Honda Motorcycle and Scooters India (HMSI) has seen the sales of entry-level motorcycles jump almost five-fold, from 7,290 units in April to 34,745 units in September, led by Dream Yuga.

    Hero's market share shrank to 42.7% in April-September 2012, from 45.3% in the year-ago period, and the biggest gainer has been HMSI, with a 6% rise in share. In September alone, Hero's share fell to 36.8%, almost a 4% drop over the previous month. The market share picture clearly indicates that HMSI has been bucking the trend in the slowing two-wheeler market.

    "We are currently the fastestgrowing two-wheeler company in the country," said YS Guleria, vicepresident (sales & marketing), HMSI.

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    Chipmaker Renesas to get majority buyout by Japanese government, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, others

    The Japanese government has set up a fund to help the country's troubled chipmaker Renesas. The $2.55 billion deal will see automakers such as Honda, Nissan, and Toyota also contribute, along with about seven other companies.
    A taxpayer-funded Innovation Network Corp. has plans to invest 150 billion yen (about $1.9 billion), according to Automotive News, and thus acquire two-thirds of Renesas' shares on a voting-rights basis. The remaining 50 billion yen (nearly 650 million) will come from a consortium of Japanese companies, including Canon, Denso, Honda, Nikon, Nissan, Panasonic, Toyota, and Yaskawa Electric, according to Japanese reports. Germany's Robert Borsch is also reportedly planning on investing. The consortium wants to complete the deal by year's end.
    Renesas is keeping mum about any such deals, noting that nothing has been decided. The company, which is the leading maker of automotive microcontroller chips is in financial trouble due to the high yen and competition from South Korea's Samsung Electronics.
    A U.S. private equity firm, KKR & Co, has been talking with Renesas to buy control for 100 billion yen (about $1.3 billion), but is likely to retract any offers considering the acquisition plan from the government. This company is reportedly planning on selling Renesas assets in order to make money, while the consortium aims to keep it running in order to keep supplying the companies involved.
    Renesas' current shareholders include NEC, Hitachi, and Mitsubishi Electric.

    Last edited by tokyodream; 16-10-12, 09:42.
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    • http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-575...=2547-1_3-0-20

      Zynga revs up mobile ads with Honda campaign

      The "It Starts With You" advertising promo will offer in-game rewards to Words With Friends and Scramble With Friends players.

      Zynga revs up mobile ads with Honda campaign

      Zynga unveiled its first reward-based mobile advertising campaign supported by Honda, a move by the social game provider to generate more money and help alleviate investor concerns.

      As part of the "It Starts With You" campaign to promote the 2013 Honda Accord, Words with Friends and Scramble With Friends players can earn in-game currency and tips by playing Honda-related words.

      Some of those words include "new," "tech," and "you" -- not quite the first things that come to mind when thinking about a new car but probably words that pop up fairly often. According to Honda's independent research, its target audience has a "strong affinity" for word and puzzle games.

      Zynga, which also makes games such as Farmville and CityVille, has been facing heightened worries about its future of late. It's closely tied to Facebook, with the two relying on each other to help drive revenue. Both have seen their shares tank in recent months as worries flare about their abilities to make money and their strategies in the mobile market.

      More than a dozen high-level executives have left Zynga in the past couple months, raising more worries about the company's future. It also has faced financial problems, announcing a big write-off earlier this month and telling Wall Street its growth was slowing. As a result, Zynga shares have lost about 75 percent of their value in the year-to-date.

      Zynga today noted that while the partnership with Honda is its first mobile-gaming advertising campaign, it already has offered reward-based advertising in its Web games. The company said it has "gained significant traction" with major brands such as McDonald's, Nordstrom, and Fox.

      The Honda campaign kicked off Oct. 6 with a "Word of the Day" promotion in Words with Friends. Zynga said during the first four days of the promotion, more than 220,000 Honda-sponsored words were played for gameplay tips.

      The Scramble With Friends promotion, meanwhile, began Oct. 13 and lasts through Oct. 31. It features a branded game board, with tokens awarded to players who locate the words "Accord," "luxury," and "new."



      Honda East Africa new dealership at Mombasa Road set to open in first quarter of 2013

      Japanese auto manufactures Honda have once again entered the South African market after a seven year gap. A new dealership is launching a new dealership at Mombasa Road, a venue that already has a number of other company dealerships in existence. The new Honda dealership will be operated in partnership with TransAfrica Motors, a Dubai based company which also has four commercial vehicle dealerships in Kenya. The new dealership is set to offer customers in the region a wide range of Honda vehicles which will include the upcoming Brio, Honda CR-V and Honda Accord.

      The new facility will not only offer sales of Honda vehicles but will also undertake service facilities and supplies of spare parts to all Honda owners in Kenya. Recruitment is underway which will be followed on successful completion by official opening of the new dealership is scheduled for early 2013.

      Honda Motor Southern Africa based in Johannesburg will offer product support and supply of spare parts and will also look after staff training and operating systems for the new venture. The company has also added a new R&D component to its operation which will offer a proper understanding of technical details and customer preferences to Honda products in that particular region. In India, the Honda Brio AT (automatic) will be launched on 18th October, 2012.



      Honda Hybrid Sales Top 1 Million Globally

      In September, some 12 years and 11 months after the original Honda Insight hybrid first came on the market, total sales of Honda hybrid vehicles passed the 1 million mark. And that includes more than 318,000 hybrid sales here in the United States, where the company now offers a fleet of four different hybrid models—with more just around the corner.
      The clean-running quartet includes:
      • Honda Civic Hybrid—With EPA ratings of 44 mpg in all phases of EPA fuel-economy testing, the Honda Civic Hybrid is all-new for the 2012 model year and was recently named one of America’s best fuel-efficient sedans by Autobytel.com.
      • Honda Insight—Today’s Insight is one of the most affordable hybrids in the country, offering EPA marks of 41 mpg city/44 mpg highway/42 mpg combined for a starting price of $18,500.
      • Honda CR-Z—The athletically inclined CR-Z gains an infusion of power for the 2013 model year, adding 7 hp to its gas engine and 5 kW to lithium-ion battery pack—and now offers 135 hp and 140 lb.-ft. of torque—whilestill achieving an EPA line of 35/39/37.
      • Acura ILX Hybrid—Delivering fuel-efficiency ratings of 39 mpg city/38 mpg highway/38 mpg combined, the ILX Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient iteration of the brand’s all-new premium compact sedan.

      Then, following in short order will be the world’s first Honda Accord Hybrid plug-in hybrid, based on the completely redesigned 2013 Accord sedan that’s at dealerships now and offering 10 to 15 miles of all-electric travel at more than 100 MPGe; Honda also will offer a conventional hybrid that, like its plug-in sibling, relies on the automaker’s new two-motor hybrid technology and a 2.0-liter Earth Dreams I4 engine.
      Drivers can expect these most fuel-efficient models of the all-new Accords to start helping the company work toward its second million hybrid sales early next year. In addition, an even more advanced three-motor system, enabling sport-hybrid versions of the next-gen Acura NSX and all-new Acura RLX flagship, will debut in the mid-term future.
      The bottom line according to the automaker: “Under the global environmental slogan of ‘Blue Skies for Our Children,’ Honda will continue its efforts to further market penetration of hybrid vehicles to realize a low carbon society.”

      Last edited by tokyodream; 17-10-12, 12:44.
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      • http://www.fenderbender.com/FenderBe...ition-program/

        American Honda launches shop recognition program

        American Honda Motor Co. Inc. on Wednesday launched its ProFirst body shop recognition program, which the company said is open to both dealer-owned and independent collision repair shops.

        Honda said the program is meant to promote complete and safe repairs of Honda and Acura vehicles, and to provide support to shops that have demonstrated a commitment to high levels of customer satisfaction.

        There are a few requirements that shops must fulfill in order to qualify for the ProFirst program. First, Honda said shops must conduct a certain minimum number of transactions using OEConnection’s CollisionLink software.

        “CollisionLink is a component of the ProFirst program because of the numerous benefits it provides to both shops and dealers,” said Bill Lopez, director of OEM program development for OEConnection. “Through CollisionLink, shops can take advantage of Honda’s Collision Select parts program, which enables them to use more genuine Honda and Acura parts while managing their overall repair costs. CollisionLink also helps to increase efficiencies and parts ordering accuracy, which means fewer returns, faster cycle times and, ultimately, more satisfied customers.”

        In addition, Honda said participating shops must be designated as I-CAR Gold Class Professionals businesses and have at least one technician who has completed I-CAR’s Collision Repair for Honda and Acura Vehicles course (HON01).

        “The ProFirst body shop recognition program, in conjunction with the I-CAR Gold Class Professionals designation, will align participating shops with a training program that is meant to elevate the customer experience and enable shop employees to work up to their full potential,” said John Van Alstyne, president and CEO of I-CAR. “Training and knowledge provide a platform for business and personal excellence, generating benefits for both the organization and the customer, including increased operational efficiencies, reduced cycle times, minimized repair mistakes, and most importantly, complete and safe repairs.”

        Honda said all shops that participate with the ProFirst program will receive a plaque, free access to Honda and Acura parts catalogs and bulletins, access to service and repair information, and placement on the company’s store-locator tool on its consumer website—collision.honda.com.

        “We are pleased to be working with OEConnection and I-CAR for the ProFirst program. As the industry changes and automotive technology changes, we must make changes in our programs to keep pace,” said Jim Roach, senior vice president for American Honda’s Parts and Service Division. “ProFirst, and our association with both OEConnection and I-CAR, is a step in the right direction. ProFirst is a win-win for all involved, especially for Honda and Acura owners.”

        For more information, or to apply for the program, visit profirst.honda.com or profirst.acura.com.



        Hero set to launch own bike sans Honda tech in 2013

        NEW DELHI: Nearly a-year-and-a-half after splitting with long-time partner Honda Motor of Japan, homegrown Hero group of Munjals is close to scripting a solo ride as it will launch its first bike, sans Honda technology, next year. The two-wheeler will be built by Hero's newly-established in-house R&D set-up that will work in tandem with the company's three overseas technology partners.

        "We are working aggressively on this front and the first Hero-developed product should be out in 2013-14," Anil Dua, Sr V-P (marketing & sales) at Hero MotoCorp Ltd, told TOI here.

        Hero, that has the option of using Honda's badging and technology till June 2014, has been working over-time to shed its association with its erstwhile Japanese partner. The company has dropped the Honda tag from its products earlier than scheduled and is focusing on quick independent product rollout. The new products will include motorcycles and scooters and are expected to be across the price spectrum of the two-wheeler industry.

        Hero's R&D set-up is still in a fledgling stage as the company develops a full-blown facility in Rajasthan with an investment of Rs 400 crore. The new facility, spread over a 250-acre area, will employ over 500 engineers and will be operational in the second half of next year. Apart from its own set-up, Hero has also sticthed up ties with US-based Erik Buell Racing (EBR), Austrian engine developer AVL and Italian two-wheeler design firm Engines Engineering. "Our R&D will be doing the lion's share as far as the development of the bike is concerned," Dua said.

        Hero and Honda had been promoter partners in the vastly-successful JV, Hero Honda Motors Ltd (HHML), that lasted for 26 years before heading for splitsville in 2011. Analysts had doubted Hero's ability to roll out new products on its own after the exit of Honda as the Japanese company was the sole technology supplier to the JV.

        Dua, however, said the new independent products from the Hero stable will be as efficient as the company's existing products. "We will meet our own proven standards in terms of manufacturing quality, durability, re-sale value, fuel efficiency and running cost." Hero's solo strategy comes in as Honda has been expanding aggressively in the market. The company -- through its fully-owned subsidiary Honda Motorcycle and Scooters India (HMSI) - has already launched a 110cc bike 'Dream Yuga' that is in direct competition with Hero's best-sellers Splendor and Passion models as well others from Bajaj Auto. Hero's sales in the first-half of this fiscal are under pressure just as HMSI has witnessed a big surge in volumes.

        Hero's volumes in the April-September 2012-13 period are down 3% at 28.94 lakh units just as HMSI saw numbers go up by 49% 12.90 lakh units.

        Last edited by tokyodream; 18-10-12, 10:10.
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        • http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/18/492...-engineer.html

          Honda R&D Americas Chief Engineer and Fraunhofer Head of Polymers to Keynote Lightweighting AutoPlastics 2012 Conference in Response to the CAFE Standards

          TROY, Michigan, October 18, 2012 -- /PRNewswire/ --

          Keynote speeches delivered by Mr. Lawrence Geise, Chief Engineer and Division Director of Body and Interior Design, Honda R&D Americas and Prof. Frank Henning, Head of Polymer Engineering, Fraunhofer ICT (Germany) will outline the sustainable mobility trends and pressures for lightweight vehicle design (CAFE standards in the U.S.) and the technologies that will enable large scale manufacturing of automotive composites. The meeting also features an exclusive presentation by NHTSA, the U.S. government agency that administers the CAFE standards. The conference takes place over two days on November 14 - 15, 2012 in Troy, Michigan USA. To learn more about this event, visit http://www.lightweightautoplastics.com

          Automakers worldwide are ramping up their lightweighting programs to meet the fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles sold in the U.S., as mandated by the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulation. The goal is 54.5 MPG on average for the entire vehicle fleet by 2025, which will help consumers save significant energy costs. This present automakers with a host of challenges in utilizing lightweighting materials and technologies. Plastic manufacturers are now working with major auto OEMs in strategic partnerships, such as Ford-Dow, GM-Teijin, Honda-Nissan-Toray and BMW-SGL to tackle the challenges when incorporating plastic based materials, such as engineering plastics and carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP), into existing car structures to achieve optimal engine performance.

          The Lightweighting Autoplastics conference program features multifaceted perspectives from the entire automotive plastic industry, presented by auto OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, plastic manufacturers, processors, injection molders and upstream suppliers. The conference program addresses key challenges with incorporating advanced composites in car structures to drive lightweighting innovation for fuel-efficient vehicles. This event is developed and organized by PlasticsToday's Automotive Channel.

          The conference sessions deliver an unparalleled lineup of speakers. This is a must-attend event for automakers, Tier 1 suppliers and plastic manufacturers, as it is the only auto plastics conference to feature the Department of Transportation's NHTSA, the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). For most up-to-date information about this conference, visit http://www.lightweightautoplastics.com

          Speaker line-up includes:

          Stephen Ridella, Director of Vehicle Crashworthiness Research, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-U.S. Department of Transportation

          Raymond Boeman, Program Director of Energy Partnerships, Oak Ridge National Laboratory-U.S. Department of Energy

          Adrian Lund, President, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

          Lawrence Geise, Division Director of Design, Honda R&D Americas

          Patrick Blanchard, Composites Group Leader, Ford Research & Innovation Center

          Avetik Harutyunyan, Chief Scientist, Honda Research Institute

          Frank Henning, Deputy Director Fraunhofer ICT and Director of Polymer Engineering, Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology

          Must-see sessions include:

          Reviewing sustainable mobility trends and pressures for lightweight vehicle design and forecasting the impact on automakers and their plastic suppliers

          Large scale manufacturing of automotive composites - Technologies and trends

          Understanding the Department of Transportation's perspectives on automobile lightweighting to devise timely and effective strategies for plastics and advanced composites

          Adopting a material-focused approach to mass reduction through intelligent design to bring low-cost, high-volume carbon fiber composites to next-generation vehicles

          For further information, contact: Vu Nguyen vu.nguyen@ubm.com +1-310-996-9495

          SOURCE UBM Conferences



          Honda, Ohio State open $1.3M driving simulator

          The OSU Office of Research and Honda R&D Americas, Inc. opened the new $1.3 million OSU Driving Simulation Laboratory Thursday morning. The lab was designed to help researchers learn more about the distractions drivers face while driving and ways to prevent distraction on the road.

          The Kinnear Road lab includes driver simulators that give a real driving experience in a real Honda car.

          Jan Weisenberger, OSU senior associate vice president for OSU’s Office of Research, said studying drivers’ behaviors in a simulated driving environment holds many advantages for researchers.

          “It will allow scientists to monitor people’s heart rate, eye movement and stress levels while they are in a realistic driving environment,” Weisenberger said. “University researchers can study attention, cognition, stress and workload, and also special populations like teenagers.”

          OSU President E. Gordon Gee said he’s very excited and proud about the partnership with Honda to build the lab and believes it will create opportunities for the campus in the future.

          “This particular program is going to make yet another symbolic signal that research in the future, business in the future, collaboration in the future and the ability to make a difference is going to occur right here on this campus with these kinds of partnerships,” Gee said.

          Steven Feit, chief engineer at Honda R&D Americas, said Honda is also looking forward to working with OSU and doing research studies in the lab.
          “Honda is very excited about this new partnership with Ohio State, and we can’t wait to get started in some of our research,” Feit said.

          Part of the lab’s opening ceremony was to demonstrate the driver simulators and give people a better understanding of the lab and its inner workings. Weisenberger said she thought the demonstration went well and that it was a success overall.

          “The demonstration went great,” she said. “People had the opportunity to sit in the simulators and experience how it feels to drive in different situations. President Gee also sat in one.”

          The lab will benefit the university and Honda R&D Americas equally, said Frank Paluch, senior vice president of Honda R&D Americas, as the lab will help Honda develop safer and more intuitive cars.

          “This new simulator will be a new arm of safety research capabilities,” Paluch said. “To gain a deeper understanding of our customers, and to advance our ability to create even more safe, smart, intuitive Honda and Acura, and that’s why we have invested our time and money into this simulator.”
          Although the lab isn’t open to the public and OSU students yet, Weisenberger said she thinks there will be tours available to OSU students after fully testing the lab.

          “It’s not immediately open, but we eventually want students to come in and learn more about the technology and research methods our simulation lab provides,” she said.

          VIDEO => http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KU--4...layer_embedded

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          • http://www.thegreencarwebsite.co.uk/...communication/

            Honda to demonstrate vehicle to X communication

            Intelligent transportation systems are thought to be the future of motoring – and now Honda is taking a leading role in their advancement from cool concept to mainstream reality.

            The Japanese carmaker is participating in the 19th World ITS Congress by demonstrating how its vehicles can communicate with each other and road side infrastructure using V2X communication. It is believed this could boost safety, such as with the use of a new electronic rear-view system for motorcycles; the environment, with an in-vehicle traffic congestion prediction system; and comfort, with real-time traffic updates and infotainment.

            In addition, Honda is set to offer a driving tour to experience the benefits of these applications in traffic.

            It will use a Honda Insight (pictured) to travel in a multi-brand convoy that allows cars to communicate their location and driving dynamics to each other and to road side intelligent transportation system stations. It will include warning alerts with information such as: traffic jam ahead, bad weather warning, hazardous location, road works ahead and broken-down vehicle ahead.

            Furthermore, it will also include a warning when vehicles ahead put on their emergency brakes; and a “motorcycle approaching” indicator, which will warn the driver and the motorcyclist when there is an obscured vehicle approaching their direction of travel.



            Honda UK Takes Gold at 2012 Digital Impact Awards

            Honda (UK) is celebrating a successful haul at the 2012 Digital Impact Awards – held at the well-known and prestigious, The Brewery, in central London.

            Against strong competition from rival consumer brands, Honda scooped the Gold award in the Best Online Newsroom category. Launched in the early part of 2012, the Honda UK Newsroom was designed as a central resource for all media requirements. Media professionals visiting the site can browse through press information for all things Honda from marine, ATVs and generators through to ASIMO, HondaJet, cars and motorcycles. Since its launch, the Honda UK Newsroom has proven a valuable resource tool for those looking to uncover more information about Honda and its products.

            In addition to the Gold award, Honda (UK) was commended for its involvement in a video production commissioned by the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA), which sought to promote ‘Ride to Work Day’, an initiative designed to get more people using motorcycles to commute to and from work. The project was awarded Silver in the Best Corporate Viral Campaign category and was collected by Ossian Productions – the production company responsible for delivering the piece – but all involved parties, including Honda (UK), Promark PR & Marketing, Nevis Marketing and Yamaha Motor UK, joined together to celebrate the success of the project.

            Paul Ormond, General Manager of Corporate Affairs, Honda (UK): “We are delighted to have been awarded these accolades in the digital sphere. We believe in providing a high-quality service to the media and one of our key goals for 2012 was to create an extensive media resource that allows information and material on our products and services, to be accessed quickly and efficiently. We are very pleased that our digital Newsroom platform has been commended and recognised for doing just that.”

            Demetrios N. Skalkotos, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Solutions: “We wish to extend our congratulations to the Honda UK PR team in winning Gold for their new online newsroom, a truly great achievement. NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions is delighted to have partnered with Honda UK on the design and delivery of their winning newsroom, and wish them every success in using this to further grow their fantastic brand”.



            Honda throwing money at Civics before new model arrives

            o a fierce rival claims to be shocked at how much money Honda Canada is throwing at its Civic compact.

            “I can’t believe it; I’ve never seen this before,” says the rival car company executive.

            Why? The story starts with Honda’s plan for a fairly major upgrade of the Civic, changes that should be in showrooms late this year or early next. The Civic re-do is intended to address critics and consumers who were not at all happy with the last Civic makeover.

            Between now and the arrival of the updated Civic, Honda wants to ensure that its best-seller remains Canada’s No. 1 selling car for a 15th straight year. The company is doing what’s required to juice sales in the face of ferocious competition from a hugely long list: Hyundai (Elantra), Mazda (Mazda3), Toyota (Corolla), Ford (Fiesta), Chevrolet (Cruze), Volkswagen (Jetta), Kia (Forte) and more.

            More? A reinvented Nissan Sentra is on its way to dealers right now, further complicating things for Honda. Kia is readying a remake of the Forte, too. We’re just about set to see updates to the Elantra, as well.

            So what’s out there? Well, a $14,999 Honda Civic sedan is being offered with a dizzying an array of goodies to sweeten the pot. You will surely want all of the $1,000 factory-to-consumer incentive, the one that can be combined with 0.99 per cent financing for three years.

            On top of that, current Honda owners are eligible for a rate reduction that will take your cost to borrow down to $0. Honda has a variety of regional handouts in play, too. For instance, there is a $1,500 factory-to-dealer bonus in the Pacific Region. Honda Canada also deals for current and future leaseholders. Bottom line: if you want a Civic, Honda is willing to deal in ways we have not seen in years, decades, even.

            On the subject of best sellers, Ford’s F-150 pickup has been on top of the market for four decades-plus and Ford plans to keep it that way, even as Chrysler’s Ram division launches an all-new pickup at this very moment – one Chrysler officials argue has better fuel economy than the F-150. Get used to these fuel economy claims and counter claims in the pickup world.

            Deals of the Week wondered just how Ford might go on an F-Series, so we priced out a discounted base model. Buyers who manage to string together all the money in play could see a $3,000 or more reduction on a sub-$20,000 F-Series. Not bad.

            Meanwhile, Jaguar has been busy juicing sales of the gorgeous XJ sedan with some fat, fat deals. The last, best offer we saw from Jag was a $15,000 incentive on an $88,000 XJ. Cash purchases only. This for the outgoing 2012 model. Check with your dealer for details and availability – and don’t overlook negotiating for some sort of dealer discount, too.

            Finally, the Kia Forte LX, the four-door hatchback model. This is a story of out with the old, get ready to welcome the new. A revamped Forte is not far away, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the current one.

            That said, Kia has a whole dizzying array of offers on this Forte. You can go with a straight $3,000 off if you pay cash on a $16,695 Forte hatch. Or you can take the $3,000 and combine it with 3.69 per cent financing for up to five years. Or you can take a $1,500 discount and combine that with 0.0 per cent financing for five years. And Kia also has its 90-day payment deferral offer on the table, too. Bottom line here: Kia wants to deal.

            As per usual, Deals of the Week obtained pricing information from www.carcostcanada.com, among other sources. Consult your dealer for all the details.

            2012 Honda Civic EX Coupe

            2012 Honda Civic DX manual

            MSRP: $14,999
            Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,495
            Dealer discount (estimated): $450
            Taxable subtotal: $16,944
            Total price with 13 per cent HST: $19,146.72
            Factory rebate: $1000. (Consumer Incentive factory-to-customer rebate)
            Final price: 18,146.72
            0.99 per cent financing for three years might be reduced to 0.0 per cent for eligible buyers



            Grown in Ohio: Honda's Accord
            Honda’s Accord became the first Japanese car built in the U.S., rolling out of Marysville in November 1982

            There was a time when people doubted that a Japanese car company could make high-quality vehicles in the United States.

            In the face of this skepticism, Honda decided to try and the company built a factory on an Ohio farm field. The first product that rolled off the line was the 1982 Accord.

            This year, the Marysville auto plant is observing its 30th anniversary, and Honda has released the ninth-generation Accord, a model that has become one of the most popular and recognizable in the country. All of this seems extraordinary to the people who were there at the beginning.

            “When I came over here, they were pouring concrete,” said Doug Rausch, 55, of Mechanicsburg, interviewed at the plant where he has risen to become a senior staff engineer.

            His employee number is 184, one of the lowest of any current employee. He started at the Honda motorcycle plant in Marysville, which preceded the auto plant by three years.

            “We went from mig-welding these motorcycle frames to using spot-weld guns and robots,” Rausch said. “When we started, it was way over my head, but we learned how to do it.”

            Initially, the Accord was the factory’s only product. In the first full year of production, 55,337 units were assembled. The plant now has the capacity to make up to nine times as many vehicles; its products include the Accord and the Acura TL.

            Through September, the Accord (247,847 units sold), trailed only the Toyota Camry (314,787) as the top-selling sedan in the country for 2012. Together, the two models accounted for about one out of four cars sold in the mid-size sedan segment, according to Edmunds.com.

            The decision to build cars in Ohio was a daring one for Honda, said James Rubenstein, a Miami University professor who writes about the auto industry. The company had to dispel the perception among some in the industry that vehicle made in the United States were of lower quality than those made in Europe or Japan. Regardless of whether the view was fair or accurate, it existed, he said.

            “It was an extremely brave and some people thought foolhardy move on (Honda’s) part,” he said.

            At the same time, then Ohio Gov. Jim Rhodes was taking a risk by courting a Japanese company. Not only would Honda’s cars compete with the products of U.S.-based automakers that also operated in Ohio, but anti-Japanese sentiment remained from World War II.

            “Back then, the idea of selling out to the Japanese was sketchy to a lot of Americans,” Rubenstein said.

            Rhodes personally lobbied Honda’s executives, including its semi-retired founder, Soichiro Honda. This led to the motorcycle plant, followed in 1980 by the groundbreaking for the auto plant. The company now has 13,500 employees in the state, which is more than Ford, General Motors or Chrysler.

            Honda used its expanded presence to more than double its U.S. sales between 1983 and 1990.

            “In case you haven’t noticed, Honda is now the No. 4 American automaker and its products from Ohio and Japan include some of the better cars to roll down the pike,” the New York Times said in a 1985 article that also called the Accord the “everyman’s Mercedes.”

            Nissan followed Honda’s lead and opened an auto plant in Smyrna, Tenn. in 1983. Toyota opened a plant in Fremont, Calif. in 1984. Today there are 17 assembly plants in the United States operated by foreign-owned automakers.

            The first Accord was built in Japan in 1976. With the 1982 model, Honda introduced a new design that it produced both in Ohio and Japan. The first Ohio-made Accord came off the line on Nov. 1, 1982.

            At that time, the Accord was a compact sedan, smaller than today’s version of the compact Honda Civic. It had crank windows, manual locks and three ash trays – one in front and two in back.

            On a recent test drive of an ’85 Accord, which essentially is the same design as the ’82, one of the most striking features is the steering wheel, which is a perfect circle and as thin as a hula hoop.

            In the decades since, the Accord has been redesigned and has gradually gotten larger and more luxurious. The current iteration weighs in at 3,300 pounds, which is about 1,100 pounds more than the 1982 model. With the 1989 redesign, the Accord got so large that it moved from the compact to the mid-size segment.

            Each generation has been longer and heavier, except for the newest which is an inch shorter in length and weighs about 100 pounds less than the one before. Honda made the latter move to improve fuel economy, and perhaps also to respond to critics who said the prior version was too bulky.

            The engine has gone from 75 horsepower in 1982 to 185 horsepower today. While the power has more than doubled, the engine’s size, 2,354 cubic centimeters, has only grown by about 35 percent, thanks to advancements in engineering.

            Looking at all of the changes, the common thread is Honda’s attempt to meet the changing expectations of U.S. customers, said Ed Hellwig, an editor at Edmunds.com who reviewed the 2013 Accord. Customers liked the car’s fuel economy and safety features, but they also wanted it to be larger than some of the early designs.

            “It has resulted in a very American Accord,” he said.

            Judging from sales, the changes were almost always warmly received. Honda’s greatest challenges in the U.S. market have all occurred in the last four years, with the economic downturn beginning in 2008 and parts-supply problems last year following natural disasters in Asia.

            The company’s growth is a wonder to those hired on in Honda’s early years here.

            In 1983, Rob Lee left his job at a machine shop in Urbana because Honda was offering 15 cents more per hour.

            “Little did I know that this would be the best career move of my life,” he said.

            Now 55 and living in Urbana, he manages the plant’s welding department.

            Rob May, 47, of Dublin tripled his pay when he started at Honda in 1985. He is now an associate chief engineer in the product planning department.

            “I went from making pizzas for $3 per hour to making cars for $9 per hour,” he said.

            The three employees – Rausch, Lee and May – were all involved with the new 2013 Accord, which went on sale last month.

            After they were interviewed, they went out to the plant’s main entrance to look at a display of each generation of Accord that had been built there. For them, the 30-year history of the Marysville plant is the story of their professional lives.

            “We’ve been around as long as the dirt has,” May said, joking. And then, just to remind everyone that Rausch has been there longest, he added, “Especially Doug.”

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            • http://www.inautonews.com/honda-prep...d#.UIZkJGdZDCM

              Honda Prepared to Increase Production to Meet Demand

              Honda is ready to increase production capacity in the US, Canada or Mexico, depending on the vehicle segment which will increase the most in the next five years.

              According to Tetsuo Iwamura, CEO of American Honda, by 2016 the automaker’s sales in North America will overpass 2 million units, from 1.7 million this year. Honda also plans to increase global sales by 50% in the following four years to 6 million units, with India, Brazil and China accounting for most part of the growth.

              The company hopes its North American sales to rise 18% and the overall market’s increasing tide is expected to lift the automaker’s sales to reach its goal. IHS Automotive and LMC Automotive expect alight-vehicle sales in the region to go up 15% this year. The automaker predicts sales will go up in all segments, but especially in small cars, thanks to the new plant it is building in Mexico, which will produce 200,000 small cars annually. The facility is expected to be opened in 2014.

              “If the market allows us, of course, we won’t hesitate to expand capacity,” Iwamura said.

              The plant in Mexico will manufacture only small cars, so if demand for the mid-sized models or other large models will increase, the company is prepared to increase production capacity at its Canadian or US plants.



              Honda NSX for Detroit

              Honda exec confirms that the production version of the NSX supercar will be unveiled at Detroit

              The full production version of the Honda NSX supercar will make its world debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January, Auto Express has learned.

              A top exec for Honda Brazil told us at the Sao Paulo Motor Show, that the ‘real’ NSX will be shown in Detroit after the show car has finished its duties here in Sao Paulo and then at the Tokyo show in November. Our source also revealed that the styling will remain ‘identical’ to the model you can see here on the show stand.

              Initially badged as an Acura – Honda’s luxury American brand – the NSX will wear a Honda badge on its nose when it goes on sale in the UK later in 2013.

              Details of the powertrain are yet to be confirmed, but it will use a version of the SH-AWD system. Expect a 3.5-litre petrol V6 driving the rear wheels, plus two electric motors, producing a total of 400bhp.



              Honda to launch CNG-powered City today
              This is the first time the co is launching an affodable alternate fuel option against petrol

              Honda Car India (HCIL), the subsidiary company of Honda Motor Company, Japan, which is feeling the heat of the demand slide due to its absence in the diesel segment, is readying the launch of a CNG-powered City sedan today.

              This is the first time that the Japanese company is launching an affordable alternate fuel option against petrol in the domestic market in one of its products. Honda's entire India line-up is made up of petrol-driven products.

              It had, however, launched a hybrid Civic several months ago but owing to its high cost the company gradually phased it out from the market due to muted response.

              Sources say that the new version will be a dual-fuel type City (petrol and CNG), allowing the driver to chose between the two. The car would most probably be the same model currently on sale in Thailand.

              HCIL is having a soft launch of the CNG City today in Delhi and will disclose prices shortly. The car will come with a factory fitted CNG tank. The cheapest version of the City is priced at Rs 8.20 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai).

              Honda sells the City CNG in Thailand only with a 5-speed automatic transmission in two versions. The petrol tank has a capacity of 42 litres while the CNG tank has a capacity of 65 litres.

              The City sedan is the second largest selling model for Honda in India after the Brio compact hatchback. But its sales have been sliding due to fierce competition from companies like Hyundai, Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Nissan, Renault and Toyota, which also provide a diesel option.

              Honda City sales fell to 14,293 units during the period April-September this year, a fall of 28% as against 19,803 units sold in the same period last year. Most companies are providing a CNG option today as the fuel is cheaper than even diesel.



              McLaren to swap Merc for Honda?

              McLaren are reportedly considering parting company with Mercedes and replacing them with Honda.

              German car giants Merc has supplied the Woking-based squad engines since the 1995 season and the two parties signed a new agreement in 2009 confirming that the "partnership may continue beyond 2015".

              However, it now appears McLaren are looking to replace Mercedes as they are not happy to stump up the £8million that the manufacturer is asking for their engines from next season.

              A source told The Sun that "there is no way McLaren will stay as a customer for Mercedes engines".

              Auto Motor und Sport claims that Japanese car manufacturer Honda - who was McLaren's supplier when they dominated the sport in the late 80s early 90s - is the likely replacement.

              The German publication reports that McLaren could team up with Honda when Formula 1 shifts to V6 turbo engines from the 2014 campaign.

              Meanwhile, racecar-engineering.com reveals that the Japanese company is interested in a return to F1 as a supplier the season after next.

              "The rumours are not unfounded but we have not decided anything, we are constantly evaluating the situation," a company source is quoted as saying.



              Honda could boost NA production

              Honda says it will expand production at its North America plants as it ramps up to its goal of selling "more than 2 million" vehicles in the region by 2016.
              Speaking to Automotive News, Tetsuo Iwamura, CEO of American Honda, revealed that the Japanese automaker is prepared to crank up North American production in response to growing consumer demand. Honda operates factories in Canada, the United States and Mexico.
              Honda has set the goal of boosting its global sales by 50 percent to 6 million units by 2016. In North America, Honda is eying an 18 percent increase to more than 2 million vehicles, which would outpace the overall market's predicted 15 percent expansion during the same period.
              In order to help with that goal, Honda is currently building a new plant in Mexico. Scheduled to open its doors in 2014, the new plant will exclusively build small cars like the Fit compact. The plant will have the capacity to build 200,000 cars per year.
              "If the market allows us, of course, we won't hesitate to expand capacity," Iwamura said.
              Honda has already announced plans to increase production by 40,000 units at its Lincoln, Alabama plant, which makes the Odyssey, Pilot and Ridgeline. Honda has also indicated it could shift some hybrid production to the U.S. by mid-decade.


              Last edited by tokyodream; 23-10-12, 11:51.
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              • http://www.autoblog.com/2012/10/23/h...2013-emergenc/

                Honda warns dealers to clear out 2012 Civic stock, 2013 emergency refresh on sale Nov. 29

                Thanks to an anonymous tipster, Autoblog has learned that the so-called "emergency refresh" of the Honda Civic is just around the corner. In fact, the automaker is already urging its dealers to clear out remaining 2012 model year stock because "The changes made to the 2013 model will make the outgoing 2012 Civic a difficult model [to] sell when they are side to side." Those are the words of David Hendley, Assistant Vice President of Honda National Sales excerpted from a recent letter to dealers. The communiqué goes on to note that the refreshed Civic will go on sale on November 29 – a date, we note, that coincides with press days for the Los Angeles Auto Show.

                According to Hendley's letter, buyers can look forward to "dramatic improvements to the exterior styling that moves Civic into a more premium sporty direction." The text also promises that the 2013's interior will receive "upgrades and improvements to bring more sophistication and quality to its appearance." For his part, American Honda President Tetsuo Iwamura has previously been quoted as saying that changes will be made to "improve the Civic's drivability," suggesting suspension and powertrain alterations are afoot as well.

                The ninth-generation Civic has only been on sale for a year, and such a substantial refresh this early in the generation's lifecycle is unprecedented these days.

                The ninth-generation Civic has only been on sale for a year, and such a substantial refresh this early in the generation's lifecycle is unprecedented these days – not just for Honda, but for the industry as well. The Japanese automaker has been stung by widespread criticism for the 2012 Civic range's lackluster dynamics, lessened interior quality, noise levels, low feature count and uninspiring design – perceived shortcomings exacerbated by the industry's hyper-competitive compact car segment. Among the critics, the Civic was given poor marks in a review by this site as well as influential institute Consumer Reports, which went so far as to remove the Civic from its coveted Recommended list. In fact, CR editors labeled the 2012 Civic a "car to avoid" in August.

                A lack of critical praise doesn't seem to be harming Civic sales, however. According to the automaker's own sales data, the 2012 model is performing quite handsomely, having sold 234,029 units through September of this year, with 21,546 of those units coming last month alone. That means Honda is shifting almost 40-percent more units this year than the (admittedly aging) eighth-generation model did in 2011. The Civic is now selling near the top of its class, and Hendley notes that the company's Indiana plant will be running at full-tilt to build the updated 2013 model – in fact, he indicates that the US will even draw units from Canadian production.

                When contacted for comment about the Hendley dealer letter, Sage Marie, Honda's Senior Manager of Public Relations, confirmed to Autoblog that the automaker will have Civic news to reveal next month, noting that Honda is keen "to ensure Civic remains the benchmark in the segment and remains as competitive as it can be."

                To read Hendley's complete letter to Honda's US dealer body, scroll down.


                Dear Honda Dealer,

                Thank you for your effort of selling down the 2012 Accord. As you remember from the dealer meeting earlier this summer in Philadelphia, our priority at the time was to get the Accord down to a reasonable days supply by our September launch date for the new model. Our sell down of the 2012 Accord is right in line of where we want to be, and the 2013 Accord is doing extremely well since it's release back in September. Your focus and selling effort on Accord is greatly appreciated.

                Obviously, Accord sales makeup a huge part of getting to the company goal of 1,300,000 by the end of the year; however, Civic's role is just as important. You may be aware that the refreshed 2013 Civic will be available for sale on November 29, 2012. When it arrives on your lots you will see dramatic improvements to the exterior styling that moves Civic into a more premium sporty direction. The interior has even more upgrades and improvements to bring more sophistication and quality to its appearance. As I said in Philadelphia, we are taking a good Civic that is currently the leading selling vehicle in the small car segment regardless of fleet sales, and made is a great car. This is a car the breathes the famous Honda driveability, quality, reliability (DQR) that has made Honda what it is today. A brand that consumers want us to produce for you to sell. This vehicle is not produced simply to catch up to our competition it is being produced to expand its dominance and reign once again as the bench mark of the small car segment.

                Civic makes up almost 25% of our 990,00 Honda sales for the year - it is a critical component in our goal to reach 1.3 million sales for the year. For your dealership to take full advantage of the refreshed Civic and the marketing we will have supporting it you must greatly increase the turn rate on our 2012 Civics. With the unprecedented enhancements we have made to the current Civic after its first year in its cycle you will want to have little to no Civics on hand at arrival time of this refreshed 2013 model. The changes made to the 2013 model will make the outgoing 2012 Civic a difficult model sell when they are side to side. I strongly encourage you to discuss your Civic inventory situation with your district manager today, and set up a sell down strategy that will reduce your total remaining model year 2012 Civics by a minimum of 60% before December 1, 2012. I cannot stress enough, sell down of your 2012 Civics is critical to the 2013 Civic launch and the success of inventory balance at your dealership.

                Take action now! The 2013 Civic will come to your at full speed. Our plant in Indiana which produces Civic will run at full capacity with Civic production, and we will even get production from Canada too. Commit to reduce your model year 2012 Civics by 60% or more before December 1, 2012. And be prepared on November 29, to receive the greatest Civic ever produced!

                David Hendley
                Assistant Vice President Honda National Sales



                A round-up of today's other stories in brief

                Honda hoping to manoeuvre back into the SUV market with its new, competitively priced CR-V

                Honda is looking to regain some of its once-held dominance of the Irish SUV sector with the launch of the new CR-V. The original 1998 model once held a huge 25 per cent share of sales of such cars, a share that has long since been eroded by the arrival of so many rivals in what is one of the few booming sectors of the market.

                While the new CR-V is clearly a careful evolution of the outgoing model in terms of style and substance, it also represents something of a departure for Honda. When the new 1.6 iDTEC diesel model arrives late next year, it will be Honda’s first front-wheel-drive SUV since the old HR-V ended production.

                It’s a sign of the times that even Honda must now compete with the Korean brands when it comes to value. So prices for the new CR-V start at €37,785, which is just under €3,000 less expensive than the previous entry-level model, and only €800 more expensive than the new Hyundai Santa Fe, a car Honda clearly sees as its most significant competitor.

                And when the 1.6-litre front-wheel drive model arrives in the autumn of 2013 (allegedly boasting 99g/km CO2 emission, a first for the SUV sector) its price will dip even lower, to challenge high-end versions of smaller, C-segment SUVs such as the Volkswagen Tiguan and Nissan Qashqai.

                On a brief test-drive this week, the CR-V proved that it’s still one of the most spacious and comfortable cars in its segment, with an excellent drivetrain and some surprisingly serious off-road ability too. We do, however, have some reservations about cabin quality and styling, and some annoying road-noise issues.

                VW's new Taigun concept looks ready to roll at Sao Paolo

                Volkswagen has shown a concept version of a new compact crossover at São Paulo International Motor Show, called the Taigun. It’s officially still a concept, but the car at the show looked pretty much production-ready and should form the basis for the new Up-based rival to the Nissan Juke.

                Unlike the Juke, and the Mini Countryman, though, there’s no chance of a four-wheel-drive version of the Taigun, as the platform would require too much investment to adapt for the extra hardware. Versions with Skoda, Seat and Audi badges, however, are a racing certainty.

                Mondeo goes to Mexico

                Ford may shift production of its new Mondeo saloon to a factory in Mexico, as it seeks to stem unsustainable losses in Europe. Ford called an emergency meeting with the unions at its plant in Genk, Belgium, which currently builds the existing Mondeo, the S-Max and the Galaxy, and which had been earmarked for the new Mondeo.

                Suspicions had been raised earlier this year when Ford put back the European launch of the new Mondeo by six months to allow for, it claimed, extra quality work. This has heightened speculation that production will be shifted to Mexico, while the Genk plant will be wound down once the Galaxy and S-Max reach the end of their production lives.

                Ford currently employs 4,300 people in Genk.

                Made in Brazil

                With car sales declining in Europe and growth in China slowing, automotive attention is turning towards South America, particularly Brazil.

                BMW plans to invest €200 million to build a new car plant there, and Cadillac has said it is considering plans to bring the brand to Brazil.

                BMW is hoping its new factory in Santa Catarina, due to produce as many as 30,000 vehicles a year, will counter the growth of Volkswagen, and in particular its archrival Audi, in South America. Audi plans to produce 150,000 cars a year at a new plant in the town of San José Chiapa.

                BMW announced its intention to build a plant in Brazil in March 2011, but the decision was held up by tax changes on imported vehicles. Demand for high-end vehicles is expected to grow, helped by investment, as South America’s largest economy prepares to host the World Cup in 2014 and the summer Olympic Games in 2016.



                Honda Fit She’s, the world’s only car aimed exclusively at women

                Around the world, building and designing cars remains a male-dominated business, and many companies live by an old axiom that women will buy a man's car but men won't buy a woman's car. While a few companies have attempted to bend that rule, only Honda has chosen to embrace it with the Honda Fit She's -- the only model built by an automaker today aimed exclusively at women. Hope you like pink, ladies.

                There's a long and embarrassing history of automakers attempting to lure women with ladies-only models. At the turn of the 20th century, electric cars were marketed to wives with the pitch that their lack of hand-crank starting would avoid broken shoulders and/or death. In 1955, Chrysler made a bid for feminine attention with the Dodge LaFemme -- which came in a two-tone pink-and-white paint scheme, along with a storage place for the matching purse and rain hat. Lest you think modern executives learned from errors of the past, in 2000 Ford showed off a concept Windstar minivan developed with Maytag featuring a compact washer/dryer, microwave and vacuum in the rear hatch, because why would a soccer mom ever want to be parted from her appliances?

                As women have grown to buy more cars in recent decades -- accounting for about one-third of car shoppers in the United States -- such attempts have given way to more savvy marketing. But in Japan, the gender divide remains more stark; half of all working-age women stay out of the workforce due to more stringent societal pressure to choose homemaking over careers, a major reason Japan's economy has been stuck in a rut for decades. But there's a cohort of younger Japanese women putting work first, and in a weak market Honda sees an opening.

                Launched this summer, the Honda Fit She's designers say they wanted to take a regular Fit subcompact and make it in their words "adult cute." That means lots of pink: Pink stitching in the seats and steering wheel and floor mats, matched by pink metallic bezels around the shifter and displays. There's also a few extra shades of pink in the special She's badge, spelled with a heart for an apostrophe. If pink isn't a customer's style, Japanese buyers can also select a Fit She's in shades of brown and white that a Honda executive told the Yomuri Shinbun newspaper match the color of eyeshadow.

                To Honda's credit, the Fit She's beauty treatment isn't just skin deep. It also comes with special windshield glass that cuts 99 percent of ultraviolet rays and a "Plasmacluster" air conditioning system that Honda claims can improve a driver's skin quality, all aimed at stopping those wrinkles that turn adult cute into just adult. With a starting price of $17,500, the Fit She's got an attractive price for a home-market Japanese car -- but automakers wouldn't need special editions if taking advice from women wasn't such a noteworthy event.



                New Honda Accord Infographic Shows Car’s Growth in Sales, Power, and Size

                To keep the redesigned 2013 Honda Accord on the minds of consumers everywhere, a new infographic has been released that compiles interesting facts about every Accord since the American-made second-generation model debuted 30 years ago. Though this isn’t the first time we’ve seen an infographic on the 2013 Accord, the one featured here has details like sales and available transmissions.

                Honda Accord infographic 30 Years US Built by Tier10Lab 2 4 Gens 300x199 imageThe most eye-popping sales jump was from the 1982-1985 second-generation model — the first to be built in the U.S. — to the third-generation car. A total of 340,215 Accords were built for the second generation while that number jumped to 938,554 for the third-gen car, which added a coupe body style.

                The fourth-generation Honda Accord (1990-1993) may have broken the 100-hp barrier, with 125 hp, but was still slightly slower from 0-60 mph than its predecessor, and mileage dropped slightly, too. The fourth- and fifth-generation Honda Accords offered a wagon variant, but it was the 1994 Accord that became our Import Car of the Year.

                The 1994-1997 Honda Accord may have made available a trunk-mounted six-disc CD player, but the 1998-2002 model — with overall sales of 1,829,468 units — moved it to the dash and added keyless entry. The Honda Accord sold from the 2003 to 2007 model years included Honda’s first attempt at a midsize hybrid. The 2003 and 2006 Honda Accord earned IntelliChoice’s Best Overall Value of the Year award. The outgoing Honda Accord may have been the longest one ever, but it was also the most efficient as well. That’s changed now that the 2013 Honda Accord can be had with EPA-rated 27/36 mpg city/highway.

                It only took the Honda Accord plant in Marysville, Ohio about four years to double in size since it opened late in 1982, and with the updates made to the new Accord, we doubt the plant is going anywhere soon. Check out the full graphic below along with the original Honda-created infographic.



                Honda gets $6M from Ohio to resurface high-speed test track

                The state of Ohio is contributing $6 million toward a $16 million resurfacing of the high-speed test track – to allow even faster speeds – at Honda’s Transportation Research Center Inc. in East Liberty.
                The Third Frontier Commission on Tuesday approved a $3 million Targeted Industry Attraction grant, following a $3 million grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation. Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. is paying $10 million and plans for at least 65 percent of the construction expenses to go to Ohio-based contractors.
                The track is used to test not only Honda vehicles but by suppliers, automakers and the federal government to test safety, durability and fuel efficiency, said Kristi Clouse of JobsOhio. With the upgrade, Honda will be able to test the Acura NSX sports car that is to be made in Ohio. Competing test tracks of its caliber are rare, and located in Michigan, Arizona and Texas, she said.
                Mark Kvamme, outgoing JobsOhio chief and Central Ohio representative on the commission, said the project is needed to smooth bumps that limit top speeds.
                “I’ve driven on the track with (Gov. John Kasich) at 140 mph,” he said. “He was white-knuckling it.”

                Last edited by tokyodream; 24-10-12, 11:49.
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                • http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/honda/c...type-r-details

                  The Civic Type R will get a brand-new 250bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged engine when it arrives in 2015

                  The new Honda Civic Type R will feature a brand-new 1.6-litre turbocharged, direct-injection engine with more than 250bhp when it arrives in 2015, an inside source has revealed.

                  Honda also has an eight-speed duel clutch automatic transmission under development, which could be offered in the new hot hatch.

                  At the Paris Motor Show last month, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito confirmed that the Civic Type R would go on sale in 2015, but refused to elaborate on the details.

                  He did however confirm that his aim was to make the new Type R the fastest front-wheel-drive model ever around the Nurburgring – a record currently held by the Renaultsport Megane 265 Trophy in eight minutes and eight seconds.

                  To achieve that the car will need to weigh less than 1,200kg and have a power figure of more than 250bhp, we’ve been told. The engine should have no problem achieving that level of power output - following Gordon Shedden’s victory in the 2012 BTCC Championship driving a Civic, a tuned version will undergo testing next year in Honda’s BTCC car.

                  Just like the new 247bhp Ford Focus ST, there's no plans to build a three-door Type R, although our source refused to rule out a Type R version of the Civic estate – a new bodystyle that will debut in concept form sometime next year.
                  "Success is 99 percent failure"


                  • http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...rticle4639616/

                    Honda Civic likely best-selling car for the 15th year

                    If BMW’s 3-Series hadn’t enjoyed such a spectacular September, Hyundai’s Elantra would have been the story of the latest Top 10 list of best selling vehicles in Canada. September sales of the 3-Series were up a stunning 51 per cent in September, and in doing so the 3 also outshone Toyota’s Camry, the Mazda3 and the Chevrolet Cruze – all of which enjoyed sales gains of at least 35 per cent or more, year-on-year.

                    The mid-size Camry, and Elantra, Mazda3 and Cruze compact cars are mainstream models competing in the heart of the Canadian market and we all expect to see them among the top 10. Nearly one of every five cars purchased in Canada is a compact.

                    The 3-Series, on the other hand, is a luxury car and as DesRosiers Automotive Consultants reports in a note to clients, “luxury segments have traditionally been so small that it is difficult for any individual model to be a ‘best seller’ in competition with mass market vehicles” such as the Elantra, Camry, Mazda3 and Cruze. Not entirely unprecedented, however. DesRosiers notes the 3 appeared among the top 10 in December of 2010. More of the same could be coming.

                    “Luxury markets will be among the fastest growing segments this decade, so it is unsurprising to see the 3-Series ranking among Canada’s top ten sellers,” says DesRosiers in a note to clients.

                    This begs the question, what is a luxury car in 2012? If by definition “luxury” products are not mainstream, says DesRosiers, how can a car like the 3-Series be both a luxury car AND a mainstream car at the same time? Top 10 sellers are by definition mainstream cars.

                    “Can a brand sell in high volumes yet retain perceived exclusivity? Does that matter anymore?” asks DesRosiers.

                    Interesting question.

                    Still, all this luxury banter should not undermine what’s been happening with traditional mainstream cars. Sales among the best sellers are on fire. Consider:

                    · Elantra sales in September were up 40.5 per cent and are up 7.5 per cent on the year.

                    · Camry sales were up 68.9 per cent on the year and 37.8 per cent in September.

                    · Mazda3 sales were up 37.7 per cent in September and up 12.5 per cent on the year.

                    · Cruze sales were up 35.7 per cent in September, though down 7.2 per cent on the year.

                    · And while Toyota’s Corolla sales were up a more modest 11.8 per cent in September, Corolla sales are up 16.1 per cent on the year.

                    “September was a banner month for a number of models in the Canadian new vehicle sector, with eight of the market’s top 10 passenger cars growing by double digit percentages,” notes DesRosiers.

                    While the Elantra is hot, Honda’s Civic is rolling along quite nicely and is almost certain to retain its stranglehold on the No. 1 spot for all of 2012 – the 15 th straight time the Civic has been Canada’s best-selling car. Civic sales are up 27.6 per cent through all of 2012 and Honda’s compact sales were up 22.3 per cent in September.

                    Meanwhile, the Ford F-Series remains the best-selling vehicle in Canada overall, though sales were down in September by 3.3 per cent.

                    “There is an interesting story here as well, one that many OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) face on a regular basis,” notes DesRosiers. “With F-Series down, one could jump to the conclusion that Ford had a tough month, but a quick look at the previous year’s results places the most recent numbers in perspective. September 2011 was a blowout month for Ford, so even though the most recent numbers are soft, they’re only soft in comparison to an anomalously good month.”

                    Indeed, F-Series sales are up 12.7 on the year. Light truck sales overall are up 4.4 per cent on the year, while car sales have jumped 9.5 per cent. So the marketplace shift to light trucks has stopped – for now. Canadians are back buying cars at a greater rate than light trucks.

                    But with a new Ram pickup heading to showrooms this month, and with a new Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra coming in a few months, pickup sales might very well heat up dramatically in the coming months.

                    Here’s a look at Canada’s top 10 cars and light trucks through the end of September 2012:

                    Passenger Cars




                    % gain/loss


                    Honda Civic





                    Hyundai Elantra










                    Toyota Corolla





                    Chevrolet Cruze





                    Ford Focus





                    Volkswagen Jetta





                    Hyundai Accent





                    Toyota Camry





                    Ford Fusion




                    Light Trucks




                    % gain/loss

                    Ford F-Series 84,074 74,620 12.7%


                    Ram pickup
                    52,033 47,402 9.8%


                    Dodge Caravan
                    42,336 44,004



                    GMC Sierra
                    33,412 34,046 -1.9%


                    Ford Escape
                    33,132 35,322 -6.2%

                    Chevrolet Silverado 28,147 29,436 -4.4%

                    Honda CR-V 26,177 18,081 44.8%

                    Dodge Journey 23,021 23,286 -1.1%

                    Toyota RAV4 19,926 15,390 29.5%

                    Hyundai Santa Fe 16,845 20,016 15.8%

                    Source: DesRosiers Automotive Consultants



                    Honda Cars India plans diesel variants, including entry level sedan to take on Maruti

                    MUMBAI: Japanese car makers Indian subsidiary Honda Cars India (HCIL), which has been losing market share due to the absence of diesel-powered cars, has lined up at least 3-4 diesel variants, including an entry-level sedan and a compact utility vehicle, over the next two to three years to claw back lost ground.

                    ET learned, the first off the block will be the entry-level sedan built on the Brio platform, code named 2TP,to take on Maruti Suzuki Dzire and eventually Jazz, City, the new MPV/SUV, and Brio, too, may be powered by 1.2 litre or 1.5 litre diesel engine, depending on the model.

                    Honda Cars India president and MD Hironori Kanayama declined to comment on the exact specification of the engine or which car they will power, but said: "We have very ambitious plans for diesel in the coming years. The new engine will drive all new models lined up for the future, including the new small sedan next fiscal. We hope to have at least 3-4 diesel models in the next two years, we are thinking of a sequence and which model we will fit the engine for the launch."

                    Kanayama said that the company has already invested in a diesel engine line at its Rajasthan plant, but declined to give the exact capacity or investment. He said, "We will produce as per the demand."

                    ET had reported in April, Honda intends to invest close to.3,000 crore for new products, engine facility and manufacturing line at its Rajasthan plant.

                    Kanayama said HCIL is exploring new segments of growth to enter into, including compact utility vehicles for future. "India is a small car market with over 50% of volume coming from compact cars. So we will explore all options,(sub-4 meter) sedans and utility vehicles. We will be looking at optimisation of the existing platform to reduce development time and cost," added Kanayama.

                    Honda Cars sold 54,427 cars in 2011-12,8.46% lower than FY11.Due to incremental volumes of Brio, in April to September of this fiscal, Honda Cars India has sold 34,440 units, a growth of 47% over last year.

                    The company was hoping to double annual sales to almost one lakh units this fiscal, led by Brio, but non-availability of diesel option and with the slowdown in overall market, it is likely to miss the target. The company has been averaging 2,500 units a month of its small car Brio this fiscal so far and it is hoping to touch 3,000 units this festive season.

                    HCIL has also kick-started exports of Brio to South Africa on Thursday in its endeavour to make India the exports hub for future.

                    The plan is to exports 1,600 units of Brio to South Africa this fiscal, but the company is hoping to increase it further by adding new models like City. At present the focus is on South Africa and the neighbouring African markets, the company is also exploring Brio exports to Asia Oceania region. "

                    "We do see India as a key export hub in the future. India fits well to offer 'best cost and best quality products and there was a demand for products in markets of South Africa and adjoining markets for a product like Brio. The exports numbers will help us in bringing economies of scale, which eventually the customer will benefit," added Kanayama.



                    WOT Opinion: What the 2013 Honda Civic Needs to Regain a Compact Segment Lead

                    Despite the backlash faced by the redesigned 2012 Honda Civic, the compact continues to finish at or near the top of the segment in sales month after month. Through September, 234,029 examples have been sold, making it the best-selling compact so far this year. That could all change though, because in recent months, the Civic has been pushed out of the number one position in monthly sales by the Chevrolet Cruze, while the Toyota Corolla closes the gap between the year-to-date sales.
                    The Civic has also been subject to surprisingly average and negative reviews, with Consumer Reports stripping the refreshed model of its “recommended” tag. Meanwhile, in our 2012 Honda Civic First Test, we said, “Still, there’s something missing with Gen 9. Maybe it’s the exterior’s perceived lack of newness, the interior’s familiarity, or the engine’s identical peak output. Or all three.”
                    Introduced for the 2012 model year in coupe and sedan body styles, the Honda Civic is offered in gas, more efficient HF, natural gas, sporty Si, and hybrid forms. It’s been widely rumored that the 2013 Honda Civic may be refreshed to address complaints — what does the car need to regain its compact sedan lead? Here’s what we think:
                    Karla Sanchez
                    Honda needs to give the Civic a much bolder design. The new Civic’s appearance plays it safe, and that’s why it’s starting to get lost among the shuffle. It needs to be packed with standard features that are now becoming the norm, including Bluetooth, dual climate control, and steering-wheel-mounted controls, and most importantly, it must have a quieter interior. Bottom line, Honda needs to give consumers something to be excited about like it did with the 2006 Civic, the Motor Trend 2006 Car of the Year.
                    Jason Udy
                    Although the 2012 Honda Civic’s exterior could have received a more significant upgrade, the interior is the biggest letdown, and that’s where owners spend most of their time. Plastics need to be softer to the touch and have better graining. Padding for the door and center armrests would be welcome, and the seats could be more comfortable. Bluetooth plus USB/auxiliary inputs should be standard. While the powertrain remains as dependable as ever, power needs to be increased, while a six-speed automatic on higher-trim models could help the car achieve at least 40 mpg highway without the need for a Civic HF.
                    Christian Seabaugh
                    To continue thriving, the Honda Civic needs to step up its exterior design. Compact sedans used to be ho-hum, no-nonsense affairs – with plain three-box shapes the norm – but those days are long-gone. The Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, and Hyundai Elantra have demonstrated that today’s compact sedan buyers are accepting of more fashion-forward approaches to the segment. All three cars are attractive, and not just for a compact sedan. That’s where the 2012 Civic went wrong; it looked like a warmed-over version of the previous model. If Honda can give the refreshed Civic fresh and desirable sheetmetal, it’ll give the Civic a fighting chance at continued success.
                    Alex Nishimoto
                    C-segment buyers expect more content these days, which is why the next Civic must be kitted out with the latest infotainment, convenience, and tech features. Like Karla and Jason said, common features like Bluetooth should be made standard (if not on the base, at least on the LX model). As far as styling goes, I don’t think the Civic needs anything drastic to maintain its position. Though it may not be much of a departure from the previous generation, the current car’s design is still fresh compared to the Cruze and Corolla. To shoot past its aging competitors, the next-gen car only needs minor tweaks to the front and rear ends, a Civic badge, and call it a day.
                    Erick Ayapana
                    At its core, I think the Civic is still a well-built and well-engineered car, better than the 2013 Hyundai Elantra and 2013 Kia Forte. That said, why not offer the Civic with the same warranty that comes with the two Koreans? Give it the same 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and 5-year/60,000-mile new-car warranty and make it a huge marketing “wow factor.” That, along with the upcoming styling refresh (assuming it’s done right) should provide a quick and much needed jolt to the Civic’s bottom line.
                    What do you think the Honda Civic needs to regain its compact segment lead?



                    Honda tries to sell a car specifically to women

                    Oct 24, 2012 (Houston Chronicle - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Honda plans to release a Fit model in Japan that the company hopes will attract female drivers to dealerships.

                    According to the designer, the Honda Fit She's theme is "adult cute" and will come in pink, brown and white colors that mirror popular eyeshadow colors. But the "adult cute" theme won't be confined to the car's color.

                    The car will also have a special windshield that will cut 99 percent of ultraviolet rays to help prevent those pesky wrinkles, and Plasmacluster technology in its air conditioner system will help improve the driver's skin quality.

                    Car companies have historically stayed away from building models specifically for women because of the relatively a smaller piece of the market. Women are increasing buying more cars in the U.S., accounting for roughly about one-third of the market.

                    Female-themed car models have also been historically a disaster too.

                    The Dodge La Femme was also laced in pink and a few other details, but it failed to attract a consumer base. After two years, Dodge ditched the pink model, and Edmunds rated it as one of the 50 worst cars ever made.

                    At the Toronto Auto Show in 2000, Ford released a concept Winstar minivan that included a washer and dryer, refrigerator and microwave.

                    Honda doesn't have any plans to bring the Honda Fit She's to the U.S. market, but you never know.

                    Here is a video of the new model: ___ (c)2012 the Houston Chronicle Visit the Houston Chronicle at www.chron.com Distributed by MCT Information Services


                    Last edited by tokyodream; 26-10-12, 09:20.
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                    • http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...-japanese-cars

                      Honda Shows Japan Automakers to Wait for Crisis-Free Year

                      Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) President Akio Toyoda said seven months ago that his biggest wish at the time was for a year free of disasters. He’s not going to get it.

                      Analysts have scaled back full-year earnings estimates for Toyota, Nissan Motor Co. (7201) and Honda Motor Co. (7267) in the past month amid concerns about anti-Japan sentiment in China, based on data compiled by Bloomberg. They were right about Honda, which today cut its annual profit forecast by 95 billion yen ($1.2 billion), or 20 percent, as a wave of protests spread across the world’s biggest automobile market in September.

                      For the Japanese automakers, Chinese consumers’ aversion toward their products follows last year’s tsunami and Thai floods that destroyed factories and disrupted supply lines. The latest adversity -- fueled by a territorial dispute over a group of islands claimed by both countries -- is turning into an opportunity for Volkswagen AG (VOW) and Hyundai Motor Co. (005380) to pick up market share in China.

                      “What Honda’s announced is a good indication of the storms ahead for the Japanese earnings season,” Ashvin Chotai, London- based managing director at Intelligence Automotive Asia, said by phone today. “Bad as it is, these sort of anti-Japanese feelings don’t go away very quickly.”

                      Honda, Japan’s third-largest automaker, cut its full-year China sales estimate 17 percent and lowered projections for operating profit and revenue. The announcement comes less than a month after the Tokyo-based company reported September sales in the country tumbled 40 percent to 16-month low.
                      Islands Dispute

                      The decades-long territorial dispute, involving a group of islands called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, was reignited in April, when Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, a longtime critic of China, proposed buying the territories. That led Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s administration to purchase the islets last month, escalating tensions between the two nations and sparking violent protests across China.

                      While traffic at dealerships in China is gradually recovering, sales may not return to normal until the Lunar New Year in February, Honda Executive Vice President Tetsuo Iwamura told reporters today. The company is planning to adjust production through at least mid-November, he said.

                      “China is a major risk, and this is causing confidence to wane,” said Mitsushige Akino, who oversees more than $600 million at Ichiyoshi Investment Management Co. in Tokyo.
                      Shares Tumble

                      Honda, which accidentally released earnings today before the market close, fell 4.7 percent to 2,399 yen, becoming the biggest drag on Japan’s Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average. Toyota and Nissan shares also fell, reversing earlier gains, after Honda reported its earnings and forecasts.

                      Full-year average earnings estimates by analysts have fallen in the past four weeks for Honda, Nissan and Toyota, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

                      Toyota has said it may fail to meet its target to sell 1 million units in China in 2012 after last month’s deliveries in the market tumbled 49 percent -- the most in a decade. Nissan, the biggest Japanese carmaker in China, may cut its operating profit estimate by as much as 100 billion yen, the Nikkei newspaper reported last week. Toyota reports earnings Nov. 5, followed a day later by Yokohama-based Nissan.
                      Downplaying Toll

                      Honda’s profit in the second quarter ended Sept. 30 was 25 percent below the average analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg, even after the revisions in the past month. The average analyst estimate for Nissan’s second-quarter net income has fallen in the past four weeks to 91.2 billion yen. For Toyota, the consensus has risen to 233.5 billion yen.

                      “Financial analysts are certainly underestimating the scale of the anti-Japan feelings in China,” Chotai said.

                      By contrast, Germany’s Volkswagen this month reported that China sales in the July-to-September period climbed 21 percent. Seoul-based Hyundai Motor last week reported second-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates and said the Korean carmaker benefited from anti-Japanese sentiment in China.

                      Aside from last year’s natural disasters, Japanese automakers in recent years have battled with a stronger yen and the global financial crisis following the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Toyota also had to cope with the recall of more than 10 million vehicles in 2009 and 2010 for defects associated with unintended acceleration.

                      And until Chinese consumers return to Japanese dealerships, executives such as Toyota’s president will have to put their wishes for a crisis-free year on hold.

                      “I feel that we have hit rock bottom and that we are turning the corner,” Toyoda told reporters in Tokyo on March 22, a year after the earthquake-triggered tsunami ravaged Japan. “What we want more than anything is for nothing to go wrong this year.”



                      Honda's Ohio plant changed competitive landscape in America

                      Thirty years ago, the first Accord rolled off the line at Honda's Marysville, Ohio, plant, the first car a Japanese automaker assembled in the U.S., changing the competitive landscape of American automaking forever.

                      From an underdog carmaker known in Japan as a cadre of engine geeks, Honda established a trust with young American consumers not unlike the way today's Millennial generation flocks to Apple stores. "They were seen as dirty-fingernailed motorcycle mechanics and got no respect in Japan," said Dave Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research. "So they decided to grow elsewhere to become a strong international company."

                      Since those early industrial seedlings nurtured in what used to be Ohio cornfields, Honda's North American manufacturing network now spans seven auto plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico with more under construction, in addition to its motorcycle and power equipment operations.

                      Honda has invested $12.3 billion in the U.S. -- $8 billion in Ohio -- employs more than 26,000 Americans and has never laid off a worker. Workers were retained and paid for months when Ohio plants cut production following the tsunami in Japan.

                      The original silver-gray 1983 Accord that rolled off the line Nov. 1, 1982, with a blue and white Ohio license plate "USA 001" is on display at the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn.

                      Though its world headquarters remains in Japan, Honda makes and sells more cars in North America than in any other continent. The seven plants can produce 1.63 million vehicles a year now and will boost annual capacity to 1.92 million vehicles when a new$800-million plant in Celaya, Mexico, starts production in 2014.

                      "It has had the most profound effect on the industry," said Michael Robinet, managing director of IHS Automotive Consulting in Northville. It wasn't just the introduction of Japanese culture, but philosophies and practices that helped establish new benchmarks for engineering, manufacturing and quality.

                      The competition made everyone's cars better.

                      "Honda showed a Japanese company could go into the American heartland and establish a non-union facility with unique and foreign work practices and suppliers and be successful and continue to expand over a quarter century," Robinet said.

                      Amid tremendous skepticism, "they showed American workers could build vehicles as well as other countries," he said. Workers were recruited primarily from rural communities, where many applicants tended to their farms before or after clocking out from the factory.

                      Honda will invest another $2 billion by 2014 in the U.S., Canada and Mexico and the roughly 900 engineers at Honda R&D Americas in Ohio are charged with developing global vehicles such as the next-generation Civic for 2016 and a new NSX sports car.

                      But the company's resolution to do everything itself when others outsource and form partnerships has raised questions about whether the strategy will continue to be a winning one.

                      Recently industry observers have attacked Honda's styling, which has never been particularly daring, as too bland. The new Civic is getting a hasty redesign.

                      Honda's three-decade journey began with former Ohio Gov. James Rhodes and Honda founder Soichiro Honda. Rhodes convinced Honda-san to start making motorcycles in Marysville in 1979. That led to a $3.9-billion investment and the car assembly plant that launched three years later.

                      Honda was fifth in automobile production in Japan and many auto executives in Japan thought Honda would stumble in America. But it established a beachhead that grew to include suppliers and engine, transmission and car plants in Ohio, Indiana, Alabama and Canada.

                      Jeff LaRoche, a 29-year veteran at Marysville, remembers pre-shift calisthenics and a lot more Japanese colleagues.

                      "We came in thinking we had a lot to prove. 'Could a bunch of farmers do it and prove we were as good as the Big Three, who had second and third generations of workers?' " LaRoche said.

                      They exercised to the theme of the "Magnum P.I." TV series.

                      "It looked pretty cool, like an army ready to build cars," LaRoche said.

                      The automaking aerobics are long gone and there are few Japanese colleagues today, but the melding of cultures remains.

                      "We view this as our company," said Rob Lee, a welding manager at Marysville with 29 years' experience. "We feel like we're separate. We're Americans, but there is a sense of pride being Honda."

                      John Spoltman, manager of the Anna Engine Plant, said the population of Marysville has more than doubled to 22,000 since 1982.

                      "We didn't want to overwhelm the area," Spoltman said. "We took pains to change truck routes out of courtesy to neighbors, who would have had headlights in their windows at all hours."

                      Nearby Highway 33 has gone from a two-lane road to what locals call the "Hondabahn."

                      "We don't look at whether we are a Japanese or American company," said Marysville plant manager Jeff Tomko. "The combination of Japanese culture, U.S. aggressive style, rural manufacturing and a hard work ethic has made it a success."

                      Honda was able to launch new models seamlessly back when Big Three plants had to be idled for months to retool.

                      "The Japanese couldn't build a plant for every model like GM. They had to build it all under one roof," Cole said.

                      The quick changeovers took stress off dealers who could sell down the outgoing models without deep discounts, and they received new models in quantities that allowed the sticker price to be close to the selling price.

                      "It was a game changer," said Tomko. "Folks wondered how we could do it and how we could do multiple models on one line. But in Japan, the mind-set is small is smart."

                      Employees grew with the plant.

                      Lee was 22 when he left a machine shop job in 1983 for Honda and an extra 15 cents an hour.

                      "The rumor was it was a good place to work. I was scared to death. I had never been exposed to an assembly line before and was worried about keeping up with the line speed." He lost almost 15 pounds and was sore the first few weeks, but he's still there 29 years later.

                      Monte Dyke is an engineer in the paint shop with 29 years of service.

                      "I was a snot-nosed kid from a local farm. It was a bit scary," Dyke said, especially the manual spot welding. "I got used to the manufacturing flow and routine and gained confidence. I was proud of what we did."

                      After 30 years, Marysville started building the ninth-generation 2013 Accord on Aug. 20, with new engines and transmissions from nearby factories.

                      The East Liberty plant makes the Honda CR-V and Acura RDX.

                      Marysville represents a$4-billion investment to date. About 4,800 workers make 1,760 Accords and Acura TLs a day.

                      Anna is Honda's largest engine plant with 2,600 workers and 80 assembly lines snaking across 2 million square feet, which insiders nicknamed "Disneyland for engineers." Within this mini industrial city, Honda workers melt scrap material in foundries and do stamping, casting, machining and engine assembly. Anna will make the engine for the new NSX due about 2015. It will be almost a hand-built engine on a separate, showcase line, Spoltman said. Working on it will be a reward for the workers who get the assignment. More details, including the location of the plant to make the NSX in Ohio, are expected to be revealed later in November.

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                      • http://www.thesundaily.my/news/528092

                        Honda hybrid sales passes 11,000 mark

                        PETALING JAYA (Oct 30, 2012): Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd has sold 11,472 hybrid cars in the country as at Sept 30 2012, maintaining its lead in the local hybrid market with a 66% share.

                        Of this total, the Insight model accounted for more than half or 55%, followed by the CR-Z, Jazz and Civic.

                        "Being the pioneer of hybrid technology in Malaysia with the launch of the Civic hybrid in 2007, we are pleased to see that hybrid vehicles have received positive response," said Honda Malaysia managing director and CEO Yoichiro Ueno in a statement yesterday.

                        "With the launch of the Insight at the end of 2010, Honda has successfully captured 54.4% of the hybrid market share in 2011 which has increased to 66% as at August 2012."

                        Ueno also said the Malaysian government's move to fully exempt hybrid models from import and excise duty until December 2013 has helped to drive demand for hybrid cars.

                        He said the good acceptance of hybrid vehicles became the catalyst for Honda Malaysia to be the first car manufacturer to assemble hybrid vehicles locally.

                        This is also in line with parent Honda Motor Co Ltd's direction of providing good products with speed, affordability and low carbon emissions.

                        "Honda has introduced a total of four new hybrid models, namely the Insight, the Jazz, the CR-Z and the Civic in the Honda hybrid family to Malaysians who appreciate the value of advanced green technology.

                        "Honda Malaysia has led the hybrid market and will continue to lead it by introducing more hybrid models for Malaysians," he added.

                        Worldwide, the total number of hybrid cars the Japanese automaker sold has surpassed 1 million, but still lags behind its larger competitor, Toyota, which has sold some 4 million.



                        Honda Reveals James Bond Skyfall Activity - Web Exclusive
                        Twenty of the Honda CRF250R motorcycles were used in the movie’s action scenes and by stunt crew teams.

                        Honda unveiled its activities surrounding its involvement in the upcoming James Bond film, Skyfall, giving fans a look behind the scenes at footage and images of James Bond on a modified Honda CRF250R dirt bike.

                        The material is taken from the characteristic opening chase sequence, where Bond pursues a henchman (played by Ola Rapace) through a Turkish street market.

                        Twenty of the Honda CRF250R motorcycles were used in the movie’s action scenes and by stunt crew teams. They were modified by Chris Corbould’s award-winning Special Effects team for filming, which took place in Istanbul and Adana, Turkey earlier this year.

                        To see exclusive behind the scenes footage and images from Skyfall, log on to a bespoke Facebook tab on Facebook/HondaCarsUK.
The footage gives an exclusive snapshot of the stunt crew’s preparations, with insider commentary by chief stunt co-ordinator, Gary Powell.

                        Honda (UK) is hosting a silent auction to win the modified Honda CRF250R used by henchman, Patrice, to escape from Bond in the opening sequence. The proceeds will benefit Honda (UK)’s three nominated charities – NSPCC, Greenfingers and Nationwide Association of Blood Bikers (NABB).



                        Honda sales, production and exports report for FH FY2013

                        Honda Motor Company has announced their sales, production and exports results for the period April to September 2012. Where production, sales in Japan and exports across the globe are concerned the company experienced increased recognition and marked sales figures. Taking period April to September 2012, Honda Motor Company produced a total of 483,184 units in Japan, up 64.2% as compared to only 72,000 units produced in the same period in a year prior.

                        Outside the country 1,592,494 units were produced during the period April to September 2012 that is an increase of 70.0% over 246,863 units produced in the previous year. Production in Japan during the month of September saw a year on year decrease for the first time since the start of 2012. Production outside the country saw a YoY increase for the eighth consecutive month setting an all time record for the month of September, while worldwide production saw a YoY increase for the 9th consecutive month since January this year.

                        Sales across Japan during the month of September saw a marked decrease where registrations of Honda Brand were concerned. Domestic market auto sales saw a YoY decrease for the first time in 9 months. For more information, scroll down.

                        Auto News Release

                        Production, Sales and Export Results in the First Half of FY2013

                        October 26, 2012 – Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced a summary of automobile production, Japan domestic sales, and export results for the first half of the current fiscal year (April - September 2012) and the month of September 2012.
                        Worldwide Production
                        1st Half Fiscal Year ending March 31, 2013 September 2012
                        Units vs.FY12 Units vs.'11
                        Japan 483,184 +64.2% 72,200 -3.6%
                        Outside of Japan 1,592,494 +70.0% 246,863* +1.4%
                        Worldwide Total 2,075,678 +68.6% 319,063 +0.2%

                        *Record high for month of September
                        Production Outside of Japan
                        1st Half Fiscal Year ending March 31, 2013 September 2012
                        Units vs.FY12 Units vs.'11
                        North America 814,670 +79.3% 124,627* +4.4%
                        (USA) 580,642 +68.4% 86,487 -4.7%
                        Europe 78,502 +100.5% 13,708 +6.5%
                        Asia 609,896 +52.8% 94,676 -9.0%
                        (China) 349,795 +29.5% 50,735 -20.7%
                        Others 89,426 +102.2% 13,852 +94.1%
                        Overseas Total 1,592,494 +70.0% 246,863* +1.4%

                        *Record high for month of September
                        The First Half of Current Fiscal Year (April - September 2012)

                        Production in Japan for the first half of the current fiscal year experienced a year-on-year increase for the first time in two years (since the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011).

                        Production in regions outside of Japan for the first half of the current fiscal year experienced a year-on-year increase for the first time in two years (since the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011).

                        Worldwide production experienced a year-on-year increase for the first time in two years (since the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011).
                        September 2012

                        Production in Japan for the month of September 2012 experienced a year-on-year decrease for the first time in 10 months (since November 2011).

                        Production in regions outside of Japan experienced a year-on-year increase for the eighth consecutive month (since February 2012), setting an all-time record for the month of September. This includes record production in North America for the month of September.

                        Worldwide production experienced a year-on-year increase for the ninth consecutive month (since January 2012).
                        Japan Domestic Market Sales
                        Vehicle type 1st Half Fiscal Year ending March 31, 2013 September 2012
                        Units vs.FY12 Units vs.'11
                        Registrations 203,472 +17.7% 26,193 -39.7%
                        Mini-Vehicles 160,370 +185.6% 27,174 +124.7%
                        Honda Brand Total 363,842 +58.8% 53,367 -3.9%
                        The First Half of Current Fiscal Year (April - September 2012)

                        Total Japan domestic market auto sales for the first half of the current fiscal year experienced a year-on-year increase for the first time in two years (since the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011).

                        New vehicle registrations for the first half of the current fiscal year experienced a year-on-year increase for the first time in two years (since the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011).

                        Sales of mini-vehicles for the first half of the current fiscal year experienced a year-on-year increase for the first time in two years (since the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011).

                        <Vehicle registrations - excluding mini-vehicles>
                        Fit was the industry's third best-selling car among new vehicle registrations for the first half of the current fiscal year with sales of 101,683 units. Freed was the industry's sixth best-selling car with sales of 48,805 units.

                        <Mini-vehicles - under 660cc>
                        N Box was the industry's best-selling car among mini-vehicles for the first half of the current fiscal year with sales of 118,437 units.
                        September 2012

                        Total Japan domestic market auto sales for the month of September 2012 experienced a year-on-year decrease for the first time in nine months (since December 2011).

                        New vehicle registrations experienced a year-on-year decrease for the second consecutive month (since August 2012).

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

                        <Vehicle registrations - excluding mini-vehicles>
                        Fit was the industry's fourth best-selling car among new vehicle registrations for the month of September 2012 with sales of 12,511 units. Freed was the industry's seventh best-selling car with sales of 6,230 units.

                        <Mini-vehicles - under 660cc>
                        N Box was the industry's second best-selling car in the mini-vehicle category for the month of September 2012 with sales of 19,915 units.
                        Exports from Japan
                        1st Half Fiscal Year ending March 31, 2013 September 2012
                        Units vs.FY12 Units vs.'11
                        North America 58,324 -0.5% 5,150 -60.5%
                        (USA) 56,965 +1.0% 4,763 -61.7%
                        Europe 9,448 -41.7% 688 -88.4%
                        Asia 14,695 +177.0% 2,528 +58.8%
                        Others 13,408 +37.8% 1,323 -33.0%
                        Total 95,875 +6.7% 9,689 -57.0%
                        The First Half of Current Fiscal Year (April - September 2012)

                        Total exports from Japan for the first half of the current fiscal year experienced a year-on-year increase for the first time in two years (since the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011).
                        September 2012

                        Total exports from Japan in September 2012 experienced a year-on-year decrease for the third consecutive month (since July 2012).



                        Honda Releases Second Environmental Film

                        American Honda released Monday “Every Drop Counts,” the second in a series of short films covering the green initiatives of Honda associates. At Honda, company associates are strongly encouraged to fulfill the company’s vision for reducing the company’s environmental impact and creating a more sustainable business.
                        The new film released this week highlights a project undertaken by associates at Honda’s Marysville, Ohio auto plant to capture and use the energy present in water falling from rooftop cooling towers.
                        It even involves an electric motor.
                        Honda says the project began as a simple drawing sketched on a notepad by a retired plant engineer. Inspired by the sketch, Honda engineers from different areas of the plant teamed up to create a unique small-scale hydro power generation system.
                        Honda revealed the project was built almost entirely from spare parts and materials found in the plant. The team converted an AC motor for use as an alternator to generate energy from water as it falls 35 feet to a sump.
                        The low-cost, low-maintenance system produces 50,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year and Honda says this offsets roughly 77,000 pounds of CO2 emissions from the consumption of grid-supplied electricity.
                        “Think of a miniature water wheel and you’ve got the basic premise of this system,” said Dirk Nordberg, senior staff engineer at Honda of America Mfg., Inc. and manager of the plant’s facilities and environment. “This is a great example of our associates’ ongoing effort to increase efficiency and reduce waste. Not every initiative has a huge impact, but this project demonstrates how little gains can add up to big improvements in our total efficiency. That’s the principle behind this effort.”

                        The Honda Environmental Short Film Series, featured on Honda’s YouTube Channel, highlights associate-driven environmental innovation across Honda in North America. The goal of these films is to focus not only on Honda’s efforts at developing more fuel-efficient, low emissions vehicles, but also Honda associates’ efforts to reduce energy use, emissions and waste in all of the company’s operations, including in manufacturing and shipping logistics.
                        The series was launched in August of this year with the film, “Paint by Numbers,” which told the story of Honda engineer Shubho Bhattacharya who developed technology to reduce energy use in the auto body-painting process at Honda manufacturing plants in North America.

                        VIDEO => http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiMJ4...layer_embedded



                        Honda witnesses strong flood recovery

                        Honda Automobile (Thailand) has sold 103,709 vehicles during April-September, exceeding the target set after its Ayutthaya manufacturing plant was reopened on March 31.

                        The figure represents an increase of 140 per cent compared to the same period last year, for which accumulated turnover was 43,237 units. For the period of April-September 2012, Honda achieved 15 per cnet market share, making the company the second-biggest player in the Thailand's overall car market for the first time, the company said in a statement.

                        Honda’s manufacturing plant was submerged for months, following last year’s flood.

                        "Since Honda resumed our manufacturing operation in April, we have launched new models on an accelerated schedule to meet customer needs and maintain their confidence in Honda. The models we launched have all been successful and received very positive customer response. The new Honda Civic, which officially launched in May 2012, reached reservations for 25,000 units within five months. A total of 18,000 units of the Honda City CNG have been ordered since its launch in August this year. The new CR-V that launched in mid-September had total reservations of 8,000 units within one month. Looking at the overall picture until the end of the year, Honda is confident that our turnover will continue to grow steadily, especially for the models that qualify for the first-car tax rebate programme that ends on 31 December 2012," said Pitak Pruittisarikorn, Executive Vice President, Honda Automobile (Thailand).

                        Over the past six months, Honda has seen the results of its strong marketing push, launching nine new models to meet the demands of all customer lifestyles. They include three models imported from Japan, which are STEP WGN Spada, Odyssey, and CR-Z, followed by the launch of the all-new Civic, Jazz Hybrid, City CNG, Freed, Brio (S AT) and all-new CR-V. There are three alternative fuel types; E85, Hybrid and CNG, in four of the nine models. The launch of nine models over six months sets a record for the most models introduced by an automobile manufacturer in Thailand this year.

                        Honda is preparing to launch another new 1.2-litre sedan model, its 10th this year, which will be the sixth Honda model that qualifies for the first-car tax rebate.



                        Ford tumbles to second worst in Consumer Reports reliability survey, list dominated by Japanese [w/video]

                        It's no secret that MyFord Touch has had its share of problems since being introduced, but the most recent reliability survey from Consumer Reports shows just how much this infotainment system has affected Ford. Just two years ago, the automaker was in the top 10 for the institute's reliability rankings, but since then, it has tumbled to the second-lowest rung just above dead-last Jaguar. In addition to MyFord Touch, CR also attributes a handful of new products that have had issues right out of the gate.

                        Compiled from 1.2 million subscriber surveys, this year's auto reliability survey heavily favors Japanese automakers, with eight of the 10 spots hailing from Japan. Toyota brands grabbed the top three spots (Scion, Toyota and Lexus – in that order) with Mazda, Subaru, Honda and Acura filling the next four spots. The only non-Asian automaker cracking the top 10 was Audi at number eight.

                        Audi climbed a total of 18 spots from last year, and Cadillac and GMC round out this year's top gainers breaking into the top 15. Helping Cadillac's upward movement, the CTS Coupe was named the most reliable domestic car. Lincoln, Volvo and Chrysler join Ford on this year's biggest loser list.

                        Scroll down to watch a video and see where some of the other brands rank for reliability this year.

                        Consumer Reports Auto Reliability Survey: Ford Continues Fall While Seven Japanese Brands Top List

                        Audi and Cadillac make major jumps in rankings

                        December 2012 CoverYONKERS, NY-A perfect storm of reliability problems has dropped Ford to next to last among the 28 car brands ranked in Consumer Reports 2012 Annual Auto Reliability Survey, while its luxury brand, Lincoln, placed just a notch higher. The findings were released today before the Automotive Press Association in Detroit.

                        Only two years ago, Ford was Detroit's poster child for reliability. It cracked the top 10 among brands in Consumer Reports predicted-reliability scores, with more than 90 percent of its models being average or better. This year the top seven spots are all held by Japanese brands.

                        "Ford's bumpy road can be seen in the numbers. Sixty percent of Ford-branded models and half of Lincolns were below average in predicted reliability, and none placed above average," said Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports.

                        Several factors contributed to Ford's decline in Consumer Reports' reliability rankings. A few new or redesigned models, including the Explorer, Fiesta, and Focus, came out of the gate with more problems than normal. Ford has also added the MyFord/MyLincoln Touch electronic infotainment system, which has been problematic so far, to many vehicles. In addition, three historically reliable models-the Ford Escape, Fusion and the Lincoln MKZ-are not included in the analysis; the three were redesigned for 2013 and CR doesn't yet have reliability data on them.

                        Toyota, on the other hand, has excelled in Consumer Reports' latest ratings. Its three brands-Scion, Toyota, and Lexus-swept the top spots. Toyota is clearly setting the pace in reliability. Of the 27 models in the brand's lineup, 16 earned the highest rating. The subcompact Toyota Prius C earned Consumer Reports' top score overall. The hatchback Prius, the larger Prius V, and the new Prius plug-in were also above average.

                        The Toyota trio was followed by four other Japanese makes: Mazda, Subaru, Honda, and Acura, in that order. All of the models produced by the top seven brands had average or better reliability. And of the 90 Japanese models reflected in Consumer Reports' brand comparison, 86 were average or better, with 35 earning the highest rating.

                        Leading the Europeans, Audi had its best showing ever, moving up 18 spots to eighth place, making it easily the most reliable European make and the top non-Japanese brand.

                        The findings from Consumer Reports 2012 Annual Auto Survey are based on subscribers' experiences with 1.2 million vehicles. The organization uses that extensive data to predict how well new cars that are currently on sale will hold up. The complete report and rankings are available at www.ConsumerReports.org starting today, and in the December issue of Consumer Reports.

                        Mixed bag for domestics

                        Cadillac is the top U.S. brand, having moved up 14 spots this year. Its CTS coupe was the most reliable domestic car. A number of other General Motors nameplates-Buick, Chevrolet, GMC-also moved up in the ranking. The Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car continues to have above-average reliability, and the compact Chevrolet Cruze, dismal in its first year, improved to average.

                        Chrysler brands had a few setbacks. This year, Consumer Reports has enough data to report on some of the recently revamped Chrysler and Dodge models, and their problems have dragged the nameplates' rankings down. The Dodge Charger, for example, returns with well-below-average reliability. Other models had ups and downs. The V6 version of the Chrysler 300 sedan, with an average rating, is now the brand's most reliable model, and the V8 300 is its worst. Likewise, the V6 Jeep Grand Cherokee scores average and the V8 is now below par. The differences stem from the alternative powertrains and the extra features found in higher-priced versions. Separating its trucks into a new nameplate, Ram, didn't help Dodge's standing. And Fiat's 500 debuted with average reliability in its first year in the United States.

                        Japanese models are tops

                        Mazda is hot on the tail of the three Toyota brands, and its improvement is buoyed by the predicted-reliability score for the new 2013 CX-5 SUV, which is much better than average. And Subaru's standing improved, with its redesigned Impreza debuting with top marks and none of its models scoring below average. Honda dropped one spot in the ranking, to sixth place, but its worst vehicle, the Odyssey minivan, improved from below average to average.

                        Nissan and its Infiniti luxury brand performed well overall, but a few models kept them from ranking with the other Japanese nameplates. Nissan's Versa sedan, redesigned for 2012, was much worse than average, as was the large Armada SUV. The Titan pickup truck was also below par. Of the seven Infiniti models, only the convertible version of the G scored below average.

                        Germans brands lead Europe

                        All of the German luxury brands improved. Six of the seven Audis in CR's survey rated average or better, as did 10 of the 12 BMWs. But the high-end BMW 7 Series and the turbocharged six-cylinder version of the X3 SUV were much worse than average. Mercedes-Benz made a good showing, with the turbocharged, four-cylinder C250 sedan doing well in its first year and the V6 E-Class sedan moving from average to above average. But the redesigned M-Class came in below average in its first year.

                        Volkswagen was a mix. The redesigned Passat did well, and the CC, Eos, and diesel Jetta sedan improved. But the redesigned Beetle, four- and five-cylinder gasoline Jetta, sporty GTI, and Touareg SUV were below average. Volvo, which ranked highest among European brands last year, dropped 10 places, hurt by declining scores for the C30 hatchback and C70 convertible and a below-average showing for the aging XC90 SUV.

                        Consumer Reports reliability ratings do not come from the organization's experience during vehicle testing. Instead, it relies on owners to supply the Consumer Reports National Research Center with the data. Earlier this year, the organization asked subscribers to report about serious problems they've had with their vehicles in the prior 12 months. CR bases its predicted-reliability scores on the most recent three model years of data, provided the model has not been redesigned for 2013. The scores are presented as a percentage better or worse than the average of all cars.

                        The minimum sample size is 100 vehicles, but Consumer Reports often gets many more. Among 2012 models, the Honda CR-V drew the most responses: 2,981. Other 2012 models with more than 2,000 responses are the Hyundai Elantra sedan and the four-cylinder Toyota Camry and Subaru Outback. Some new and redesigned models were released too late to be in our survey, and redesigned 2013 models are not included in the brand's average reliability score.

                        Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.



                        Honda slashes yearly forecast on China woes

                        Honda announced on Monday that it has slashed its full-year profit forecast on the back of mounting trouble in the Chinese market. The Japanese automaker also warned that it could be several months before its Chinese operations recovered from the setback.
                        Honda originally predicted it would record $5.9 billion in net profit for the fiscal year ending March 2013, but on Monday revised that forecast to $4.7 billion. That drop-off is largely the product of an ongoing clash between Japan and China, which has hurt Honda's sales in the world's largest auto market.
                        A dispute over the ownership of islands in the East China Sea have sparked an anti-Japan sentiment in China, hurting Honda's sales in the region. Honda's sales in China decreased 40.5 percent last month as a result of the issue, and steeper declines are expected. That poses a significant problem for Honda as China is the company's second largest market, accounting for 17 percent of total sales last year, according to Reuters.
                        Honda has already cut production at some Chinese plants in response to declining demand. Honda believes it could be February before it sees any kind of sales recovery.
                        Honda also cut its global sales forecast from 4.3 million vehicles to 4.12 million units on Monday.


                        Honda slashes yearly forecast on China woes
                        Last edited by tokyodream; 30-10-12, 12:02.
                        Iubesc masinile japoneze. Ele nu mint, nu inseala !
                        ACURA & HONDA SUV FAN CLUB ROMANIA - http://daimyo.ro/index.php?action=forum


                        • http://www.tulsaworld.com/business/a...3_CUTLIN827376

                          TOKYO - Honda's quarterly profit surged 36 percent as Japanese automakers bounced back from last year's tsunami disaster in northeastern Japan, but the company lowered its annual forecasts Monday because of a sales plunge in China.

                          Honda Motor Co. raked in an 82.2 billion yen ($1 billion) net profit for the July-September quarter. Sales jumped 20 percent to 2.27 trillion yen.

                          Honda has recovered strongly after being hit hard by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster that disrupted car production, and the floods in Thailand later that year.

                          But the Tokyo-based manufacturer of the Accord sedan, Fit compact and Asimo humanoid robot lowered its forecasts for the business year through March 2013. It cited the recent sales drop in China sparked by a territorial dispute that has set off violent protests in parts of China and a call to boycott Japanese goods.

                          It now expects to sell 4.1 million vehicles in the year through March 2013, down about 180,000 from the earlier projection to sell 4.3 million vehicles.

                          Still, that number is an improvement of more than a million vehicles over the 3.1 million Honda sold globally in the previous disaster-struck year.

                          Honda sold 996,000 vehicles during the fiscal second quarter, up from 678,000 vehicles a year earlier.

                          Honda said it must factor in the "recent situation in China," as well as declining sales in Europe and South America, in forecasts for the full year.

                          The negative effect of an unfavorable currency is also expected to weigh, Honda said. A strong yen hurts the earnings of Japanese exporters such as Honda. The dollar did not change that much against the yen in the second quarter, but the yen surged against the euro.

                          Honda now expects a 375 billion yen ($4.7 billion) net profit for the full fiscal year. But even the new forecast will represent a 78 percent rebound from the 211.4 billion yen profit recorded in the previous year.



                          Honda HPD Supercharged CR-Z Concept is the one we've been longing for

                          The staunchest Honda geeks among us have always wanted the CR-Z to be a great car, even if its particular blend of performance and fuel economy have not exactly been sales gold for the Japanese automaker.

                          How to reconcile this incongruence in the car's character? Supercharge the sucker and ignore the hybrid aspect altogether, naturally. Check and mate.

                          The automaker's Honda Performance Division (HPD) has done just what enthusiasts – and more than a few tuners – have been expecting since the model's inception... they've made the CR-Z a lot quicker. The addition of the headlining supercharger as well as an intercooler, high-flow injectors and a recalibrated ECU have netted the car a total of 185 horsepower and 169 pound-feet of torque. The suspension, wheel/tire package and and brakes have been revised to round out the performance offerings.

                          Honda is just calling this concept an "exploration of the performance potential of the CR-Z Sport Hybrid" for right now, but we'd vote (do we get a vote?) that they just break down and build the damn thing.



                          Major National Honda Powersports Dealership Accused Of Illegally Selling Vehicles

                          The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently investigating claims from a former marketing consultant that the country’s largest Honda power sports dealership may have been illegally selling motorcycles, ATVs and other power vehicles by not adhering to safety and recall guidelines. Ernest Vickers III was employed by Southern Honda Powersports in Tennessee for several years during the 2000s, and he now alleges that, despite previous please to federal agencies, the company has been selling potentially defective, damaged or dangerous vehicles as recent as 2010.

                          Vickers is hardly alone in his accusations, as nine other former employees of the Chattanooga-based dealership have corroborated his claims that Southern Honda was allegedly selling vehicles that were involved in safety recalls between 2004 and 2007, according to the USA Today. In 2010, Vickers reported Southern to federal agencies in an attempt to bring attention to what he believed was the sale of at least 25,000 motorcycles and ATVs over a five-year period. This is a potentially alarming number, as the dealership’s website boasts of having sold more than 45,000 vehicles total since opening 8 years ago.

                          While Vickers and the other whistleblowers have all signed affidavits for federal agencies, including the NHTSA and Consumer Product Safety Commission, and American Honda, Southern Honda’s owner, Tim Kelly, denies that there is any validity to their claims. However, Vickers has maintained wrongdoing on the company’s behalf for at least five years, according to his statements to the USA Today.

                          "It's incomprehensible that American Honda, NHTSA, CPSC and other federal and state agencies I contacted during the past five years didn't act, because the safety of many consumers who bought vehicles was endangered," Vickers says. "Now that the agencies are investigating, every vehicle that Southern Honda ever sold should be recalled to ensure it is safe."

                          While the NHTSA and CPSC either failed or refused to act on Vickers’ claims in previous years, the investigation is now officially underway. The additional witnesses claim that the company employed assembly staffers that weren’t properly trained for their jobs, nor were proper assembly guidelines adhered to on a regular basis. Even a former general manager accuses Southern of selling at least 1,000 motor vehicles without repairing them according to the standards of the CPSC and NHTSA recall guidelines.

                          Despite being located in Tennessee, Southern Honda Powersports sells motorcycles, ATVs and other recreational and sport vehicles to consumers in all 50 states, and the company recently opened a satellite store in Orlando.



                          2013 Honda Accord Coupe HFP hitting dealerships next spring

                          The totally new 2013 Honda Accord has just now started trickling into dealerships across the country, but here at SEMA, we're already getting our first look at what the future has in store for Honda's midsize offering. Arriving in Honda showrooms next spring is this limited-edition HFP performance edition of the 2013 Accord Coupe, and although no power upgrades are on tap, there's some extra kit that will indeed make things more interesting out on the road.

                          Honda's HFP upgrades start with visual add-ons like 19-inch alloy wheels and a rear decklid spoiler, and further changes are found underneath that sheetmetal with the addition of a unique sport suspension that lowers the car by 15 millimeters and enhances overall handling. Of course, no sporty Accord would be complete without the necessary body enhancements to the front fascia, side sills and rear bumper, and don't worry, there will be plenty of HFP badges on both the exterior and interior.

                          Speaking of interior, the Accord HFP will have red illumination found throughout the cabin as well as – wait for it – specially branded floor mats.

                          A Honda spokesperson confirmed to Autoblog that the HFP package will be available with both the four- and six-cylinder engine. We've already had a chance to drive a two-door Accord with the V6 engine, and it's seriously good. The HFP add-ons should make this a truly sweet package.

                          Only 500 of the Accord Coupe HFP models will be produced, and the whole package will be offered as a $4,650 option package, not including the cost of installation. Scroll down for the full details in Honda's press release.

                          American Honda Highlights Performance and Personalization at 2012 SEMA Show

                          2013 Honda Accord HFP makes world debut; Acura brand returns to SEMA Show with 2013 ILX; HPD displays championship race cars

                          10/30/2012 - LAS VEGAS

                          The Honda Factory Performance® (HFP®) package for the 2013 Accord Coupe makes its world debut today as part of the American Honda display at the 2012 SEMA Show. The all-new 2013 Accord Coupe and Sedan set a new standard for midsize car styling, efficiency and performance, and three modified Accords on display further highlight the personalized appearance and performance potential of the model.

                          Adjacent to the Honda display, Acura returns to the SEMA Show after a six-year absence on the strength of the all-new 2013 ILX luxury compact sedan, displaying two modified ILX vehicles and the striking Acura Supercar Concept vehicle featured in the blockbuster movie "The Avengers."

                          Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD) merits its own section of the display with championship vehicles including a replica of Dario Franchitti's 2012 Indianapolis 500-winning Indy car, the Muscle Milk® Racing 2012 American Le Mans Series P1 champion car and a B-spec Honda Fit race car that recently won its class at the 2012 SCCA Runoffs.

                          "Honda, Acura and HPD are on a roll this year, and the SEMA Show gives us a great opportunity to show off a bit," said Mike Accavitti, vice president of National Marketing Operations for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "With the new Honda Accord clearly excelling in all areas, the ILX opening new doors for Acura, and HPD building championship race cars left and right, it's clear that the magic is back."

                          The limited-edition HFP package for the 2013 Accord Coupe is set to go on sale in the spring of 2013 and includes: 19-inch HFP alloy wheels; decklid spoiler; HFP sport suspension (lowers height by 15mm and enhances handling); HFP front, side and rear underbody spoilers; red interior illumination; HFP floor mats and HFP badges for each side and the trunk. The HFP package, like all Honda Genuine Accessories, carries a 3-year/36,000-mile limited warranty when installed at the time of new vehicle purchase, and is engineered to be fully compatible with the vehicle. Enhancing its exclusive appeal, only 500 examples of this limited-edition HFP package will be sold for the 2013 Accord. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the package, not including installation, will be $4,650.

                          Also on display, a 2013 Accord Sedan featuring the X-Package and additional available Honda Genuine Accessories is designed to turn heads and accentuate the sedan's aerodynamic styling. The X-Package for the Accord Sedan is currently available for purchase nationwide at Honda dealers. The package includes front, side and rear underbody spoilers; a sport grille and a rear-wing spoiler with a MSRP of $2,171, excluding installation.

                          Reaching out to the enthusiast community, Honda invited two independent vehicle tuners to build and display their Accord concepts at the SEMA Show. Tuners were asked to push the limits of performance and style with their builds, and the vehicles on display demonstrate the personalized potential of the Accord Coupe and Sedan. After previously building amazing versions of the 2011 CR-Z and the 2012 Civic Si, Bisimoto Engineering returns with a 401 hp version of the Accord V6 Coupe in "Grand Touring" style. With three prior Honda project builds under their belts, including a 2007 Element, a 2009 Pilot and a 2011 CR-Z, DSO Eyewear / MAD Industries shows off their all-new Accord Sedan with upscale customization inside and out.

                          The HPD Supercharged CR-Z Concept rounds out the Honda section of the display with a further exploration of the performance potential of the CR-Z Sport Hybrid. Expanding on the CR-Z supercharged engine displayed at the 2011 SEMA Show, HPD made enhancements to improve acceleration, handling and stopping by adding a sport exhaust, developing a sport suspension, designing wheels with high performance tires and adding sport brakes.

                          The all-new 2013 Acura ILX luxury compact sedan offers a great chassis, dynamic engine choices, and sophisticated styling, perfect for the car enthusiast seeking compact fun and performance, with luxury and technology matching much larger vehicles. Honda R&D's Team Honda Research-West chose to highlight the performance potential of the car by building the 2013 Acura ILX Endurance Racer, on display, which will compete in NASA's grueling 25 Hours of Thunderhill endurance race later this year. Additionally on display, Evasive Motorsports created the 2013 Acura ILX Street Build project car, featuring an Acura Genuine Accessories aero kit and aftermarket supercharger among many modifications designed to provide a fun, daily drivable car that is tastefully done.

                          Vehicles on Display at the American Honda Booth

                          Honda Display

                          2013 Accord Coupe HFP®
                          2013 Accord Sedan – with Honda Genuine Accessory X-Package
                          HPD Supercharged CR-Z Concept
                          HPD CR-Z engine concept with supercharger (engine only)
                          Bisimoto 2013 Honda Accord Coupe "Grand Touring"*
                          2013 Honda Accord Sedan by DSO Eyewear/MAD Industries*

                          Acura Display

                          Team Honda Research-West (THR-W) 2013 Acura ILX Endurance Racer
                          Evasive Motorsports 2013 Acura ILX Street Build*
                          Acura Supercar Concept movie vehicle featured in "The Avengers"

                          Honda Performance Development, Inc. Display

                          Honda Powered DW12 Indianapolis 500 Winning Indy car Replica
                          HPD ARX-03a ALMS P1 Championship Race Car
                          HPD B-Spec Fit Race Car


                          Best New Family Car Under $30,000


                          HONDA ACCORD SEDAN
                          Base price: $25,490
                          As tested: $26,690

                          The Honda Accord narrowly won this category.

                          More than 80 journalists gave the Accord a slim victory. It finished just one point ahead of the Ford Fusion.

                          The areas where the Accord led the pack were interior design, perceived quality, driver position, ergonomics, roominess, comfort and convenience, throttle response, engine smoothness and refinement, transmission, handling, brake feel and effectiveness. Combine these factors with the lowest price of the category and you get a winner.

                          The Honda Accord has been a favourite of Canadians since it was introduced in 1976. The ninth-generation Accord has been restyled, has more power while using less fuel and costs less than the outgoing model. It also plays host to the first North American application of Honda’s next-generation 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine with direct injection. It was paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission as driven at TestFest.



                          Best new SUV/CUV under $35,000

                          Honda CR-V
                          Base price: $28,140
                          As-tested: $28,140

                          This was my pick as the winner. Honda still owns this category as far as I’m concerned, and the CR-V is still the most driveable and versatile model out there. It also has a titch more power than the Escape, and doesn’t need a turbocharger to get it.



                          Honda slashes forecast, blames dispute between China and Japan

                          Honda warned that its full-year results would be much weaker than forecast, as a trade dispute between Tokyo and Beijing dents sales.
                          Investors dumped the shares, which fell 4.65 percent to 2,399 yen ($30.12) by the close in Tokyo, on news that the maker of the Accord and Civic would report an annual profit that was 20 percent lower than previously expected – even as its first-half profit more than doubled to $2.7 billion.
                          Honda’s stock was down 6.0 percent in earlier trade after it mistakenly released earnings three hours ahead of schedule due to a “human error.”
                          Blaming a strong yen and weakening sales, Japan’s third-biggest automaker said it now expects to earn 375 billion yen in its fiscal year to March 2013, down from an earlier 470 billion yen forecast.
                          Sales were tipped to fall to 9.8 trillion yen, from 10.3 trillion yen.
                          A Honda statement did not offer details about the Japan-China spat, but company officials told a press conference in Tokyo later Monday that the firm was cutting its full-year sales forecast in China to 620,000 vehicles, down from 750,000 units.
                          The diplomatic dispute over an East China Sea island chain, which has slammed the brakes on sales of Japan-brand cars in China, the world’s biggest car market, was expected to weigh on demand until February, they said.
                          The two Asian giants remain locked in a festering row over an archipelago controlled by Japan but claimed by China, sparking double-digit sales declines in September for Japan’s biggest automakers.
                          Japanese factories and businesses across China closed or scaled back operations in September over fears they or their workers could be targeted by mobs protesting against Tokyo’s nationalization of the islands.
                          “Honda’s sales apparently felt the impact from a weaker China market, as well as the stronger yen, and (this) raises the possibility that it will revise down its full-year forecast yet again,” said Hideyuki Ishiguro, strategist at Okasan Securities.
                          “Of course Honda’s problems are not unique – the magnitude of the China component in its earnings may be most felt in Nissan Motor’s earnings, since it has the heaviest proportional exposure to China.”
                          Shares in Nissan, which has yet to report its latest quarterly results, were off 2.18 percent to 670 yen while Toyota shares fell 1.62 percent to 3,030 yen by the close.
                          Via: GlobalTimes.
                          Last edited by tokyodream; 31-10-12, 11:58.
                          Iubesc masinile japoneze. Ele nu mint, nu inseala !
                          ACURA & HONDA SUV FAN CLUB ROMANIA - http://daimyo.ro/index.php?action=forum


                          • http://www.aviationweek.com/Article...._p0-511979.xml

                            Honda Targeting 2013 Certification

                            Honda Aircraft is hoping to certify its new twin HondaJet next year, but president and CEO Michimasa Fujino says the company plans to “fine tune” that schedule once the GE Honda Aero HF120 engine completes final tests this year.

                            Engine and aircraft certification were pushed back after the HF120 encountered problems during ice testing last year, forcing GE Honda to change the engine fan design and delay engine certification to mid-2013.

                            Honda has four aircraft in flight tests, but a portion of that testing will not count toward aircraft certification and must be repeated given the changes in engine design.

                            Fujino is optimistic that the program is making “good progress,” and that the HondaJet remains on track for delivery late next year.

                            Honda Aircraft has begun production of the initial customer aircraft. The components, fuselage and wings have been produced and assembly has begun for the first customer aircraft. Fujino expects the company will produce as many as a dozen aircraft next year and have three or four completed aircraft ready for delivery by the end of 2013.

                            Honda completed a number of tests over the past year, including crew seat crash tests, ultimate load testing, European Aviation Safety Agency windshield bird strike testing, and light testing.

                            Honda expects first flight of a fifth aircraft early next year, and recently completed power-on electrical testing.

                            The company Sept. 27 broke ground on a 90,000-sq.-ft. maintenance, repair and overhaul support center that will house a 24/7 support center. The addition will expand Honda’s presences in Greensboro, N.C. to 600,000 sq. ft. and more than 130 acres.

                            Honda Aircraft is investing more than $20 million in the center, part of more than $100 million overall to develop the Greensboro campus, Fujino says. The facilities currently employ 750 workers. Fujino expects that number to grow to about 1,000 within the next two years.

                            Honda Aircraft is not specifying sales details, saying only that the company has orders for more than 100 aircraft. Fujino acknowledges that the light jet segment remains stagnant – he does not expect recovery before 2014 or 2015. But, he notes that while sales have been slow, the program has encountered few cancelations and the backlog has remained strong.

                            Despite the delays and short-term economic outlook, Fujino says Honda Aircraft has solid backing from its parent: “Honda is a long-term growth company, not a quarterly report company,” he says. Honda is a veteran manufacturer, and “never overestimates or is too optimistic.”

                            As for the future of Honda Aircraft, Fujino says he has a 20-year plan and “a good understanding” of the capabilities of the existing design and how that could be applied to new products. But for right now, he says Honda Aircraft is focusing on developing the HondaJet and establishing the infrastructure for the new company.



                            Honda to Spend $200 Million to Expand Ohio Factories

                            Honda Motor Co., the No. 2 Asian automaker in U.S. light-vehicle sales, said it will spend $200 million on engine and transmission factories in Ohio and hire 200 workers there.

                            The expansion of Honda’s engine plant in Anna and a transmission factory in Russells Point is part of Honda’s $1.2 billion in spending on U.S. plants the past two years, the company said today in an e-mailed statement.

                            North America, which accounted for 44 percent of Honda Motor’s revenue last fiscal year, is taking on a larger role for the Tokyo-based company. Honda’s eighth auto plant in the region is being built in Mexico and, when it opens in 2014, will expand capacity to 1.92 million units from 1.63 million.

                            Honda produced the first Japanese car made in America 30 years ago today and was the first Japanese automaker to build engines and transmissions in the U.S. and export U.S.-built vehicles overseas, according to the company’s website. The company employs more than 26,000 people in the U.S. in sales, manufacturing and product development.

                            The company’s U.S. sales of light vehicles rose 24 percent to 1.07 million this year through September. Honda’s vehicle total is more than any other Asian automaker except Toyota Motor Corp. (7203)’s 1.57 million.



                            Honda Shows 2013 Accord HFP Coupe Alongside 401-HP Bisimoto Coupe at SEMA Show

                            A 2013 Honda Accord Coupe with the limited-edition HFP package debuted at the 2012 SEMA show along with a Bisimoto-tuned Accord Coupe V-6 and a four-cylinder Accord sedan customized by DSO Eyewear/MAD Industries. See photos of all three cars in the gallery below.

                            The HFP package for the 2013 Accord Coupe features a bodykit with front, side, and rear pieces and deck lid spoiler, a sport suspension that lowers the midsize coupe 0.6 inches, 19-inch alloy wheels, as well as badges on the trunk lid and front fenders. Inside, HFP floor mats and red interior lighting complete the package. Only 500 examples of the $4650 HFP package (price excludes installation) will be available for the 2013 Accord Coupe next spring.

                            Bisimoto Engineering 2013 Honda Accord Coupe Grand Touring

                            Bisimoto Engineering has boosted the output of the 2013 Honda Accord Coupe’s V-6 engine from 278 hp to 401 hp with a Nitrous Express (NX) nitrous oxide kit and Bisimoto cat-back exhaust system with Burns Stainless mufflers. The coupe’s suspension has been updated with new coil springs and sway bars while a roll cage has been added to stiffen the chassis. Buddy Club supplies new brake calipers and rotors as well as 19×9.5-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 245/40/19-inch rubber.

                            2013 Honda Accord Coupe V6 Bisimoto Engineering Grand Touring left front 1 300x187 imageThe exterior of the Accord Grand Touring concept was designed by Denmatic and features a Gatorwrap exterior body wrap that covers the HFP bodykit. Inside, occupants sit in Bisimotwerks GT3 racing seats.

                            Here is the full list of modifications to the Bisimoto Engineering 2013 Honda Accord Coupe Grand Touring:

                            Powertrain Modifications:

                            Nitrous Express (NX) wet shot chemical supercharger system
                            NGK Iridium spark plugs
                            PurOl “Elite Series” Synthetic Motor Oils
                            Bisimoto Cat-back exhaust system
                            Burns Stainless mufflers
                            Bisimoto 360 degree Oil Cap

                            Chassis/Suspension Modifications:

                            JNF Chromoly roll cage
                            Progress coil suspension and sway bar
                            Buddy Club P1 Racing II Plus 19×9.5 aluminum wheels
                            Falken Azenis FK453 245/40ZR-19 tires
                            Buddy club P1 Racing lug nuts
                            Buddy Club Racing Spec Monoblock Calipers
                            Buddy Club Racing Spec Brake Rotors

                            Exterior Modifications:

                            Gatorwrap custom laminated body wrap
                            Bisimoto Accord GT Decal Pack kit
                            Bisimoto Accord GT Ghost Emblem Kit
                            Denmatic design scheme
                            Honda Factory Performance (HFP) side skirts, rear and front fascia kit
                            Carbon Creations GT Concept 2 Wing

                            Interior Modifications:

                            Bisimotowerks GT3 racing seats
                            Bisimotowerks Leather wrapped, hand stitched roll cage
                            Bisimoto reservoir socks
                            G&J braided lines

                            2013 Honda Accord Sedan by DSO Eyewear/MAD Industries

                            DSO Eyewear and MAD Industries created this 2013 Honda Accord EX sedan, which is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder mated to a CVT. An Eibach Pro-Kit lowering springs reduce the Accord sedan’s ride height by 1.0 inch in front and 1.5 inches in the rear while the dual exhaust from a 2013 Accord Sport enhances engine breathing. The Accord sits on 20×8.5-inch Mallory alloy wheels with a matte black finish from TSW Wheels wrapped in 255/35/20 tires

                            2013 Honda Accord EX sedan by DSO Eyewear and MAD Industries right rear 1 300x187 imageThe exterior wears White Orchid Pearl paint with a Matte Blue Metallic wrap from 3M and a Honda X-Package body kit. Inside, Katzkin Leather covers new seating surfaces, door trim, the pillars, and the headliner. Matching 3M wrap also covers select interior pieces. Lightning Audio amplifiers and speakers enhance the Accord’s sound system.

                            Here is the full list of modifications to the 2013 Honda Accord Sedan by DSO Eyewear / MAD Industries:

                            Genuine Honda Accessories:

                            Aerodynamic styling created by X-Package with a sporty, low-profile custom look
                            LED Illuminated Stainless door sill trim

                            Powertrain Modifications:

                            K&N high-performance air filter
                            AMSOIL dominator motor oils
                            Odyssey extreme battery
                            Dual Exhaust System from 2013 Accord Sport model

                            Chassis Modifications:

                            Eibach: Pro-Kit Performance Springs front and rear, Lowers vehicle 1.0″ – 1.5″ with Progressive Spring Design for Excellent Ride Quality
                            MGP: Custom Satin Black Caliper Covers provides an excellent brake appearance upgrade

                            Wheel & Tires:

                            Falken Tire: AZENIS FK 453 255/354ZR20 the Ultimate Performance Tire
                            TSW Wheels: Mallory Alloys Matte Black Wheels 20″x 8.5″

                            Exterior Modifications:

                            3M 1080 Scotchprint Wrap Film: Matte Blue Metallic Personalized Vehicle Graphics
                            Sticky Fingers Design: installed the Matte Scotchprint wrap
                            BASF RM Onyx HD waterborne: DC5800 Clear coat
                            PIAA: 9006 (low beam), 9005 Extreme White Bulbs (high beam),
                            H11 fog lamp, bulbs Tera LED Dome Light Bulbs

                            Interior Modifications:

                            Katzkin Leather Interiors: Midnight Tuscany Leather with Raven Black Perforated Suedezkin inserts appointed with Cream Bone Accent Suedezkin seat insert with matching contrast stitching that sets a luxury upgrade to the seats. Interior appointed items were covered in Bone Suedezkin with Tuscany accents in door panels inserts. The complete Headliner, pillars, package tray were covered in Bone and Raven Black Suedezkin
                            3M Wraps Interior Parts: selected interior parts in matching 3M Scotchprint Wrap Film to tie in the exterior theme.
                            Lighting Audio: Competition Grade Audio – System specs LA-4100 4 Channel Amplifier provides 800 watts of RMS power drives a set of LA-1654 series full-range separates, driving the base is a LA- 400 Mono Amplifier to a set of LA-S410 10″ Shallow Sub Woofers are hidden. Lightning Audio Premium Speaker wire.

                            Miscellaneous Modifications:

                            SRP Racing pedals: Billet aluminium anodized racing pedals
                            Escort Inside: 9500IX Radar-Laser-Safety Camera- Detector
                            Coverking: Stain Stretch custom interior car cover
                            Signature Wheel and Tire: Provided mounting and balancing
                            Enfotrace: GPS Tracking System keeps tabs of the location in real-time online via interactive tracking system
                            Mothers: Polishes – Waxes – Cleaners

                            Source: Honda



                            Civic-Passat-Caravan Buyers Shake Off Consumer Reports

                            Liz Doll, a real estate agent in Connecticut, had little interest in the highly rated Hyundai Elantra when shopping for a new car this year. She instead went with a Volkswagen Passat (PSAT) that has drawn mixed reviews.

                            “The handles on the Hyundai felt cheesy and cheap,” said Doll, a 37-year-old mother of three. “Everything you touched felt like it was going to fall off. I didn’t have that experience with the Passat.”

                            Models such as Volkswagen AG (VOW)’s Passat and Honda Motor Co.’s Civic, which lost Consumer Reports’ coveted recommended status in August 2011, are among some of the biggest gainers in the U.S. auto market this year. The disconnect shows that buyers can be more forgiving in showrooms than testers are in labs as industrywide quality gains bring automakers closer to parity.

                            “The overall competitive set from all manufacturers has become so good that, for some of us so-called experts in the industry, perhaps our expectations have gotten almost impossible to reach,” Alec Gutierrez, an analyst for researcher Kelley Blue Book in Irvine, California, said in a telephone interview.

                            Increased demand for models such as Passat and Civic probably helped spur a 12 percent increase in U.S. deliveries of cars and light trucks last month, the average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That gain would keep the industry near September’s rate, the fastest U.S. sales pace in 4 1/2 years.
                            Preceding Sandy

                            Most analysts issued their sales estimates before Hurricane Sandy slammed major auto markets including New York, Washington and Philadelphia. The storm, which churned through an area that generates about 25 percent of U.S. auto sales, disrupted dealers at the month’s end, when car buying tends to accelerate.

                            Deliveries of Volkswagen’s Passat have soared to 83,662 this year through September, from just 4,893 a year earlier, according to Autodata Corp. The Wolfsburg, Germany-based automaker surpassed its previous annual sales record for Passat in less than nine months, according to a Sept. 18 statement.

                            Volkswagen, which is targeting more than 500,000 vehicle sales in the U.S. this year, may have joined Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) in posting the biggest sales increase in October from a year earlier. Combined Volkswagen and Audi brand deliveries probably climbed 26 percent, the average of four analysts’ estimates. Toyota may match that gain, according to the average of eight estimates.
                            Industry Pace

                            U.S. light-vehicle deliveries probably rose 12 percent in October to 1.15 million, according to the nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The annualized industry sales rate, which is adjusted for seasonality, may accelerate to 14.8 million, the average estimate of 16 analysts.

                            The industry sales pace was 13.3 million in October 2011 and 14.9 million in September, the best since March 2008, according to researcher Autodata in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

                            Consumer Reports said the Passat “lost some of the sharpness of its predecessors” in its initial review of the model for the Yonkers, New York-based magazine’s October 2011 issue.

                            “The last-generation Passat was a better car overall, with agile handling” and a “well-finished interior,” Consumer Reports said after complete testing in a Dec. 28 post on its website. “But a high price and so-so reliability, plus a lack of marketing, kept it off the radar for many buyers.”

                            In addition to pricing and marketing, consumers also will snap up models with average or below-average reviews because of loyalty and perceptions of quality that are slow to budge, Kelley Blue Book’s Gutierrez said.
                            Civic Criticism

                            The Civic, which Consumer Reports said in August 2011 felt like an “insubstantial” ride, with long stopping distances and loud road noise, has been the sixth best-selling vehicle in the U.S. this year.

                            “Civic got hammered last year when that 2012 redesign was first unveiled: cheaper interior, less-quality materials, de- contented on the entry-level trims, not enough of a step forward to compete,” Gutierrez said.

                            Despite the criticisms, Civic deliveries surged 40 percent through September to 234,029. The model is on pace to retake the compact car segment lead this year after dropping to No. 3 behind Toyota’s Corolla and General Motors Co. (GM)’s Cruze in 2011.

                            The sales gain for Tokyo-based Honda in October may trail only Volkswagen’s and Toyota’s. The average estimate of eight analysts is for a 16 percent increase. Honda and Toyota City, Japan-based Toyota both are rebounding from last year’s supply shortages caused by a tsunami in their home country.
                            ‘No Headaches’

                            “Honda still delivered a sedan that’s going to leave consumers with little to no headaches whatsoever,” Gutierrez said. “It just gets the job done. Honda and Toyota buyers especially are fierce brand loyalists and that’s just what they stick with.”

                            Chrysler Group LLC, which has steadily gained U.S. market share since 2010, has made quality gains and yet many of its brands and models remain below average in tests and surveys by the likes of Consumer Reports and J.D. Power & Associates.

                            The automaker majority-owned by Fiat SpA (F) may have boosted sales in October by 15 percent, the average estimate of 11 analysts, to extend its streak of monthly increases from a year earlier to 31 consecutive months.

                            Chrysler claimed four of the 10 worst-performing brands in Consumer Reports’ annual reliability survey, which was released this week. The magazine, which boosts its own objectivity by buying every vehicle it tests and forgoing advertising, has praised redesigned models such as the Chrysler 300 sedan and Jeep Grand Cherokee sport-utility vehicle.
                            Minivan Split

                            Chrysler’s Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans illustrate some of the ways the automaker has managed to outpace other automakers’ sales gains as it continues to overhaul its lineup.

                            The two vans, which rank No. 1 and No. 3 in the U.S. minivan segment, respectively, are cheaper than the second- ranked Toyota Sienna and Honda’s Odyssey, and the U.S. models are offered with warranties of as much as five years and 100,000 miles (161,000 kilometers).

                            Minivans are subject to “one-size-fits all” evaluations by testers such as Consumer Reports that can hurt their scores, Doug Betts, the global quality chief for Chrysler and Turin, Italy-based Fiat, said in an interview.

                            “The No. 1 reason people buy our minivans is because of those stow-and-go seats, for their flexibility and the utility,” said Betts, who pointed to the feature as a reason the models get dinged for poor seat comfort. The minivans also perform poorly on a slalom track, which is unlikely to matter to buyers in the segment, he said.
                            New Reality

                            In criticizing Honda for its disappointing Civic redesign, Consumer Reports said in an August 2011 post on its website that the automaker is under pressure because “old assumptions are becoming blurred.” Automakers such as Ford Motor Co. (F), Hyundai Motor Co. (005380) and Kia Motors Corp. (000270) are now making better cars.

                            “A Ford Fusion is more reliable than the Accord, not to mention quieter and nicer to drive,” a tester for the magazine wrote in the post titled, “Honda redesigns: Is the automaker resting on its laurels?” “Hyundai and Kia are building fuel- efficient and well-equipped cars at aggressive prices, and they often drive like Hondas used to.”

                            Ford, which has struggled with nagging problems plaguing its electronics systems, may report a 3.2 percent increase in October U.S. sales, the average of 11 estimates. The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker’s brands dropped in Consumer Reports’ reliability and J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study surveys this year in part because of its MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch control systems.
                            Buyer’s Regret

                            Doll, the Connecticut real estate agent who bought the Volkswagen Passat, said she was motivated to buy a new car because of poor fuel economy with her 2007 Honda Pilot. While she is happy with features she didn’t have previously such as a Bluetooth wireless technology and navigation, she regrets not waiting for Ford to begin selling its C-Max hybrid that gets 47 mpg.

                            “Buyer’s remorse has really kicked in,” she said. “If I had just waited a month, I probably would have bought the C-Max. Now I’m like, maybe I’ll trade in the Passat next year. Maybe I’ll be one of those new-car people.”

                            GM, whose Cadillac line led gains by all four of the Detroit-based automaker’s brands in Consumer Reports’ reliability survey, probably boosted sales by 7.8 percent in October, the average of 11 estimates.

                            Sales for Nissan Motor Co., the only Japanese automaker to have below-average reliability in the Consumer Reports survey, may have risen 4.6 percent in October, the average of eight estimates. Models such as the Versa small car and Armada were drags on Yokohama, Japan-based Nissan.

                            South Korea’s Hyundai and Kia, which are both based in Seoul, may combine to sell 13 percent more vehicles in October than a year earlier, the average of six analysts’ estimates.

                            The following table shows estimates for car and light-truck sales in the U.S. Estimates for companies are a percentage change from October 2011. Forecasts for the seasonally adjusted annualized rate, or SAAR, are in millions of light vehicles.

                            October had 26 selling days, the same as the year-earlier period.

                            GM Ford Chrysler SAAR

                            Rod Lache 6% 1% 10% 14.6
                            (Deutsche Bank)
                            Peter Nesvold 8.8% 3.0% 15% 14.8
                            Patrick Archambault 7% 2% 19% 14.8
                            (Goldman Sachs)
                            Joseph Spak 8.1% 2.4% 9.3% 15.0
                            Chris Ceraso 6% 5% 15% 14.9
                            (Credit Suisse)
                            Emmanuel Rosner 11% 2.7% 18% 15.0
                            Brian Johnson 8.2% 1.6% 15% 14.9
                            Ryan Brinkman NA NA NA 14.7
                            Itay Michaeli NA NA NA 14.7
                            John Sousanis 9.7% 5.4% 19% 15.0
                            George Magliano NA NA NA 14.6
                            (IHS Automotive)
                            Jeff Schuster NA NA NA 14.8
                            (LMC Automotive)
                            Alan Baum NA NA NA 14.8
                            (Baum & Associates)
                            Jessica Caldwell 4.7% 3.5% 13% 14.8
                            Jesse Toprak 7.3% 5.3% 15% 14.9
                            Alec Gutierrez 8.8% 3.2% 16% 14.7
                            (Kelley Blue Book)

                            Average 7.8% 3.2% 15% 14.8



                            Honda markets pink car to women in Japanese market

                            Honda has taken pink marketing to a whole new level, introducing a pink car for women in Japan, claiming the windshield prevents wrinkles by blocking UV rays and the air conditioning system improves skin quality.

                            The special edition Honda Fit has a pink exterior and pink interior details, including pink on the steering wheel, dashboard and floor mats. The model, called She’s, is also being sold in “eyeliner brown.”

                            The car won’t be offered for sale in Canada.

                            Honda is the latest company to jump on the pink bandwagon, offering common objects for sale in pink to attract women buyers who either like pink or enjoy the irony of ordinary objects in playful pink.

                            Fans of pink, presumably female, can find Little Pink Tools on Amazon.com, Sony Pink Earbuds, and in a campaign that went viral and ended up in a skit by comedian Ellen Degeneres, pink Bic pens.

                            The Bic pens for women attracted hundreds of product reviews on Amazon.com from women amused or outraged by the marketing gimmick. The pens claimed to be a better fit for women than ordinary pens.

                            “Before these pens, I was nothing. I was a mere inconsequential woman, stumbling around writing nonsense with big pens that made me look ridiculous,” wrote one reviewer.

                            “I could barely write my name without having to sit down afterwards- it's nine letters long and thus really takes it out of me when writing with a normal pen designed for men.

                            “But now... the whole world looks different. I cannot recommend this pen enough. It won't just change your handwriting. It will change your life.”

                            Marketing Magazine executive editor David Brown says playing with pink can be a dangerous game. Pink is strongly associated with the pink-ribbon campaign for breast cancer awareness and used poorly, could elicit a backlash from consumers.

                            “It feels like an archaic notion of what it means to be feminine,” said Brown. “It’s almost condescending.”

                            “Women are far more sophisticated than wrapping it in pink, but I can see the fun in it,” said Jill Nykoliation, president of the ad agency Juniper Park, which specializes in marketing to women.

                            “I love the colour pink, I really do. But this is not how you market to women. For as many women as it attracts, it could offend an equal number for being trite.”

                            Torstar News

                            VIDEO => http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFyU0...layer_embedded



                            Infographic: 30 years of American-built Honda Accord

                            Are we allowed to say that this infographic celebrating the 2013 Honda Accord might be – so far – the most interesting thing about the car? Breaking down thirty years and eight generations of Accord production at Honda's Marysville, Ohio plant, it's a detailed chart of how the Accord went from a 75-horsepower sedan that got 28 mpg, took 12.9 seconds to reach 60 mph in 1982 and boasted a digital clock, to a 185-hp (the four-cylinder model) sedan that gets 35 mpg, takes seven seconds to get to 60 mph and boasts the kinds of features you'd also find in a Mercedes-Benz.

                            The factory numbers are just as interesting, the Marysville plant taking six years to build its first million cars, then taking just two years to add another one million during the third-generation Accord, repeating the feat again twice during the fifth and sixth generations. The latest sedan and coupe carry the hopes of those nine million others that came before it, each generation of which made Car and Driver's 10-Best list. Let the games begin – after you check out the infographic, which you can click on to enlarge.

                            Click image for larger version

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                            Last edited by tokyodream; 01-11-12, 14:14.
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                            • http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/stor...s-october.html

                              Canadian auto sales up nearly 7%
                              Automakers have best October ever

                              Automakers in Canada had their best October ever, pushing industry sales up nearly seven per cent from a year ago and putting sales on track for what could be a record year.

                              Overall vehicle sales in Canada rose 7.8 per cent year-over-year last month to 135,476, compared with 125,680 in October 2011, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.

                              "Indeed, this is the best October ever, beating the previous record from 2002 when sales climbed to 134,694 units," Dennis DesRosiers said in a commentary.

                              "This positive performance pushed the (seasonally-adjusted annual rate) up to 1.78 million units, setting up Canada to see as many as 1.7 million units sold on a full-year basis."

                              DesRosiers notes that sales have only broken the 1.7 million mark in one other year, 2002, when about 25,000 of those vehicles were sold to Americans buying because of favourable exchange rates.

                              "If you take these export volumes into account, 2012 could be the best year ever," he said.

                              Gas prices have been a key concern for cost-conscious buyers and that's helped push growth in the smaller, more fuel-efficient car category higher than in the truck segment.

                              Car sales were up 16.3 per cent in October, while truck sales grew at a slower 1.7 per cent pace. For the year, car sales were up 10.1 per cent, compared to 4.1 per cent for trucks. Still, more trucks have been sold than cars so far this year and truck sales comprise 54.4 per cent of the market.

                              Ford Canada claimed the title of Canada's top-selling automaker for the month and for the year so far, taking about 17 per cent of the market share year-to-date.

                              The Canadian division of the U.S. automaker said Thursday its overall sales grew seven per cent to 20,565 vehicles from 19,190 in October 2011, largely driven by a 17 per cent jump in car sales.
                              Focus sales strong

                              Truck sales were also up, with a five per cent increase over last October.

                              Among Ford's best-selling vehicles were the Focus, which marked its best October since 2004 with sales up 50 per cent, and the sporty Mustang, which saw sales more than double.

                              "The auto industry is a key engine driving the Canadian economy and it is showing strong, sustainable growth," said Dianne Craig, president and CEO, Ford of Canada.

                              "Fuel economy continues to be a key purchase consideration for consumers and we are offering them the power of choice with the EcoBoost engines, hybrid vehicles and plug-in hybrids," she said.

                              Since January, Ford's sales are up just slightly, 0.5 per cent over last year's sales to date.

                              Meanwhile, rival Chrysler Canada said sales increased 2.7 per cent in its best October since 2002, also marking its 35th consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth.

                              Chrysler said vehicle sales totalled 17,504 last month, up from 17,049 in October 2011.

                              Increases in passenger car sales drove the growth, up 15 per cent, whereas truck sales rose less than one per cent.

                              "Chrysler Canada has experienced tremendous passenger car sales growth throughout 2012," said chief operating officer Dave Buckingham.

                              Meanwhile, DesRosiers reports that sales at General Motors fell 4.6 per cent to 18,651 vehicles sold, leaving it the only one of the big U.S. automakers with slower sales this year. Still, it managed to squeeze out Chrysler as the number two player in the month, though Chrysler still claims that spot on a year-to-date basis.

                              '2012 could be the best year ever.'—Dennis DesRosiers, DesRosiers Automotive Consultants

                              Meanwhile, foreign nameplates continue to gain traction against the Detroit players and now hold about 55 per cent of market share.

                              Sales at Japanese automakers ramped up as they continue to benefit from a return to full inventory after months of playing catch-up following the earthquake and tsunami last year.

                              Toyota Canada said preliminary estimates indicate sales jumped 11 per cent from last October and sales of its luxury Lexus vehicles were up 23 per cent.

                              And Honda Canada Inc. has reported a 20 per cent increase in vehicle sales in October compared with a year ago, led by a 28 per cent increase in its Acura luxury division.

                              The Honda division reported October sales of 11,590 units, up 19 per from last year, while the Acura division saw sales increase to 1,887 units.

                              DesRosiers pointed out that 13 automakers saw double digit increases last month with some of the biggest growth coming at Kia, which was up 24.1 per cent, Subaru, 31.2 per cent higher, Suzuki, up 25.3 per cent and Volkswagen, where sales grew 24.8 per cent.

                              Most luxury automakers did well last month, with Porsche sales up 116.7 per cent, Audi sales growing 37.6 per cent and BMW sales up 14 per cent.

                              Some exceptions to the overall positive sales momentum aside from GM included Volvo, down 32.2 per cent, Mercedes Benz, off 9.2 per cent, Mazda, 5.6 per cent lower and Jaguar, which saw sales fall 28.3 per cent, according to DesRosiers.

                              In the U.S., most major automakers reported sales increases in October despite some losing at least three days of business to the punishing rain and wind from superstorm Sandy.

                              Toyota said its sales rose almost 16 per cent for the month, while Volkswagen reported another strong month with sales up 22 per cent. Honda sales slowed from double-digit growth earlier in the year to 8.8 per cent, while Chrysler sales rose 10 per cent, General Motors was up five per cent and Ford rose slightly.
                              U.S. automakers lose 3 days of sales to Sandy

                              Most major automakers reported sales increases in October despite losing at least three days of business to the punishing rain and wind from Superstorm Sandy.

                              Toyota said its sales rose almost 16 per cent for the month, while Volkswagen reported another strong month with sales up 22 per cent. Honda sales slowed from double-digit growth earlier in the year to 8.8 per cent, while Chrysler sales rose 10 per cent, General Motors was up 5 per cent and Ford rose slightly.

                              Of major automakers, only Nissan reported a decrease, 3.2 per cent, as Sandy pounded the Northeast, the company's top-performing region.

                              Yet the results show that Americans continue to buy new cars and trucks at a strong pace. Chrysler predicted an annual sales rate of 14.7 million for the U.S. industry in October, making it one of the year's strongest months. Auto sales ran at an annual rate of 14.3 million through September.

                              Industry analysts estimated that the storm cut U.S. sales by about 20,000 cars and trucks in October as buyers hunkered down for the storm. But the Nissan brand, which gets 27 per cent of its U.S. sales from the Northeast, was hit particularly hard.

                              "It is absolutely a hurt on us," said Al Castignetti, vice-president of the Nissan division. As of Wednesday, 65 Nissan dealers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were closed due to lack of electricity, and they account for 40 per cent of the region's sales, Castignetti said.

                              Ford said Sandy probably cost the industry 20,000 to 25,000 sales for the month as buyers in the Northeast hunkered down for the storm at the end of the month.

                              In past storms, sales were postponed, but they typically recover quickly after people's lives stabilized, said Ford U.S. sales chief Ken Czubay.

                              He also said there were a "significant number" of vehicles damaged by flood waters, and that could also boost sales in November. "Typically after the insurance companies come in, people use those proceeds to buy new vehicles, which they need to get back and forth to continue their lives," Czubay said.
                              Small car sales help GM

                              Volkswagen said one-quarter of its dealerships were affected by the storm, but it still delivered its best October in nearly 40 years at just over 34,000 vehicles. Sales were led by the Passat midsize sedan, which was up 66 per cent.

                              Chrysler said it sold 126,000 cars and trucks for the month, led by the Ram pickup, which was up 20 per cent, and the Dodge Caravan van, which saw sales rise 49 per cent.

                              At Ford, sales increased only 0.4 per cent to 168,000 cars and trucks. The company said F-Series pickup trucks, the most popular vehicle in the nation, had their best October in eight years.

                              At GM, sales rose to nearly 196,000 vehicles for the month, led by the Cruze and Sonic small cars. Cruze sales were up 34 per cent, while Sonic sales rose 43 per cent.

                              Toyota said its sales rose to 155,000 vehicles. It will release more data later in the day.

                              At Nissan, the company said October ended on a down note with Sandy causing major disruption in an area where it has 225 dealers. The company's Nissan and Infiniti brands sod nearly 80,000 cars and trucks, down from just over 82,000 a year earlier.

                              Industry analysts were expecting an annual sales rate in October of 14.7 million to 14.9 million, but that was before Sandy hit Monday.

                              The storm could cut sales by one per cent to three per cent, or about 20,000 vehicles, said Jeff Schuster, senior vice-president of forecasting for LMC Automotive, an industry consulting firm. Schuster said any lost sales would likely shift to November, boosting totals for that month.



                              Honda to add 200 Ohio jobs
                              National report saying manufacturing on rise comes out on same day Honda announces $200 million investment.

                              Honda of America Manufacturing will invest $200 million in to two Ohio plants and bring 200 new jobs to the region — another sign manufacturing is coming back.

                              The manufacturer announced Thursday that it will invest the money in its transmission plant in Russells Point and engine plant in Anna on Thursday to mark its 30th anniversary of U.S. auto production. Honda already employs more than 13,500 Ohioans, including nearly 1,500 workers from Clark and Champaign counties and about 1,200 more from the rest of the Miami Valley.

                              Honda’s announcement coincided with a report Thursday that manufacturing grew nationally for the second straight month in October.

                              Honda spokesman Ron Lietzke said the positions would mostly be in engine assembly and lathe machining — a tool that rotates material while doing operations such as cutting or sanding. He said wages would start at around $14 an hour, a rate that increases to $24 an hour in about two years.

                              “Any employer in our community or out in surrounding areas is critical to survival of the region,” said Sue Bailey Evans, director of both the Champaign County and Logan County departments of Job and Family Services. “As Honda has been looking at expansions, it affects the entire region … not just the county the plants are located in.”

                              Lietzke said the expansions represent the 30 years of production expertise and quality gained in Ohio. He said Honda produces about 90 percent of its product in North America now.

                              “All this investment leads to increased capacity for demand in America but also to meet demand around the world,” he said.

                              The Institute for Supply Management said Thursday that its index of factory activity rose last month to 51.7, up from September’s reading of 51.5. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

                              The ISM is a trade group of purchasing managers.

                              The figure is slightly below the average for the year of 52.2. Other reports have suggested that manufacturing is slowing, hampered by less business investment and fewer exports. But the ISM survey points to continued, if gradual, expansion, driven by increased consumer spending.

                              Since a drop in production and sales last year after natural disasters, Honda has recovered and grown 36 percent in sales over last year.

                              And in the last 18 months, Honda has invested $500 million in Ohio manufacturing plants and added 150 new jobs.

                              Those include:

                              $166 million for a 195,000 square foot expansion and new and expanded assembly lines at East Liberty Auto Plant
                              $64 million for a 24,000 square foot expansion and new metal stamping capabilities at Marysville Auto Plant
                              $129 million for a 320,000 square foot expansion and new pulleys at Anna Engine Plant
                              $145 million to increase high-pressure die casting operations and add another line for production of the 2012 Accord at Russells Point

                              Stocks jumped after the release of the October supply management report, along with another report that showed consumer confidence surged last month to the highest level in nearly five years. The Dow Jones industrial average, which had already risen about 70 points after the opening bell, was up 139 points in morning trading.

                              The survey was completed before Hurricane Sandy disrupted business activity along the East Coast and cut power to millions of homes, an ISM spokesman said.

                              The Associated Press contributed to this report.



                              Honda says Oct China auto sales down 54 pct yr-on-yr

                              Nov 2 (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co Ltd and its China joint ventures sold 24,115 vehicles in the country in October, down 54 percent from a year earlier, the Japanese automaker said on Friday.

                              The declined has accelerated from September when sales declined 41 percent.

                              For the first ten months, sales were up 2.7 percent at 494,108 cars, Honda said in a statement.

                              Honda makes vehicles in China in partnership with Dongfeng Motor Group Co and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co . (Reporting by Fang Yan in BEIJING and Kazunori Takada in SHANGHAI)



                              Spied: Facelifted 2013 Honda Civic Sedan Caught In The Wild

                              It’s no secret Honda was rushing an update to its maligned Civic to market, but the result was kept under tight wraps – until now. Our spy photographer recently caught a 2013 Civic sedan out in the wild with precious little camouflage.
                              Given that Honda’s updates come a year after the ninth-generation Civic launched in our marketplace, it’s not surprising to discover much of the car’s exterior – notably its greenhouse — is carried over. The front clip is new, and bears a close resemblance to the company’s new 2013 Accord – the front fenders are a little more rounded, the hood bulge a little more pronounced, and headlamp assemblies – including projector lamp units as shown here – no longer blend seamlessly into the grille aperture. The bumper fascia is also new, as is the scalloped lower air dam.
                              Similar revisions grace the 2013 Civic’s tail. New tail lamps echo those of the Accord, stretching into the decklid, but its arrangement – brake lamps on top, turn signals on the bottom – is the inverse of the Accord. A new bumper fascia attempts to add some curvaceous flair beneath the trunk lid, but its corners are rather slab-sided for aerodynamic reasons. We wouldn’t be surprised if the white tape at the lower edge of the bumper obscures red reflectors – if so, it’s yet another cue cribbed from the new Accord.
                              Much of the criticism surrounding the 2012 Civic was aimed squarely at its interior – or, more importantly, its lackluster trim materials. These photos provide little evidence of the 2013 Civic’s interior makeover, though one image does show the car will continue to utilize its two-tier gauge cluster arrangement. Sources close to the program tell us there’s been a concentrated push within Honda to spruce up the look and feel of the cabin.
                              Although Honda’s revamping its global powertrain strategy, we wouldn’t be surprised if the 2013 Civic initially does without any major mechanical revisions. There is a chance direct fuel injection could trickle into the lineup much like it did on the 2013 Accord, but perhaps at a later date. The same goes for a revamped version of the one-motor IMA hybrid system, which we hear will ultimately wind up in the Insight and Civic Hybrid.
                              During a recent interview, Tetsuo Iwamura, president and CEO of American Honda, imparted to us his desire for the Civic to become a benchmark of the crowded compact segment once again.
                              “We really wish to be the best in that segment; we really wish to be the benchmark in that segment again,” Iwamura said. “This is a lesson we’ve learned – we have to be the best.”
                              Will the updated 2013 Civic live up to Iwamura’s lofty goals? We’ll find out shortly, as the car is expected to debut later this year at the 2012 Los Angeles auto show.

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                              Last edited by tokyodream; 02-11-12, 08:26.
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                              • http://www.vtec.net/news/news-item?news_item_id=1107830

                                American Honda Reports October Sales: Double-Digit Accord Gains Fueled by All-New Model; Acura RDX S

                                Honda Division sales up 8.7 percent, Acura sales up 9.4 percent

                                11/01/2012 - TORRANCE, Calif.

                                American Honda today reported October 2012 U.S. sales of 106,973 units, an increase of 8.8 percent compared with October 2011. The Honda Division posted October 2012 sales of 94,810 units, an increase of 8.7 percent compared with October 2011. Acura U.S. October sales of 12,163 units increased 9.4 percent compared with October 2011.

                                - Accord leads all Honda vehicles in October with sales of 28,349 units, posting a 25-percent gain compared to the year prior, as production of all-new 2013 Accord has ramped up
                                - Civic gains 27 percent compared with October 2011 with sales of 20,687 units
                                - CR-V, Crosstour, Ridgeline and Fit all post October sales gains

                                "The strong momentum of Honda sales continues despite the end-of-month timing of Hurricane Sandy, but our chief concern right now is with those who have been impacted by this devastating natural disaster," said John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president of Sales. "With sales of the all-new Accord building each month, we look forward to Honda's solid end-of-year finish."

                                - RDX sets its sixth-consecutive monthly sales record with 2,659 units, up 62 percent compared with October 2011 and is on track for an all-time annual sales mark
                                - MDX and RDX combine to set new October light-truck sales record of 6,476 units, up 18 percent from October 2011

                                "Acura's one-two punch of luxury performance SUVs is obviously resonating with consumers, with new October records set for both RDX and our truck lineup," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura Sales. "With our sedan lineup growing stronger via the new ILX and the upcoming debut of the all-new Acura RLX, Acura continues to gain momentum."

                                The daily selling rate (DSR) is calculated with 26 days for October 2012 and 26 days for October 2011. Year-to-date, the DSR is calculated with 256 days for 2012 and 255 days for 2011. All other percentages in release are unadjusted; see table for adjusted DSR figures.

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