Ultimele articole din presa straina referitoare la Honda

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  • http://www.autoblog.com/2012/11/19/w...ound-to-honda/

    Will Hyundai's MPG malfunction give ground to Honda?

    One man's loss is another man's gain. The same notion can be applied to the automotive marketplace, where bad press for one brand presents an opportune time to capitalize for another. A new Bloomberg puts forth a potential automotive example of this – fallout stemming from the recent Hyundai and Kia fuel economy debacle. The Korean automakers were recently marred for incorrectly calculating their fuel economy data, resulting in the downward adjustment of the fuel economy figures for many of their most popular models.

    While this represents a setback for Kia and Hyundai, brands like Toyota and Honda are looking to gain ground on the two Korean marques, which have been catching up to Japan's volume automakers thanks to their radically improved lineups.

    In 2010, Hyundai began touting its lineup as the most fuel-efficient in America. This stirred emotions at Honda, a brand that had been the nation's top performer in fuel economy for 33 years. With this recent adjustment by Hyundai, Honda is evidently hoping to wear the fuel efficiency crown once again.

    According to the report, the Korean automakers' errors came in the EPA's "coastdown" test, in which a test car is driven to 80 mph, put in neutral and "coasted" to 9 mph. Hyundai admits this part of the test was not performed correctly. According to Sung Hwan Cho, president of Hyundai's US technical center, "These were just honest procedure errors in a very complex testing process."

    Adding to Honda's opportunity is the recently previewed 2013 Honda Civic, set to go on sale the same day it is revealed at this month's LA Motor Show. The 2012 model came in for harsh criticism from the automotive press, though the model's sales proved largely unaffected by the controversy. Industry analysts suggest that Honda's new (and presumably improved) 2013 Civic should put the automaker in prime position to reclaim both consumer mindshare and the industry's MPG crown.



    Honda unveils new diesel for overseas Civic... will it come here?

    Honda has indeed been promoting its new Earth Dreams family of fuel efficient engines, and with good reason. The next generation of the Japanese automaker's powerplants are said to deliver more power with less consumption. You can't go wrong there.

    So it has greatly piqued our interest that Honda has taken the wraps off the first diesel member of the Earth Dreams family. This 1.6-liter i-DTEC inline-four will be launched in the European version of the Honda Civic starting in the beginning of next year. The engine makes 118 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. It is made up of aluminum block and cylinder heads, and according to Honda, is the lightest diesel engine in its class.

    Part of this new engine design is a fourth-generation Garret turbocharger, which features a variable-nozzle design. The speed of the turbo is also electronically controlled to optimize fuel efficiency and minimize turbo lag. The engine is designed specifically with the European market in mind, and will be produced in Honda's Swindon, UK manufacturing facility. Honda is capable of making 500 of these new diesel engines per day, which equates to one new engine every 138 seconds. Not bad for productivity.

    So will this diesel mill come to the US market? Right now, it seems unlikely, but with diesel variants of other vehicles popping up in North America (there's that new C-segment Cruze Diesel on its way), it's not unthinkable that Honda would bring this engine over. Until then, we'll just have to keep our fingers crossed. To pass the time, you can also check out the press release below and gallery above, featuring detailed engine photos.


    Honda Adds High Performance, Low Emission, Small Diesel Engine to the Civic line-up

    The new 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine is the first engine from Honda's Earth Dreams Technology series to be launched in Europe. The engine will be introduced on the Civic at the beginning of 2013. Combining competitive power (120 PS) and class-leading torque (300 Nm @ 2000 rpm) with CO2 emissions of just 94 g/km the new Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC offers impressive fuel economy and performance.
    "The key focus of our Earth Dreams Technology philosophy is to balance environmental efficiency with the dynamic performance expected of a Honda," says Suehiro Hasshi, Large Project Leader for all Civic models in Europe including the 1.6-litre i-DTEC. "It is important that our cars are fun to drive."

    "This is a new approach from the ground up," Tetsuya Miyake, Project Leader for the 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine. "There were no benchmarks for us because those targets would have been too low. We were determined to establish a benchmark of our own that our competitors would have to follow."

    "Developing this engine has been all about smart, pure engineering," says Suehiro Hasshi. "Our motivation has been to make many small detail improvements that, together, make a major difference. That is the challenge and the beauty of the Earth Dreams Technology philosophy."

    The new 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine has been specifically designed for the European market, to meet growing customer demand for low emission diesel engines. The new engine will be uniquely built for the European market at Honda's European manufacturing facility in Swindon, UK. Demonstrating the importance of this new diesel engine to Honda's sales plans in Europe, a new purpose built diesel engine production line has been installed at Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM). This new line is capable of producing up to 500 diesel engines in one day. Operating on a two shift pattern this equates to 1 engine every 138 seconds. The new line will produce both the new 1.6-litre i-DTEC and the existing 2.2-litre i-DTEC engines.

    The 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine will also be applied to the new CR-V (also built at HUM) later in 2013, and the Earth Dreams Technology philosophy will be applied to all of Honda's power trains in the future.

    The New Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC: The Engine in Detail

    Lightest Diesel Engine in its class

    Honda's new 1.6-litre i-DTEC is comprised of an aluminium cylinder head joined to an open deck aluminium block. It is the lightest diesel engine in its class, weighing 47kg less than Honda's 2.2-litre i-DTEC engine.

    All the individual components have been redesigned to minimise their weight and size and advanced production techniques have helped reduce weight even further.

    The thickness of the cylinder walls has been reduced to 8mm, compared with 9mm for the 2.2-litre i-DTEC. This is an exceptional achievement for a diesel engine. In addition, lighter pistons and connection rods have been utilised in the 1.6-litre i-DTEC.

    Reduced Mechanical Friction

    The key target for Honda's development engineers was to reduce the mechanical friction of the 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine to the level equivalent of a petrol engine. "All the rotating parts have been carefully optimised to reduce their friction," says Tetsuya Miyake. For example, a shorter and thinner piston skirt has been used. At 1500rpm, the 1.6-litre i-DTEC has around 40% less mechanical friction than the 2.2-litre i-DTEC.
    "This not only reduces emissions and improves fuel efficiency; it also improves the engine's response, both on and off the throttle, making the car more fun to drive. We have reduced the mechanical friction of the engine to the level equivalent of an existing petrol engine, which is an outstanding achievement."

    Clever Turbocharger

    The 4th generation Garrett turbocharger used on the 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine features an efficient variable-nozzle design and its rotational speed is precisely controlled by the car's electronics, minimising turbo lag and providing an optimal combination of low- to mid-range pull and high-speed performance. The turbo has a maximum boost pressure of 1.5bar.

    Efficient Fuel Injection System and Air Flow

    Honda's 1.6 i-DTEC uses a Bosch solenoid injection system which is capable of operating at a high pressure of 1800bar. A high fuel pressure means that the fuel is injected at a faster rate and the finer the atomization of the fuel spray. This improves the fuel mixing with the air resulting in a cleaner and more efficient combustion helping to achieve the low emissions and fuel consumption.
    Honda's engineers have also worked to improve the volumetric efficiency of the cylinders, employing a high intake flow and a high swirl head port precisely controlling the combustion process to reduce hot spots that create unwanted emissions. The engine air flow is managed by using an EGR (Exhaust gas recirculation) system that operates at high and low pressure to reduce NOx emissions.

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    Honda showcases heritage at Honda Collection Hall museum

    Honor takes precedence in Japan and there is no better place for Honda to show off its proud heritage than at Twin Ring Motegi race track a few hours outside of Tokyo.

    On the grounds of the park-like race track's hilly and forested terrain, the rather industrial-looking Honda Collection Hall serves as the automaker's museum. Divided into three floors, the museum contains an extensive collection of both street and racing versions of Honda's motorcycles and passenger cars, plus hints of its less glamorous but still important products like generators, lawn mowing equipment and marine power. At the time of our visit, Honda also dedicated a large portion of its display to the history of ASIMO, its remarkably humanoid robot.

    Topped perhaps only by the Dutch in terms of their love for the bicycle, the Japanese have a rich heritage of motorizing the two wheel machines. About half of the museum's floor space is dedicated to motorcycles, which seems a little unfair given how much less space they take up compared to cars and trucks.

    As a result, Honda only has about one third as many cars on display, but the breadth of the collection is more notable than its depth.

    In the entryway of the museum, for example, sits a 1924 Curtiss Special race car, an elegant and sleek – by period standards – performance machine that was built by then-18-year-old mechanic Soichiro Honda. The automaker's founder's humble beginnings stand in stark contrast to arch rival Toyota, which was a well-established loom maker before a family heir pushed the company to produce vehicles.

    Since Honda didn't actually begin building four-wheeled vehicles en masse until the early 1960s, it would be easy, if not fair, to state that the company doesn't have much of a history. However, the powder blue T360 mini pickup – the brand's first model – offers several glimpses into what eventually became a gigantic global automaker.

    The big H logo that adorns the T360 showed that Honda was already a known entity for its motorcycles. Taking a page from trucks designed for Europe, the T360's engine is mid-mounted for optimal space and weight balance.

    The truck might have been Honda's volume model, but the S500 sports car (a red one is on display at the museum) hints that the T360 was merely a means for justifying something vastly more entertaining. With a 9, 500 rpm redline (and a gauge that, literally, goes to 11 – 11,000 rpm, that is), the S500 is an intriguing fusion between motorcycle and roadster.

    That injection of passion is found in almost every model Honda had on display during our visit, although not all are as obvious as the S-badged roadsters or the Honda NSX (sold here as the Acura NSX) mid-engine high performance car.

    But what good is a sporty car without some competition credentials? Honda reserved one of the museum's three floors to its storied racing heritage. Though the Honda-dominated Indycar series reigns supreme in North America, the automaker has competed in numerous series across the globe. A few Formula 1 vehicles serve as a reminder that Honda was long a major player in that series – and many anticipate that the big H will be back in F1 before long.

    Enjoy the photo gallery. We've attempted to precede every vehicle photo with a shot of a placard or sticker that serves as an identifying marker. We also included a handful of motorcycle shots for the two-wheel enthusiasts out there.

    Words and photos by Andrew Ganz.

    Note that Google has mapped out a lap around Twin Ring Motegi with Street View... you're bound to find a quintessentially Japanese surprise at the finish line. The Honda Collection Hall is just south of the track on the other side of the road marked 291. If you've found what looks like a dirt oval track, the Collection Hall is across the large parking lot.

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    Honda: Big growth in Japan won't outweigh China struggles

    Honda says it is confident that new car sales in its domestic market of Japan will grow over the next several months, but a general sentiment in China against Japanese products has forced it to lower its overall profit projections.

    The Japanese automaker today ratcheted up its home market sales forecast for the fiscal year ending next March to 850,000 new cars in its home market, a 16 percent increase from what it had projected previously.

    The bid of confidence in Japan comes on strong early sales for its two new city cars, the N Box and N One. The two cars, which fall under Japan's special "kei" car tax bracket, boast city-friendly proportions and a dose of style not often seen in the segment.

    In addition, Honda will also soon begin selling a hybrid version of its Accord in Japan.

    However, the good news out of Japan was offset by what Honda expects will become a 20 percent decline in overall profitability thanks to dramatically lower sales in China.

    Japan and China have sparred over a tiny island chain, a territorial dispute that has seen a dramatic backlash against Japanese products in China. Sales of Japanese products of any kind - not just new cars - have plummeted in China.

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    • http://www.mediapost.com/publication...#axzz2CrVDIWlE

      Honda Launches Humorous Year-End Campaign

      Honda is joining the year-end sales mix with “Happy Honda Days.” The effort, which has an oddly ’60's color-TV feel, features the odd parent or two, with an obstreperous mother saying the wrong things to her son at the wrong time, among other wackos. Each ad has someone thanking Honda for a great deal.

      The effort, ending Jan. 2, features six TV spots that feature the Honda product line plus rearview camera, Pandora Internet radio and Bluetooth HandsFreeLink.

      Sarah May Bates, RPA's assistant creative director on the account, concedes that this isn't exactly buying season, though it's critical for automakers for a couple of reasons: it pulls sales out of the hat to make year-end volume.

      Automakers in recent years have moved away from hard-sell to humor, and Honda's no different. Bates points out that the Honda Days effort "pulls consumers in with a brighter, more fun approach than the screaming ‘buy it or die’ messaging,” she said. “These are humorous and relatable stories filled with colorful characters—mischievous kids, moocher roommates and hard-to-read fathers-in-law—that will hopefully be more entertaining for car shoppers this holiday season.”

      Spots will air on appointment shows like “Modern Family,” “The Good Wife,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “The Office,” “X-Factor,” and on ESPN, TNT and TLC.

      The company says creative will also be integrated on display ads running on car-shopping sites and network radio. There are also two Spanish-language TV commercials (the company has used La Agencia de Orci' & Asociados for years to handle Hispanic market efforts.) Print will run in magazines like Entertainment Weekly, People, Sports Illustrated, Time, Us Weekly, USA Today and Wall Street Journal.

      The company says there will also be Tier III elements that give dealers and, presumably, regional dealer groups access to customizable TV, print, radio, banners and social media assets.



      Honda reveals Earth Dreams 1.6L diesel

      Honda has taken the wraps off the latest addition to its efficiency-focused Earth Dreams engine lineup – a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel that the automaker claims is optimized for both fuel efficiency and fun.
      Set to debut in the European-market Civic early next year, the mill produces 118 horsepower and a healthy 221 lb-ft of torque. Helping to achieve those figures is a fourth-generation Garrett turbocharger with variable-nozzle technology that cuts down on turbo lag while also decreasing fuel consumption.
      One of Honda’s goals in developing the 1.6-liter mill was reducing mechanical friction to a level comparable to a gasoline motor in order to improve throttle response. At 1 500rpm, the motor has around 40 per cent less friction than Honda’s existing 2.2-liter diesel.
      “[Decreased friction] not only reduces emissions and improves fuel efficiency; it also improves the engine’s response, both on and off the throttle, making the car more fun to drive,” said Tetsuya Miyake, project leader for the new motor.
      Honda has yet to announce plans to bring the oil-burning mill, which was designed primarily for European consumption, to the states. However, given Mazda’s decision to offer its SkyActiv diesel in the U.S., in addition to the fact that GM will launch a diesel-powered Chevrolet Cruze next year, we wouldn’t rule out the 1.6-liter eventually making its way stateside.

      Last edited by tokyodream; 21-11-12, 15:16.
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      • http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...-worst-is-over

        Japan Carmakers Plan China Growth as Partner Says Worst Over

        Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and Honda Motor Co. (7267), recovering from a consumer backlash in China, will continue to expand in the world’s largest auto market as their local venture partner said the worst is over.

        Toyota will introduce 20 new models to China in the next three years, Senior Managing Officer Hiroji Onishi said at the Guangzhou auto show yesterday. Honda is guaranteeing buyers against damage due to anti-Japan sentiment, while Nissan Motor Co. (7201) said it is targeting to expand in smaller Chinese cities with its Venucia brand.

        They are participating in their first major car show in China since large-scale, anti-Japan protests broke out in September over a territorial dispute that led to some cars being smashed and dealerships torched. The most difficult period has passed and people are calmer, said Zeng Qinghong, general manager of Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., which operates joint ventures with both Toyota and Honda.

        “In 2013 Japanese brands will go all out to regain any lost ground encountered in the fourth quarter of this year,” Namrita Chow, a Shanghai-based analyst at industry researcher IHS Automotive, said. “This will mean new model launches, discounts and good service packages as well as an increased line up of models on offer to consumers in China.”
        Territorial Dispute

        Guangzhou Auto’s shares rose 1.2 percent to HK$5.79 as of the midday break in Hong Kong trading, extending yesterday’s 4.6 percent advance that was the biggest gain in a month. The benchmark Hang Seng Index (HSI) added 0.3 percent today.

        Japanese automakers reported a plunge in China deliveries in September and October, as Chinese consumers shunned their cars after tensions escalated over the group of disputed islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

        Toyota showed 46 models at this year’s show in Guangzhou, expanding its exhibition space by 12.5 percent from last year. Honda, Japan’s third-biggest carmaker, displayed 23 models at the show, including the Fit hybrid compact, with plans to begin local production of hybrid models in China from 2014, according to the Tokyo-based company.

        Showroom traffic at Nissan dealerships have recovered to last year’s levels while orders are at 80 percent, said Hideki Kimata, senior vice president at the carmaker’s Chinese joint venture, Dongfeng Motor Co. Nissan’s commitment to China hasn’t changed and the automaker wants to assure consumers that the brand is “safe and secure,” he said.
        Peaceful Resolution

        “Growth for Japanese brands will depend on how quickly the two countries solve the territorial dispute peacefully,” said Chow of IHS, which estimated that Japanese carmakers may suffer production cuts into 2014 and lose a combined 650,000 units in vehicle production if tensions don’t abate.

        In contrast, Volkswagen AG (VOW) and General Motors Co. said they aim to continue growing faster than the industry in China.

        Volkswagen, which also owns the Skoda and Audi brands, is outpacing the industry growth rate as “every business, every brand is selling especially well,” China chief Jochem Heizmann told reporters Nov. 21.

        “Next year’s growth won’t be at the past five years’ rate, but China will continue to grow, at a healthy, rational, mild growth rate which is better for the Chinese market’s development,” Jochem said.

        GM’s sales in China may be lifted by gains in commercial vehicle deliveries and demand for passenger cars, said Bob Socia, the automaker’s China chief, in an interview at the Guangzhou show.
        ‘Formidable Competition’

        The company aims to keep its position as the market leader among foreign automakers in China and focus on promoting its Cadillac brand, sport utility vehicles and export business, he said. Volkswagen edged ahead of GM (GM) in the third quarter in China sales, the first time in eight years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

        “We recognize that there’s some formidable competition out there, but next year should be a pretty good year,” Socia said. “What we want to do is continue to outstrip the growth in the industry and try to grab share along the way, as we’ve done this year.”

        Marin Burela, president of Ford Motor Co. (F)’s China joint venture, said 2013 will be a “red-letter year” for the automaker in the country as it competes in more vehicle segments.

        “We will definitely sell more cars in 2013 than this year,” he said in Guangzhou. “We’ve now started to open up and enter into segments we previously did not compete in. We’re absolutely focused on the SUV market because it is a very fast- growing market.”



        Toyota, Honda, and Nissan Talk Losses at Chinese Auto Show

        At the Guangzhou Auto Show, Japanese car makers are admitting to a bad year. With a slumped Chinese car market, and violent anti-Japanese protests, Japanese car sales have plummeted.

        Even so, Mazda's China chief, Noriaki Yamada, predicted sales would be back to 'business as usual' by the end of March.

        [Noriaki Yamada, President of Mazda China]:
        "So far this year Mazda China sales have unfortunately been lower than those of last year due to a sluggish market and the (other) circumstances."

        An overall market slump has generally stunted the growth of car sales in China. In 2010, sales surged 35 percent but grew just 2.5 percent last year due to the sluggish economy. This year the market is expected to grow about 5 percent.

        But Japanese car sales have been particularly battered after widespread anti-Japanese protests throughout September. Demonstrators called for a boycott of Japanese goods and damaged Japanese cars.

        Nissan Motor Co, Honda Motor Co, Toyota Motor Corp, and Mazda Motor Corp have been counting the cost of lost sales. Demand for leading Japanese car brands in China virtually halved last month. Japanese firms saw their market share plummet to 17 percent from 19 percent at end-August.

        Blaming the China impact, Nissan cut its full-year net profit forecast by a fifth. Out of the three, Nissan is the most exposed in China. Honda also revised down its forecasts for the year by 20 percent.

        Toyota managed to increase its annual profit forecast, but it's less exposed to the Chinese market. China accounts for 27 percent of Nissan's total vehicle sales, a fifth of Honda's sales and 12 percent of Toyota's global sales.

        Mazda said Thursday that it expects its China car sales to fall by more than a third this month from a year earlier, dragging fourth-quarter sales down by around 40 percent.

        In a bid to win back the hearts and wallets of Chinese drivers Japanese carmakers have been compensating car owners and dealers for damage and injuries incurred during protests. This has been a low-key campaign as they don't want to invite a flood of unrelated claims.

        None of the carmakers have said how many cases are involved or how much they expect to pay out. Whether this catch up effort will be sufficient to bring back customers also remains to be seen.

        Over the long haul, Chinese car makers have been stepping up. Great Wall Motor, which started off as a tiny workshop making cheap pickup trucks 20 years ago, has become China's top SUV and pickup maker. US brand Ford Motors' China car sales have risen in recent months.



        The Best Crossover Vehicles for Families

        November 22nd, 2012 · No Comments

        With the comfort of a small passenger car and the spaciousness of an SUV, crossovers have become extremely popular with families. They are currently one of the fastest-growing classes in the industry. Minivans were the family car of choice in the 1990′s, with SUVs taking their place in the 2000′s. Today’s families are in search of greater fuel efficiency and flexibility with their vehicles, which they can find with crossovers.

        When reading family car reviews with Motoring you’ll want to look for a few key features. You may want a green-friendly car, but you’ll also want a vehicle that has flexible seating and storage space. The amount of room in the vehicle is essential, whether you’re taking your kids on the typical school run or across the country to visit Grandma. The best crossovers not only are efficient and spacious, but they also come equipped with the latest technology and gadgets to keep the family entertained. Safety ratings, style, and price all factor into the decision as well. The following crossover vehicles meet all of these standards, and make excellent options for families.

        Honda CR-V
        The top-selling crossover on the market is the Honda CR-V, having sold millions since its original debut. There has been a recent 2012 design which has made the CR-V more appealing to families. It comes equipped with the latest technological features, including digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, and a rear-vision camera to aid backing up and parking. The mileage isn’t as good as some other options on this list, but is still reasonable at 26 mpg.

        Kia Sportage
        Although the Sportage is extremely practical, it also manages to be quite stylish. This makes it popular with young urbanites as well as families. Its low market price makes it an affordable new car, and it comes with a mix of cutting edge technology and excellent mileage at 23 mpg. Top features include a voice activated entertainment system, spacious cabin, large boot, and alloy wheels.
        Volkswagen Tiguan
        The Tiguan is small, smooth, and sporty. It may be the most fun crossover to drive with its strong handling capabilities. Yet its roomy interior is suitable for families. The rear seats can be moved to meet your needs, whether you need them to slide forward or recline for extra storage. This car isn’t as economical as some other options, but it’s sleek and practical at the same time.
        Subaru Forester
        The Forester is extremely roomy, making it easy to load and unload car seats from passenger areas. It also offers generous cargo space, which allows you to load it up for camping trips or other family outings. Gas mileage stands at 23 mpg for a combination of city and highway driving. In terms of style, the Forester stands higher than many other crossovers, which allows it to handle rougher terrain. This can make it feel more adventurous and in line with a traditional SUV than other options on this list.
        Ford Kuga
        The Kuga is Ford’s first crossover vehicle, offering a smooth ride and comfortable seating. It has a high safety rating, and interior features such as Bluetooth connectivity, voice control activation, and climate control. This offering from Ford has everything a family might want in a crossover vehicle, with plenty of storage space to spare.



        Honda bringing Insight and Fit Hybrid to market in China; prepping for local production

        At the 10th China (Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition, Honda announced it was introducing the Insight and the Fit Hybrid to the China market, in addition to the CR-Z, which was launched in July.
        Honda also announced its plans to further expand its lineup of hybrid models in China. In order to offer its hybrid models to Chinese customers at more affordable prices, Honda will begin preparation for local production of hybrid models in China in 2014.
        Honda also is planning to open a tentative design studio in China before the end of this year to strengthen the development of exclusive China models by Chinese designers.



        Honda of Australia dominates with 245 hp Honda Fit Rally Car

        Honda of Australia recently announced that they would race 2 Honda Fit’s in the 2012 Bosch Australian Rally Championship. With the season over, Rally Driver Eli Evans secured a first place finish in the 2WD Australian Rally Championship For the past 2 years, Honda has been using the Civic Type R, but have made the switch to the lighter and more nimble Honda Fit to be used for G2 Class spec.
        Click here to see the points spread for the rally season.
        Honda of Australia equipped the Honda Fit with a Mugen 2 liter pumping out 245 HP and 142 lb-ft of torque.
        Click here to see a video of the Honda Fit rally car in action.
        According to the press release, Honda Australia spokesperson, Lindsay Smalley said the new cars will take Honda from challengers to champions. "We are excited about this year of rallying. Racing is in Honda's DNA. These rally cars are modified with the best engineering from Australia and Europe. Fitted with Mugen engines, these may well be the fastest Jazz in the world!
        "Honda is proud to continue its support of Australian rallying and we hope next season will be even better than the last. As our founder Mr. Honda said, if Honda does not race, there is no Honda," Mr. Smalley said.
        That last statement sums up what Honda has slowly been creeping back into, racing. With the introduction of the Hybrid NSX coming soon, the revamping of a new sportier Honda CR-Z, there reinvolvement in grassroots motorsports with B spec racing, the introduction of there new Earth Dreams engines and rumors of Honda’s return to F1 all mean that Honda sees itself healthy enough to put some R&D into racing.



        Japanese automakers ramping production for renewed American sales

        The 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan took quite the toll on the automotive industry in that nation. Not content to lean on that tragedy as excuse for slagging sales, the Japanese automakers are planning on a major production expansion in North America. The aim is to reclaim the market share lost from the Tsunami-based dip, and overcome a dollar/yen exchange rate that makes exporting to America unprofitable.

        Following the Tsunami, Japanese automakers ramped up production in their North American facilities to compensate, but according to Automotive News, Nissan, Honda and others have all reported plans for still-further increased production in the year ahead. As part of this ramp-up, Mazda will open a facility in Salamnca, Mexico before March of 2014. Part of that increase in output is 50,000 units of a Toyota-badged compact car, which Mazda will produce.

        Other Mexican production facilities opening include a Honda plant, which will open in Spring 2014 in Celaya, and a Nissan plant, set to open later this year in Aguascalientes. Nissan also said that it will need another plant in North America within the next five years. According to Nissan Boss Carlos Ghosn, the company aims to raise its stake in the US market from 8 percent to 10, and adding production will help achieve that goal. Even Mitsubishi is aiming to boost production at its Normal, Illinois plant. Production of the Outlander Sport is currently at 50,000, which Mitsubishi wants to raise to 70,000.

        All of these moves come in reaction to growing demand for Japanese cars, as well as the yen's growing value versus the American dollar. Such a disparity hurts Japanese automakers' ability to make a profit from exporting vehicles. As a result, moving production to the US and Mexico have become the best viable option.

        Last edited by tokyodream; 23-11-12, 11:39.
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        • Auto Bild au testat Civicul diesel si au ramas impresionati.

          HONDA. The finest from Japan. Since 1963.


          • Foreign autos lead resale values
            Jeep Wrangler only domestic vehicle on list


            Japanese cars demand the highest resale values in Kelley Blue Book's 2013 Best Resale Value Awards. But their lead isn't what it used to be.

            Foreign automobiles make up nine of the 10 best 2013 model year vehicles for resale values. Only Chrysler Group LLC's Jeep Wrangler is in the top 10, though Ford Motor Co. made great strides overall.

            "I think Toyota and Honda have been fairly dominant just about every year," said Eric Ibara, director of residual consulting for Kelley Blue Book. "The domestics have made very good improvements, so they may not be at the top of the segments, but they're no longer so far behind."

            Another report, from ALG, a TrueCar company, had no domestic automakers leading any category.

            Projected resale values are calculated as a percent of a vehicle's base price after a 60-month period; they are also based on supply and demand. Most options and packages added to a vehicle do not necessarily increase its resale value, Kelley Blue Book said, with the exception of a high-performance engine or a performance package in a sports car.

            Honda Motor Co. swept four crucial vehicle segments in Kelley Blue Book's report: subcompact, compact, sporty compact and midsize. The Japanese automaker's Honda Fit, Civic, Civic Si and Accord had the best resale value in their particular segments.

            Toyota Motor Corp. has the best resale value in six segments: full-size (Avalon), midsize SUV-crossover (FJ Cruiser), full-size SUV-crossover (Sequoia), midsize pickup (Tacoma), full-size pickup (Tundra) and minivan-van (Sienna).

            Domestic automakers General Motors Co., Ford and Chrysler each won at least one segment. Chrysler's Jeep Wrangler has the best resale value among compact SUV-crossovers. The resale value of Chrysler brands ranged from 33.7 percent (Fiat) to 44.3 percent (Jeep).

            Ford's Fusion has the best resale value among hybrid and alternative energy cars. The Fusion, which is available as a hybrid, will have the option of a plug-in hybrid, plus three other conventional powertrain options. It had a nearly 11 percentage point increase in its residual value, compared to a 2.5 percent gain for Ford vehicles overall.

            The Fusion is not the leader in ALG's analysis; that honor goes to the Toyota Prius c.

            Chevrolet's Volt has the best resale value among electric vehicles, and the automaker's Camaro V6 (sports car) and Camaro SS (high-performance car) also took segment honors. GM brands' numbers ranged from 33.1 percent (Buick) to 37 percent (Chevrolet).

            Best resale value by vehicle category:

            Subcompact car: Honda Fit
            Compact car: Honda Civic
            Sporty compact car: Honda Civic Si
            Midsize car: Honda Accord

            Full-size car: Toyota Avalon
            Entry-level luxury car: Lexus IS
            Luxury car: Lexus GS 350
            High-end luxury car: Porsche Panamera
            Sports car: Chevrolet Camaro V6
            High-performance car: Chevrolet Camaro SS
            Hybrid/alternative energy car: Ford Fusion
            Electric vehicle: Chevrolet Volt
            Compact SUV/crossover: Jeep Wrangler
            Midsize SUV/crossover: Toyota FJ Cruiser
            Full-size SUV/crossover: Toyota Sequoia
            Luxury compact SUV/crossover: Infiniti EX
            Luxury midsize SUV/crossover: Porsche Cayenne
            Luxury full-size SUV/crossover: Lexus LX
            Midsize pickup: Toyota Tacoma
            Full-size pickup: Toyota Tundra
            Minivan/van: Toyota Sienna
            Hybrid SUV/crossover: Lexus RX 450h

            Top resale values:

            In alphabetical order
            Honda Civic
            Honda CR-V

            Jeep Wrangler
            Lexus LX
            Porsche Cayenne
            Scion tC
            Toyota FJ Cruiser
            Toyota Land Cruiser
            Toyota Tacoma
            Toyota 4Runner



            Honda Civic freshened, EPA keeps corn ethanol mandate
            Honda has taken the bull by the horns after lukewarm reviews of its Honda Civic last year and went back to the drawing board for a redesign.

            Honda has taken the bull by the horns after lukewarm reviews of its Honda Civic last year and gone back to the drawing board for a redesign.

            It's rare for an automaker to remake a bread-and-butter model just a year after the current generation model hits the road, let alone admit it could have done better. The irony is the 2012 Civic has sold well, posting a 39 percent gain from January-October from the same period a year ago, outselling the hot-selling Hyundai Elantra and the Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Focus.

            Consumer Reports failed to recommend the 2012 Civic citing its lower quality interior, choppy ride, long stopping distances and high road noise. Critics said the compact looked dated and had lost the motoring spirit of earlier Civics.

            "Our customers frankly had higher expectations of us," John Mendel, American Honda's executive vice president, said of the ninth-generation Civic.

            The 2013 Civic has a new domed hood, a more aggressive bumper and sporty mesh grill, polished alloy bent spoke wheel covers, chrome accents and clear tail lights integrated into the trunk lid.

            "It appears they heard the criticism about the current model being too 'safe' in styling. The new one will be competitive in what is now a very crowded segment," TrueCar Inc. analyst Jesse Toprak told the Los Angeles Times.

            The public will get a chance to judge whether the 2013 Civic addresses the criticisms when the car is introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show Thursday.

            "We underestimated the level of competition. We greatly underestimated the expectations of customers," Mendel said.

            Honda said the new Civic would improve safety, comfort and chassis components but made no announcement of engine or transmission updates. The freshened Civic is one of 49 new vehicles scheduled to debut in LA, including General Motors' all-electric Chevrolet Spark EV and the all-electric Fiat 500e from Chrysler.

            Germany's Audi will show four new diesel models that share a 3-litre turbocharged V-6 and Jaguar, owned by India's Tata Motors Ltd., is showing its exclusive 2014 XFR-S high-performance sedan, which may feature a variant of a 550-horsepower supercharged V-8 capable of storming from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4.2 seconds.

            EPA: Corn-ethanol mandate stands

            This year's corn crop may have been reduced by the summer drought, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the damage wasn't enough to lift the mandate for ethanol in gasoline.

            U.S. grain farmers support keeping the requirement for use of corn-based ethanol in motor fuel, but poultry and livestock producers wanted the mandate relaxed so prices for animal feed, and ultimately supermarket prices, would fall. The Detroit News said the ethanol issue is likely to end up in Congress next year.

            Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina, New Mexico, Georgia, Texas, Virginia, Utah and Wyoming had requested a waiver from corn-ethanol requirements.

            "We recognize that this year's drought has created hardship in some sectors of the economy, particularly for livestock producers," said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Air and Radiation. "But our extensive analysis makes it clear that congressional requirements for a waiver have not been met and that waiving the RFS [Renewable Fuel Standard] will have little, if any, impact."

            In 2007, the federal government required use of 5 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol in fuels. This year the standard requires use of 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol in fuels which would take about half of the drought-shrunken corn crop to produce.

            The 2012 corn harvest could be as much as 1 billion bushels smaller than in 2011.

            "If the worst U.S. drought in more than 50 years and skyrocketing food prices are not enough to make EPA act, it falls to Congress to provide relief from our senseless federal support for corn ethanol," Friends of the Earth biofuels policy campaigner Michal Rosenoer said. "Congress needs to cut corn ethanol from the RFS entirely to protect the economy and the environment from this destructive and dirty fuel."

            The EPA has approved use of a fuel called E-15 which is 15 percent ethanol despite opposition from carmakers who warn the higher blend of ethanol could harm the engines of vehicles made before 2012.

            Good things in small packages?

            Ford Motor has introduced a 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine whose block can fit in your carry-on luggage.

            A 1.0-liter version of the tiny turbocharged powerplant debuted in European versions of the Ford Focus in March and will be available in the 2014 Ford Fiesta in the United States.

            The 1.0-liter engine kicks out 123-horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque, which should give the subcompact a hybrid-like 40-plus mpg on the highway. The EcoBoost engine is a $995 option in most Ford vehicles.

            "Our customers would like the fuel efficiency of a modern diesel or a hybrid, but can't stretch their budgets to cover the cost premium," Joe Bakaj, vice president of Ford's Powertrain Engineering, said in a statement. "That's where the EcoBoost Fiesta fits in. It will offer a highly fuel-efficient alternative at a lower cost."

            Bakaj said most drivers won't even think about the number of cylinders under the hood when they drive an EcoBoost Fiesta.

            Only one 3-cylinder car is currently sold in the United States.

            The two-seater Smart ForTwo, with a 70-horsepower, 1.0-liter engine, gets 39 mpg in highway driving.

            GE buying 2,000 Ford C-MAX Energi hybrids

            General Electric last week announced it would purchase 2,000 Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids as part of its effort to convert half of its global fleet to green vehicles.

            With a 108MPGe [miles per gallon equivalent] rating , the C-MAX Energi is the most fuel-efficient vehicle sold in the United States and can go 620 miles on a single charge and tank of gasoline.

            The C-MAX Energi is rated at 47 mpg in both city and highway driving. Depending on how hard the car is driven, it can go 21 miles on a full battery charge before its gasoline engine kicks on compared to six continuous miles on electricity for the plug-in Toyota Prius in EPA testing.

            The C-MAX Energi can reach 82 mph on electricity alone.

            "Ford is launching six new electrified vehicles -- a big bet that fuel prices will continue rising and lead to more demand for advanced fuel-efficient vehicles," said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. "We are pleased to partner with GE, a company that is charting a similar course, to promote advanced technology and energy savings."

            Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are collaborating with Ford and GE to study the driving and charging habits of employees with data from the MyFord Mobile app.

            "Understanding driving and charging habits is key to advancing vehicle and charging infrastructure," said Georgia Tech professor Bert Bras in a release. "Through access to vehicle data, we can accelerate research and development of new technologies to further improve efficiency, driver satisfaction and environmental benefits."



            New Honda CR-V Coming in the Indian market by Early 2013; No Diesel edition Though

            Honda, which rolled out the new-gen, Honda CR-V in the United Kingdom market in October 2012, is making plans to introduce the vehicle in India.

            As per sources, the fourth-generation Honda CR-V will hit Indian markets by the first quarterly period of the coming year (2013), most likely in January or February.

            The new Honda CR-V turned better in the majority of sections as compared to its forerunners be it the superiority, expediency or elegance.

            However, nothing on the valuation has been annunciated. The fresh reports said that the details linked to pricing will be declared shortly when the introduction comes nearer.

            The brand new Honda CR-V, which is accessible in both the variants comprising diesel and petrol in the United Kingdom market, will only come to the domestic market in the petrol edition only.

            When discuss about the car’s dimensions, the innovative CR-V has turned shorter in length as compared to its outgoing edition. The vehicle’s front bumper is joined by a horizontal three-bar grille and deep-set headlights. The lower front bumper is made to express sport utility vehicle capability with a liberal approach.

            In addition, the vehicle’s boastfully wheels and bold wheel arches further give emphasis to its dynamic attendance as well as ability.

            While talking about the exterior design, Manabu Konaka stated, “The new Honda CR-V has always been a vehicle for each and every instance. It can be both casual as well as formal; however the appearance must always express firmness and consistency.”

            The vehicle’s length plus altitude have been contracted by around 5 millimeter and 30 millimeter respectively as against the existing model, without cutting down the internal room.

            With the back seats folded flat, the boot capacitance of the said vehicle has gone up to 1648 litres and with the seats turned up, the boot ability turned 589 litres.

            “The primary thing that we wished to attain with the interior design was a feeling of sincerity,” said the Interior Designer, Takehiro Ishibashi.

            While talking more on the front design Nakagawa also said, “There are several horizontal layers that aid emphasizes the feeling of space.”

            “We call this ‘lean-layered’ design. By arranging the key functions in a series of layers, you generate an ergonomically-efficient surroundings that is very instinctive. This is a trait of that I am particularly proud,” says Ishibashi.

            “It will make a big difference to how our clientele make use of their CR-V.”, he further added.



            CEO, Asia: TAKANOBU ITO, President, Honda Motor Co.

            After a dismal year in which sales were hammered by the earthquake in Japan and the redesigned Civic drew lackluster reviews, Takanobu Ito, 59, put Honda back on track for growth. Behind the scenes, Ito was overhauling the company's drivetrain lineup and devising new products to breathe life back into the company. He ordered a quick redo of the Civic, resurrected the NSX sports car, jazzed up the Acura brand, introduced a regionalized product development strategy that hands power to local markets and approved a clean-sheet revival of the Accord with a new engine, platform, transmission and suspension. Oh, and he unveiled a new target: a 50 percent surge in global sales to 6 million vehicles in the next four years. He expects North American volume to climb 19 percent to 2 million units by 2016.



            Honda Insight hybrid launched at the Guangzhou Auto Show

            The Honda Insight hybrid was launched on the Chinese auto market during the Guangzhou Auto Show, it is the first time the Insight is available in China. Price is 209.800 yuan. Honda also launched the Fit Hybrid on the Guangzhou show, priced at 179.800 yuan.

            The Insight is powered by a 88hp 1.4 and a 14hp electric motor, the same system that powers the much lighter Fit, meaning the Insight is slow. Honda said on the show that if demand is good enough it will consider making the Insight in China with the Dongfeng-Honda joint venture. We say to that: keep dreaming!
            Last edited by tokyodream; 26-11-12, 16:30.
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            • Acura, Honda, Toyota dominate ALG Residual Value awards


              Drive a new car off the lot and, boom, it's used and not worth nearly what you own on it. But to help buyers counter this to the best of their abilities, ALG has released its 14th annual list of best bets for retained value.

              Toyota stands out from the crowd with nine total awards on the list, including its Scion and Lexus brands. But Honda took the top spot among mainstream brands with Hyundai second and Scion third. Subaru is fourth and Mazda fifth. In the premium brand rankings, Acura is ranked Number One, while Infiniti and Audi bring up second and third. In fourth place is Lexus and in fifth, Mercedes-Benz. Chevrolet is listed as number fifteen – last place on the mainstream list, while Lincoln is at the bottom of premium brands in tenth position.

              "Hyundai's ascent as a brand is nothing short of impressive," said Larry Dominique, president of ALG in a press release. "Since 2007, when the brand ranked in the bottom quartile for residual value, Hyundai has delivered well-executed product, and has kept incentives and fleet – two elements that can quickly damage residual value – in check. And, as demonstrated by the redesigned Santa Fe Sport, they continue to deliver."

              ALG also looked at residual values within specific segments. Among sub compact cars, the Honda Fit retains the most residual value on average. Honda Accord (pictured) was tops in midsize cars and the Odyssey among minivans. Compact car goes to Hyundai's Elantra and fullsize car to that company's Azera. The Koreans also excelled with the Santa Fe Sport in the midsize utility vehicle category.

              Toyota products show up nine times in the segments with the Prius C taking alt-fuel vehicle, Scion FR-S in sports car, the FJ Cruiser among compact utility vehicles and Sequoia best among full size utilities. Toyotas beat out the domestics in pickup trucks, too, with the Tacoma taking midsize category and Tundra the full size division. The Land Cruiser kept the most residual value when compared to other premium full size utility vehicles and premium cars from Lexus took the full size (GS 350) and executive (LS 460) categories.

              You can see the full lists and press release below.

              Toyota family of brands takes home nine awards;
              Hyundai nets 3 awards, lands second among mainstream brands

              Los Angeles Auto Show, November 26, 2013 – ALG, the industry benchmark for vehicle values and a leading provider of automotive insights, today announced the results of its 14th annual Residual Value Awards, with Honda and Acura earning the awards for top Mainstream and Premium brands, respectively. Acura returns to the top ranking among Premium brands after a two-year gap while Honda ranks highest after a three-year gap. While Acura and Honda claim the top spots, it was the Toyota family of brands that walked away with the most hardware – nine total – six awards for Toyota, two for Lexus and one for Scion.

              ALG's Residual Value Awards honor the vehicles in each segment that are forecast to retain the highest percentage of MSRP after a three-year period. Award recipients were chosen after a careful evaluation of vehicle criteria, including segment competition, historical vehicle performance and industry trends. This year's awards are based on 2013 model year vehicles.

              "Residual value is a complete indicator of vehicle value, taking into account quality, durability and brand desirability," said Larry Dominique, President of ALG. "The Residual Value Awards measure the most important brand performance metric – the statement consumers make with their wallets when they purchase a vehicle."

              In two of the most hotly contested segments, Midsize and Compact Car, the Honda Accord and Hyundai Elantra ranked highest respectively. In the Midsize Car segment, the Subaru Legacy was second and the redesigned Nissan Altima third. In the Compact Car segment, the Scion TC and Mazda3 rounded out the top three.

              Among Mainstream brands, Hyundai ranked second overall behind Honda. Scion, part of the Residual Value Award rankings for the first time, ranked third. Infiniti and Audi ranked second and third respectively among Premium brands. Lexus, last year's highest ranked brand, is now fourth.

              "Hyundai's ascent as a brand is nothing short of impressive," said Dominique. "Since 2007, when the brand ranked in the bottom quartile for Residual Value, Hyundai has delivered well-executed product, and has kept incentives and fleet – two elements that can quickly damage residual value – in check. And, as demonstrated by the redesigned Santa Fe Sport, they continue to deliver."

              Among Premium brands, Lexus took home segment awards for the redesigned GS and LS models (Premium Fullsize Car, Premium Executive Car respectively) while MINI received awards for the Cooper (Premium Compact Car) and Cooper Countryman (Sub Compact Utility Vehicle).

              In the Alternative Fuel segments, the Toyota Prius c and Mercedes-Benz ML350 BlueTEC received awards.

              Based in Santa Barbara, California, ALG is a leading provider of insights and consulting services to the automotive industry. ALG publishes the Residual Value Guidebook – the benchmark for residual value projections in North America, and has been forecasting automotive residual values for nearly 50 years in both the U.S. and Canadian markets. For more information, visit www.alg.com.

              Segment Awards

              Sub Compact Car - Honda Fit
              Compact Car - Hyundai Elantra
              Midsize Car - Honda Accord
              Fullsize Car - Hyundai Azera
              Sports Car - Scion FR-S
              Alt-Fuel Vehicle - Toyota Prius c
              Minivan - Honda Odyssey
              Sub Compact Utility Vehicle - MINI Cooper Countryman
              Compact Utility Vehicle - Toyota FJ Cruiser
              Midsize Utility Vehicle - Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
              Fullsize Utility Vehicle - Toyota Sequoia
              Midsize Pickup - Toyota Tacoma
              Fullsize Pickup - Toyota Tundra
              Premium Compact Car - MINI Cooper
              Premium Midsize Car - Mercedes-Benz C-Class
              Premium Fullsize Car - Lexus GS 350
              Premium Executive - Lexus LS 460
              Premium Sports Car - Porsche 911 Carrera
              Premium Alt-Fuel Vehicle - Mercedes-Benz ML350 BlueTEC
              Premium Compact Utility Vehicle - Acura RDX
              Premium Midsize Utility Vehicle - Audi Q7
              Premium Fullsize Utility Vehicle - Toyota Land Cruiser

              Mainstream Brand Rankings


              Premium Brand Rankings




              2013 Honda Civic diesel heading to Australia

              In the latest news, Honda has introduced a new efficient focused diesel engine tah will power not only European Honda Civic models, but also the local, australian variants too. The Australian variant, Honda Civic hatch will be debuted from mid-2013, where the 1.6-litre Earth Dreams Technology turbo diesel will only be available with a manual transmission.

              The all new 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine gushes out 88kW of power and 300Nm of torque at 2000rpm, while emitting 94 grams of CO2 per kilometre and using 3.6 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres on the European combined cycle. The new engine will be built at Honda’s European manufacturing facility in Swindon, England, on a newly installed purpose-built diesel engine production line capable of producing up to 500 engines per day, alongside the existing 2.2-litre i-DTEC engine. Honda has reportedly said that the 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine will be installed in all new Honda CR-V before its Earth Dreams Technology philosophy is applied to future powertrains, whereas CR-V’s which will be Australian bounded will be mounted with 2.2-litre unit, which will be available with an automatic transmission, will be targetted against the likes of Mazda CX-5 diesel.

              Project leader for the new engine, Tetsuya Miyake, said Honda’s approach for the powerplant was entirely new from the ground up. “There were no benchmarks for us because those targets would have been too low. We were determined to establish a benchmark of our own that our competitors would have to follow,” Miyake said.

              Honda Australia director Stephen Collins says he vows to “make the premium between petrol and diesel models competitive”.

              Stay tuned for more updates on Speedlux.



              Honda Insight, Fit Hybrids coming to China

              And then there will be three – hybrids, that is. Honda, which started selling its CR-Z hybrid in China in July, is planning to debut two additional hybrid models there in the near future.

              Honda presented its plans at the China International Automobile Exhibition, saying it will soon start selling the Insight and the Fit Hybrid in Chinga. The Japanese automaker is also planning on opening a design studio in China by year end.

              Last month, Honda said it sold its millionth hybrid globally since introducing the first version of the Insight in 1999. About 90 percent of those have been sold since 2005. To compare, Toyota will make and sell more than a million hybrids this year. Check out Honda's press release below.

              Overview of Honda Display at the 10th China(Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition - Honda Announces to Begin Preparation for Local Production of Hybrid Models in China and Unveils All-New ASIMO for the First Time outside of Japan -

              GUANGZHOU, China, November 22, 2012 - Together with its automobile production and sales joint ventures in China, Guangqi Honda Automobile Co., Ltd. and Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd., Honda is exhibiting at the 10th China(Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition (Press Day: November 22, 2012 / Show Dates: November 23 - December 2, 2012).

              The theme of the Honda booth is a Chinese key phrase () Honda began using for its brand communications in April 2012 at the Beijing Motor Show. The phrase represents Honda's determination to take new actions to carve out a new future in China. Also, for the first time outside of Japan, Honda is demonstrating the all-new ASIMO humanoid robot newly equipped with the world's first autonomous behavior control technologies.

              Strengthening hybrid lineup and beginning local production of hybrid models
              In addition to the CR-Z which was launched in July, Honda announced the introduction of the Insight and the Fit Hybrid. Honda also announced its plans to further expand its lineup of hybrid models in China. In order to offer its hybrid models to Chinese customers at more affordable prices, Honda will begin preparation for local production of hybrid models in China in 2014.

              Establishing Honda Design Studio
              Honda is planning to open a tentative design studio in China before the end of this year to strengthen the development of exclusive China models by Chinese designers.

              Exhibiting Acura RLX Concept and unveiling Acura ILX
              The Acura RLX Concept, the next-generation flagship sedan concept model, is on display. Based on this concept model, the RLX is scheduled market introduction in 2013. The Acura ILX, Acura's first luxury compact hybrid sedan, is also unveiled.

              Comment by Seiji Kuraishi, president of Honda Motor (China) Investment Co., Ltd.
              "Since Honda began automobile business in China in 1998, our cumulative number of customers here has exceeded 4.2 million. Honda will further strengthen collaboration with our two local partner companies, Guangqi Honda Automobile Co., Ltd. and Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd., to take our roots even deeper into China and strive to become a brand of choice for Chinese customers."

              Exhibited Models

              - Guangqi Honda Automobile Co., Ltd.:
              Concept C (market introduction of mass-production model based on this concept model is scheduled in 2013), Fit Hybrid (sales start from Nov. 2012), CR-Z, Fit, City, Accord, Crosstour, Odyssey, Li Nian S1

              - Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd.:
              Concept S (market introduction of mass-production model based on this concept model is scheduled in 2013), Insight (sales start from Nov. 2012), Spirior (minor model change), Civic, CR-V, Elysion, CIIMO

              - Others:
              All-new ASIMO (demonstrated for the first time outside of Japan), motorcycles, outboards, etc

              - Concept models:
              RLX Concept (China premiere), NSX Concept

              - Mass-production models:
              ILX (newly announced in China), RDX, MDX, ZDX, TL

              ================================================== =======
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              • http://www.inautonews.com/honda-ceo-...s#.ULX1P2dZDCM

                Honda CEO targets increased exports from the United States

                Honda Motor Company’s CEO Takanobu Ito said the Japanese carmaker wants to increase vehicle exports from the U.S. as part of its plan to escape effects of the strong yen.

                “Our U.S. plants export just 6 percent to 7 percent of production. But they should be able to do more than that. If there’s enough demand from other regions for larger vehicles, then closer to 20% is conceivable,” Takanobu Ito was quoted as saying by The Wall Street Journal.

                The strong Japanese yen is raising the cost of exports from Japan and erodes repatriated profits. This is why Honda, Japan’s third-largest automaker by sales, is adapting its domestic operations to focus on the small cars preferred by Japanese buyers.

                Honda’s CEO labeled the company’s old strategy of relying on Japan as its chief export platform as „unnatural”. As part of its new strategy, Honda will relocate engineering responsibilities for its top-selling vehicle, the next-generation Civic compact sedan, to the U.S.

                Takanobu Ito said the company considers doing the same for the larger Accord and maybe shift engineering responsibility for a future global car to China, the world’s largest car market.

                Honda’s exports from Japan currently account for just 28 percent of its total global sales.



                Honda Rings up Multiple Value Awards from KBB.com and ALG

                Even as the U.S. economy continues to rebound, auto shoppers continue to put a high emphasis on value—and Honda continues to deliver. In fact, the brand just garnered 11 more third-party value honors from two of the most respected names in the business.

                They included six trophies in the recent Best Resale Value Awards, presented annually by Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com website:

                The all-new Accord earned the Best Resale Value Award in the Mid-Size Car segment.
                Three individual honors went to the Civic, including Best Resale Value in the Compact Car class, Best Resale Value in the Sporty Compact Car category (thanks to the Civic Si), and a place on the overall top-10 best values roster.
                Joining the Civic on the industry’s top-10 list was the CR-V
                The Fit took top resale-value honors among the Subcompacts.

                “Honda vehicles are engineered to provide a fun-to-drive experience as well as overall value for the money,” according to Michael Accavitti, vice president of national marketing ops for American Honda. “With a continued focus on quality, fuel-efficiency and premium content, we have always believed that a Honda provides every buyer with added value, and we are honored to be recognized for our efforts by valuation leader Kelley Blue Book.”

                In addition, ALG—creators of the original Automotive Leasing Guide—recently honored another trio of Honda products for their standout residual values. The Accord, Fit and Odyssey each won their segments, while Honda captured the grand prize as the Best Mainstream Brand.

                “Long-term value and reliability are both hallmarks of the Honda brand, and we are honored to be recognized by ALG as the industry leader in these key qualities,” added Accavitti. “The Honda engineering philosophy not only delivers immediate value to our customers, but will pay off in the long run as well.”



                Japanese car sales in China ‘back on track’

                Japanese automakers have started to see their sales in China rebound after the Chinese-Japanese island-row caused sales to decline in the past two months.
                Even so, analysts said the disagreement will continue to have repercussions, as will the inconsistent strategy Japanese companies have employed in trying to sell their products.
                After declining by almost half in September, Toyota Motor Corp’s sales in China have shown a “moderate rebound” since mid-October, said Niu Yu, a spokesman for Toyota’s China operation.
                “Things are starting to get back on track,” he said. “We have started promoting products again in advertisements, and those have met with a warm response.”
                Feng Xingya, executive deputy chief executive officer of Guangzhou Toyota Motor Co Ltd, one of Toyota’s joint ventures in China, told Xinhua News Agency on Sunday that the company’s sales have returned to where they were before the row.
                Meanwhile, Nissan Motor Co’s sales in China have shown a meager recovery in recent weeks, said Shen Li, China spokeswoman for the company.
                Even so, Shen said it’s difficult to say what will happen in the long run, noting that the dispute can easily have unpredictable results.
                Yao Yiming, executive vice-general manager of Guangzhou Honda Automobile Co Ltd, was quoted by Xinhua as saying Honda has seen a rebound in both its China revenue and customer numbers since early November. Two months before, the company’s sales in the country had decreased by 40.5 percent.
                Japanese automakers universally reported declining sales in China after protests over Japan’s illegal “purchase” of the Diaoyu Islands in September led to calls to boycott their products.
                Less prominent brands have proved the most vulnerable, said Zeng Zhiling, director of LMC Automotive Asia Pacific Forecasting, an automotive industry research group.
                For instance, Mitsubishi Motors Corp reported that its China sales decreased by 63 percent in September, falling to 2,340 vehicles. Mazda Motor Co said its sales in the country decreased by 36 percent, down to 13,258 vehicles for the month.
                “The consequences are so huge that the total market share of Japanese cars fell by about 12 percentage points to about 8 percent in October,” Zeng said.
                The dispute has cooled off a bit, he said, but courage is still needed to be seen in a Japanese car in some places in China.
                A study last month by the banking corporation JP Morgan Chase & Co predicted the number of Japanese car exports to China would decrease by 70 percent from October to December. At the same time, it said car part exports would fall by 40 percent, a rate of decline also predicted for many types of consumer products.
                Before tensions erupted over the islands, Japanese automakers had held slightly more than a fifth of the Chinese auto market. So long as the tensions continue, they may see their sales decline again, Zeng said.
                “It’s safe to say that this political row, if it’s not fully resolved, will be a time bomb that could deal a heavy blow to Japanese cars,” he added.
                Analysts said a greater threat to Japanese automakers lies in their shortsighted approach toward the Chinese market.
                The sudden decline in demand for Japanese vehicles has proved to be an unexpected boon to other foreign brands, said Lin Huaibin, auto analyst with the information company IHS Automotive.
                About half of the potential customers who had once shown an interest in Japanese cars have since decided to buy German, South Korean or US vehicles, he said. As a result, BMW’s China sales increased by 55 percent in September, Audi’s by 20 percent and Hyundai Motor Co’s by 15 percent.
                Japanese automakers have not moved aggressively to expand in the world’s largest auto market.
                “With intensified competition, Japanese manufacturers are lagging behind Volkswagen and General Motors in the introduction of new products, and they haven’t developed many exciting technological breakthroughs,” Lin said.
                For one, Japanese automakers have not done much to make sure their designs incorporate Chinese elements — a practice commonly found in GM’s various car models.
                Japanese automakers are taking steps, though, to change their ways. Toyota recently said it will introduce two brands that will be sold exclusively in China next year, and Shen said Nissan also plans to sell models tailored to the Chinese market.
                Lin, though, remains pessimistic about the company’s prospects.
                “A number of Japanese cars have been recalled in recent years, and that has clouded their reputation for quality.”
                Via: ChinaDaily.

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                • http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews...s/viewall.html

                  2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas

                  Though the 2012 Honda Civic is a decent car overall, I don't think the natural gas version is a worthwhile purchase because it forces too many compromises. For one, the gas tank uses up nearly all the trunk space -- just six cubic feet of space remain, compared to 12.5 cubic feet in a regular Civic sedan. In addition, the Civic Natural Gas is very slow because it weighs between 53 and 247 pounds more than other Civic sedans, yet the 1.8-liter engine produces only 110 hp, compared to 140 hp in gasoline-fed models.

                  The other issue is that fueling the Civic is a real chore. Very few gas stations serve CNG, and even after I found one that did, I was flummoxed by the procedure. The Civic's user manual has pictures showing how to lock the CNG nose onto the car's nozzle, but no matter what I did, I couldn't get the hose to fit securely. The pump at a local Meijer gas station featured numerous scary warnings about carefully locking the filler to the car nozzle lest they allow flammable gas leaks or separate "with great force." The attendants told me they also had no idea how to operate the pump, noting that it belonged not to Meijer but to local utility provider DTE Energy. Unsure of what to do, I decided to wimp out and go home without fueling the car. I like to think I'm fairly mechanically apt, so it was frustrating that I couldn't work out how to safely refuel the Honda.

                  Contrary to all the warnings and hyperbole, fueling the Civic NG isn't that hard, especially once you read the owner's manual. The filler nozzle is certainly different from what most drivers are used to, but you simply put the locking handle at the 3-o'clock position, attach it on the tank's nipple (located within the fuel filler door), and rotate until it attaches. Turn the pump on, and it'll inflate the tank until the system pressure reaches either 3000 or 3600 PSI. A complete fill takes no longer than a typical tank of gasoline; once it's done, you shut the pump off, unlock the nozzle (it may jump backwards slightly), and you're good to go.

                  Finding a CNG station, however, may not be as easy. If you think the electric car charging network is small, the CNG infrastructure is microscopic, especially in Michigan. There are at least 219 240-volt chargers available in Michigan, and most are scattered throughout a sizable portion of the Lower Peninsula. In contrast, there are only 13 CNG fueling stations open to the public in Michigan (I actually visited them all this past weekend), and they're mostly centered in Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Grand Rapids. Home refueling is potentially an option, although home compressors run painfully slow, giving roughly one gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) every hour. Seeing as the Civic's tank holds about 8 GGE at 3600 psi, that's a sizable wait if you arrive home with a near-empty tank.

                  Yes, the tree huggers will celebrate CNG's clean-burning attributes, but most of the buzz surrounding CNG is that the fuel is cheaper to buy than gasoline. In Michigan, that's currently true: at DTE-owned pumps (12 of the 13 available), it runs you about $2.649 for a GGE. The average price of a gallon of gasoline in our state is currently averaging about $3.95 a gallon, so you're feasibly saving $1.30 or so for the same amount of energy. (Home fueling could be even cheaper; I could pump 1 GGE for about 33 cents before tax, although the pump itself is reportedly close to $4000-5000 installed.)

                  I made a 243.9-mile trek the past weekend on a full tank of CNG, and averaged about 34 mpg. Refilling in Detroit cost me $17.25, meaning my fuel cost works out to about 7 cents per mile. That's better than what a comparable Civic EX would run you, assuming you average the EPA's combined 32 mpg figure, and that you filled up close to where I did, where prices were $3.87 a gallon. If so, that same trek would have cost me about 12 cents a mile.

                  Obviously, as the price of gasoline increases, CNG looks attractive from a price perspective, but not if you're trying to amortize costs without a tax or dealer incentive. The Civic Natural Gas runs about $5000 more than an equivalent Civic EX, so if this drive cycle were representative of most of my driving, there's only about a 4-cent-per-mile difference between the two fuels. As such, I'd need to rack up about 125,000 miles before recouping the Civic NG's premium.

                  If I hadn't seen the badge on the rear of the Civic CNG designating it as a natural gas vehicle, I wouldn't have been the wiser. It drives pretty much the same as the standard Civic, which is to say really well if a bit uninspiring. It feels slower than the base gasoline Civic but merging and passing are still adequate.

                  Like any alternative-fuel vehicle, it requires some compromises and a larger cash investment up front but unlike its hybrid counterparts the Civic CNG is emissions-free. In this way, it's similar to an electric vehicle, but it differs from cars such as the Nissan Leaf and the new Mitsubishi i because it doesn't have such a short driving range. The only negative for owners could be having to go out of their way to fill up, as natural gas refueling stations are certainly harder to come by than their gasoline counterparts.

                  Jennifer Misaros, Managing Editor, Digital Platforms

                  I must say that I found Honda's oddball side projects a lot more charming when the Civic was the best car in its segment. It's still admirable that Honda commits to forward-looking powertrains, and as others have noted, this one is executed with the polish we've come to expect of this company's engineers. The CNG basically feels, sounds, and drives like a regular Civic, albeit a rather slow one. And yet, I can't help but wonder if the money spent developing this fine technology could have gone to, say, more expensive materials for the dashboard. That may sound shallow considering that natural gas could play a role in gaining energy independence (from what I understand it's a mixed bag environmentally as much of the stuff is locked in oil shale) but Honda is a small company that needs to focus its limited resources.

                  David Zenlea, Assistant Editor

                  I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb to say that compressed natural gas vehicles - at least those for consumer, rather than fleet, use - aren't ever going to make much of a dent in the U.S. vehicle market. The Honda Civic CNG has now been on sale in the United States since 1998, and it remains the only passenger car sold here that runs on compressed natural gas. Part of the problem is that the infrastructure just isn't there for the vast majority of Americans (at least those outside of California and New York). Witness the fact that there are only thirteen stations in the entire state of Michigan where the public can refuel a CNG vehicle. It's admirable that Honda keeps offering the Civic CNG, a car that's built in America and relies on American supplies of natural gas, but until there is a reliable, widespread infrastructure to support it and a larger, more well-informed consumer base creating more demand, it will remain a very niche vehicle.

                  As for driving the Civic CNG, you'd probably never know it doesn't run on gasoline unless someone told you. It's not overly refined or very fast, but it's a competent car that would work well as someone's only car, if only they were assured that there was a place to refuel wherever they went.

                  Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor

                  The natural gas aspect of the car is nowhere evident when you're driving, and it's interesting and kinda cool that Honda offers this alternative-fuel version of the Civic, but I wish they'd taken the resources they devoted to homologating this particular trim level and instead devoted them to making the basic Civic a more exciting vehicle.

                  Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor
                  2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas Rear Right Side View 2 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas Front Right Side View 2 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas Rear Right Side View 3

                  2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas

                  MSRP (with destination): $26,905
                  PRICE AS TESTED: $28,405

                  1.8-liter SOHC I-4
                  Horsepower: 110 hp @ 6500 rpm
                  Torque: 106 lb-ft @ 4300 rpm

                  5-speed automatic


                  WHEELS AND TIRES:
                  15-inch aluminum wheels
                  195/65HR-15 Firestone Affinity tires

                  FUEL ECONOMY (city/highway/combined):
                  27/38/31 mpg

                  CURB WEIGHT:
                  2855 lb

                  Doors/Passengers: 4/5
                  Cargo: 6.1 cu ft
                  Legroom (front/rear): 42.0/36.2 in
                  Headroom (front/rear): 39.0/37.1 in
                  Towing: N/A

                  EXTERIOR/INTERIOR COLOR:
                  Polished Metal/Gray

                  STANDARD FEATURES:
                  Stability control
                  SiriusXM satellite radio w/3-month subscription
                  160-watt audio system w/MP3/WMA playback
                  Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity
                  USB port
                  Auxiliary audio jack
                  Air conditioning
                  Tilt-and-telescopic steering column
                  Cruise control
                  12V power outlet
                  Eco Assist w/Econ button
                  Automatic headlights
                  Intermittent windshield wipers
                  Power door mirrors
                  Rear defroster

                  OPTIONS ON THIS VEHICLE:
                  Navigation w/traffic- $1500


                  ADDITIONAL SPECS:
                  Honda expanded its retail network of Civic Natural Gas retail outlets to 200 dealers in 36 states. Previously, retail sales of the CNG-powered Civic had been limited to California, New York, Utah, and Oklahoma.

                  COMPARE TO:
                  Mazda3, Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla

                  ================================================== =
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                  • http://www.leftlanenews.com/honda-op...ter-in-la.html

                    Honda opens new design center in LA

                    Honda says that it has opened a new Advanced Design Studio in downtown Los Angeles, a move that will help supplement its existing North American research and development facilities on the West Coast and in the Midwest.

                    The studio was previously located in Pasadena, California, but Honda's North American R&D design chief, David Marek, says that it will have a larger role within the automaker's operations by moving downtown.

                    Spanning about 6, 500 square feet, the facility will help the automaker's Torrance, California, operations design and build full-size models and prototypes. The building features unique design elements like a conference room made from a repurposed shipping container and a number of high tech computers.

                    Honda says that the facility will take on a "lead role" within the automaker's global research and development department, which is headquartered a few hours outside of Tokyo.

                    The facility will not, however, be the primary design studio for North American models - that responsibility remains near the automaker's North American headquarters in Torrance.

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                    • http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/2...business7.html

                      Honda gets a do-over

                      Revamps Civic to fix flaws

                      Honda has made a quick U-turn. Just 19 months after its Civic compact hit showrooms and was slammed by critics, the company has revamped the car, giving it a sportier look and upgrading the interior.

                      It's an unusual and costly do-over. But Honda — among the auto industry's most highly regarded brands — was worried the car's flaws would hurt sales and market share, analysts say.

                      The 2013 version goes on sale Thursday, and Honda has given it a sportier profile, replaced its chintzy dashboard and made the ride quieter.

                      The revamp comes to market in about half the time it normally takes, and shows just how concerned Honda is about falling behind rivals.

                      "The new consumer coming to the marketplace looking for a compact car doesn't think the Civic is a slam dunk anymore," says Jesse Toprak, vice-president of market intelligence for the TrueCar.com auto pricing website.

                      The company misjudged the small-car market when it rolled out the Civic in April of last year, analysts say. Small-car buyers used to tolerate cheap materials, noisy interiors, and boxy styling just to get high gas mileage.

                      But they now expect their gas-sippers to have a quiet ride, crisp handling and plush seating. The 2012 Civic lacked those refinements.

                      COMPETITION CAUGHT OFF-GUARD

                      It was so noisy, for example, that "I kept trying to put the windows up," recalls IHS Automotive analyst Rebecca Lindland, who says that competition caught Honda off-guard.

                      To be sure, criticism of the 2012 Civic hasn't dented demand. Sales of the car have risen to 255,000 through October, up 39 per cent from last year.

                      The car has passed the ageing Toyota Corolla and the Chevrolet Cruze to become the nation's top-selling compact.

                      But the increase came mainly because Civics were in short supply last year following an earthquake in Japan. Loyal customers delayed purchases until the Civic returned, Toprak says. The Civic also is selling well because of discounts, he says. Dealers are knocking about US$2,500 off the sticker price to clear out 2012 models. Civic discounts usually run about US$500.

                      Without changes to the car, Honda probably would keep longtime customers, but it wouldn't attract new ones.

                      "They will eventually start bleeding market share," Toprak says.

                      When Honda began to develop the 2012 Civic years earlier, competitors still were putting out blasé compacts aimed at budget-conscious buyers.

                      But as gas prices rose, consumers shifted to smaller vehicles.

                      At the same time, companies like Hyundai rolled out sleek, quiet compacts with amenities once reserved for the luxury class.

                      Recommended Buy

                      Shortly after the 2012 Civic went on sale, in the spring of 2011, the influential magazine Consumer Reports refused to give it a coveted "Recommended Buy."

                      The magazine's chief auto tester said that the car was a step backward, and it appeared Honda tried to save money by using cheaper parts.

                      Company executives get prickly when asked if criticism was the reason they moved so fast to update the Civic.

                      They'll say only that they wanted to keep the car ahead of the competition.

                      "We're not reacting to negative criticisms," says Art St. Cyr, Honda's chief product planner in the US. He says that Honda started revamping the Civic even before the 2012 model came out.

                      "We weren't embarrassed. We weren't trying to make excuses for what we were doing."

                      Yet Honda did something startling with the 2013 model. Instead of making a few cosmetic changes that normally come in the middle of a car's life, the company did an overhaul.

                      It added insulation to cut engine noise, put in thicker glass to reduce wind, and made the brakes larger to stop the car faster. The seat material was upgraded, and Honda added a softer dashboard with two colours.

                      Outside, the car has a more aerodynamic look with a new hood, trunk lid and lights.

                      The improvements are so vast that Honda must have started working on them even before the 2012 went on sale, Lindland says. That's before the criticism came from Consumer Reports and others.

                      Lindland, who drove the 2013 Civic in advance of its Thursday debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, says it's far better than the 2012.

                      "I was really impressed with how quiet it was," she says. "It's just a more refined and more elegant small car."

                      Toprak says the new Civic looks like an expensive luxury car, especially when compared with its predecessor.

                      The revamp is costing about US$500 per car, Honda estimates. Toprak says the spending was necessary to attract new buyers. Many people who would have bought larger cars are now looking at compacts because they're in fashion, he says.

                      Compact car sales now account for 14.6 per cent of the US market, up 2.2 percentage points from just five years ago, according to Ward's AutoInfoBank.

                      Honda will get part of the revamping cost back by raising the base price of the Civic LX by US$160 to $18,965 with an automatic transmission.

                      But the company eliminated the stripped-down DX version, which started at just over US$17,000 with automatic.

                      The quick do-over puts the Civic back among the top cars in its segment, says Lindland. But it doesn't mean that all automakers will upgrade their cars every 19 months.

                      "It's expensive to do these," she says. "I wouldn't say this is a trend — yet."

                      - AP



                      Will Honda’s hybrid Accord find an assembly line in Central Ohio?

                      Resurrection of the hybrid Honda Accord might mean another Ohio-made car on U.S. roads.

                      Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC) has confirmed that two hybrid versions of its flagship Accord will be sold in America next year.

                      A plug-in electric/gasoline hybrid, with a fuel economy rating of 115 miles a gallon, will be imported from Japan, the company confirmed, but executives declined to comment on where the traditional hybrid car, with its combined rating of 47 miles per gallon, would be assembled.

                      Honda historically has imported from Japan its lower-selling niche vehicles, including some Acura models, the Fit subcompact and its hybrids, such as the earlier Accord hybrid.

                      But worldwide production winds are changing and there are hints that the hybrid Accord could be bound for assembly lines in Marysville, where the company turns out the model.

                      The automaker has said it wants to bring more production to North America and has spent $2 billion in the past two years to do so, including an $800 million assembly plant in Mexico that will bring production of the Fit to the region. It also has made additions to its Greensburg, Ind., plant so it can produce a hybrid version of the Civic compact. The Civic once was made at East Liberty before assembly was moved to the new Indiana factory in 2008.

                      So this week’s no comment may become next spring’s new product announcement from the automaker.

                      Besides the Accord sedan and coupe, the Acura TL sedan is made at Marysville. The CR-V, Crosstour and Acura RDX are put together in East Liberty.

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                      • http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2012...rd_in_nov.html

                        Honda sets sales record in November but demand for Alabama-built models is mixed

                        Honda set a record in November, with 116,580 in overall U.S. sales, the company said today.

                        That's a 39 percent improvement from a year ago, and it's one of a series of strong sales reports issued today by automakers.

                        Honda's record pace was fueled by high demand for two of its cars: the Accord, with 83 percent growth, and the Civic, up 75.5 percent.

                        Its Alabama-made models didn't fare as well.

                        Sales of the Ridgeline pickup, a niche model, jumped 38 percent. But sales of the Odyssey minivan rose 2 percent while sales of the Pilot SUV fell 11 percent.

                        All three vehicles are produced at the company's Talladega County factory.

                        So far this year, Honda's overall U.S. sales are up 24 percent over last year.

                        Earlier today, Hyundai also reported a record-setting November, as well as big gains for its state-made cars.

                        Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and Toyota also made strong showings in November.



                        November Compact Sales: Honda Civic Cruises Into First Place, Ford Focus Earns Podium Spot

                        November sales numbers for the compact car segment are in, and one car easily emerged in first place. With sales totaling 30,075 units, the Honda Civic, took the top spot, beating the second place Toyota Corolla by almost 8000 (22,616).

                        Despite criticism that the ninth-generation Civic was bland and not new enough, it has continued to post strong sales numbers, including a record-shattering November (Honda says it’s the Civic’s best November since 1990). It will be interesting to see how 2013 Ford Focus ST rear three quarters in motion 300x187 imageconsumers respond to the revamped 2013 Honda Civic and, with only one month left for 2012 sales, the Civic will likely take the year-to-date sales crown with November boosting the total to 284,791, more than 18,000 above the Corolla’s total.

                        The Chevrolet Cruze missed out on the podium last month, posting 16,807 sales for a fourth-place finish. General Motors pegged the drop on the relief efforts occurring in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, stating that its competitors usually have better sales in those regions. That said, the Ford Focus jumps into the number three spot with 18,312 sold for the month of November. In fifth and sixth are the Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Jetta with 15,923 and 14,259 units, respectively. The Jetta continues to be the brand’s volume leader and VW expects the upcoming hybrid model to improve those numbers. The Mazda3 experienced its best November ever with 9841 and the Sentra lands in the eighth spot with 7176 units.
                        Car November 2012 November 2011 Year-to-Date
                        Honda Civic 30,075 17,133 284,791
                        Toyota Corolla 22,616 16,115 266,268
                        Ford Focus 18,312 11,735 223,318
                        Chevrolet Cruze 16,807 13,238 216,528
                        Hyundai Elantra 15,923 12,414 183,010
                        Volkswagen Jetta 14,259 12,891 154,763
                        Mazda3 9841 6873 113,064
                        Nissan Sentra 7176 7871 98,640
                        Subaru Impreza 5905 1412 74,294
                        Dodge Dart 4489 N/A 19,198
                        Kia Forte 4266 4135 71,405



                        Honda Gain Paces Best U.S. Auto Sales Rate in Almost Five Years

                        Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Honda Motor Co.’s record November U.S. sales paced the best month for industrywide deliveries in almost five years as buyers returned to showrooms that were disrupted by Hurricane Sandy a month earlier.

                        Honda led major automakers with a 39 percent gain in deliveries from a year ago, topping analysts’ average projection of 33 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. also topped estimates and Toyota Motor Corp. posted a 17 percent sales gain.

                        The annualized industrywide light-vehicle sales rate, adjusted for seasonal trends, accelerated to 15.5 million, beating the 15 million average estimate of analysts, to give the best monthly pace since 15.6 million in January 2008, according to Autodata Corp. Replacement demand from owners of damaged vehicles and purchases deferred by Sandy boosted U.S. light- vehicle sales for the eight largest automakers.

                        “The overall health of the industry is good, clearly,” said Jesse Toprak, industry analyst for TrueCar.com, a vehicle pricing and data website in Santa Monica, California. “There were clearly positive impacts from Sandy with a lot of consumers who didn’t even plan to buy but had to buy because their cars were damaged. That’s going to continue to help in December.”

                        Autos contributed 14 percent of the 2.2 percent average rate of growth for gross domestic product in the recovery that began in the third quarter of 2009 to the third quarter of 2012, according to data from the Commerce Department.

                        Accord, Civic

                        Honda, the Tokyo-based maker of Accord sedans and Civic compacts, said yesterday deliveries of those two models surged 83 percent and 76 percent, respectively, from a year earlier. The CR-V compact crossover, the top-selling sport-utility model in the U.S. this year, rose 36 percent last month.

                        “At the start of the year Honda was just barely starting to emerge from their tsunami woes last year, and no one knew what to expect from CR-V,” said Alec Gutierrez, industry analyst for Kelley Blue Book, a vehicle pricing and data company in Irvine, California. “They’re certainly finishing the year in a much better place.”

                        Honda’s sales in the U.S. increased 24 percent through November, and its market share was 10.2 percent last month, up from 8.4 percent a year ago, according to Autodata.

                        The 17 percent increase in deliveries for Toyota fell short of the 20 percent average of eight analysts’ estimates for the Toyota City, Japan-based company. Deliveries of Corolla compacts surged 40 percent to 22,616 and Camry sedans increased 23 percent to 28,765.

                        Fuel Economy

                        Sales for Toyota, Asia’s top selling U.S. automaker, are up 29 percent through November, and its market share last month improved 0.2 percentage point to 14.1 percent, according to Autodata.

                        South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. combined to sell 9.1 percent more vehicles in November compared with a year earlier, matching the average of six analysts’ estimates. U.S. regulators said last month that the affiliates overstated the fuel-economy ratings for most of their 2012 and 2013 models.

                        Sales for Nissan, based in Yokohama, climbed 13 percent, according to an e-mailed statement. That topped the average analyst estimate of 4.8 percent.

                        U.S. deliveries for Japanese and South Korean automakers rose 21 percent last month to 524,330, based on company releases.

                        Tax Increases

                        Ford deliveries of cars and light trucks rose 6.4 percent, the company said yesterday in a statement. That surpassed the average estimate of analysts of 2.4 percent.

                        The company said it plans to increase North American production in the first quarter by 11 percent to 750,000 vehicles. The automaker reiterated that it’s making plans to prepare for the combination of U.S. tax increases and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff should they occur at the end of the year and disrupt the economy.

                        “That is the biggest uncertainty out there over the next couple months,” Jenny Lin, the senior U.S. economist for Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford, said yesterday on a conference call with analysts and reporters. “We are watching it very carefully as to how the final package is and the final agreement is from the Congress and the administration.”

                        General Motors Co. sales rose 3.4 percent, the company said in a statement yesterday on its website. The Detroit-based automaker trailed the 7.6 percent gain that was the average estimate of 11 analysts.

                        Consecutive Gains

                        Chrysler Group LLC, the automaker majority owned by Fiat SpA, said deliveries increased 14 percent, trailing the 16 percent average gain of 11 analysts. The Auburn Hills, Michigan- based company extended its streak of consecutive monthly sales gains from a year earlier to 32.

                        “There is nothing wrong with these numbers,” Alan Baum, principal of auto-industry researcher Baum & Associates in West Bloomfield, Michigan, said yesterday in a telephone interview. “We are obviously coming from much lower numbers, and more and more people are coming back into the market.”

                        Deliveries of Chrysler’s Ram pickups rose 23 percent to 24,337, according to the statement from the automaker controlled by Turin, Italy-based Fiat. Ford said sales of its F-Series trucks climbed 18 percent to 56,299.

                        GM’s deliveries of Chevrolet Silverado pickups declined 10 percent to 30,674, while GMC Sierra truck sales slipped 2 percent to 11,726. The automaker said inventory of its full-size pickups ballooned to 139 days’ supply as of Nov. 30, from 110 days a month earlier.

                        ‘Ramped Up’

                        “Competitors ramped up spending to sell down their 2012 model-year stock,” Kurt McNeil, GM vice president of sales operations, said of the truck market on a conference call yesterday with analysts and reporters. GM’s full-size pickup inventory, which was 245,853 at the end of November, may end the year at more than its goal of as much as 220,000, he said.

                        Ford slipped 0.3 percent to $11.41 at the close in New York yesterday. GM slid 1.4 percent to $25.51. Toyota’s shares fell less than 1 percent to 3,510 yen at 10:12 a.m. in Tokyo. Honda rose 1 percent to 2,726 yen while Nissan fell 1.5 percent to 795 yen.

                        U.S. light-vehicle deliveries rose 15 percent in November to 1.14 million, exceeding the 1.11 million average estimate of 10 analysts. For October, all automakers reported deliveries that trailed average estimates from Bloomberg’s survey after Hurricane Sandy inflicted almost $70 billion in damage to New York and New Jersey alone.

                        Honda began the month with almost double the inventory it had in November 2011, according to researcher WardsAuto. Dealers for the company faced shortages a year ago after the tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand disrupted production and supply of parts.

                        Steady Recovery

                        This year, Sandy damaged more than 230,000 vehicles, including 190,000 in New York and New Jersey, according to estimates from the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The storm, which made landfall on Oct. 29, disrupted East Coast dealerships during the busiest time of the month. The October industry sales rate was 14.3 million, Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey-based Autodata said.

                        The U.S. market has been in steady recovery this year and is headed for a third consecutive annual increase of more than 10 percent. Industry sales may increase by about 4 percent to 15 million in 2013, according to a Bloomberg Industries analysis. That gain, predicted by researchers Edmunds.com and LMC Automotive, would be the slowest growth for the industry since 2009’s 21 percent plunge.

                        The U.S. averaged 16.8 million light-vehicle deliveries annually from 2000 to 2007, then dropped to 10.4 million in 2009, a 27-year-low, according to Autodata.

                        Volkswagen AG surpassed its full-year target for U.S. sales of 500,000 vehicles, with combined deliveries by its Volkswagen and Audi brands of 518,597 through November. The automaker boosted sales in November by 28 percent, exceeding the 25 percent average of three estimates.

                        --With assistance from Keith Naughton and Tim Higgins in Southfield, Michigan, and Carlos Torres in Washington. Editors: Ben Livesey, Stephen West



                        Lincoln-made Ridgeline surges as Honda sales grow

                        Honda reported record November automobile sales for 2012, meaning more work at its local manufacturing plant and economic stimulation for area businesses.

                        The American Honda Motor Company reported Monday that its November sales increased 38.9 percent compared to the same month last year – an all-time record of November-to-November growth for the Japanese-based automaker.

                        The manufacturer’s auto plant in Lincoln, Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, employs 4,000 and produces vehicles that helped make that record a reality: the Odyssey minivan, the Ridgeline pickup truck and the Pilot SUV.

                        According to Honda, Ridgeline sales increased 38 percent in November while Odyssey sales increased 1.9 percent. The Pilot struggled in November, however, with a 10.7 percent decrease in sales.

                        With increased sales come more business, not just for the plant, but for many other businesses in the area, experts say.

                        “Absolutely, when more people are working at a large plant like Honda, it brings an infusion of spending in the local economy,” said Robert Robicheaux, chairman of the department of marketing, industrial distribution and economics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

                        Robicheaux said 70 percent of spending in a community comes from consumer purchases. And more jobs, particularly well-paying manufacturing jobs, lead to increased spending on homes, vehicles, restaurant visits and retail shopping. And that leads to more spending by area businesses in those fields, Robicheaux said.

                        “Every $1 caused by employment to Honda or any manufacturing plant, it has a multiplier effect of $1.25 to $1.50 in the local economy,” Robicheaux said.

                        Ted Pratt, spokesman for Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, said Honda is keeping up with demand – with the Lincoln facility producing about 1,400 vehicles and engines a day.

                        “This production rate is structured to maintain that ideal inventory image for each of the three vehicles that HMA produces,” Pratt said. “This production plan also takes into account monthly and seasonal sales variations throughout the year.”

                        Pratt noted that due to the competitive nature of the auto industry, Honda does not release individual vehicle production plans.

                        Honda also reported that the Acura MDX, a luxury sports utility vehicle, was the best-selling vehicle among the three vehicles in its Acura line. The Lincoln plant is undergoing expansion efforts so it can begin manufacturing the MDX next year. Honda has announced the creation of more than 400 jobs due to the expansion.

                        “HMA continues to hire associates to fill both production positions and professional openings,” Pratt said.

                        The increased sales and extra jobs mean higher consumer spending, but it also means more work for area businesses, including auto suppliers. According to statistics from the Alabama Department of Commerce, the Honda plant has 131 auto suppliers. Of those, 37 are located in Calhoun and its neighboring counties of Etowah, Talladega and St. Clair and account for up to 3,450 jobs.

                        Greg Brown, chairman and CEO of B.R. Williams Trucking in Oxford, said his business delivers parts to and from Honda and has benefited from the auto manufacturer’s improved sales. Brown said his company hauls parts for about 30 suppliers to the Honda plant.

                        “They have increased their production sufficiently … and we’re having to do some weekend overtime,” Brown said. “We are having to work on some Saturdays.”

                        Brown said Honda accounts for about 35 percent of his company’s trucking business.

                        “Their sales indicate growth and we are pleased to be partnered with them,” Brown said.

                        Dennis Virag, auto industry analyst with the Automotive Consulting Group, said he does not expect Honda’s success to slow anytime soon.

                        “I think they are going to continue to be on the rise,” Virag said. “Honda has a very competitive product lineup … they are producing the types of cars people want and that is reflected in the sales numbers.”

                        Virag noted, however, that some of Honda’s growth this year is due to rebound from the tsunami and earthquake that hit Japan last year. The disaster limited parts shipments to America for several months, limited the number of vehicles plants could produce. Sales slumped due to lack of inventory.

                        “I think some of the increase is part of the rebound, but some is just market growth for Honda,” Virag said.

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                        • http://www.vtec.net/news/news-item?news_item_id=1115581

                          American Honda Reports All-Time Best November Sales: All-Time Record November for Company and Civic;

                          12/03/2012 - TORRANCE, Calif.

                          American Honda reports an all-time record for the month of November, with November 2012 U.S. sales of 116,580 units, an increase of 38.9 percent compared with November 2011. The Honda Division posted November 2012 sales of 104,334 units, an increase of 41.0 percent compared with November 2011. Acura U.S. November sales of 12,246 units represents an increase of 23.6 percent over November 2011.

                          - Segment-leading Civic breaks 22-year-old November record (1990) with sales of 30,075 units, up 75 percent from a year ago

                          - All-new Accord continues to ramp up with 26,248 sales, up 82 percent from last November

                          - CR-V sets it ninth monthly sales record for 2012, up 36 percent to 22,333 sales

                          "We are now surpassing sales records set pre-recession, a true sign that our business has recovered," said John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president of Sales. "Honda's all-time best November demonstrates the fundamental strength of our core products. The new Accord is hitting its stride, and with the new Civic now arriving in dealerships, we're ready for a strong finish to 2012."

                          - RDX sets its seventh-consecutive monthly sales record, up 129 percent from a year ago with 3,036 sales

                          - MDX was the top selling Acura model in November, with 3,368 sales

                          - ILX gains traction as the top selling Acura sedan in November, with 2,108 sales

                          "While the MDX leads the lineup in sales, the record-setting sales of RDX and ILX are doing a great job as the gateway to the Acura lineup in bringing new customers to the brand," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura Sales. "The combination of Acura's growing lineup and rising industry sales are fueling Acura's momentum as we head into 2013."

                          The daily selling rate (DSR) is calculated with 25 days for November 2012 and 25 days for November 2011. Year-to-date, the DSR is calculated with 281 days for 2012 and 280 days for 2011. All other percentages in release are unadjusted; see table for adjusted DSR figures.



                          Unbreakable: These are the 10 Most Reliable Cars in the UK of the Last 15 Years

                          About a week ago, we posted a list of the 10 least reliable cars in the UK of the past 15 Years. This list was compiled by the Warranty Direct insurance company, which has been collecting data since 1997.

                          In the company’s own words, the 'Reliability Index' uses a “complex formula” that includes factors such as the number a car breaks down and its repair costs, for more than 450 models.

                          Warranty Direct has also published a list of the 10 most reliable cars in the UK since 1997. Unsurprisingly the vast majority, seven out of 10, belong to Japanese brands. And that’s not counting the second-placed Agila, which basically, is a rebadged Suzuki Wagon R+ - but then again, it was built in a different factory and used Vauxhall’s own engines.

                          In fact, the Agila could have been at the top of the list: its repair costs are three quarters that of the first-placed Mitsubishi Lancer, but it’s 3 percent more likely to break down.

                          Toyota and Honda each have two models in the top 10, while Warranty Direct points out that Mazda could have had its MX-5 roadster twice in the list, as the third-generation model is in seventh place and its predecessor missed it by one place, being ranked 11th.

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                          • http://www.rushlane.com/2013-honda-c...28Rush+Lane%29

                            2013 Honda Civic packed with new features at 2012 LA Auto Show

                            The new 2013 Honda Civic showcased at the LA Auto Show boasts of a refined exterior, interiors, enhanced dynamics and a whole new set of standard features. 2013 Honda Civic has been revamped and it can be seen with as changes made to its front and rear portions help t stand out amongst its competitors. Apart from new front and rear styling, the interiors are done using plush luxury materials which are a good combination for the features incorporated within the model.

                            Ride comfort and interior quietness, a Bluetooth Handsfree link as also Pandora navigation system, rear view camera, SMS text functionality and steering mounted audio controls. Handling and performance of the vehicle has been enhanced with incorporation of a retuned steering column and suspension system.

                            The two motor Honda Accord hybrid model has earned top fuel ratings of 115 mpg in its class outdoing it competitors by a huge margin. The model will be launched next summer and details pertaining to it could be expected to come out during that period. 2013 Honda Crosstour and 2013 Honda CR-Z were also showcased at the auto show. These vehicles have been launched in markets and are infused with a number of attractive features.

                            Auto news release: 2013 Honda Civic Debuts at L.A. Auto Show Packed with Additional Features, Cementing its Class-Leading Status

                            Pricing announced for January debut of Accord Plug-In with class-leading MPGe, Accord Hybrid due next summer; Auto show debuts for 2013 Crosstour and CR-Z

                            TORRANCE, Calif., U.S.A., November 29, 2012 - The 2013 Honda Civic debuted today at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show sporting extensive interior and exterior design upgrades, enhanced dynamics, and a host of new standard features. Honda also announced that the 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid earned a class-leading EPA-certified 115 MPGe rating and will go on sale in New York and California on January 15 with an MSRP of $39,7801. Separately, the Accord Hybrid, featuring Honda's new two-motor hybrid system, will launch nationwide next summer with anticipated class-leading2 fuel economy of 49/45/47 city/hwy/combined. The thoroughly revised 2013 Honda Crosstour and 2013 Honda CR-Z also made their auto-show debuts.

                            "Our industry has never been more competitive or fast changing, and a significant refresh of Civic, America's best-selling compact car, just one model year after its debut as an all-new model shows true speed to market," said John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president of Sales. "Our corporate direction is to provide our customers with great products with speed, affordability and low CO2emissions. There is no better example of this direction than today's introduction of the 2013 Honda Civic."

                            The 2013 Honda Civic Sedan, the nation's best-selling compact car which celebrates its 40th anniversary in America next year, goes on sale today with extensive changes to further reinforce its market leadership. While still maintaining all the efficiency and value that has made the Civic an automotive icon, the 2013 Honda Civic Sedan receives all-new front and rear exterior styling, while all Civics sport extensive interior upgrades including more luxurious finishes, and a host of new standard equipment.

                            Retuned steering and suspension sharpen the Civic's handling, extensive chassis upgrades including Honda's ACE™ II body structure improve safety, ride comfort and interior quietness, and every Civic model has more popular standard features including Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, rearview camera, Pandora® Interface, SMS text message feature, and steering wheel audio controls. The 2013 Civic arrives with even greater value for money, adding highly desired feature with an MSRP increase of only $160 across the lineup. Pricing for the exceptionally well-equipped 2013 Civic LX Sedan begins at $18,1651.
                            2014 Honda Accord Plug-In and Accord Hybrid

                            Honda announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show today that the 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid will be available for retail sale and lease beginning January 15 in California and New York, with an MSRP of $39,780.1 The 2014 Accord Plug-In has earned the highest EPA MPGe rating3 in its class (115 MPGe), surpassing plug-in-class competitors including the Ford C-Max Energi (100 MPGe), Chevy Volt (98 MPGe), and Prius Plug-in (95 MPGe). The 2014 Accord Plug-in has been rated by the EPA with a maximum all-electric EV mode range of 13 miles, and a fuel-economy rating of 47/46/46 mpg (city/hwy/combined). The Accord Plug-in is the first production car in America to meet the more stringent new LEV3/SULEV20 emissions standard, and it will also qualify for single-occupant carpool-lane access in California.

                            The two-motor Accord Hybrid will launch nationwide next summer, with anticipated class-leading2 fuel economy ratings of 49/45/47 mpg (city/hwy/combined). Unlike the unique styling of the Accord Plug-In, the Accord Hybrid will share styling much closer the conventional Accord Sedan. More details on the Accord Hybrid will be released closer to launch.
                            2013 Honda Crosstour and CR-Z

                            The thoroughly revised 2013 Honda Crosstour and 2013 Honda CR-Z made their auto show debuts today, both vehicles having gone on sale the previous week. The 2013 Honda Crosstour arrives with extensive updates to both four-cylinder and V-6 models, and a starting MSRP $525 lower than in 2012. The 2013 Crosstour offers more purposeful exterior styling, significant upgrades to the interior design and materials, and a more powerful, more fuel-efficient available Earth Dreams™ V-6 engine coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle-shift control. The 2013 Crosstour is one of the first Honda models available with the new keyless Smart Entry with Push Button start and Honda's new LaneWatch™ blind-spot display. Other standard visibility-enhancing features include a rearview camera and new re-shaped rear headrests.

                            The 2013 Honda CR-Z Sport Hybrid Coupe arrives with more power and better fuel efficiency thanks to an all-new Lithium-Ion battery pack, and a new Plus Sport System™ allows improved passing performance via additional on-demand electric boost, activated by a steering wheel-mounted "S+" button. Styling upgrades include revised interior trim, a new front fascia and a new aerodynamically functional rear diffuser. The CR-Z's standard equipment list – which already includes automatic climate control, power windows and door locks, remote entry and cruise control – adds Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, rearview camera and an Expanded View Driver's Mirror for 2013.

                            MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $790 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
                            Among available mid-size hybrid sedans
                            Based on 2013 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.



                            Honda Leads Strong Auto-sales Reports

                            Recovery from superstorm Sandy and an increasingly spry economy helped Honda set a record for November sales, part of a strong month for U.S. new-car sales.

                            Honda sold 116,580 vehicles, up 39 percent from the same month last year. The automaker, which produces the Honda and Acura brands, rode the momentum of sales of the recently redesigned Accord. The Marysville-made sedan sold 26,248 units, up 82 percent from last year.

                            U.S. sales were up 15 percent for the industry as a whole. "Honda, right now, is just having a lot of momentum," said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst for Edmunds.com, a website for car buyers. " A lot of things have come together for them this month."

                            One of those thingsa is recovery from Sandy. The storm flooded tens of thousands of cars on the East Coast, leading to a spike in replacement sales. Other automakers similarly benefited.

                            But Honda's success during the month went far beyond any weather factors.

                            "We are now surpassing sales records set pre-recession, a true sign that our business has recovered," John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president of sales, said in a statement.

                            The compact Civic was Honda's, top seller, with 30,075 vehicles sold, up 75 percent from a year ago and on the cusp of an updated design that went on sale this week.

                            The redesigned Accord went on sale in September and has received strong reviews and had brisk sales.

                            Last among Honda's top three was the CR-V crossover, made in East Liberty, which sold 22,333, up 36 percent.

                            The Honda brand was up

                            41 percent. Acura, Honda's luxury brand, was up 24 percent. Together, the two brands were up 39 percent.

                            Honda had the highest percentage gain of any major automaker.

                            Another top performer was Nissan, which set its own record for the month, with 96,197 units, up

                            13 percent from the same month last year.

                            Volkswagen sold 36,728 vehicles, an increase of 29 percent, giving it its best November since 1973.

                            "This is a testament to the appeal of our affordable German-engineered vehicles and the strength of our dealer network," Jonathan Browning, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said in a statement.

                            Almost every automaker can point to a brand or model that did well in a month that was strong for nearly the whole industry.

                            The closest thing to an exception might be General Motors, which sold 186,505 vehicles -- the largest number of any carmaker -- but whose sales gains represented only a 3 percent increase. Executives at GM "don't have as many positive stories to tell" about these results, Caldwell said.Ford sold 173,520 units, up 6 percent; Toyota sold 161,695, up 17 percent; and Chrysler sold 121,886, up14 percent.Honda was fifth in unit sales.

                            Luxury cars surged as usual near the year's end, as holiday commercials started crowding the airwaves. Porsche sales rose 71 percent to 3,865, a record month for the automaker. Infiniti, Acura, BMW and Lexus all reported big gains, too.Caldwell said luxury brands historically have gone after their customers at this time of year because of holiday bonuses.

                            That's no longer a driving factor, she said, but it's still a good time of year for people to buy 2012 model-year luxury vehicles because dealers are trying to clear them out.

                            Information from the Associated Press was included in this story.

                            Source: (c)2012 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio). Distributed by MCT Information Services.



                            The 10 Best-Selling Cars of November 2012

                            Honda's Civic and Accord were the biggest movers last month, jumping 76 and 83 percent, respectively, but – as usual – there's more than meets the eye on the list of the top 10 best-selling cars of November 2012.
                            Sales of the Civic were strong, a trend that has continued all year, but the compact sedan surged ahead of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord that lead it on a year-to-date basis because Honda was busy clearing house ahead of the heavily revised 2013 Civic's arrival at the end of the month. Honda offered some hefty incentives, which no doubt swayed plenty of buyers into Civics instead of other compact cars.
                            But the same wasn't the case for the fourth place Accord, which saw sales increase a staggering 83 percent last month or the Toyota Corolla and Matrix, which were up 40 percent. Granted, sales of Honda and Toyota products were weak last year after production shortages caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, but the raw numbers don't lie.
                            On the truck side of things, the Ford F-Series had a commanding lead over the Chevrolet Silverado. Next month, Chevrolet will introduce the world to its redesigned Silverado and GMC Sierra and the refreshed Ram Pickup is just now arriving in showrooms, so this story could get a lot more interesting.
                            Only two crossovers popped into the top 10, even though November tends to be a strong month for vehicles that offer four-wheel-drive. The Honda CR-V is a common sight, but the oft-recalled Ford Escape (four recalls for its 1.6-liter engine since launching this summer) clearly isn't scaring away too many buyers.
                            It's worth noting that, Honda products aside, everything else on the top 10 list is popular with commercial, government and rental car fleet buyers. Hondas periodically show up in fleets, but the automaker stands apart from most of its rivals by not having a dedicated fleet department.
                            And if you're a fan of European imports, the Volkswagen Jetta was again the best seller from the continent (though it is built in Mexico). A surprising second place European model was the BMW 3-Series, which saw sales up 42 percent last month.

                            The 10 Best-Selling Cars of November 2012:

                            1. Ford F-Series 56,299
                            2. Chevrolet Silverado 30,674
                            3. Honda Civic 30,075
                            4. Toyota Camry 28,765
                            5. Honda Accord 26,248
                            6. Ram Pickup 24,337
                            7. Toyota Corolla (includes Matrix) 22,616
                            8. Honda CR-V 22,333
                            9. Ford Escape 20,970
                            10. Nissan Altima 20,305

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                            • http://www.digtriad.com/rss/article/...-Millionth-Car

                              US Honda Plant Produces 1 Millionth Car

                              Marysville, OH-- It's a foreign car, but it's being made by the million in America.

                              Wednesday, Honda announced that the Maryville, Ohio plant has produced its one millionth Honda. This comes 25 years after the first U.S.-made Honda automobile was exported to overseas markets.

                              That millionth car... a silver 2013 Honda Accord EX-L Sedan will be shipped to South Korea, according to auto workers.

                              In a news release, Honda officials said that within two years, they will become a "net exporter" of automobiles from North America - exporting more vehicles built in its auto plants in North America than it imports from Japan - as these local production operations take on a larger responsibility for the introduction of global automobiles sold in multiple countries.

                              The export milestone Accord Sedan that rolled off the assembly line in Marysville, Ohio, now embarks on a more than 8,000-mile journey across the United States to Port Hueneme in Southern California, and then across the Pacific Ocean to Seoul, South Korea, where the company recently began sales of its U.S.-made vehicles.

                              Honda recently marked its 30th anniversary of producing automobiles in America, becoming the first Japanese carmaker to make automobiles in America on Nov. 1, 1982. Five years later, Honda became the first international automaker to export U.S.-made automobiles to overseas markets when it began shipping Ohio-made Accords to Taiwan in fall 1987. A year later, Honda exported its first U.S.-made Accord Coupe to Japan.



                              Toyota Camry, Ford F-150, Honda Accord forecast to be best sellers in 2013

                              The Ford F-Series has been the best-selling truck in America for three decades and topped the chart among all vehicles for a quarter century. The Toyota Camry and Honda Accord traditionally haven’t been far behind.

                              In fact, of the estimated 14.3 million cars, trucks and crossovers expected to be sold by the time the books are closed on 2012, perhaps two dozen models will make up the vast majority of that volume. And that list includes a number of usual suspects, such as the F-Series, Camry and Accord.

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                              That said, the U.S. market is in the midst of some of the most dramatic changes it’s experienced in decades. Fuel economy is one reason. Since the middle of the last decade, the small car segment has surged from barely 13 percent of total U.S. sales to more than 20 percent, a trend likely to continue. And new competitors, such as Korea’s Hyundai and Kia, have shaken up the established order – even as Detroit makers show new signs of resilience in segments where they have long been also-rans, notably with midsize sedans.

                              Based on traditional rankings, sales for the first 11 months of 2011 – and recent industry trends – 24/7 Wall Street is forecasting the likely top-sellers of 2013, a list that includes the 16 models expected to generate sales of at least 200,000 apiece next year.

                              Perhaps the biggest surprise is the prediction that the latest-generation Camry will dethrone the F-Series as the nation’s best-selling vehicle for the first time in decades. The Camry will already be approaching its mid-lifecycle and facing some serious competition from newer players like the updated 2013 Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Chevrolet Malibu. But, in fact, all four of those models are also among the predicted winners.

                              The Sweet 16 list notably includes no models whose base price is more than $25,000 – or about $5,000 less than the current typical U.S. transaction price, according to data tracking service TrueCar.com.

                              Meanwhile, 14 of the 16 now offer inline-four-cylinder options. On several models, high-mileage I-4s are the only powertrains available. The two exceptions are the Ford F-Series and the Chevrolet Silverado. The Ford pickup has scored a big success with its optional V-6s, including the premium 3.5-liter EcoBoost. Chevy is expected to offer new, higher-mileage powertrain packages when it unveils the updated Silverado next year.

                              Of the Top 10, the chart anticipates Japanese makers dominating with six different models. Detroit comes in with four offerings, including those two trucks as well as the well-reviewed Ford Fusion sedan and the new Ford Escape crossover. In fact, 24/7 Wall Street anticipates Ford will have three models in the Top 10, more than any other maker — and four in the Sweet 16, where it is expected to tie with General Motors.

                              Hyundai, meanwhile, rounds out the 16, landing the last two models — the Sonata and Elantra — twice as many as Nissan.

                              While light trucks have dominated the U.S. sales charts since the mid-1980s, they’ve been losing ground of late, and that’s backed up by the forecast which anticipates there will six midsize sedans among the Sweet 16 and five compact models.

                              Three compact crossovers land on the list, but only two classic “truck-trucks,” the F-Series and the Silverado.

                              Here’s the complete list of the likely Best-Selling Cars, Trucks and Crossovers for 2013 and the anticipated sales:

                              1) Toyota Camry: 483,977

                              2) Ford F-150: 455,305

                              3) Honda Accord: 387,779

                              4) Nissan Altima: 358,187

                              5) Honda Civic: 357,621

                              6) Toyota Corolla: 333,933

                              7) Honda CR-V: 327,955

                              8) Ford Fusion: 290,424

                              9) Chevrolet Silverado 1500: 282,627

                              10) Ford Escape: 273,846

                              11) Chevrolet Malibu: 251,403

                              12) Chevrolet Cruze: 247,870

                              13) Chevrolet Equinox: 247,468

                              14) Ford Focus: 243,965

                              15) Hyundai Sonata, 235,218

                              16) Hyundai Elantra: 215,721

                              The forecast reveals another significant trend in the American market. There are now an estimated 250 models available to U.S. motorists, more than ever before. But that means a smaller and smaller share for every individual product. Only two models are expected to top the 400,000 mark, just five will likely generate sales in the 300,000 range. The rest will land somewhere north of 200,000.

                              Not that many decades back, a long list of offerings would routinely top 400,000 or more. At one point, Chevrolet sold a million Impalas. But as this product proliferation trend continues, even the best-sellers are likely to continue to see demand decline, analysts anticipate.



                              Honda Launches New 2013 Civic Sedan

                              Fresh from a November in which the 2012 Civic outsold every other car in America, Honda has launched a significantly refreshed model that has been upgraded inside and out. The 2013 Civic made its public debut recently at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and the first member of the family—the sedan model—is at dealerships now.

                              The new Civic boasts a more modern, dramatically styled exterior thanks to extensive changes to its front and rear fascias, hood, trunk lid, grille and light treatments, while the interior has been thoroughly revised to create a more premium driving environment. Richer textures, soft-touch materials, a tricot headliner and upscale silver accents are all in display in the cabin, which—for the first time—will be offered in all black in both leather and cloth. Honda engineers also deployed numerous anti-noise measures, including a thicker windshield and additional sound-proofing materials.

                              But the improvements to the 2013 Civic don’t end there. Nearly every aspect of the car has been modified, as has its list of standard features, which now include:

                              SmartVent air-bags
                              A rearview camera
                              Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio-streaming technology
                              Recalibrated suspension and steering systems
                              Pandora Internet radio interface
                              SMS text-messaging capability
                              Air conditioning
                              Steering-wheel-mounted audio, cruise and phone controls
                              Sliding center-console armrest

                              And note that, according to Honda: “Even with hundreds of dollars of standard features added, the 2013 Civic arrives with only a modest $160 increase in MSRP across the lineup, with pricing for the exceptionally well-equipped 2013 Civic LX Sedan beginning at $18,165.”



                              Honda to export more cars from North America than it imports within two years

                              CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Honda expects to send more North American-built cars to other countries by 2014 than it brings here each year from Japan.

                              "Quality for the world, made in America, has been an important Honda commitment for the past 25 years," Honda Motor President and Chief Executive Takanobu Ito told workers in Marysville, Ohio, in a recorded video. "In the coming years, we will take on the challenge of helping even more customers around the world enjoy Honda products made in the USA."

                              The plant built an Accord sedan Wednesday that was the 1 millionth North American Honda made for export markets since 1987. The Accord will eventually be sold in South Korea.

                              This year, Honda expects to export about 100,000 vehicles from its plants in Ohio, Indiana, Alabama and Canada, coming close to an export record it set in 1994. That would be more than double 2011's exports. Still, it will import about 50,000 more cars from Japan than it will export.

                              With plans to increase U.S. production over the next two years, Honda says its exports will pass its imports by 2014.

                              Shifting exports to the United States from Japan makes good sense, trade experts said.

                              Though sales have improved dramatically this year, Honda is using less of its factories' capacities than it did before the Great Recession. The combination of new plants and plant expansions with lower sales left the company with more room to build cars than it needed, said Juscelino Colares, an international law professor at Case Western Reserve University.

                              "This slack in production capacity, in the presence of a lower U.S. dollar, means all of this capacity can start going abroad," Colares said.
                              nsx.jpg Honda unveiled the Acura NSX concept car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. To be made at a new plant in Ohio, the NSX will likely be exported to several countries around the world. Paul Sancya, Associated Press

                              Japanese automakers have struggled with a strong yen for several years. Because that country's currency is strong, products exported from Japan are more expensive in Europe and North America. The relatively weak U.S. dollar makes exporting from this country more attractive.

                              Add to that free-trade deals reached in recent years with countries in South America and Asia, and U.S. production becomes more attractive, Colares said.

                              "It's a very favorable market for manufacturers," he added.

                              Robert M. Stern, a visiting professor of international economics at the University of California Berkley and a professor emeritus of the University of Michigan, called the development a positive sign for manufacturing in the United States in general.

                              "Not only are they going to export the cars, but a lot of the components that got into the assembly of the cars are produced in the United States," Stern said. "It helps expand the total manufacturing base of the United States."

                              Most of Honda's U.S. and Canadian exports go to Mexico and the Middle East. In the early 1990s, U.S. plants shipped significant numbers of cars to Japan, but those exports stopped about eight years ago.

                              The company said each of its North American plants export some vehicles to foreign markets. Honda is building a new plant near its existing Marysville and East Liberty plants in Ohio to make the next generation of its Acura NSX supercar. Large numbers of that specialty vehicle will likely be exported to performance car enthusiasts worldwide.

                              Latin America/ Caribbean Japan Asia/ Oceania Europe Middle East/ Africa Mexico Puerto Rico/ Guam and other Total
                              1987 667 667
                              1988 6,650 2,375 9,025
                              1989 3,432 3,085 6,517
                              1990 12,022 2,566 1,697 2,025 18,310
                              1991 14,520 2,964 6,350 3,889 772 28,495
                              1992 85 22,921 17,200 6,943 4,969 393 52,511
                              1993 833 23,426 8,276 5,740 3,008 1,117 42,400
                              1994 6,829 52,091 5,308 34,063 2,858 3,249 104,398
                              1995 6,282 49,504 2,491 21,397 3,153 663 3,375 86,865
                              1996 7,199 44,039 2,108 19,719 2,110 869 4,993 81,037
                              1997 7,721 27,016 2,686 8,540 2,800 3,060 4,026 55,849
                              1998 5,677 10,723 8,263 8,279 6,681 6,397 4,354 50,374
                              1999 3,222 12,368 1,639 7,969 439 10,455 4,160 40,252
                              2000 2,918 6,113 140 2,993 463 11,952 4,611 29,190
                              2001 3,152 6,588 120 5,292 245 15,613 3,653 34,663
                              2002 1,788 3,708 0 1,219 343 14,613 3,714 25,385
                              2003 1,190 2,989 1 728 738 11,104 4,574 21,324
                              2004 1,339 276 1 566 431 7,646 4,723 14,982
                              2005 2,494 183 1 77 1,386 11,218 5,031 20,390
                              2006 4,573 45 451 0 1,886 18,368 3,178 28,501
                              2007 4,311 39 561 0 1,978 24,676 3,420 34,985
                              2008 5,431 23 257 6,178 5,562 26,647 3,436 47,534
                              2009 3,158 35 1,120 191 3,118 10,156 2,198 19,976
                              2010 6,201 29 358 179 5,014 17,715 3,453 32,949
                              2011 4,887 2 364 1,695 16,532 18,058 3,512 45,050
                              Total 79,290 298,742 63,002 138,118 69,300 209,210 73,967 931,629

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                              • http://www.iol.co.za/motoring/cars/h...9#.UMHeEKwe4wo

                                Honda CR-V breaks the price barrier

                                It takes special things to get noticed in the small, soft-roading SUV segment these days. Special things such as clever storage nooks, flexible seating and lots of cupholders.

                                Trivial things like all-wheel drive systems and engine power are, well, less important than they used to be.

                                Honda’s CR-V, since its launch in 1995, has always ranked high on the convenience features-o-meter, but the new, fourth-generation version launched in South Africa last week ticks some of the boxes that its predecessors missed.

                                For the first time (in our market anyway) the CR-V is now available in a lower spec, front-wheel drive only model that shaves about R40 000 off the price - making for an entry-level CR-V that comes in just under the key R300 000 mark.

                                This 2.0 Comfort model doesn’t feel like a cheap, stripped-down effort, and other than the lack of leather upholstery it gets much of what’s included in upper-level CR-Vs.

                                Sure, you’re sacrificing extras such as parking sensors, bi-xenon headlights, adaptive cruise control, heated seats and the ability to bundu bash, but as proven by some popular two-wheel drive Korean rivals, this is entirely acceptable.

                                In the centre of the Comfort’s dash you’ll find the same colour 125mm screen that displays entertainment and trip data as in higher-specced Elegance, Executive and Exclusive CR-Vs. At R299 900 the FWD 2.0 Comfort with 114kW and 192Nm feels almost as classy as its more expensive siblings inside.

                                The new CR-V comes in seven other well-appointed variations, with two petrol engine choices, one turbodiesel, and each with all-wheel drive.

                                Also tweaked is the 2.4-litre i-Vtec petrol engine, which is the same one used in the Accord sedan. Older CR-Vs with this engine were downtuned, but this time Honda’s brought power up by 18kW to 140kW and 220Nm, which is closer to the Accord.

                                The 110kW/350Nm 2.2 i-Dtec turbodiesel is unchanged power-wise, but was unavailable for test at the media launch in Cape Town.

                                The new CR-V gets a clever new rear seat folding mechanism that’s activated from one-touch levers in the boot, and there’s 25 litres more space (now 589) than before. The front seats are lower and positioned closer to the sides so that it’s easier to get in and out, which in turn liberates more space for the centre console, which now houses three cupholders.

                                It’s also quieter inside because of new door seals and sound-deadening material, and the bonnet’s been designed so that drivers can see more of it.

                                Basically, the CR-V’s improved in every area that counts. The petrol engines are still a little weak, though. - Star Motoring


                                2.0 Comfort FWD manual (petrol) - R299 900

                                2.0 Comfort AWD auto (petrol) - R339 900

                                2.4 Elegance AWD auto (petrol) - R399 900

                                2.4 Executive AWD auto (petrol) - R444 900

                                2.2 Elegance AWD manual (diesel) - R405 900

                                2.2 Elegance AWD auto (diesel) - R418 900

                                2.2 Exclusive AWD manual (diesel) - R486 900

                                2.2 Exclusive AWD auto (diesel) - R499 900



                                2013 Honda Civic, Best Car To Buy, 2015 Mercedes C Class: Today's Car News

                                Today at The Car Connection, we took at look at the new 2014 Kia Forte and 2013 Honda Civic. Mercedes-Benz is planning to double down on diesels and we spied the 2015 C Class. All this and more in today's car news, right here on The Car Connection.

                                We did a video walkaround with the BMW i3 Coupe Concept.

                                How much cheaper is electric car maintenance compared to a gasoline powered car?

                                Here are the crossover nominees for The Car Connection Best Car To Buy 2013.

                                Nissan thinks the Fiat 500e is ugly.

                                We spied the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C Class.

                                Is a parking spot worth $167,000?

                                Here's our video preview of the 2013 Honda Civic.

                                Do you know how many people want new cars for the holidays?

                                We took a look at the new 2014 Kia Forte.

                                Mercedes-Benz is preparing to double down on diesels.

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


                                Honda Odyssey History

                                The Honda Odyssey is a minivan that was first introduced in Japan back in 1994 and the U.S. one year later. Its initial reception was cool: it was smaller than domestic minivans, and didn't have sliding side doors like those on the Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country. Still, Honda’s reputation for reliability and strong resale values enabled the Odyssey to become a household nameplate within its first couple of years of sale.

                                The Odyssey’s other major draw card was its competitive pricing, although an inflow of cheaper models has seen this advantage eroded significantly. It's completely gone now, and the highly featured Odyssey is one of the more expensive minivans for sale in the U.S., with a starting price in the high $20,000s.
                                The first generation Odyssey shared its platform with the top-selling Honda Accord sedan. It was manufactured in Japan and was only available with a four-cylinder engine. Customers did, however, have the choice between seven- or six-seater capability, the latter using two removable second-row captain's chairs in lieu of the regular bench.

                                Honda then moved production of the Odyssey to North America, sized the van up significantly, and replaced the four-cylinder engine of the previous model with a new 3.5-liter V-6. Coming onto the market as a 1999 model, this bigger Odyssey was praised for its strong power, excellent handling and twin sliding doors.

                                Honda was onto a winning formula so for the third generation of the minivan, which was first launched as a 2005 model, changes were kept to a minimum. The Honda Odyssey featured a 244-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 with optional cylinder deactivation technology. The most efficient model returned an EPA-rated fuel economy of 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

                                With a complete redesign for 2011, Honda added a little more design panache to the Odyssey, along with improved seating plus new connectivity and entertainment features. The most noteworthy detail of the new design is a 'lightning-bolt' beltline--a small drop of the window line just behind the sliding door--which adds a little more window space in back. Power was pretty much carried over, with a 247-hp version of the 3.5-liter V-6, but a new six-speed automatic was phased in for part of the lineup, boosting some models' gas mileage to 19 mpg city, 28 highway. Variable cylinder management and active noise cancellation makes these vans among the most efficient and refined picks in the real world, too, plus the Odyssey has earned both IIHS Top Safety Pick status and top five-star ratings from the federal government.

                                Pricing and features have been an issue with the Odyssey, but the situation improves in 2013. Bluetooth and a rearview camera are now standard equipment. The Odyssey can also be had with a stunning wide-screen entertainment system, HID headlamps, a blind-spot warning system, and a great 650-watt sound system. It also carries a long-held reputation for strong resale value and low running costs.

                                For more information, see our full review of the 2013 Honda Odyssey.



                                Honda says it is reviewing its U.S. marketing

                                Dec 6 (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co's U.S. arm has started a review of its advertising accounts for its Honda and Acura brands, American Honda Motor Co said on Thursday.
                                Rubin Postaer and Associates (RPA), now the lead agency for American Honda, will be among the advertising firms scrutinized in the review, which is to be completed in the first quarter of 2013, American Honda said.
                                American Honda spends about $700 million annually on its U.S. marketing, according to Kantar Media, an ad tracking firm owned by KPP Plc.
                                "The review we have initiated will lead to a strong, long-term strategic plan for our brands," Michael Accavitti, head of American Honda marketing, said in a statement.
                                Accavitti said the company wants to connect with consumers through "dynamic marketing campaigns" in a "changing media landscape and a hyper-competitive marketplace."
                                He said the review comes as the company rolls out new products such as the 2013 Honda Civic and the 2014 Acura RLX sedan. Acura is the company's premium brand.
                                The review does not include American Honda's agency for multicultural work, which is currently handled by Muse Communications and Orci, American Honda said.
                                According to Kantar Media, American Honda spent $689.5 million on advertising in 2011, up from $668.1 million in 2010. After the first half of 2012, Honda's ad spend was up 1.8 percent.
                                RPA is based in Santa Monica, outside Los Angeles. American Honda is based in Torrance, which is also outside Los Angeles.
                                Sales of Honda's namesake brand and Acura in the United States through November rose 24 percent from a year earlier to 1.29 million vehicles.
                                The review of American Honda's U.S. advertising was reported by Advertising Age and Automotive News on Wednesday.



                                Honda Malaysia Racing Team makes final preparations for the Sepang 1000 km Endurance Race

                                A few weeks back, we ran a story about Honda Malaysia Racing Team getting back on track, literally. And that they will be fielding two souped-up Honda Jazz cars to compete in the Sepang 1,000km Endurance Race – Car 17 and Car 26. Our stickers are on Car 17, the red Jazz, just so you know.
                                Since the story ran, both cars have undergone more development to get them ready for the race. But there’s a problem and it is one that’s not easily tackled. The team is not happy with the current rear suspension setup; the torsion beam is making things tougher.

                                “It hops,” said Car 26’s driver, Ezan. “The suspension is making the car’s rear skip, especially at the mid-corner and at the exit, which makes the car unstable. And because of that, we are unable to come out of the corners at full throttle. But we are constantly trying to refine the suspension with the data that we have.”
                                Since its first test in Sepang, the Jazz have slashed four seconds off their lap times, thanks to the remapped ECU, tweaked camber, different gear ratios and a more powerful engine. The team now has to sort out the rear, although they admit the H-beam suspension set up does not allow a lot of tuning options.

                                “I think we’ll earn an extra second if we get the suspension right,” says Henzee, Car 26’s other driver. He added that the race is not about power. Since it is an endurance race, the driver has the added challenge of wearing out the tyres or using up all of the fuel too quickly.
                                Car 17 will be driven by Aaron Lim and Eddie Lew. If you’d like to catch the action, the 1,000 km-long race starts at this Saturday, December 8 at 12 o’clock in the afternoon and should be finished at 9.30 pm, depending on the weather.
                                We’ll leave you with a short video clip, which properly introduces the notable members of the team. You’ll also get to see the team, and the car, in action.




                                Honda Confirms UK Pricing for Updated and Slightly More Powerful 2013 CR-Z

                                The revised Honda CR-Z, which was seen in Europe for the first time at the Paris auto show in September, will arrive in UK dealerships in January with on-the-road prices starting from £20,550 for the Sport variant and £23,050 for the range-topping GT. While the 2013 model does receive a light exterior makeover with a new front bumper design, a different grille and rear diffuser, along with subtle updates to the interior including changes to the colour scheme and improvements to the cabin storage, the most important upgrades are to be found under the hood.
                                Honda's engineers made changes to the car's 1.5 litre petrol engine ECU unit and variable valve timing system, boosting output by 7hp from 112hp (114PS) to 119hp (121PS).
                                At the same time, the IMA hybrid system features a new Lithium Ion battery that replaces the previous Nickel-metal hybrid version, and an increase in power from 14hp to 20hp.
                                These upgrades result in an overall combined output of 135hp (137PS) at 6,600 rpm (+13hp) and 190Nm of torque (+16Nm), with the CR-Z's 0-62mph (100km/h) sprint time dropping from 10.0 seconds to 9.1 seconds on the Sport model and from 10.1 seconds to 9.5 seconds on the GT.
                                There's also a new Sport Plus (S+) boost system activated by a button that offers an electric boost for up to 10 seconds.
                                The 2013 CR-Z retains the same fuel economy numbers as its predecessor at 56.5mpg UK on the combined cycle and 116 g/km (Sport) and 54.3 mpg UK and 122 g/km (GT).

                                Last edited by tokyodream; 07-12-12, 14:31.
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