Ultimele articole din presa straina referitoare la Honda

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  • http://www.vtec.net/news/news-item?news_item_id=1121616

    Honda Previews their 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon Display, showing an S2000-based Concept

    Honda has a few treats in store for this year's Tokyo Auto Salon, which will run from January 11 to January 13 at Makuhari Messe. Interestingly, one of those treats involves a concept package for Honda's out-of-production S2000 roadster. Dubbed the S2000 Modulo Climax, the package includes new front and rear bumper treatments, some nice interior pieces and an interesting looking spoiler-ette.

    Also on display is an assortment of Honda's N-One and N-Box minicars, accessorized by Mugen and Honda's Modulo division, Honda's SuperGT racers (CR-Z and HSV-010), a Mugen CR-V Design study, a CR-Z Mugen RZ, and more.

    Press release and photos follow.

    Overview of Honda Exhibit at TOKYO AUTO SALON 2013 with NAPAC

    TOKYO, Japan, December 26, 2012 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced it will participate in TOKYO AUTO SALON 2013 with NAPAC*1, which will be held from Friday, January 11 to Sunday, January 13, 2013, at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Featuring production and exhibition models of automobiles, motorcycles presenting a variety of exciting approaches to customization, power products and racing vehicles will also be presented at the Honda exhibit.

    Featured automobiles will include models based on the all-new N-ONE mini-vehicle, such as the N-ONE Modulo*2 Style with its sophisticated atmosphere, the MUGEN Racing N-ONE Concept model manufactured by MUGEN*3, and a model created in collaboration with the Japan Nailist Association (JNA), showing off its custom body colors and adorned in rhinestone. Also on display will be 10 mini-vehicles full of fun and variety, including show models of the VAMOS and the ACTY TRUCK.

    Honda's automobile exhibit will also show the S2000 Modulo Climax (exhibition model), an S2000-based concept model featuring cutting-edge aeroform design and a chic interior coordinated in black and burgundy. Models on exhibit will include the MUGEN CR-V Design Study, a CR-V-based concept model presenting a new design, and the CR-Z MUGEN RZ, a MUGEN vehicle sold commercially as a complete car limited to 300 vehicles.

    Honda's motorcycle exhibit will present the GOLDWING F6B unveiled at EICMA 2012 (70th International Motorcycle Exhibition) in Italy in November and planned for commercial production. Customized vehicles derived from such models as the CB1300 SUPER FOUR{ABS}Special Edition and the NC700X will also be on display featuring aftermarket parts and accessories.

    Honda's racing vehicle exhibit will present the RC213V motorcycle, an essential contributor to Honda's team and constructors' championships in the 2012 MotoGP, the highest class in the Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix. Two cars from the SUPER GT Series, the HSV-010 GT and the MUGEN CR-Z GT, will also be appearing as well as the DOCOMO TEAM DANDELION RACING machine that won the 2012 Formula NIPPON team championship.

    *1 Organized by the TOKYO AUTO SALON ASSOSIATION (TASA) with the cooperation of the Nippon Auto Parts Aftermarket Committee (NAPAC)
    *2 Modulo: Brand name for customized products made by Honda Access Corporation, the manufacturer of genuine Honda aftermarket parts and accessories
    *3 MUGEN: Brand name used by M-TEC Co., Ltd., which conducts motor sports activities and develops, manufactures and sells tuned parts for Honda vehicles and complete cars

    Key vehicles in the Honda exhibit

    Exhibition vehicles: concept models
    N-ONE Modulo Style
    S2000 Modulo Climax
    STEP WGN Modulo Style
    MUGEN Racing N-ONE Concept
    MUGEN CR-V Design Study

    Exhibition vehicles: racing vehicles

    MotoGP: RC213V (Repsol Honda Team)
    Isle of Man TT Races: EV Motorcycle SHINDEN (TEAM MUGEN)

    Accessorized vehicles (Production models)
    N BOX Modulo X
    N BOX +
    MUGEN N-ONE Premium

    CB1300 SUPER FOUR{ABS}Special Edition
    CB1100 Black Style{ABS}

    Other exhibition vehicles and products
    N-ONE [Collaborative model in conjunction with the Japan Nailist Association (JNA), an incorporated nonprofit organization]
    VAMOS show model CANPACHI
    ACTY TRUCK show model VAMOTORA
    GOLDWING F6B (planned for production)
    CBR250R{ABS}Special Edition (planned for production)

    Power products Outboard engines

    Honda booth website

    [TOKYO AUTO SALON 2013: Dates and place]
    Friday, January 11
    9:00 am - 6:00 pm: Press and industry admission
    9:00 am - 6:00 pm: Premium general admission (Halls 9-11)
    1:00 pm - 6:00 pm: Premium general admission (Halls 1-8 and 9-11)

    Saturday, January 12
    9:00 am - 6:00 pm: General admission

    Sunday, January 13
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm: General admission

    International Exhibition Halls 1–11, Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan
    Honda booth: Hall 4, Booth 439



    2013 Accord Tops Rivals in Cars.com Comparo

    The midsize sedan segment continues to showcase some of the freshest, best-selling vehicles in America, and that includes the all-new 2013 Honda Accord. The latest generation of the Accord has seen sizzling sales since its recent introduction, capped off by a November in which deliveries increased by nearly 83 percent. But it’s not just customers who are driving the car’s current run of success; the new Accord also has become a winner with the automotive press. Consider: In a recent shootout between the Accord and five of its closest rivals, the Honda entry bested the Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry, Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata and Nissan Altima with its award-winning combination of value, efficiency and driving satisfaction.

    The comparison gathered together all the mid-size sedans capable of at least 28 mpg in combined driving and priced no higher than $26,000—eliminating contenders like the VW Passat and Chevy Malibu, neither of which can meet that mileage mark at that cost—with judging by a panel of experts from Cars.com, USA Today and MotorWeek. Also, to provide real-world input, all players were put through their paces by a real-life family of four.

    The Accord’s decisive victory came based on factors like:

    A continuously variable transmission (CVT) that “responds in a jiffy, serving up passing power in concert with your right foot”
    Engaging driving dynamics that make the Accord “surprisingly athletic and light on its feet … with quick, better-weighted steering” than the Fusion
    High levels of content, with judges noting that: “one of only two cars in the test with a backup camera … the Accord wins double extra brownie points for squeezing this feature in at this price point”

    The bottom line from Patrick Olsen, editor-in-chief of Cars.com: “Accord is one of the oldest and most trusted midsize sedans on the market. With each redesign, the Accord continues to get better and better. The 2013 won our showdown because of its high-end standard features, value for money and great driving ability.”



    Honda Manufacturing of Alabama sets annual production record

    LINCOLN — Honda Manufacturing of Alabama produced a total of 336,601 Odyssey minivans, Pilot sport utility vehicles, Ridgeline pickups and the V-6 engines that power all three models in 2012, according to a press release.

    Preliminary production estimates are through Dec. 21. The plant is estimated to have turned out 158,527 Odysseys; 156,920 Pilots and 21,154 Ridgelines. The Lincoln plant is the exclusive global production source for all three models.

    “Honda experienced a tremendous resurgence in production in 2012, after recovering from the natural disasters of the prior year,” HMA president Tom Shoupe said in the release. “The teamwork and dedication of our 4,000 associates has, once again, led our company to achieve production of a record number of high quality, Alabama built, Honda vehicles and engines for our customers.”

    The release goes on to say that in the past two years, HMA has announced investments of nearly $400 million to increase vehicle production, including the addition of Acura MDX luxury sports utility vehicle to the production lineup in the coming year.

    “The investments also support an increase in annual production capacity to 360,000 vehicles and engines by 2013 and achieve improvements in manufacturing efficiency,” according to the release. The plant has also hired an additional 350 associates during the past two years.

    The Lincoln plant covers 3.5 million square feet and represents a $2 billion capital investment. Annual payroll is in excess of $250 million.



    Shorter 2013 Honda Civic Ad: Yes, We Screwed Up

    The 2012 Honda Civic was highly regarded for being not very good at anything. Honda did an emergency redesign of the car to make it relevant and up the level of its competitors, thus resulting in the 2013 Honda Civic.
    Honda seems to have realized that they have screwed up with the 2012 car and recognize that in the first ad for the 2013 model. Honda has ventured to build products based on big ideas, like Asimo the robot and the HondaJet. Even though the Civic isn't as enterprising as those things, it's far more important to the company.
    Good on Honda for realizing that they needed to make some adjustments for the car to be relevant. Now here's to hoping that the car actually makes good on their promise.



    2013 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite: The minivan is all grown up


    In Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, it takes 10 long years for Odysseus to make his way home after the Trojan War. If he was driving the Honda van named after the poem, at least Odysseus would have traveled in comfort and style — especially if it was the 2013 Odyssey Touring Elite model, the subject our weeklong test drive.
    Minivans have changed a lot since Chrysler introduced the first ones in the 1980s. Based on the company’s economical K-cars, they were small and simple. Today, almost all them are much larger and available with every conceivable convenience, entertainment and comfort feature.
    Even the base model LX model of the Odyssey is well outfitted. Standard equipment incudes three rows of seats, front and rear air conditioning, an AM/FM in-dash single CD player with CD MP3 Playback stereo, and — beginning this year — hands-free phone capabilities, USB Audio, and a rearview camera.
    But step up to the top-of-the-line Touring Elite model and you’ll find leather seats (power and heated in the front), three zone climate control, a hard drive voice activated navigation system, and an optional 16.2-inch widescreen that folds down from the headliner in the second row. Both it and the Touting model also come with a six-spped automatic transmission instead of the five-speed version found on the other models.
    All models are powered by just one engine, Honda’s tried-and-true 3.5-liter V6, rated at 248 horsepower and 250 foot-pounds of torque. They all include the Variable Cylinder Management system that shuts down two or three of the cylinders when they're not needed, improving fuel economy. Five-speed models are rated at 18 miles per gallon city and 27 on the highway, while the six-speed automatic adds a single mile-per-gallon. That’s the best of any vehicle designed to carry eight passengers.
    All models also feature the most radical styling of any family van, including a jagged side window line that Honda refers to as a lightning bolt. Combined with the intentionally large sliding door tracks down each side, the effect is bold and eye catching. The beltline is also lower than most other vans, giving the Odyssey a low, wide look.
    On the road, our test Odyssey was remarkably smooth and stable. The long wheelbase helped soak up imperfections, giving a supple and controlled ride. During one lengthy early morning freeway drive in heavy rain, the Odyssey felt as stable and secure as any large SUV. The higher ride height offered excellent visibility and, even though AWD is not an option, the traction was excellent, despite having to drive through washed out sections of the freeway.
    But vans are really all about interior room and in this category, the Odyssey is practically in a class of its own. The inside is cavernous and can be configured to carry up to eight people or, with the seats folded down, full loads of lumber. Some reviewers have noted there is a large amount of hard plastic in the interior, but what do they expect? The Odyssey is designed to carry large families and children area messy, so the surfaces need to be easy to clean up. The fit and finish is first rate, though, which makes the materials look classier than you might expect.
    Honda uses its 3.5-liter V6 is a variety of vehicles. It is a solid workhorse that offers impressive acceleration in the Odyssesy, especially considering its size. The six-speed transmission in our Tour Elite model shifted up and down through the gears smooth. Even freeway passing was relatively easy, which isn't something you could always say about minivans.
    Special mention should be made of the front seats, which were deeply sculpted and very comfortable, even on long trips. They both included an inside arm that could be raised up to increase access to the generous center console storage bin.

    With a starting price at over $28,000, the Odyssesy is competitive with other vans its size. At more than $44,000, our Touring Elite version was still reasonable, given everything it included. But even that top-of-the-line price is just one more reminder how much most minivans have changed over the years — not much about them is mini anymore.

    Facts and figures (all models)

    • Model tested: 2013 Odyssey Touring Elite.
    • Manufacturer: Honda.
    • Class: Van.
    • Layout: Front engine, front-wheel-drive.
    • Style: Five-door van.
    • Engines: 3.5-liter V6 (248 hp, 250 lbs-ft).
    • TransmissionS: Five-speed automatic; six-speed automatic.
    • EPA estimated city/highway/mileage: 18/27.
    • Price: Beginning at approximately $28,675 ($44,755 as tested).

    Senior Member
    Last edited by tokyodream; 29-12-12, 09:33.
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    • http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/104949

      Honda says Matt Neal, Gordon Shedden are still improving

      British Touring Car team boss Steve Neal believes his Honda drivers Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal are still improving as a pairing.

      The Team Dynamics-run works Honda squad confirmed before Christmas that it was keeping 2012 champion Shedden and triple champion Neal in its line-up for the fourth consecutive season in 2013.

      Team boss Neal believes the duo, which has finished one-two in the drivers' standings for the last two seasons, continues to get stronger.

      "It's a no-brainer to keep them," he said. "It's a combination that's still getting stronger.

      "Gordon's older and wiser and now he's won it I think he'll be more relaxed."

      Neal also believes that the friendship between the pair has strengthened both drivers' position with the Japanese manufacturer.

      "They're good mates and get on so well together," he added. "That's what Honda likes."

      Honda took a clean sweep of drivers', manufacturers' and teams' titles in 2012, with privateer Honda squad Eurotech also taking both Independents' crowns with Andrew Jordan and Jeff Smith.

      All four are expected to continue with the NGTC Civics in 2013.



      Auto review: Honda revamps Civic after stinging criticism

      Honda has always had an almost supernatural ability to effortlessly create economy sedans with modern, conservative designs and distinctly athletic personalities.

      So, when the redesigned Honda Civic arrived in 2012, it should have been expected that Honda would deliver more of the same. Unfortunately, the new Civic was so unimpressive that even Consumer Reports dropped the car from its list of recommended cars.

      What happened?

      Well, it seems that Honda, which designed the car during the recession, cheapened the interior in an effort to control costs and keep the price low. Coupled with uninspired styling and ho-hum handling, the accolades usually strewn in the Civic's path became brickbats. In the wake of massive criticism of its 2012 redesign, Honda launched an emergency redesign of their newly unveiled Civic.

      Given the increased competition in the compact car market from such strong competitors as the Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze and Volkswagen Jetta, it was clear Honda needed to quickly upgrade the Civic.

      Yet the company has somehow managed to restore much of the Civic's quality in a mere 12 months. Given that it takes three years or more to redesign a vehicle, that's not just remarkable, it's, well, supernatural.

      The most obvious change to the Civic is what you see: the car's front end is much more aggressively chiseled, with a black honeycomb mesh grille framed in chrome. It's a handsomely sporting look that's fresh, yet classically Honda. Out back, the lighting and trim has a more impressive appearance.

      But it's inside where buyers will find the most dramatic change.

      Given the previous model's functional, dull aesthetic, the new interior is a return to form. With its upgraded trim and livelier color palette, it's easy to appreciate this car's roomy cabin and comfortable seats. Soft-touch plastics and upgraded materials decorate the doors and instrument panel. In particular, the finishes on the audio system are improved.

      Honda now offers a host of new standard features in response to those offered on its competitors. Bluetooth, a rearview camera, USB/iPod interface, Pandora interface, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, exterior temperature readout and a sliding center armrest are standard on all Civics. A navigation system is standard on upper trim levels.

      But Honda should take another look at the front seat headrests; they're placed too far forward, preventing you from sitting properly in the seat.

      Choosing a new Civic means starting with the LX, and then jumping to EX, EX-L or Si. There's also a high-efficiency HF model, as well as a gas-electric hybrid and a model that runs on compressed natural gas. The DX trim level has been dropped.

      With all of the work on aesthetics, it's understandable that the Civic's powerplants carry over unchanged. A 140-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine mates to either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual transmission is standard the Si; a continuously variable automatic transmission is standard on the hybrid.

      Unlike some competitors, the five-speed automatic doesn't have sequential manual shift capability or paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.

      Regardless, fuel consumption is very respectable, with the Civic rated by the EPA at 28 mpg city, 39 mpg highway. A mix of two-thirds highway driving and one-third city driving returned 34 mpg.

      In order to aid you in reaching those Olympian fuel efficiency heights, Civics come with an Econ button that, when pushed, operates the vehicle more efficiently, albeit at the expense of performance. Honda also frames the digital speedometer in green light, which stays green as long as you're driving efficiently. Drive like an auto journalist, and you'll find the lights turn teal, and then blue.

      For this road test, Honda supplied an EX with an automatic transmission, which is typical of what most buyers will opt for.

      And it's here, behind the wheel, where the Civic delivers one more surprise. This redesign is more than smoke and mirrors.

      Honda has recalibrated the steering for a livelier response, and it possesses an eagerness and athleticism that was lacking last year. The Civic has regained the poise it always had, despite being a front-wheel drive economy car. The tweaked suspension does a better job of reining in body roll during cornering. The ride is still firm, but there's now an ample amount of bump absorption dialed in, so it seems less jittery than it did last year. Steering is still fairly light, however, and there's still a dead spot when the steering wheel is centered.

      On the flip side, the 2013 Civic seems quieter than the old model.

      Since the engines carry over from last year, performance is similar. Given its fuel-efficient ways, there's adequate power for the daily stop-and-go grind of commuting and shopping, but dropping down into third gear is needed for that extra burst of power.

      The Civic performed flawlessly during the weeklong test drive with one exception. Its Bluetooth system had difficulty maintaining its connection to my iPhone. It disconnected and reconnected multiple times during a typical four-hour drive.

      In many respects, when compared with the 2012 model, the 2013 Civic is greatly improved, not just in ride and handling, but also in overall ambiance.

      While the 2012 Civic wasn't a contender, the 2013 model most definitely is. It's not the class leader its forbearers once were, but it's now good enough to once more proudly wear the Honda name and give its competition heartburn.

      2013 Honda Civic

      Engine: 1.8-liter SOHC four-cylinder

      Wheelbase: 103.2 inches

      Length: 175.5 inches

      Weight: 2,837 pounds

      Cargo space: 11.7 cubic feet

      EPA rating (city/highway): 28/39 mpg

      Fuel consumption: 34 mpg

      Fuel type: Regular

      Base price, base model: $18,165

      Base price, test model: $20,815




      [B]Automotive Freehand Art[/B

      At first glance, the LiHai Sharpie Civic appears to be just like any other Sharpie car. That being said, all cars decorated with permanent marker are pretty amazing, but nothing really sets them apart from one another. However, the LiHai Sharpie Civic manages to stand out from the pack due to the way it was created. LiHai is a Southern California clothing brand founded by Darel-C. In addition to making clothes, Darel-C is also a pretty talented artist.

      The only planned bit of the LiHai Sharpie Civic was the LiHai logo on the hood. Everything else was done on the fly. For those who are artistically challenged, this is nearly impossible to imagine. However, the most awesome things are usually the hardest to believe. Check out the time-lapse video to watch Darel-C turn a normal Honda Civic into an extraordinary work of Sharpie art.

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


      Honda Transforms a Fit into a Mixing Deck


      Orland Park, IL (I-Newswire) December 30, 2012 - Recently, Honda completed an interesting project where the goal was to turn a Honda Fit into a mixing board. This wasn't just some simple feat where a mixing deck, complete with a turntable and buttons, was installed into the trunk, along with a bumping sound system for flair. For this project, Honda, along with a team of musical artists, crafted the entire Fit into one giant soundboard. Buttons and switches were rewired on the inside so a DJ could mix right from the driver's seat. The project even featured a giant turn table for the Fit to ride on. The end result was revolutionary, no pun intended.

      The Honda Fit has become a popular vehicle because of its low price and strong fuel economy. Its five-door hatchback set-up is great for drivers who like plenty of cargo options. The Fit also has a strong safety record; just like last year's model, the 2013 Fit was chosen by the IIHS as a Top Safety Pick. Drivers interested in learning more about the Fit can find it at Community Honda in Orland Park.

      Outfitting the Fit as a mixing deck, dubbed the “Drivemixer project,” began as a campaign to market to Brazil’s younger working class. Artists Sam Speigel and DJ Zegon were involved heavily in the project.

      Here's what Speigel had to say about the process: “The track was composed with the car in mind, but we made the music first and figured out how to control it after. … [w]e used the on/off switches in there to turn them into MIDI switches.”

      This was done by rewiring the switches to a board and through a special computer program, so that each time the shifter was tweaked, for example, it registered with the computer. With a little bit of practice, both artists were able to play the Fit like a finely tuned instrument.

      A video of a mix of the Drivemixer Fit in action can be seen on YouTube.

      To learn more about the Fit and the different options it has available, call or visit Community Honda. Community is located in Orland Park on 159th Street, just west of S 80th Avenue.

      Additional Resources
      Additional Images

      About Community Honda:
      Whether you shop Community Honda of Orland Park at the showroom or on the Internet, we offer a relaxed, friendly and helpful car buying experience. Community Honda, part of the Wehmeier family-owned Community Auto Group since 1975, has built a reputation for top-notch customer service in both our sales and service departments.

      Company Contact Information
      Community Honda
      8340 W. 159th Street
      Orland Park, IL
      Phone : 888-631-5959



      2013 Honda Accord Takes Top Spot in Cars.com/Newsweek/USA Today Test

      Welcome back to favorable coverage Honda! It must feel good, as the Japanese automaker has thoroughly been attacked by the automotive press in the recent years (and rightfully so). The lowest point came with the 2012 Civic – even Consumer Reports couldn’t defend the lack of investment and effort that was put into into that car.

      Criticism caused Honda to rush out an update just one year into the new Civic’s model cycle. The 2013 Civic includes a redesigned front grill and fascia, redesigned rear taillights, a new safety cage, and an updated interior with higher-quality materials. Apparently a lot happened between Honda’s 2012 and 2013 model years – we aren’t sure what exactly, but whatever it is we’re thankful for it. For starters, the 2013 Accord has a handsome exterior design.

      As a genuinely good looking design, it’s the best Accord we’ve seen in years. Other areas of criticism, such as wind and road noise, have apparently been addressed as well. These are common issues in previous Honda vehicles. While we’ve heard good things in that regard, we will have to checkout those changes for ourselves when we review the 2013 Accord. Many have asked, is the Accord the best? Cars.com/USA Today/Motorweek says it is, after recently conducting a test where they crowned the Accord the best midsize sedan in the segment.

      The “Shootout” brought together six midsize sedans that start under $26,000 and achieve 28 miles per gallon or better in combined EPA fuel economy ratings. “We’re pleased that the real-world customers have determined that Accord excels in all areas, which makes the Cars.com/USA TODAY/”MotorWeek” showdown victory for the 2013 Accord all the more meaningful,” says Michael Accavitti, vice president of marketing operations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “The consistent strength of Honda products in these shootouts supports our strong position with in-market consumers.” The Accord is Honda’s fifth win in a Cars.com/USA Today/Motorweek Shootout, so we wouldn’t take it too seriously. However, the good news keeps coming in for Honda with the 2013 Accord.

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      • http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/104965

        Tiago Monteiro says Honda has made changes for 2014 WTCC rules

        Tiago Monteiro says structural changes have been necessary at Honda to accommodate earlier-than-anticipated changes to the World Touring Car Championship's technical rules.

        New regulations, aimed at making cars faster and more spectacular in a bid to attract new manufacturers into the series, were expected to come into force for the 2015 season.

        But the FIA instead announced in December that a complete overhaul of the rules is to be completed and implemented in time for 2014 instead.

        As a consequence, Honda's Civic WTCC, which made competed in Monteiro's hands at the final three rounds of the 2012 season, will be in service for just one more year before requiring major revisions itself.

        "It is a big change," Monteiro told AUTOSPORT. "The Civic WTCC was designed to do two years, and of course there is a lot of internal change in the structure to accommodate these changes earlier than expected.

        "There is a significant associated to this, because I am sure they calculated the cost of their investment based on a two-year situation.

        "Now they are only going to do one year, or one year and a third [including the final three rounds that were contested in 2012]."

        Despite the disruption, Monteiro believes Honda's squad, which is run by the Italian JAS team, is sympathetic to the new rules.

        "As far as I know, I think Honda realised it was best for the championship, therefore the best for them as well," said Monteiro, who claimed the car's first podium finish at Macau in November.

        "We have been looking into the new rules very carefully at Honda. My feeling is that the series is going in the right direction.

        "There are many things that I have been thinking this touring car championship should have for a long time. A more aggressive look, a little bit more downforce, without being too downforce dependent like DTM could be.

        "Bigger and wider wheels, and 10-20 per cent more power would be ideal. So we are getting there. Those main changes are positive and are only a plus for the future of the championship."

        Monteiro also believes the WTCC's decision to distance itself from domestic touring car racing by adopting more aggressive machinery with higher performance levels is a logical one.

        "We are talking about a world championship, with the top-level drivers," he said.

        "That doesn't mean you don't have other top-level drivers in national championships, but the world championship should have the highest level and the best cars."



        Honda, Toyota lead way as auto sales rebound amid flurry of recalls

        Even as auto companies recalled about 14.3 million vehicles in 2012, consumers flocked to U.S. dealerships to buy about 14.5 million cars, the best year for sales since the fiscal crisis began. Sales by Toyota, manufacturer of the RAV4, bottom left, and Prius C, bottom right, were up 17.3 percent from 2011.

        WASHINGTON — It's not too much of an exaggeration to say the U.S. economy was powered by car sales in 2012. Auto companies are now expected to have sold 14.5 million new vehicles in 2012, according to Kelley Blue Book. That's a 13 percent rise over 2011 and the highest number of sales since the financial crisis hit. If cars hadn't been flying out of dealerships, the year would have looked considerably bleaker. Vehicle purchases by consumers alone accounted for roughly 30 percent of all economic growth in the first half of the year, according to Credit Suisse.

        And what made this car-buying frenzy so striking is that 2012 also happened to be a terrible year for car recalls. As auto analyst Jim Gorzelany reports, automakers had to recall about 14.3 million vehicles over the past year because of various defects — everything from steering issues to power-window problems.

        But that didn't slow car sales one bit. Indeed, as Gorzelany explains, Toyota and Honda had to issue the greatest number of recalls in 2012 — Toyota with 5 million, Honda with nearly 3.4 million. Yet both companies increased their market share this year: Toyota's sales were up about 17.3 percent over last year, while Honda's were up nearly 25 percent.

        Among the automaker's initiatives during 2012, Toyota recalled approximately 2.5 million vehicles across a dozen 2007 to 2009 model lines for power-window issues; 778,000 RAV4 and Lexus HS 250h vehicles for suspension problems; and 670,000 Prius models for steering troubles. Honda recalls included 807,000 Honda Pilots and Odysseys and Acura MDXs for faulty ignition switches; 572,000 Honda Accords for power steering hose issues; and 820,000 Civic and Pilot models for potential low-beam headlight failures.

        Toyota and Honda had a bad year in 2011 in part because their supply chains were hurt by the earthquake in Japan and the resulting tsunami. So some rebound was expected anyway. But it wasn't just these two Japanese companies. General Motors had to recall 1.3 million vehicles. Ford had to recall 1.1 million. Just about every major car company had to issue at least one recall this year. But Americans kept buying up cars en masse anyway.

        Why is that? One theory is that consumers simply aren't troubled by manufacturing recalls, especially if they're from a company like Toyota that has a reputation for reliability. A fascinating study last year from North Carolina State University found that Toyota's infamous 2009 safety recalls — a result of concerns over "sudden unintended acceleration" — made virtually no dent in how people perceived the brand.

        Another possibility is that consumers can't really afford not to buy cars at this point. In January 2012, the typical car on the road was a record 10.8 years old. Most people had put off replacing their vehicles during the downturn, and their cars and trucks were becoming ancient. Auto analysts referred to this as "pent-up demand," and 2012 was the year the dam finally burst. Americans were bound to start buying cars sooner or later, and a wave of recalls wasn't going to stop them.

        If so, that's relatively good news for 2013. Despite all the strong sales, the average age of cars on the road has now risen even higher, to just over 11 years old. That's one reason why many analysts predict the auto industry will keep growing and bolstering the U.S. economy.



        Car sales fall despite sops

        December stayed slow for the auto manufacturers as most of the companies reported decline in sales despite heavy discounts on offer. Sales are traditionally lean in December as customers prefer to postpone purchases to the new year.

        After a subdued 2012, the industry is hoping for some corrective measures by the government for boosting sales in 2013.

        Hyundai Motor India, the second-largest car manufacturer, reported a 9.6% year-on-year decline in sales in the domestic market as it sold 26,697 units in December.

        Sales of Toyota Kirloskar Motor dropped 24% in December. The company sold 12,071 units in December 2012 as compared to 15,948 units a year ago. Sales of General Motors (GM) dropped 21% to 7,067 vehicles in December as against 9,039 units sold last year.
        P Balendran, vice-president, GM India, said, “Despite offering various schemes on purchase of every car, the market continues to remain depressed. If the current macroeconomic uncertainties continue, the market is not expected to turn around in the short term. The only hope now is on a good Union Budget for announcement of some positive measures to bolster the economic recovery”.

        Some of the companies that managed to see some positive growth are Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), Renault and Honda Cars India.

        M&M sold 22,761 units in the passenger vehicle division (utility vehicles and Verito) in the domestic market compared to 19,341 units in December 2011, a growth of 18%. The company’s sales continue to grow on account of strong diesel portfolio and high demand for utility vehicles.

        Sales of Honda Cars rose 296% in December on account of low base of last year, while Renault sales stood at 5,924 units in December.

        Pravin Shah, chief executive, automotive division, M&M, said, “High interest rates, rising fuel prices and an overall slowdown in economic growth has kept consumer sentiment low during 2012. This is also evident in the auto industry performance for December. We hope that corrective measures are announced and implemented soon, bringing in the much needed buoyancy and growth for the industry.”

        Two-wheeler sales, too, remained subdued in December.

        Sales of Hero MotoCorp grew marginally at 541,615 units in December 2012 compared to 540,276 in December 2011. TVS Motor sold 156,221 units in December as against 170,428 units registered in December last year, an 8% drop.



        Auto sales: M&M, Ford, Honda, Hero beat back year-end blues

        NEW DELHI: It was a mixed bag for the auto industry in the last month of 2012 with Mahindra & Mahindra, Ford, Honda Cars and Hero posting growth, while Hyundai Motor, Toyota Kirloskar and TVS saw their domestic sales fall during the month that is usually low-key for the sector.

        Sales are generally low in December as customers stay away from new purchases to avoid losing out on re-sale when the year of manufacture comes into consideration.

        In December 2012, the country's second-largest car maker Hyundai Motor India recorded a decline of 9.55 per cent in sales in the domestic market at 26,697 units compared to 29,516 units in the year-ago period.

        Homegrown auto major M&M's total sales of passenger vehicles including Scorpio, XUV500, Xylo, Bolero and Verito stood at 22,761 units, as against 19,341 units in December 2011 -- up 17.68 per cent.

        Mahindra & Mahindra Chief Executive (Automotive Division) Pravin Shah said: "High interest rates, rising fuel prices and an overall slowdown in economic growth has kept consumer sentiment low during 2012. This is also evident in the auto industry sales performance for December, which traditionally has been a lean month."

        Car maker Ford India sold 6,517 units in December 2012 in the domestic market as against 5,978 units sold during the same month of the previous year, up 9.02 per cent.

        "Despite a tough business environment, we have seen record exports and sustained customer interest in December," Ford India President and MD Joginder Singh said.

        Honda Cars India reported nearly four-fold increase in its total sales for December 2012 at 4,242 units. It had sold 1,072 units in the same month previous year.

        Toyota Kirloskar Motor posted 24.31 per cent decrease in its car sales at 12,071 units in last month compared to 15,948 units in the corresponding month in 2011.

        TKM Deputy Managing Director and COO (Marketing and Commercial) Sandeep Singh said: "Though we are satisfied with the overall growth in our sales volume of last year, the passenger car market continues to be slow, as has been in the last few months."

        The company hopes that the new year will usher in good times with economic revival and better market sentiments, he added.

        General Motors India reported 21.82 per cent decline in sales at 7,067 units last month. It had sold 9,039 units in the same month of 2011.

        "Despite offering various schemes on purchase of every car, market continues to remain depressed on account of various negative factors, including high interest rates and poor economic conditions," GM India Vice President P Balendran said.

        If the current macro economic uncertainties continue, the market is not expected to turn around in the short term, he added. "The only hope now is on a good Union Budget to address some of the concerns of the industry, combined with the announcement of some positive measures to bolster the economic recovery," Balendran said.



        Toyota Prius Named Best New Car Value

        DETROIT (WWJ) - Toyota Prius has been named by Consumer Reports as the best overall value for the automotive dollar in its annual Best New-Car Value analysis.
        The Prius has the right combination of performance, reliability and low estimated ownership costs of $.49 cents per mile — less than half that of the average car, to unseat the perennial pack leader Honda Fit. The Fit as has held the best new-car value title for the past four years.
        In creating its annual Best and Worst New-Car-Value list, Consumer Reports mines its performance, reliability, and owner-cost data to calculate a value score for some 200 different vehicles ranging from small cars like the Prius to luxury sedans such as the BMW 750Li.
        Toyota and Lexus models placed at the top of six of the 10 categories that Consumer Reports analyzed. The automaker’s hybrid cars, in particular, represent excellent values overall, with great fuel economy and reliability along with low depreciation working in their favor. Toyota hybrid models topped three of the categories and placed second, behind the non-hybrid version of the same model, in an additional category.
        “The Prius may not be the most exciting vehicle to drive, nor the cheapest to purchase, but it’s extremely reliable, roomy, rides well, gets great fuel economy, and is inexpensive to operate, ” Rik Paul, automotive editor at Consumer Reports, said in a release.
        The scores were calculated based on the five-year owner cost for each vehicle, along with Consumer Reports road-test score and the organization’s own predicted-reliability. In short, the better a car performs in Consumer Reports road tests and reliability ratings, and the less it costs to own over time, the better its value. The five-year owner cost estimates factor in depreciation, fuel, insurance premiums, interest on financing, maintenance and repairs, and sales tax. Depreciation is by far the largest owner-cost factor.
        The 10 vehicle categories Consumer Reports included in the analysis include small hatchbacks, small sedans, family sedans, upscale sedans, luxury sedans, sporty cars/convertibles, wagons/minivans, small SUVs, midsized SUVs, and large/luxury SUVs.
        “Some consumers seem to mistake size for value, buying their cars by the pound. But our data shows that rarely pays off. Price and fuel economy are the most important cost factors, and that’s where small cars have a big advantage,” Paul said.
        Consumer Reports analysis shows small cars provide the highest value on average than any other car category, and large and luxury cars and SUVs deliver about 25-percent below-average value. Even the worst small cars tend to deliver about average value, and the best large SUVs and luxury cars rate about average. Usually family sedans deliver value that is 50 percent above the average vehicle. Notably, only one car in this category, the Chrysler 200, rates below average.

        Best Value Small Hatchbacks: Toyota Prius Four
        Worst Value Small Hatchbacks: Ford Focus SE
        Best Value Family Sedan: Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE
        Worst Value Family Sedan: Chrysler 200 Limited (V6)

        Almost every category Consumer Reports evaluated contained good values, even if they’re not the cheapest vehicles to own. For example, the Lexus RX 350 is a luxury SUV that costs almost $50,000 to purchase and is relatively expensive to operate, at 93 cents a mile. But it has an excellent reliability history and offers a lot for the money in terms of features and performance, making it stand out against its competitors.

        Best Value Large /Luxury SUV: Lexus RX 350
        Worst Value Large /Luxury SUV: Nissan Armada Platinum

        Consumer Reports analysis shows that for shoppers seeking space and good value, should consider a wagon, minivan, or small SUV. All three categories offer better-than-average value. The best is the fuel-efficient Toyota Prius V, which offers almost twice the value of an average car, with lots of room, above-average reliability, and very low owner cost, at just 51 cents per mile. And the small Mazda 5 minivan isn’t far behind.

        Best Value Minivan/Wagon: Toyota Prius V Three
        Worst Value Minivan/Wagon: Chrysler Town & Country Touring-L

        Best Value Small SUV: Honda CR-V EX

        Worst Value Small SUV: Mini Cooper Countryman S



        10 most-searched cars of the year

        10. Dodge Charger

        9. Subaru Impreza

        8. Honda Accord

        As one of the best-selling sedans in the United States, the Honda Accord naturally garners a lot of attention, landing it the eighth most-searched car. Another vehicle to introduce continually variable transmission, it performed well beyond expectations. If the CVT is not your thing, a six-speed manual transmission is also available.

        7. BMW 3-Series

        6. Jeep Grand Cherokee

        5. Ford Escape

        4. Kia Optima

        3. Chevrolet Corvette

        2. Toyota Prius

        1. Ford Mustang

        Senior Member
        Last edited by tokyodream; 02-01-13, 08:15.
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        • http://communities.washingtontimes.c...d-buy-perfect/

          Car Review: Follow your zodiac sign and buy the perfect new car in 2013

          DALLAS, January 1, 2013 — It’s a brand new year, the perfect time to buy a brand new vehicle to get you through 2013. Whether you lease or own your car, here are some fun ideas to consider when searching for a new vehicle based on your astrology sign. No, it’s not scientific but take a look at the choices below and consider whether you and the chosen car are a match.

          Aries (March 21 to April 20); Since the Aries person is normally all about “look at me,” of course in a good way, the 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T is the best way to be seen and heard. This vehicle literally screams look at me and hear me roar. If you opt for the Redline 3-Coat Pearl exterior paint job just be sure you follow the speed limit or you will definitely attract, perhaps not always, the right kind of attention and then some.

          Should You Need to Know: For the Classic version you get a 5.7-liter V8 Hemi VVT engine with a six-speed manual transmission and leather trimmed bucket seats.

          Miles Per Gallon: Combined miles per gallon came in at 18, but it was 15 miles per gallon in the city and 23 miles per gallon on the highway.

          Cost: The price tag for the 2013 Challenger R/T Classic that I drove came in at $38,745.


          The Taurus will love the 2013 Ford Flex.

          (April 21 to May 20): An earthy type, the 2013 Ford Flex feels and looks good and is fun to drive too so the Taurus will love it. The Flex is a seven-passenger vehicle so there is plenty of room for family and friends. There are three rows of seats and there is also all-wheel drive and a turbocharged engine option.

          Should You Need to Know: A large family-size crossover, the Flex comes in three trim level options.

          Miles Per Gallon: The 2013 Ford Flex has 18 miles per gallon in the city and 25 miles per gallon on the highway.

          Cost: The price tag for the 2013 Ford Flex is $40,030.

          Gemini (May 21 to June 20): Just a hint, I am a Gemini and of all the standout cars I drove in 2012 (52 to be exact) the 2013 Acura ILX just keeps coming to mind. It is the perfect entry level and perfect for the Gemini who loves to make changes, a lot. You feel like you own the road in this one, not the other way around. With two trim levels base and hybrid, go for the Premium package with fog lamps, leather upholstery, heated front seats and even a rearview camera.

          Should You Need to Know: Smaller and less expensive than the AcuraTSX, this Acura means business and you know it, just like the fun-loving Gemini.

          3013 Mazda CX-5.

          Miles Per Gallon: With a combined fuel economy at 25 miles per gallon you get 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway.

          Cost: The price tag for the 2013 Acura ILX is reasonable at $30,095.

          Cancer (June 21 to July 21): For the home loving Cancer, the 2013 Mazda CX-5 comes highly recommended as a thrifty crossover SUV that gets down to business if it needs to. Very fuel-efficient, this vehicle is sporty enough and is offered in three trim levels: base Sport, midlevel Touring and top-tier Grand Touring.

          Should You Need to Know: Notice the cool folding mechanism, lowering the back seat that gives you a flat load floor if needed for hauling. Even with all the seats taken, it is still 35-cubic feet of space and with the folded-down seat it’s 65-cubic feet.

          Miles Per Gallon: For the 2013 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD, which I drove, it came in at 25 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway.

          Cost: The price tag for the 2013 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring is $31,480.

          Leo (July 22 to August 21): For the flashy Leo personality, the bigger than life 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is the perfect match. While the Silverado 1500 has not been redesigned since 2007, it is still worth a look since it hits all the right marks in the full-size pickup segment. There are also lots of options in cab/cargo-bed configurations and two- and four-wheel drive. There is the regular cab, extended cab and crew cab and five trims depending on cab/cargo size.

          Should You Need to Know: If equipped with all the right stuff, the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 can tow up to 10,700 pounds.

          Miles Per Gallon: The 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 will get you 15 miles per gallon in the city and 21 miles per gallon on the highway.

          Cost: The price tag for the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2WD Crew Cab LTZ I drove came in at $45,099.

          Virgo (August 22 to September 21): The no-nonsense Virgo will revel in the chance to drive a vehicle that looks good and is practical too. The 2013 Toyota Corolla is a good choice with a dependability record that is really unsurpassed. With three trim levels the middle option LE is a good choice with full power accessories, keyless entry and even a height-adjustable driver seat.

          The Corolla would easily fit the lifestyle of a Virgo.

          Should You Need to Know: Note the 60/40-split-folding rear seat and trip computer, which really ups the value on the 2013 Toyota Corolla.

          Miles Per Gallon: The 2013 Toyota Corolla LE came in with 18 miles per gallon in the city and 25 miles per gallon on the highway.

          Cost: The price tag for the 2013 Toyota Corolla is in the $35,000 range with the trim levels raising the cost too.

          Libra (September 22 to October 22): For the “keep it all in balance” Libra, the 2013 Volkswagen CC is worth a look. It offers an attractive choice for buyers who like the midsize sedan and even better, it sits in between the sedan and coupe with six trim levels to choose from. The front seat options on all the trims also offer an overwhelming number of adjustments to fit any body sitting behind the wheel or in the passenger seat.

          Should You Need to Know: Note the fuel-efficient, yet still turbo charged four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet-of-torque.

          Miles Per Gallon: The 2013 Volkswagen CC Sport Plus offers 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway.

          Cost: The price tag for the 2013 Volkswagen CC Sport Plus comes in at $33,670.

          Scorpio (October 23 to November 21): For the always secret, yet equally powerful Scorpio, this midsize luxury sedan, the 2013 Infiniti M37 is a good choice. It will keep you under the radar, but in style just like you like it. You can expect a comfortable cabin and plenty of techie features. Plus you get lots of leather and genuine wood inside and the seating is comfortable both in the front and the back seats with plenty of room to spare all around.

          The Infiniti M37 is the perfect vehicle for the mysterious-minded Scorpio.

          Should You Need to Know: The Infiniti M37 was redesigned in 2011 and in 2012 merged with the other M model, making this Infiniti a standout worth considering for a vehicle to drive for more than just one year.

          Miles Per Gallon: The 2013 Infiniti M37 is 18 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway and that is with a 3.7 liter DOHC 24-valve VVEL, V6 engine.

          Cost: The price tag for the 2013 Infiniti M37 is $62,095.

          Sagittarius (November 22 to December 20): For the Sagittarius, the 2013 Acura RDX is all about power, fuel efficiency and it just got a makeover in 2013 making it a good choice in the premium small crossover class. For the new model, there is a 3.5-liter V6 engine to replace the outgoing turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder. Safety is also a standout in the new design with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side and side curtain airbags and a rearview camera that comes standard.

          Should You Need to Know: The 2013 Acura RDX comes in two trims either the base or the base with Technology package and both can be had in front- or all-wheel drive.

          Miles Per Gallon: On the 2013 Acura RDX you get 19 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway.

          Cost: The price tag for the 2013 Acura RDX AWD with Tech is $40,315.

          Capricorn (December 21 to January 19): When I asked my favorite Capricorn, who drives these cars with me during the year, what his favorite vehicle was in 2012, there was a resounding 2013 Lexus GS450h, so I had to listen. The all-new 2013 Lexus GS 450h hybrid offers the driver great handling, good-looking styling and excellent fuel efficiency. It’s a midsize luxury, but also cutting edge since this Lexus has been completely redesigned for 2013. There is only one body style and trim level for this Lexus, but notice another standout: the Lexus Safety Connect system with automatic collision notification, an emergency assist button and a stolen vehicle location service.

          Should You Need to Know: Take note that the 2013 Lexus GS 450h is the hybrid version of the regular Lexus GS 350 sedan.

          Miles Per Gallon: With 29 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway, the 2013 Lexus GS450h is all that and more.

          Cost: The price tag for the 2013 Lexus GS450h came in at $68,834.

          The 2013 Hyundai Elantra.

          Aquarius (January 20 to February 18): The Hyundai just keeps taking a turn for the better every year and the 2013 Hyundai Elantra is no exception. With snazzy styling, fuel-efficient engine and some great features, this Hyundai should definitely make the top of your list for a small coupe choice.

          There is also a longer-than-usual warranty and another standout is that while it is a two-door there is still plenty of room in both the front and the rear seats.

          Should You Need to Know: The 2013 Hyundai Elantra comes with two trim levels both the GS and the SE.

          Miles Per Gallon: The 2013 Hyundai Elantra GS that I drove has an impressive 28 miles per gallon in the city and 39 miles per gallon on the highway.

          Cost: The price tag for the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GS is $19,315.

          Pisces (February 19 to March 20); The Lexus IS 350 is all about good looking styling and it’s reliable, making it practical and pretty for the sensitive Pisces who is as good at intuiting as seeing and touching. The nice quality on the inside is a big pro for this small luxury sedan.

          Should You Need to Know: Offered in rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive, the Lexus can get zero to 60 in a quick 5.5 seconds.

          Miles Per Gallon: Fuel economy is 19 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway with the AWD coming in at 18 and 26.

          Cost: The price tag for the 2013 Lexus IS 350 is $40,320.



          Hit the road: Five luxury, hybrid, and performance cars we won’t miss in 2013

          Unique styling, luxurious interiors, and hybrid powertrains don't make a competitive car, as these discontinued models prove.

          You know what they say about the best laid plans. The car world wouldn’t be very interesting if some new models didn’t come along to replace the old, but that doesn’t mean the people who made these now-discontinued products didn’t have something glorious in mind. Or maybe not: these five cars all promised something more than just basic transportation, but not all of those promises were sincere, or anything buyers really wanted.

          Acura ZDXAcura ZDX: Trying to turn an SUV into a sport coupe seems a bit odd, but BMW sells plenty of X6s. Why wasn’t Acura able to copy BMW’s success? The MDX-based ZDX looked like a solid effort: it featured Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive and was arguably better looking than the X6. However, the SUV-coupe may be a niche that’s too small for more than one vehicle to exploit. People buy SUV’s for their utility, not their looks, and the ZDX had the added disadvantage of being an Acura, not a BMW.

          2012 Aston martin Virage front three-quarter viewAston Martin Virage: The Virage was a luxurious grand tourer with a 6.0-liter V12, yet it had so few takers that it was discontinued after less than a year. That’s probably because Aston Martin already has a stable of V12-powered grand tourers, both of which are based on the same chassis as the Virage.

          It takes a car expert to tell the difference between the DB9, DBS, and Virage; not a good thing if you’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a unique ride. In terms of performance, the Virage was deliberately positioned as the middle child between the DB9 and DBS; its horsepower and acceleration times split the difference between the two. However, there just wasn’t a big enough gap to justify a third model.

          Lexus HS250h overhead front three-quarter viewLexus HS 250h: With the HS 250h, Lexus hoped to create a luxury hybrid companion to parent company Toyota’s Prius. The HS and Prius shared little (the Lexus was actually based on the European Toyota Avensis), but its lozenge-like shape led many to believe it was a Prius in an ill-fitting rented tux.

          The humble Toyota chassis and luxury pretentiousness combined to form a car that made little sense. The HS only returned 35 mpg city and 34 mpg highway, according to the EPA, and started at $37,905. A 2013 Prius is rated at 51 city, 48 highway, and starts at $24,760.

          maybach-62-sMaybach: In its heyday, Maybach was one of the best marques in the business, so when Mercedes-Benz resurrected it for the 2004 model year, big things were expected. Instead, Benz’s Rolls-Royce rival turned out to be a stretched S-Class with generic styling. When Mercedes launched a new S-Class in 2007, the Maybach became all but irrelevant.

          A new Maybach in 2012 was essentially a car from 2004; it even had recirculating ball steering (even the Lincoln Town Car had switched to a more modern setup) and a five-speed automatic transmission. Modern infotainment was nowhere to be found and, while Rolls-Royce and Bentley updated their interiors, Maybach was stuck with one that looked dated when it was new.

          A 6.0-liter V12 produced 603 hp in the “sporty” 57S, which was the car’s most impressive feature, besides the price. For all that early-2000s goodness, Maybach charged north of $300,000.

          Mercedes-Benz R-ClassMercedes-Benz R-Class: Like the ZDX, the R-Class was a segment buster. It was designed for people who felt they were too affluent, and thus too cool, to drive a minivan. The result was a car that looked like a minivan but had no sliding doors, an identity crisis that may have doomed the R-Class.

          While it’s hard to blame people for thinking the Mercedes GL is too butch, it does pretty much the same job as the R-Class, without looking like a Chrysler Pacifica. For a retro touch, there’s also the E-Class wagon, which has a smaller footprint than either the R or GL, along with rear-facing third row seats.

          With its car-like styling and SUV size, the R-Class was an amalgam of the E-Class wagon and GL, which was apparently something most people didn’t want. It even confused Mercedes, which alternately marketed the R-Class as a “Sports Tourer” or a “Family Tourer.”

          Maybe Mercedes should have kept the R63 AMG which, at least, had a 6.3-liter, 500 hp V8.

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          • http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/...ember/1805995/

            Honda has best sales year since 2008

            Honda reported a 26.2% sales increase in the U.S. in December, capping a year that was its best since 2008.

            In December alone, Honda sold 132,774 vehicles, an increase of 26.2% compared with the same month last year. For the year, the tally was 1.4 million vehicles, up 24%, making it the fourth best sales year for the brand ever.

            It wasn't a bad showing considering how Honda recovered from the March, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that devasted the automaker and drastically cut production.

            The comeback came on the back of the two the most popular models, the Civic and the Accord. Honda says Civic set an all-time December record with a sales increase of 61%.

            The new 2013 Accord, which has been well received by auto reviewers, saw a 66% sales increase for the month. In addition, the CR-V set an annual sales record and its tenth monthly sales record since launching last December.

            "Honda began the year intent on recovery," said John Mendel, American Honda's executive vice president of Sales. "We ended 2012 with multiple product awards, a host of sales records, Honda's second best December ever, and tremendous momentum as we head into 2013."

            It hopes to do it with a revision to the Civic that has been well received.



            2013 Honda Pilot rides comfortably, adds rearview camera

            The Honda Pilot remains the most fuel-efficient eight-passenger sport utility vehicle for 2013, is rated above average in predicted reliability and offers a comfortable ride and versatile cargo hauling.

            Built in an Alabama factory, the Pilot also is a recommended buy of Consumer Reports and was named the Ideal Vehicle in the mid-size premium crossover SUV segment this year by automotive research company AutoPacific of Tustin, Calif.

            Despite the accolades, Honda keeps adding new standard equipment while keeping the Pilot price on par with competitors that also have three rows of seats.

            For 2013, a rearview camera, which helps drivers better know what’s behind the vehicle, is standard on all Pilots. And drivers have a good-sized, 8-inch, standard display screen in the Pilot dashboard.

            Meantime, the 2013 Pilot gets other new standard equipment including three-zone automatic climate control and Bluetooth hands-free phone calling for Pilot occupants who have Bluetooth-enabled phones.

            Best of all, the 2013 Pilot has a starting retail price of $30,350 for a front-wheel drive model with 250-horsepower V-6 and automatic transmission. The lowest starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, for a 2013 Pilot with four-wheel drive is $31,950.

            Competing SUVs include the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder, which has a starting MSRP, including destination charge, of $29,495 for a two-wheel drive model with 260-horsepower V-6 and a continuously variable transmission (CVT). A four-wheel drive 2013 Pathfinder starts at $31,095. Note that a rearview camera is not standard on the two lowest trim levels of Pathfinder.

            Meantime, the 2013 Ford Explorer has a starting retail price of $29,995 for a front-wheel drive model with 290-horsepower V-6, automatic transmission and no rearview camera. The four-wheel drive 2013 Explorer starts at $31,995.

            Other competitors include the 2013 Ford Flex, which has a retail starting price of $31,795 with two-wheel drive and 285-horsepower V-6, and the 2013 Dodge Durango, which has a starting MSRP, including destination charge, of $30,490 with rear-wheel drive and 290-horsepower V-6.

            The Durango is offered with choice of V-6 or 360-horsepower V-8, while the Explorer offers three engines, including a turbocharged four cylinder and a 365-horsepower, turbocharged V-6, and the Flex has a 365-horsepower, turbocharged V-6, too.

            The Pilot has only one engine — a 3.5-liter, single overhead cam V-6 that rations gasoline automatically when a computer module detects that a driver doesn’t need all six cylinders powering the vehicle.

            Indeed, when a driver lets up on the accelerator to coast, for example, the engine can move to three- or four-cylinder mode, and the Pilot moves along just fine, with no one inside detecting that all six cylinders aren’t working. Just as seamlessly, when the driver presses down on the accelerator again, all six cylinders can get working again.

            The technology, which Honda calls variable cylinder management, is one of the ways Honda maximizes fuel mileage.

            As a result, the 2013 Pilot scored a top federal government fuel economy rating of 18 miles per gallon in city driving and 25 mpg on the highway.

            This is for a front-wheel drive Pilot that operates with a five-speed automatic transmission that smoothly shifts gears.

            In the test Pilot, neither the engine nor transmission conveyed strained or annoying sounds. In fact, most transmission shifts were imperceptible and the Pilot interior was quite quiet, save for when the V-6 responded strongly and confidently in pedal-to-the-metal driving.

            Power came on smoothly and steadily in city travel and at highway speeds, with the Pilot powering along on flat terrain and moving with purpose up mountainous roads.

            Best of all, the Pilot needs only regular gasoline.

            The Pilot’s 18/25-mpg rating is matched by the 2013 Flex, but the Flex only offers seats for up to seven. The same maximum seating is true of the newly revised, 2013 Nissan Pathfinder, which comes with a CVT and posts a 20/26-mpg rating from the government.

            Still, the test Pilot, which had all-wheel drive, averaged just 17.5 mpg in travel that was 70 percent in the city.

            The Pilot looks neither brutish nor plain. It’s cleanly styled outside, and the interior is well-organized so anyone can get inside, setting up a bit on the seats for good views out, and just drive.

            A thoughtful touch: A commodious, covered center console storage that’s big enough for many purses and that’s positioned just below the center stack of the dashboard.

            It’s also appreciated that the display screen is inset a bit under a “brow” so sunshine doesn’t wash out the images from the rearview camera.

            At 16 feet in length and 6.5 feet wide, the Pilot is nicely sized in between the competition. It’s nearly 10.5 inches shorter in length than the Flex but is a tad wider than the Pathfinder.

            The Pilot doesn’t feel like an extremely long vehicle when it’s driven. The turning circle is an accommodating 37.9 feet.

            Second-row passengers in the Pilot have a generous 38.5 inches of legroom, while the 32.1 inches for third-row riders can be expanded if second-row seats are moved forward a bit on their tracks.

            Second- and third-row seats folded down easily in the tester, providing a maximum 87 cubic feet of cargo room, which is more cargo volume than the Pathfinder has.

            All but the biggest road bumps were kept away from passengers in the tester, and the steering had a somewhat light feel.

            Passengers could notice some weight shifting from one side of the vehicle to the other on curvy mountain roads.

            The Pilot has a maximum towing capacity of 4,500 pounds and earned four out of five stars in government crash tests.

            Consumer Reports puts the Pilot’s predicted reliability at above average.

            Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



            Honda launches new ads for Civic as sales soar

            Initial reviews of the largely redesigned Honda Civic were mostly positive, and customers seem to have agreed. The car just wrapped its first full month of sales and the results were a record.

            Now Honda is launching an ad campaign to keep the momentum going.

            The 33,118 Civics sold in December set a monthly record for the brand and led sales for all Honda vehicles, including the flagship Accord, which itself is just months into its newest design.

            The Civic was redesigned for the 2012 model year (released in 2011), but met with poor reviews and sales that needed goosed via incentives, so Honda responded with a revamp that went beyond the normal mid-cycle tweaks.

            The automaker isn’t running from that fact. The newest advertising campaign for Civic launched this week with three spots celebrating the spirit of continuous improvement, highlighting not just the improved Civic but a variety of other non-Honda inventions and advancements including a laser keyboard for mobile devices and the 4Moms Origami stroller.

            “Because while the old one was good,” the voiceover says, “things can always be better.”



            Canada 2012 vehicle sales up 5.7 percent as Ford stays No.1

            (Reuters) - Canadian vehicle sales rose a sturdy 5.7 percent last year to 1.68 million, their second highest level on record, lifted by demand for fuel-efficient passenger cars, stylish European imports and well-priced Korean models.

            (Reuters) - Canadian vehicle sales rose a sturdy 5.7 percent last year to 1.68 million, their second highest level on record, lifted by demand for fuel-efficient passenger cars, stylish European imports and well-priced Korean models.
            Ford Motor Co of Canada <F.N> was the top-selling automaker in Canada for the third year in a row while Chrysler <FIA.MI>, which was in third place in 2011, knocked General Motors <GM.N> from the No. 2 perch.
            Vehicle sales are expected to continue to increase this year, nearing -- or even exceeding -- the record of 1.7 million set in 2002, on the back of pent-up demand left over from the recession and higher employment especially in Western Canada, analysts said.
            "Expect another good year," said independent auto sector analyst Dennis DesRosiers, adding, however, that the softness evident in late 2012 "concerns us."
            Ford said on Thursday it sold 276,068 vehicles in Canada last year, just 90 more than in 2011, including more than 100,000 F-Series trucks, which remained the best-selling vehicle in Canada for the third consecutive year.
            Chrysler Canada's vehicle sales rose 6 percent to 243,845 last year, its best for retail sales results since 2000.
            "Our investment in fuel-efficient new vehicles and power trains has propelled us to be the number two seller," President and Chief Executive Reid Bigland said, forecasting continued strong sales in 2013.
            Dianne Craig, president and CEO at Ford of Canada, also said the company was optimistic about growth.
            Vehicle sales at General Motors of Canada fell 6.6 percent in 2012 to 226,825, putting it in third place for the year. GM of Canada President and Managing Director Kevin Williams described Canada's auto market as "highly competitive."
            Although the Detroit Three automakers kept their long-held lead in the Canadian market last year, their market share dipped to 44.5 percent from 47.2 percent in 2011 as sales of imported vehicles grew at their expense, data from DesRosiers showed.
            Japanese automakers reported strong annual sales growth in 2012 but that was off a low base in 2011 when a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan disrupted production and sales.
            Toyota Canada <7203.T> said its sales rose 18.4 percent to 192,058 last year while Honda Canada <7267.T> said combined Honda and Acura sales jumped 21 percent to 148,712. The Honda Civic retained its position as Canada's top-selling passenger car for the 15th consecutive year.
            Korean brands Hyundai <005380.KS> and Kia <000270.KS> both set new sales records in 2012, as did several European brands including BMW <BMWG.DE>, Mercedes <DAIGn.DE>, Audi <VOWG_p.DE> and Mini.
            Vehicle sales in Canada overall dipped 4.9 percent in December, DesRosiers figures showed.
            Ford said its vehicle sales slipped 13 percent to 16,874 in the month while GM Canada, whose lineup includes Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles, said its sales fell 20 percent to 14,623.
            Sales at Chrysler Canada, which includes its Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Fiat and Ram models, rose 1 percent to 14,756 vehicles. Chrysler Canada is wholly owned by Chrysler Group LLC, which in turn is controlled by Italy's Fiat SpA <FIA.MI>.
            South of the border, U.S. auto sales rose 9 percent in December, led by foreign manufacturers, capping off the best year for the industry since before the recession. The year's sales were driven by a slowly recovering economy, more available credit and the need for consumers and businesses to replace aging cars and trucks.



            2013 Honda Civic Touring

            Vehicle: 2013 Honda Civic Touring
            Price as tested: CDN$26335
            Performance: Is this what the 9th generation Civic supposedly to be? We will have an answer after this review.
            Although its an “emergency refresh”, Honda doesn’t bring its excellent “Earth Dream” direct fuel injected technology to Civic’s party. But that doesn’t mean Civic’s existing 1.8 liter SOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder is any inferior, when it comes to engine refinement and NVH. It does lack its rival’s turbocharged and direct fuel injected technologies in this tried-and-true 140hp mill. However, everything else have come down nicely and gracefully as with what we expect from Honda. The electronic throttle response is linear without feeling abrupt. Canada’s only Touring trim only comes with a smooth shifting 5-speed automatic gearbox. While it lacks a manumatic mode to let enthuisastic drivers control through the manual gate or steering paddle shifters, it have done its job extremely well. Both the 1st and 2nd gears are low enough for proper acceleration, 3rd and 4th keep the engine in sweetspots while 5th serves as an overdrive highway cruising ratio. If Honda is able to bring an additional 6th gear, the engine would feel less buzzy and more luxurious, as it would keep in line with this full-lined luxury Touring trim. Also better to keep the engine in sweetspots all the time. Last but not least, as per Honda powertrain tradition, its a free-revving 4-cylinder when press it into the max through middle and upper ranges. Best of all, all those annoying wind and road noises have been significantly reduced thanks to re-engineered front-end and additional isolation. Not to mention all of those have to carry our Civic Touring’s porky 1267kg of leather-lined luxury makes it any less impressive.
            Handling: Despite of all the basic ingredients have done pretty well, original 9th generation doesn’t quite get it right with handling and ride balance. The basic ingredients of a rock-solid chassis for suspension components to hang its hats have always been a Honda forte. This 9.5 generation Civic have addressed all those issues, in the meantime, getting them right. The electro-mechanical steering provides sharp and responsive feel and feedback, with precision and weight of what make Civic famous in the first place. Its recalibrated suspension is able to provide a supple yet taut ride quality, on the other hand, without feeling harsh and ungainly. Every suspension components have tuned to communicate with each others exceptionally well. While the retuned suspension is returning taut quality, it haven’t lost anything when it comes to body control. The body motions have been well-controlled without feeling excessive. Press the Civic through its paces, it continues to show Honda is one heck of an awesome manufacturer which is able to turn out the most composed and balanced front-drivers anywhere in the world. Its ESC is able to control understeer nicely, when driven Civic hard into the limit. On the other hand, Civic is able to provide the amount of driving fun and delicate balance we expect from this iconic small car. All in all, it feels and drives like a Civic.
            Brakes: Our Touring comes standard with 4-wheel discs and standard ABS. Keep in mind the base LX and DX trims only come with front discs and rear drums. But credit has to give to Honda for offering ABS as standard feature across the board. The stopping distance is short, while pedal always feels solid and easily modulated. It doesn’t feel spongy nor numb. It always feels alive while ABS doesn’t drop in unnecessarily.
            Interior: Honda has taken the criticism of addressing 9th generation’s Civic with this nicely done 9.5 iteration. All those wrong interior texture and materials have gone for richness and class. For the first time in Civic history, Honda offers a full black interior with our Touring model. There are nicely textured plastic materials on the dashboard, with soft-touch plastic at all the right places. Although the far edge of the interior design still doesn’t look cohensive, this refresh has solved those areas which we hated the most. Along with the dual instrumentation gauges which have become Civic trademark since 8th generation. The i-MID multi-information display provides many of the information needed for the driver, like stereo station and easy pairing of smartphone. Honda has added a standard back-up camera into our loaded Civic Touring trim. Its very remarkably equipped for 26k with back-up camera, nice leather seats and auto climate control for a small car.
            Conclusion: This 9.5 generation is what the 9th generation Civic supposedly to be. It feels every inch a Honda. The quality cabin, a nice array of useful standard features, economical yet refined engine. Best of all, it handles and drives exactly of what we known of a Civic should be. Swift, nimble, docile and can handle anything any driving enthuisast can throw at it. On the other hand, its comfortably compliant enough for those who are buying Civic as an economical grocery getter. That explains why we always love driving Honda Civic. This refresh has put Civic back on the top of the map as a proper family car in such a stiff segment.
            If there is one pet peeve. Its the green “Eco” button doesn’t do anything for me. Its just make the throttle slower and gearchange slower, which in turn, doesn’t make it anymore fuel efficient when I really have stepped up the throttle. Dare I say forget about this button.
            Chevrolet Cruze
            Dodge Dart
            Ford Focus
            Hyundai Elantra
            Kia Forte
            Nissan Sentra
            VW Jetta

            OVERALL VERDICT FOR 2013 Honda Civic Touring
            Performance: 4/5
            Handling and ride/fun-to-drive: 4/5
            Interior/ergonomics/user-friendliness: 4/5
            Fit-and-finish/build quality: 4/5
            Cargo/accessibility/layout: 4/5
            Value-for-money: 4/5

            Overall rating: 4/5
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            • http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2...328/1148/rss25

              U.S. rising as production base for Honda, other foreign carmakers

              N. America exports to outnumber Japan imports within years.
              The assembly line ground to a halt at Honda Motor Co.'s Marysville, Ohio, plant the afternoon of Dec. 5 as managers and line workers gathered to hear a videotaped message from President Takanobu Ito in Tokyo. He congratulated the plant's employees, who had just produced the 1 millionth Honda built in the United States for export.

              "Quality for the world, made in America, has been an important Honda commitment," Ito said, adding he hoped exports from the U.S. would keep rising.

              A Marysville worker then drove a silver Accord EX-L sedan in front of the crowd. The Accord was destined for a customer in South Korea.

              One million exports over 25 years may not seem extraordinary for a company whose cumulative U.S. output exceeds 20 million vehicles since 1982. But the Tokyo-based automaker expects to reach an even bigger milestone in a couple of years, when its vehicle exports from North America — now numbering close to 100,000 a year — are expected to exceed its imports from Japan.

              The shift underscores the importance of the U.S. not just as a massive market, but as an increasingly important and affordable production base for Honda and other Japanese automakers.

              The dollar's relative weakness against many currencies in recent years has attracted foreign manufacturers, as has the rising quality of American workmanship. Expanding energy production, led by a surge in gas and oil extracted from shale, also is raising U.S. competitiveness, said Jeremy Anwyl, president of online research firm Edmunds.com.

              Germany's BMW is a major exporter from the U.S., shipping out just more than 160,000 vehicles, or more than two-thirds of the SUVs assembled at its Spartanburg, S.C., plant to China and other markets.

              Toyota Motor Corp. also exports U.S.-built vehicles to markets outside North America, and it is considering exporting components from the U.S., too.

              Of Japan's Big Three — Toyota, Nissan Motor Co. and Honda — Honda already produces a larger proportion of the cars and car components that it sells here locally, developing many of them in the U.S., as well.

              The yen's strength relative to the dollar figures undoubtedly in Honda's planning. "There's some of that," said Jim Burrell, associate vice president of American Honda. "But not as much as you think."

              Some models, such as the Honda's Ridgeline pickup, Odyssey van, Pilot and Acura MDX SUVs are exported from the U.S. because that's the only place they're made, Burrell said.

              Honda exports vehicles from the U.S. to more than 40 countries, including Russia and several in the Middle East, where drivers are partial to big vehicles.

              Studies and surveys show Honda's U.S.-built vehicles now match the quality of models made in Japan, said Jeff Tomko, plant manager at Marysville. "There's not that difference that there used to be."

              Honda exports other motorized products from the U.S., as well — lawnmowers and mini-tillers that it makes in North Carolina, and all-terrain vehicles assembled in South Carolina. It expects to make the first deliveries of the Hondajet, its fuel-efficient small plane, next year.

              "They have a history as an engineering company," Anwyl said. "It explains why they're enamored of things like planes."

              Praising the plane's innovative styling, with the engines mounted above the wing instead of pressing into the fuselage, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics gave its 2012 Aircraft Design Award in September to Honda Aircraft Co. President Michimasa Fujino.



              Economy, year-end sales help auto industry in 2012

              DETROIT (AP) -- A steadily improving economy and strong December sales lifted the American auto industry to its best performance in five years in 2012, especially for Volkswagen and Japanese-brand vehicles, and experts say the next year should be even better.

              Carmakers on Thursday announced their final figures, which totaled 14.5 million -- 13 percent better than 2011.

              More than three years after the federal government's $62 billion auto-industry bailout, Americans had plenty of incentive to buy new cars and trucks in the year just ended.

              Unemployment eased. Home sales and prices rose. And the average age of a car topped 11 years in the U.S., a record that spurred people to trade in old vehicles. Banks made that easier by offering low interest rates and greater access to loans, even for buyers with lousy credit.

              "The U.S. light vehicle sales market continues to be a bright spot in the tremulous global environment," said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting for LMC Automotive, a Detroit-area industry forecasting firm.

              Sales were far better than the bleak days after the U.S. economy tanked and GM and Chrysler sought bankruptcy protection. Back then, sales fell to a 30-year low of 10.4 million, and they are still far short of the recent peak of around 17 million set in 2005.

              The best part of 2012 came at the end, when special deals on pickup trucks and the usual round of sparkling holiday ads helped December sales jump 9 percent to more than 1.3 million, according to Autodata Corp. That translates to an annual rate of 15.4 million, making December the strongest month of the year.

              Volkswagen led all major automakers with sales up a staggering 35 percent, led by the redesigned Passat midsize sedan. VW sold more than five times as many Passats last year as it did in 2011.

              Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends for TrueCar, said VW has the right mix of value and attractive vehicles and called the company "the force to watch in the next several years in the U.S. market."

              Toyota, which has recovered from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan that crimped its factories two years ago, saw sales jump 27 percent for 2012. December sales were up 9 percent. Unlike 2011, the company had plenty of new cars on dealer lots for most of last year.

              Honda sales rose 24 percent for the year. Nissan and Infiniti sales were up nearly 10 percent as the Nissan brand topped 1 million in annual sales for the first time. Hyundai sales rose 9 percent for the year to just over 703,000, the Korean automaker's best year in the U.S.

              Chrysler, the smallest of the Detroit carmakers, had the best year among U.S. companies. Its sales jumped 21 percent for the year and 10 percent in December. Demand was led by the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV, Ram pickup and Chrysler 300 luxury sedan.

              But full-year sales at Ford and General Motors lagged. Ford edged up 5 percent and GM rose only 3.7 percent for the year. For December, Ford was up 2 percent and GM up 5 percent.

              GM executives said the company has the oldest model lineup in the industry, yet it still posted a sales increase and commanded high prices for cars and trucks. The company plans to refurbish 70 percent of its North American models in the next 18 months and expects to boost sales this year.

              North American President Mark Reuss said the company won't give away cars and trucks with discounts like it has in the past, especially in the midst of its biggest product update ever.

              "Give us 18 months and you're going to see the whole portfolio turned," Reuss said.

              Even though the congressional deal to avoid the fiscal cliff deal raised tax rates on the wealthiest Americans, Ford said it doesn't see a huge impact on auto sales.

              Its chief economist, Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, said only 2 percent of new-vehicle buyers have income in that upper tax bracket, and they tend to purchase even if there is a change in after-tax income.

              She said Ford is more concerned about an increase in the payroll tax, which is scheduled to climb to 6.2 percent this year from 4.2 percent in 2011 and 2012. That amounts to a $1,000 to $1,500 tax increase per household, she said.

              "We will look at that closely because it will crimp spending in the months ahead," she said.

              December featured year-end deals on GM's big pickup trucks. The company offered discounts up to $9,000 to help clear growing inventory, and it worked. GM cut its full-size pickup supply by more than 20,000 in December to about 222,000.

              Overall, though, analysts said the industry eased up on promotions such as rebates and low-interest financing. Car and truck buyers paid an average of $31,228 per vehicle last month, up 1.8 percent from December 2011.

              The Polk auto research firm predicted even stronger U.S. sales for 2013, forecasting 15.3 million vehicle sales as the economy continues to improve. Polk, based in Southfield, Mich., expects 43 new models to be introduced, up 50 percent from last year. New models usually boost sales.

              The firm also predicts a rebound in sales of large pickups and midsize cars. All eight of the top manufacturers are introducing new vehicles, and that should bring competition and lower prices in those segments, according to Tom Libby, lead North American analyst for Polk.

              But the firm's optimistic forecasts hinge on Washington reaching an agreement on government debt limits and spending cuts.



              Honda Announces December and 2012 Sales Results

              All-New Accord and Civic Drive Sharp Honda Monthly and Annual Sales Gains; ILX and RDX Fuel Acura Jump; American Honda Posts Best Annual Sales Result Since 2008

              Honda Division annual sales up 23 percent, Acura annual sales up 26 percent

              01/03/2013 - TORRANCE, Calif.

              Buoyed by strong December 2012 U.S. sales of 132,774 units, an increase of 26.2 percent compared with December 2011, American Honda posted annual vehicle sales of 1,422,785 units in 2012, up 24.0 percent compared with 2011. This makes 2012 American Honda's fourth-best sales year ever, and its best sales result since 2008.

              The Honda Division posted December 2012 sales of 116,740 units, an increase of 26.8 percent compared with December 2011 and less than 500 units shy of an all-time December record. The Honda Division's 2012 annual sales of 1,266,569 increased 23.7 percent compared with 2011. The three top-selling Honda models for 2012 were Accord, 331,872; Civic, 317,909; and CR-V, 281,652.

              - Civic sets all-time December record with sales of 33,118 units, up 61 percent from last year

              - All-new 2013 Accord sales up 66 percent from last December with sales of 29,428 units

              - CR-V sets an all-time annual sales record (281,652) and its tenth monthly sales record since launching last December, up 19 percent from last year to 25,733 sales

              "Honda began the year intent on recovery," said John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president of Sales. "We ended 2012 with multiple product awards, a host of sales records, Honda's second best December ever, and tremendous momentum as we head into 2013."

              Acura U.S. December sales of 16,034 units represents an increase of 22.1 percent over December 2011. The Acura Division's year-end sales totaled 156,216, up 26.7 percent compared with 2011 results - and the brand's best sales results since 2007. The MDX led the division with annual sales of 50,854, followed by the TL with sales of 33,572 and the RDX with sales of 29,520.

              - RDX sets its eighth-consecutive monthly sales record, up 155 percent from a year ago with 4,024 sales - setting monthly sales records in each month since going on sale in May 2012

              - MDX was the top selling Acura model in December, with 5,069 sales, up 10 percent from 2011

              - ILX is top selling Acura sedan in December with 2,485 sales

              "December was another month of tremendous sales growth fueled by our newest products, the Acura ILX luxury compact sedan and the RDX crossover SUV," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura Sales, "Acura is primed for even more success in 2013, with the upcoming launch of the brand's flagship RLX sedan and the unveiling of the 2014 MDX Prototype at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show."

              The daily selling rate (DSR) is calculated with 26 days for December 2012 and 27 days for December 2011. Year-to-date, the DSR is calculated with 307 days for 2012 and 307 days for 2011. All other percentages in release are unadjusted; see table for adjusted DSR figures.



              Honda Canada Reports Annual Sales for 2012

              Civic Remains on Top as Canada's Best-Selling Car for 15th Consecutive Year;
              CR-V Achieves Annual Sales Record and #1 Import SUV Status
              Honda Canada Inc. reports best yearly sales since 2008

              MARKHAM, ON, Jan. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - With sales of 64,962 units in 2012, Honda Civic retained its position as Canada's best-selling passenger car for an impressive 15th consecutive year, with a wide margin over its nearest competitor. Since 1973, about 1.7 million Honda Civics have been sold in Canada, making Civic a leader in the Canadian automotive landscape. All Civics sold in Canada, except the Civic Hybrid, are built at the Honda of Canada Mfg. assembly plants in Alliston, Ontario.

              "First and foremost, we thank the thousands of Canadians who supported Honda Civic models this past year, making it the number one selling passenger car in Canada for the fifteenth consecutive year," said Jerry Chenkin, executive vice president of Honda Canada Inc. "Their vote of confidence in Civic underscores its strong value with top-of-class fuel efficiency, safety features and fun-to-drive personality."

              Combined 2012 sales of 148,712 units by Honda and Acura divisions of Honda Canada Inc, is a sizable 21% increase over 2011 and represents the company's best yearly sales results since 2008. The Honda Automobile Division reported 2012 sales of 131,558 units, up 22% over last year and the Acura Division reported annual sales of 17,154 units, up 12% over 2011 sales.

              Yearly sales record summary:

              Honda CR-V had a best year with 33,339 sales versus the previous best year in 2011 with 25,076 sales. This record allowed CR-V to regain its position as the number one-selling import SUV in Canada.
              Pilot had a best year with 5,807 sales versus the previous best year in 2008 with 5,564 sales.
              RDX had a best year with 4,726 sales versus the previous best year in 2007 with 4,104 sales.

              "Honda's strong 2012 sales growth can be attributed to both product supply stabilization and successful launches of our core product pillars, namely CR-V, Accord and Civic," said Chenkin. "Canadian consumers have embraced Honda and Acura products in 2012, which we believe will be sustained, as we continue to launch safe, fun-to-drive and fuel-efficient products in 2013."

              Combined December sales of 13,208 units by Honda and Acura divisions of Honda Canada Inc, represented a 19% increase over last year's sales. The Honda Automobile Division reported December sales of 11,405 units, up 20% from last year, led by record sales of Honda Fit (up 982%) Civic (up 21%), Accord (up 179%), CR-V (5%) and Pilot (up 19%). The Acura Division reported December sales of 1,803 units, up 17% from last year, led by strong sales of Acura RDX (up 13%) and MDX (up 52%).

              Approximately 96% of the combined Honda and Acura vehicles sold in Canada in 2012 were produced at the company's North American assembly plants, unchanged from 2011.

              Honda Canada Inc. has sold more than 3.7 million Honda and Acura passenger cars and light-duty trucks in Canada since 1973. Honda Canada has invested more than $2.6 billion in Canada, and annually sources nearly $1.1 billion in goods and services from Canadian suppliers.

              SOURCE: Honda Canada Inc.
              For further information:

              Maki Inoue (905) 888-4416



              Honda Accord Hybrid to make Japanese debut in June

              Honda is set to launch its fully-remodeled Japanese version of the Accord Hybrid sedan domestically in June, according to the Nikkei. The Accord Plug-in Hybrid is also set to be introduced in Japan then, but will only be available for leasing by businesses and municipalities.

              The Accord Hybrid, set to sell for slightly more than three million yen (RM104,300) in Japan, will be powered by a two-motor Sport Hybrid Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) and a 2.0 litre i-VTEC four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine, with EV operation possible up to 100 km/h.

              The vehicle is to offer a best-in-class fuel economy of 29 km per litre, which puts it ahead of the 23.4 km per litre and 23.2 km per litre being offered by Toyota’s Camry and Crown hybrids. The fuel economy will also be the best among Hondas, beating the Insight hybrid’s 27.2km per liter.

              The North American version of the plug-in, the 2014 Accord Plug-in, is scheduled to go on sale in the US soon.

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                Beat the fuel hikes with these hybrid cars from Honda:


                Test Drive: 2013 Honda Accord Sedan V6 Touring:

                http://www.autos.ca/car-test-drives/test-drive-2013-honda-accord-sedan-v6-touring/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaig n=Feed:AutoscaCanadianCarReviewsandConsumerReports-Autos.ca-FormerlyCanadianDriver

                Honda Ohio Plants Get Energy Star Again:


                Honda CR-Z facelift to debut in Indonesia in February:


                Honda Civic Celebrates 15 Years as Canada's Best-Selling Car:

                Senior Member
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                • Ford, Honda and others increase hiring to meet US vehicle demand:


                  2013 Honda Civic:

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                  • HONDA AUTO MANUFACTURING 130109:


                    Honda to show off two new vehicles at North American International Auto Show:

                    http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2013/01/09/honda-to-show-off-two-new-vehicles-at.html?ana=RSS&s=article_search&utm_source=feedbu rner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+vertical _49+%28Manufacturing+Industry+News%29

                    Honda sales in China down 19.2% in December


                    Senior Member
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                    • http://www.thefinancepages.co.uk/com...jobs-uk/03623/

                      Honda job cuts: 800 people at Swindon plant to lose jobs in Q2 2013

                      Honda cuts jobs in the UK for first time in 20 years.

                      Honda announces 800 job cuts at its Swindon manufacturing plant in the UK, following a drop in the demand for the Japanese carmaker’s vehicles across Europe. Honda, which has been making cars in the Britain since 1992, had never had job cuts before in the UK. The Honda job cuts are said to take place in the second quarter of 2013.

                      Honda broke the news to its 3,500 employees this morning, saying that demand for cars across Europe and specially in Spain, Italy and Greece, had fallen by a million in the past year. However, Honda assured that it would consult workers at Swindon plant and try to avoid compulsory redundancies.

                      The Honda job cuts come despite the car manufacturing giant hiring 500 new staff and investing £267m last year in the Swindon plant, which builds Honda’s Jazz, Civic and CR-V models. Honda said that it would continue to build cars and engines in Britain with the Civic Estate and the Civic Type R models due to be manufactured in Swindon from 2014.

                      Defending the Honda job cuts, Ken Keir, Honda Motor Europe’s executive vice president, said, “Honda remains fully committed for the long-term to its UK and European manufacturing operations. However, these conditions of sustained low industry demand require us to take difficult decisions. We are setting the business constitution at the right level to ensure long term stability and security.”

                      Last year, a third of the 166,000 cars built at the Swindon factory were sold in the UK, with the rest exported to 26 countries, mainly in Europe. In 2012, the production capacity of the Swindon plant was 250,000. The production was a big jump from 2011 when 97,000 were produced, but still significantly down from the 230,000 made in 2008.



                      Malaysian vehicle sales may decline

                      KUALA LUMPUR: Growth partnership outfit Frost & Sullivan expects Malaysia’s vehicle sales to decline 2.9% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 600,000 units this year, as buyers await details of the revised National Automotive Policy (NAP).

                      Its partner and head of the automotive and transportation practice for Asia Pacific, Kavan Mukhtyar, said on Wednesday that the marginal decline in total industry volume (TIV) was also due to concerns about the general election (GE), possible increase in fuel prices and continued tighter lending guidelines.

                      “The overall uncertainty surrounding the GE and the NAP are likely to restrain fresh demand as well as the significant replacement market,” he said.

                      In 2012, the TIV is likely to be 618,000 units, says Frost & Sullivan, growing 3% y-o-y due to pent-up demand, normalisation in the automative parts supply chain and launch of several new models.

                      Kavan said it would be a stagnant market for the automotive sector this year, despite his outlook for Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) to maintain a 5% growth, mainly driven by strong performance in the construction, and oil and gas sectors.

                      “Both the construction and oil and gas sectors will drive the commercial vehicle segment to grow almost 9.9% y-o-y to 82,000 units this year, but the passenger vehicle segment is likely to fall 4.7% y-o-y to 518,000 units, as some consumers hold back on purchases of big-ticket items due to the uncertainties,” he said. “Sales for the A-segment for this year will continue to fall, at 15% y-o-y to 50,000 units, due to limited models offered and stricter credit control.”

                      He said automakers were likely to adopt a cautious approach in launching new models until the revised NAP was announced. New vehicle models expected to be launched this year included the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, Kia Rio, Kia Picanto, Kia Fort K3, Land Rover Range Rover, Honda Brio, Honda Accord and Toyota Corolla Altis, he noted.

                      The B-segment (small and compact cars) is likely to see a decline of 4% y-o-y to 100,000 units in 2013, while the C-segment (mid-sized sedan) will see a fall of 2% y-o-y to 225,000 units.

                      He said the multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) segment would see a drop in sales by 9% y-o-y to 90,000 units, as customers experienced model fatigue.

                      Kavan underlined several key factors that would likely impact sales demand this year, including reduction in taxes and duties on cars, increase in fuel prices and electricity tariffs, constant interest rates and continued stricter loan approvals.

                      “With the duty exemption for hybrid vehicles extended until Dec 31, 2013, hybrid vehicle sales are expected to almost double this year (35,000 units) as compared with 2012 (18,000 units),” he said.

                      “There is also likely to be an extended scope and incentives for green cars in the revised NAP to include low-emission conventional combustion engine cars and other alternative fuel vehicles, “ he added.



                      Honda to Build New 2014 Accord Hybrid in U.S.

                      Auto Plant in Marysville Will Expand, Add 50 Jobs

                      01/10/2013 - MARYSVILLE, Ohio

                      Honda of America Mfg., Inc. announced today that it will invest $23 million and hire approximately 50 new associates at its Marysville, Ohio auto plant to add production of the new two-motor Accord Hybrid Sedan, scheduled to go on sale nationwide this fall.

                      In another step toward bringing hybrid production to the U.S., this will be the third hybrid model built by Honda in America1 and the first in Ohio. Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, LLC in Greensburg, Ind. was the first Honda plant in North America to build a hybrid vehicle, and currently produces both the Civic Hybrid and Acura ILX Hybrid models.

                      The Marysville Auto Plant is undergoing an expansion of 95,000-square-feet to house assembly processes and logistics specifically for production of the Accord Hybrid. The project includes lengthening the main assembly line to accommodate the unique hybrid production processes, and adding space for related parts receiving and sub-assembly operations. The project also will increase overall efficiency of the plant's parts logistics operations.

                      "With more than 30 years of continuously building eight generations of the Honda Accord close to our customers, our team now is using its experience and flexibility to add this sophisticated Accord Hybrid model," said Jeff Tomko, plant manager of the Marysville Auto Plant. "At the same time, we are continuing with our commitment to manufacture new models in Ohio, along with the resulting growth in jobs."

                      One of four efficient powertrains for the Accord lineup, the new Accord Hybrid Sedan joins the 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan in incorporating Honda's first two-motor hybrid system. Both the Accord Plug-In and Accord Hybrid team a new Earth Dreams™ Technology 2.0-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine with a powerful 124-kilowatt (KW) traction electric motor that can function as an electric continuously variable transmission (e-CVT) and a 105-KW electric motor for power generation.

                      All of the conventional, gasoline-powered 2013 Accords now on sale in the United States are equipped with a new Earth Dreams Technology powertrain, either a direct-injected 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine or a 3.5-liter V6 engine equipped with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM). Manufactured at Honda's automobile engine plant in Anna, Ohio, both of these new and efficient engines were named to Ward's 10 Best Engines list for 2013.

                      In the last three years, Honda has announced investments at its Ohio manufacturing facilities exceeding $800 million. They include projects to establish on-site parts consolidation centers, renovate auto assembly and painting operations, and major investments at the Anna Engine Plant, as well as its transmission plant in Russells Point, to manufacture continuously variable transmissions (CVTs).

                      Recently, the transmission plant started a second phase of projects to expand CVT production. This new investment of $90 million includes an additional assembly line, and new aluminum die casting and machining operations. Investments at that the transmission plant in recent years now total $235 million.

                      Honda in Ohio

                      Honda operates four manufacturing plants in Ohio, including auto plants in Marysville and East Liberty with the capacity to manufacture nearly 700,000 cars and light trucks per year. Its engine plant in Anna supplies engines and components to most of Honda's auto plants in North America, with production exceeding a million engines per year. And the transmission plant in Russells Point manufactures more than one million automatic transmissions per year, including the CVTs, for Honda's North American auto plants.

                      In addition to manufacturing, Ohio is the center for vehicle engineering in North America. At its expansive R&D center in Raymond, Ohio, Honda's largest R&D center outside Japan, more than 1,300 associates are engaged in "complete product creation" of all-new products for Honda and Acura customers.
                      Among all its operations, Honda employs more than 13,500 Ohioans.

                      About Honda:

                      Honda established operations in America in 1959, and now employs more than 26,000 associates in its U.S. sales, R&D and manufacturing operations with a capital investment of more than $22 billion.

                      Based on its longstanding commitment to "build products close to the customer" Honda operates 14 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda and Acura automobiles, automobile engines and transmissions, Honda all-terrain vehicles, and power equipment products such as lawn mowers, mini-tillers and general purpose engines, using domestic and globally sourced parts.

                      Seven Honda auto plants in the region, including four in the U.S., have the capacity to produce 1.63 million automobiles each year. In 2011, 85 percent of the Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were produced in North America. This will increase to 1.92 million vehicles per year in 2014, when the sales percentage of locally produced automobiles is expected to rise to more than 90 percent.

                      Honda operates major research and development centers in the U.S. that fully design, develop and engineer many of the products Honda produces in North America.

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                      • Honda Hits The Digital Asphalt In Forza Horizon


                        Honda is putting three of its cars, at least the virtual versions, in the racing game Forza Horizon, which is free to Xbox Live members. The integration also involves two contests.

                        Starting on Jan. 15, players can download for free the Honda Challenge Car Pack on Xbox LIVE, which features the 2013 Civic Si Coupe, original 1986 Civic Si or Honda Performance Development B-Spec Rally Fit.

                        In addition to downloading Honda cars to play in-game, the program lets players race virtually against Honda IndyCar driver Scott Dixon and try to beat his fastest time in a 2013 Civic Si. This “2013 Civic Si Challenge” contest awards the fastest racer the opportunity to meet the Indianapolis 500 winner in person and receive a custom Civic Si-themed Xbox 360 gaming console.

                        Nick Lee, manager of Honda national advertising, tells Marketing Daily that this is not the first time the automaker has been in the game, whose fifth generation launched in October. "Honda vehicles have been included in previous versions of the game," he says, "But this is the first time Honda has partnered with Microsoft to offer free downloadable car packs to users in addition to the Branded Destination Experience."

                        The whole thing ramped up last month with video banner ads that directed Xbox LIVE players to the race. Players could then view photos of Honda cars and vote on the track to compete in the “2013 Civic Si Challenge.”

                        Another element is an in-game photo challenge starting on Feb. 15 where players can submit photos taken in-game of the 2013 Civic Si in the Forza Horizon environment. The best photo will be featured on Honda social channels and on the Honda website. Winners of the contest will receive a custom Civic Si-themed Xbox 360 gaming console.

                        Lee says that research shows that Civic buyers and intenders over-index for playing video games. "The intention of the Branded Destination Experience and the support we are giving it is to extend awareness of the Civic Si into gaming environment in a way that would be native to Xbox gamers," he says. "We aligned with the very popular Forza Horizon game in a way that would enhance a gamer’s experience."


                        How can Honda revive its fortunes? Simply build cars people want to buy

                        The quality is top notch but there is nothing much in the Honda range to excite younger buyers let alone petrolheads


                        What depressing news about the 800 job losses at Honda’s Swindon factory.

                        It’s been proved time and time again that British workers in British factories are as good as anyone in the world at building cars.

                        The quality of cars coming out of Swindon, Toyota’s Derby plant, Nissan’s Sunderland factory and of course Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin, is top notch.

                        The drop in car sales in Europe is to blame, but there’s more to it than that.

                        Honda needs to build more cars that people really want.

                        The Civic was once a fantastic family hatch but for the last few generations it hasn’t moved forward.

                        There’s nothing seriously wrong with the car, but you’d struggle to find a really good reason to buy one over many other competent rivals.

                        The Jazz is a good, practical motor that is a big favourite with the older generation.

                        The Accord saloon, er, I can’t remember the last time I saw one.

                        The CR-V soft roader, which was replaced last year, is again only average. It also costs the other side of £20k.

                        Nissan on the other hand has the very popular Qashqai and the equally successful Juke.

                        Both are built in Sunderland and, ironically, Nissan has recently taken on an extra 400 workers to cope with demand.

                        There’s nothing much in the Honda range to excite younger buyers let alone petrolheads.

                        The S2000 went out of production in 2009 and the successor to the 1990s NSX supercar has been off, then on and then off again.

                        It’s on its way again now, apparently.

                        The only way you can get yourself out of trouble in the car industry is build motors that people really want to buy.

                        It’s that simple. Being average isn’t good enough.



                        Honda Civic Mugen styling package introduced

                        Mugen has introduced a new range of accessories for the European Honda Civic.

                        On the styling front, the model can be equipped with a new front spoiler, a revised grille and aerodynamic side skirts. The company offers a rear diffuser, a tailgate-mounted wing and three different sets of wheels that are available in a variety of finishes.

                        Other options include a carbon fiber rearview mirror cover, Mugen badging and anodized aluminum oil caps in Champagne Gold, Silver Grey, Red, Blue or Black.

                        Sadly there aren't any performance upgrades, but previous reports have indicated a Civic Type R is in the works for 2015.



                        Honda Relaunches 1986 Civic Si

                        It’s true, Honda is about to re-release one of the icons of the sport-compact segment, the original 1986 Civic Si. The only hitch? You’ll only be able to drive it online, as part of the Honda Challenge Car Pack for Forza Horizon on Xbox LIVE. And that, in turn, is part of a new effort to support the launch of the new 2013 Civic Si, which is due at dealerships in the near-term future and also will be featured in the Forza upgrade, along with the Honda Performance Development B-Spec Rally Fit.

                        “Gaming is a huge passion of our Honda Civic customer and integrating with the latest installment of the popular Forza franchise allows us to interact with our customers where they naturally are,” said Mike Accavitti, vice president of national marketing operations at American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

                        Honda will be backing the redesigned 2013 Civic family in other ways, too, in coming weeks, with a particular highlight being a national TV campaign—also featuring the Civic Si—that will emphasize Honda’s ongoing commitment to continuous improvement. The first spots began breaking during this month, and audiences can expect to see two fresh 30-second Civic ads during the Grammy Awards broadcast in February. As for the Civic lineup itself, the first members of the team, including the refreshed 2013 Civic Si Coupe, are at dealerships now.

                        “Our belief is that there are always new ways to improve, create and imagine which can be seen in the refreshed Civic, America’s best-selling compact car. The 2013 Civic is poised to beat customers’ expectations,” added Accavitti. “The 2013 Civic features extensive interior and exterior design upgrades, enhanced dynamics and new technology.”

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                        • http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=222527

                          Honda plans staff cutback

                          HONDA is planning to cut 800 jobs at its Swindon plant, blaming weak demand across Europe.

                          The Japanese carmaker, which began manufacturing there in 1992, has been hard hit by the eurozone crisis. The Swindon plant, which produces the Civic, Jazz and CR-V models, employs 3500 people, having added 500 to the workforce a year ago.

                          Honda has begun a 90-day consultation period on the job cuts and says it hopes to avoid compulsory redundancies.

                          "Sustained conditions of low demand in European markets make it necessary to realign Honda's business structure," the company said in a statement.

                          It added the demand for cars in Europe had fallen by one million in the past year. But Honda said it was still committed to manufacturing in the UK and Europe in the long-term.

                          The Swindon plants built 166,000 cars in 2012, which was well below the capacity of 250,000.

                          It was a big jump from 2011 when 97,000 were produced, but still significantly down from the 230,000 made in 2008. In a statement, industry group the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said it was very disappointing news.

                          "Despite challenges brought by weak European demand, the longer-term prospects for the UK automotive sector remain good," SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said.

                          "We hope that those affected will be able to take advantage of the opportunities we know exist throughout the UK sector and its supply chain." SMMT figures from earlier in the week showed that UK new car registrations rose by 5.3 per cent in 2012 to 2,044,609 cars, which was the highest number since 2008.

                          Its figures showed 54,208 Hondas were registered in the UK last year, up 7.2 per cent from 2011. About 40 per cent of the cars produced in Swindon are sold in the UK. Business secretary Vince Cable visited Honda in September last year to welcome its £267m ($F430.7m) investment in the UK.

                          "This Honda story is part of a much bigger picture of optimism, of feeling that Britain is a really good place to manufacture and make cars," he said at the time.



                          Honda offers glimpse of new small SUV

                          What, you were expecting an Element redux?

                          Two years after ending production of the intentionally ugly-duckling boxy Element, Honda showed the Urban SUV Concept, a thinly disguised look at a new small crossover that will slot in below the CR-V in the Honda lineup at the Detroit auto show. Key competitors will be the quirky Nissan Juke and the Fiat 500L, a supersize version of the diminutive Fiat 500.

                          While the trucklet’s profile is similar to many other small crossovers – including big brother CR-V – a unique, upswept character line that suggest speed. The as-yet unnamed production version will be built on Honda’s Global Compact Series platform, the same as the Honda Fit. Honda will also build the vehicle on the same Mexico assembly line as the Fit.

                          As the industry moves toward smaller vehicles with better fuel economy, small crossovers in the Urban’s class will probably proliferate. And Honda is counting on selling a lot of them. It expects the Urban to help it double worldwide production of vehicles on the Global Compact Series platform to more than 1.5 million units.“

                          No one has had greater success with small cars than Honda, and this Urban SUV Concept will create new value in the growing small-SUV segment,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales at American Honda. “With the continued expansion of our North American manufacturing operations, we expect fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive ‘small’ cars to play a key role in meeting the needs of our customers in the U.S.”

                          The North American International Auto Show is expected to be dominated by subcompact and compact SUVs and crossovers. Click here to read about some of the other little utes that are expected to break cover at this year’s show.

                          The concept measures 169.3 inches long, nine inches shorter than the CR-V, which Honda says makes it ideal for “navigating both crowded city streets and open mountain roads.”

                          Honda said the Urban will use its Earth Dreams Technology for increased fuel efficiency. Inside, it will feature a layout that is similar to the Fit, including its trick MagicSeat, which can be configured for a variety of passenger and cargo options. Honda did not show the vehicle’s interior, but said it will be modern and feature the latest telematics technology.

                          The Urban will be manufactured along with the Fit at Honda’s newest North American plant near Celaya, Mexico, expected to open in the spring of 2014. While the new SUV is targeted at the U.S. market, Honda will sell it in many other markets around the world.



                          Honda Targets U.S. Sales Record With Redesigned Accord, Civic

                          U.S. this year, supported by revamped Accord and Civic models and building on a 24 percent rebound in 2012.

                          The company’s best year in the U.S. was 1.55 million Honda and Acura vehicles in 2007, Tetsuo Iwamura, the Tokyo-based automaker’s executive vice president, said today in Detroit.

                          “We wish to exceed that,” he told reporters at the North American International Auto Show. “We are trying to challenge for record sales.’”

                          Japan’s third-largest automaker relies on the U.S. for more than one-third of its global sales and was hurt in the market in 2011 after natural disasters in Asia disrupted production. Output at the company’s North American plants rebounded last year, to a record 1.69 million Honda and Acura autos. U.S sales in 2012 climbed to 1.42 million.

                          The company expects to report 2012 global sales of about 4 million cars and light trucks, Iwamura said.

                          Honda later today is scheduled to show a concept “urban” utility vehicle based on its Fit small car. The company’s U.S. headquarters is in Torrance, California.



                          Honda “Urban SUV Concept” Makes World Debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show

                          All-new Honda concept model previews addition to growing small-SUV segment and demonstrates Honda’s small-car expertise

                          DETROIT, Jan. 14, 2013 – An all-new Honda “Urban SUV Concept” vehicle made its world debut today at the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The dynamic and youthful concept hints at the styling direction of an all-new small SUV slated to launch in Japan by the end of 2013, followed by the U.S. market in 2014.

                          “No one has had greater success with small cars than Honda, and this Urban SUV Concept will create new value in the growing small-SUV segment,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales at American Honda. “With the continued expansion of our North American manufacturing operations, we expect fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive ‘small’ cars to play a key role in meeting the needs of our customers in the U.S.”

                          The Urban SUV Concept is intended to provide the basis for a fun-to-drive and fuel-efficient small SUV with aspirational design, flexible packaging and next-generation connectivity targeting active lifestyle customers. The concept showcases clean and sophisticated styling, dynamic character lines and a strong stance, with hidden rear door handles giving the SUV a coupe-like presence. Measuring 169.3 inches long, the Urban SUV Concept is nine inches shorter than the Honda CR-V, making it the ideal size for navigating both crowded city streets and open mountain roads.

                          The Urban SUV Concept represents the expansion of vehicles based on Honda’s Global Compact Series, which includes the Honda Fit subcompact and the Honda City subcompact sedan, a model sold in markets outside the United States.

                          All-New Small SUV Launching 2014:

                          Coming to the U.S. in 2014, an all-new small SUV based on the Urban SUV Concept will feature fuel-efficient Earth Dreams™ Technology and be priced and positioned below the CR-V within the Honda light-truck lineup. Part of Honda’s Global Compact Series, and utilizing the Honda-original center-tank layout featured on the Fit, the model will include Honda’s configurable Magic Seat® setup that can provide a host of passenger and cargo options, including a fold-flat mode for maximum cargo capacity. The all-new model will also feature next-generation telematics and a modern interior.

                          The small SUV will be manufactured along with the Fit at Honda’s newest North American plant near Celaya, Mexico, expected to open in the spring of 2014. The growth and expansion of its small-vehicle lineup will help Honda double worldwide production of vehicles in its Global Compact Series to more than 1.5 million units by the end of 2016, and remain a global small-car leader.

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                          • http://www.adweek.com/news/advertisi...-review-146574

                            Honda Selects Finalists in Ad Review
                            Four contenders emerge from field of 7 By Andrew McMains

                            Call them the Honda Four.

                            A quartet of creative agencies has advanced to the final round of Honda’s advertising review. Sources identified the shops as The Martin Agency, Mullen, 72andSunny and the incumbent, RPA.

                            The finalists emerged from a broader pack of seven agencies that also included Havas Worldwide, Draftfcb and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, according to sources. Honda marketing executives visited all seven shops last week.

                            Both Honda and its luxury nameplate, Acura, are in play. Media spending across both brands totaled about $840 million in 2011 and $784 million in the first nine months of 2012, according to Nielsen. Those figures don’t include online spending.

                            Honda is expected to brief the remaining creative contenders next week. Final presentations are slated for next month. Roth Associates in New York is managing the process.

                            The automaker also is reviewing its media planning and buying business in separate but parallel pitch. RPA is the incumbent on that as well. Sources identified the other media finalists as Horizon Media, PHD and MediaVest.

                            The consultancy did not return calls and Honda declined to comment.

                            Senior Member
                            Last edited by tokyodream; 16-01-13, 08:48.
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                            • http://www.newsday.com/classifieds/c...rket-1.4462075

                              Honda, Nissan and VW pursue growing U.S. crossover market

                              DETROIT - Volkswagen’s CrossBlue concept, which previews a new midsize seven-passenger crossover vehicle the German automaker plans to build in Tennessee in early 2015, is not the sexiest model on the floor of the Detroit auto show.

                              But it may be one of the most significant. The production version of the CrossBlue appears to be aimed at the sweet spot in a burgeoning U.S. market segment that continues to draw new entries in a variety of shapes and sizes, from compact to fullsize.

                              The show demonstrates an increasing diversity in crossovers, or car-based vehicles that provide the space, styling and functionality of a truck-based sport-utility vehicle without the penalty at the gas pump.

                              On display are such new concepts as the Nissan Resonance, an early look at both the redesigned 2014 Murano crossover and the utomaker’s new hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain; the Honda Urban SUV, which teases the redesigned 2014 Fit subcompact; and the Lincoln MKC, which arrives early next year as the first compact crossover for Ford Motor Co’s premium brand.

                              VW predicted this week that the U.S. market for midsize crossovers will grow by more than a fifth by 2021. This expanding segment attracts a wide swathe of consumers, from young families seeking an alternative to the minivan to recent retirees looking for a smaller vehicle to prepare for a possible spike in fuel prices.

                              Attractive to Automakers

                              The rise of the U.S. crossover market began in the mid-1990s and built on the popularity of Toyota Motor Corp’s RAV4 and Honda’s CR-V compacts. Now, the segment accounts for 29.4 percent of U.S. auto sales, up from 26.4 percent in 2009, according data firm TrueCar.com, and ranges from small, economical entries to expensive, high-performance variants.

                              These models are critical to automakers as they strive to meet federal standards that call for a sharp rise in fuel economy by 2025.

                              But crossovers are also attractive because they often fetch premium prices, thus offering higher margins than the more conventional models on which they are based.

                              "When you think about it, a crossover is just a hatchback," said Jim Hall, managing director of 2953 Analytics, an automotive consulting firm. "The difference in cost to build the two is not that great."

                              More and more, it is the midsized vehicle that is considered the sweet spot of the crossover market, executives say.

                              VW executives have said the company’s new midsize crossover, designed to compete with the Ford Explorer and the Honda Pilot, could be one of the key drivers in achieving the German parent’s annual U.S. sales target of 1 million vehicles by

                              The new model also will give the VW brand crossovers in three sizes, starting with the compact Tiguan and ranging up to the fullsize Touareg.

                              VW’s premium Audi brand, meanwhile, is planning to expand its U.S. crossover range in 2014, slotting the new Q3 compact below the Q5 and Q7. It is also filling out the line with a 354-horsepower performance edition of the Q5, called SQ5, on display at the Detroit show.

                              Porsche, another high-end VW brand, is also building up its crossover presence, showing the potent Cayenne Turbo S in Detroit and laying plans for the world debut later this year of the compact Macan.

                              Porsche plans to unveil the Macan in November at the Los Angeles show, rather than at the big Frankfurt show in September - evidence of the importance of the U.S. market, which is expected to account for at least 25 percent of the 50,000 or so Macans that Porsche hopes to sell worldwide each year.



                              Honda to assemble new CR-V in India to keep price competitive

                              NEW DELHI: Japanese carmaker Honda plans to assemble its sport utility vehicle CR-V in India to benefit from lower taxes and keep the price tag competitive when the fourth generation CR-V is launched next month.

                              Honda Car India will bring the new SUV with 2.0 litre and 2.4 litre petrol engines options just like the old CR-V, which has already been discontinued, a trade official said.

                              The price of the new vehicle will be lower than its outgoing sibling that was available in the price band of 22.91 lakh to 25.15 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and was imported directly from Japan, the person said.

                              The local assembly of the new CR-V will be done at Honda's Noida plant. Honda Car India did not confirm the CKD strategy, but confirmed that the new CR-V would hit the market in February.

                              "We will be launching the all-new fourth generation Honda CR-V next month in the Indian market. All the details of the new car will be shared at the time of the launch," a company spokeswoman said. Honda CR-V, which used to be the segment leader, has in recent years lost out to diesel-powered competition that include Mitsubishi Outlander, GM Captiva, Hyundai Santa Fe, Renault Koleos and Toyota Fortuner in the 18-25 lakh price band.

                              It will be a tough task for the new CR-V to catch up with market leader Toyota Fortuner. Priced 21.36 lakh to 22.93 lakh in Delhi, Fortuner runs on diesel, which is around 25% cheaper than petrol.

                              Analysts tracking the automotive sector say that fuel price plays a major role in the success as most SUV are guzzlers. "Given the current scenario there is hardly any petrol SUV model that charts any decent sales. The Fortuner or the BMW X1 or the Audi SUV that are currently the hot sellers all have diesel as the common median for their sales traction," said a Mumbai-based consultant working with a multinational.

                              Honda Car India has managed to sell only 186 CR-V in India in this fiscal. It stopped importing and retailing CR-V in September.



                              Fitch Affirms Honda Auto Receivables Owner Trust 2011-1 (HAROT)

                              NEW YORK — Fitch Ratings affirms two classes of Honda Auto Receivables Owner Trust (HAROT) 2011-1 transaction as part of its ongoing surveillance, as follows:

                              Honda Auto Receivables 2011-1 Owner Trust:
                              --Class A-3 at 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable;
                              --Class A-4 at 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable.

                              The rating affirmations are based on available credit enhancement and loss performance to date. The collateral pools continue to perform within Fitch's expectations. In addition, under the credit enhancement structure, the securities are able to withstand stress scenarios consistent with the original ratings and make full payments to investors in accordance with the terms of the documents.

                              The ratings reflect the quality of American Honda Finance Corporation's (AHFC) retail auto loan originations, the strength of its servicing capabilities and the sound financial and legal structure of the transaction.

                              Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com. The ratings above were solicited by, or on behalf of, the issuer, and therefore, Fitch has been compensated for the provision of the ratings.

                              Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
                              --'U.S. Auto Loan ABS Rating Criteria', dated April 16, 2012;
                              --'Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria', dated June 6, 2012.

                              Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
                              Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria



                              Audi Starts Twitter War With Honda Over NSX Similarities to 1991 Quattro Spyder Concept

                              While many people think Audi first went into the idea of a mid-engined sports/supercar with the R8, the idea is in fact much older. Back in 1991, Audi showed off a very nice looking concept, at the Frankfurt Auto Show. It was a mid-engined car, not too dissimilar to the current R8, which was powered by a 2.8-liter V6 engine, with 174 hp.

                              Now that you have all the background information, let`s move on to the story. Apparently, Audi of America retweeted a message posted on Twitter, which said something about the Honda/Acura NSX concept looking a lot like the aforementioned concept. The tweet was posted by @mattphenix, who also added a photo of the original concept, to illustrate his point.

                              Still, it is highly-unusual for an automaker to do such a thing, even through its Twitter account administrator, because it is not something which is being done in the industry nowadays.People can no longer say what they really think, as they run the risk of being sued.

                              We`re curious how far this will go, and what actions Audi and Honda will both take to set things straight.

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                              • http://www.autos.ca/general-news/892...CanadianDriver

                                Honda Debuts GEAR Concept and 2013 Accord Coupe HFP

                                MONTREAL QC – At today’s Montreal International Auto Show, Honda Canada provided the world with its first look at the new GEAR Concept Study Model – a vehicle that demonstrates Honda’s innovative approach to providing the automotive answer for young, urban, Gen-Y lifestyles.

                                Inspired by fixed-gear bicycles, GEAR is a concept that represents an entirely new way of looking at the sub-compact vehicle. It is simple and utilitarian, but also customizable, connected and full of personality.

                                “Subcompact cars are usually either utilitarian, but uninspiring or they’re fun, zippy cars that are impractical and too expensive for the Gen-Y buyer,” said Dave Marek, Design Director at Honda R&D Americas, Inc. “GEAR Concept tears down those walls – it’s practical but fun, customizable, connected and affordable. Everything that young, discerning urban buyers would want in a car.

                                The All-New 2013 Honda Accord Coupe HFP

                                The GEAR concept was joined by the 2013 Honda Accord Coupe HFP — a performance-packed vehicle exclusively available for Canadian customers. As the newest edition to the Honda Factory Performance line-up, the sporty, Accord Coupe HFP adds an extra level of limited-edition style and performance to an award-winning vehicle that has already received accolades from media and customers from coast to coast.

                                “Honda Factory Performance provides the next step in handling and styling,” said Dave Gardner, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Honda Canada Inc. “For our customers who want Honda quality, reliability, efficiency and safety, but with even more expression and personality, the Accord HFP is the product that will deliver.”

                                The Accord HFP builds on the award-winning 2013 Accord Coupe EX-L V6 Navi with improved handling and more aggressive styling. The enhanced exterior styling comes from a wider and lower appearance, achieved through a 10-mm suspension drop, 19-inch wheels and body kit that includes front, rear and side skirts and a rear lip spoiler. In addition, a more responsive sport suspension provides a more exhilarating driving experience with improved tire grip from Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.

                                With the Accord’s 278-horsepower V6 engine, the result is a car meant to turn heads just long enough to see it pull ahead and disappear over the horizon. The 2013 Honda Accord HFP Coupe will be available at select Honda dealerships this spring in limited numbers. Two transmissions will be available – a 6-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual, with black or white as the exterior colours.

                                Further Tribute to Honda’s Tuner Enthusiasts

                                Rounding out the aggressively-styled vehicles displayed in Montreal were the 2013 Honda Accord Auto Luxury VIP and 2013 Honda Civic Circuit Sports. Honda has once again partnered with Performance Auto & Sound Magazine (PASMAG) to push the limits of performance and expressive design. These two after-market project vehicles exemplify Honda’s race-inspired DNA.

                                “Working with the team at PASMAG is a way for Honda to connect with enthusiasts across the country to demonstrate the tuning potential of Honda platforms,” said Gardner. “The Accord Auto Luxury VIP and Civic Circuit Sports do just that and then some.”

                                About 2013 Honda Civic Circuit Sports

                                Historically, the Civic has always been a natural choice for track enthusiasts, which inspired the PASMAG team when designing this exciting vehicle. Starting with a 2013 Honda Civic Si, the design team implemented key performance upgrades required for a track car including lightweight Enkei wheels, fully adjustable suspension, big brake kit, race seats, intake and exhaust and ECU reflash.

                                Modification highlights include:

                                Enkei PF01 Racing wheels
                                Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires
                                Rotora front and rear big brake kit
                                Megan racing suspension
                                Ultimate Racing exhaust and downpipe
                                K&N air intake
                                Hondata flashpro
                                Bride front sport seats
                                Retrofit source custom HID headlights
                                Custom upgraded audio system
                                3M satin white vehicle wrap
                                Custom airbrushed HJC helmet

                                While the vehicle is a one-of-a-kind and not available for sale, the 2013 Civic Circuit Sports will attend tuner shows and car meets this summer. More information will be available in the coming months.

                                2013 Honda Accord VIP Overview

                                Based on the luxury VIP style, this one-of-a-kind Accord sedan delivers a luxury driving experience that exceeds expectations. It began with the 2013 Accord Touring and features 20″ chrome wheels, air-suspension and luxury interior trimmings.

                                Modification highlights include:

                                VIP Modular 20″ wheels
                                Yokohama S-drive tires
                                Air-Ride suspension system
                                Custom exhaust
                                K&N Air intake
                                Custom diamond-stiched interior
                                Custom upgraded audio system
                                3M matte black vehicle wrap



                                2013 Honda Crosstour

                                Receiving extensive updates, the 2013 Crosstour introduces more purposeful exterior styling, significant upgrades to the interior design and materials, and a more powerful, fuel-efficient Earth Dreams V6 engine coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle-shift control.

                                The new Earth Dreams 3.5-liter V6 engine utilizes Variable Cylinder Management to maximize efficiency, allowing the engine to run on three or six cylinders, depending on engine load and speed. For 2013, power output climbs to 278 hp.

                                Source: Honda



                                Ninth generation Honda Accord Touring a nice step in both directions (Photos)

                                If this new Accord is any indication, it looks as if Honda may be back in the saddle again, and that's a very good thing.
                                I'm not sure if it coincided with the death of founder Soichiro Honda, but I've been of the opinion that over the past few years the company has either been on automatic pilot (no Honda SUV pun intended) or has gotten complacent, or maybe a tad lazy. Cars I had loved were getting decidedly uninteresting, gadgetry was getting out of hand, and technologically the company was slipping – heck, I don't believe they even offered a direct injection engine until about five minutes ago.
                                View slideshow: Honda Accord Sedan
                                Okay, they've been hammered by acts of nature such as the Japanese earthquake of a while back, but that was later and my angst began sooner. And don't think I mean that Honda has been inflicting crap on unsuspecting consumers; they haven't. Hondas have been and still are excellent cars; it's just that the competition – especially from Korea – has been making giant strides while Honda appears to have been taking baby steps.
                                But there are encouraging signs coming out of Honda HQ, including the new Acura ILX (at least in the Dynamic trim level I drove, which is a blast) and the new Accord. The ILX restored my faith that they can still make a fun TSX and the 2013 Accord shows they can still make a, well, Accord.
                                The Accord has been an excellent car for many years. But the last two generations were dumpy looking (not, of course, that styling is everything) and with too much stuff in the way of controls inside. In short, they weren't as interesting.
                                On the other hand, and I don't know if it was the Korean threat or what, but this new Accord is a really nice car and I can find very little to whine about (though I'll certainly try!). I couldn't even bring myself to hate its continuously variable transmission and, as regular victims of my columns know, I hate CVT's in general.
                                Honda's have traditionally felt like they perform better than their specs would indicate, in part because they just feel light on their feet. Not so much for the Accords immediately past, but now, once again, that feeling is back. Don't expect a gazelle (though my quick drive in the Accord Coupe manual was quite enjoyable), but expect a car that drives as if it's smaller and lighter.
                                Not sure how they pull that off. Honda says the new Accord's length and wheelbase are a little smaller than the prior generation's, while still "providing improvements in key interior dimensions including rear legroom and trunk volume." And while the Accord is hardly a small car – heck, it's very roomy inside and even the back seat is generous – it's lithe, too, and as enjoyable to drive as any other Asian car in this segment. It's full of good stuff, too, and – thankfully! – more straightforward to use.
                                In short, a great step forward, and a great step backward to memorable Accords of generations past.
                                Looks good, too. It's less "generic and inoffensive family car" and more "modern mainstream sedan," and in the top tier of the niche. The front is no longer an affront and its trim bum almost appears to have taken inspiration from the handsome Hyundai Genesis sedan which, if true, would certainly be an interesting turn of events.
                                New Accords are available with three choices of power train, including what Honda says is "the first North American application" of its new 2.4 liter direct-injected engine and of the "two-motor plug-in hybrid system." And, finally, the Accord V6 is the first Honda sedan to sport a new six speed automatic transmission. Till now, Honda had lagged behind in this department and it showed. Heck, you can get a six speed auto on a Kia Rio! I wish I'd had a chance to try the new tranny and hopefully that opportunity will present itself before long.
                                My sample Accord Touring from Honda Canada had the new four cylinder engine. It puts out 185 horses @ 6400 rpm, eight more than the old car. Honda says the 3.5 liter V6 is now rated at 278 horses @ 6200 rpm, up seven. The four pulls well and as much as I love Percherons more than ponies, it wasn't lacking in oomph.
                                The new CVT can only be inflicted on the 2.4 liter four cylinder engine, which is why it was on my test car. Honda says it has a wider ratio range than the five speed automatic it replaces, as well as a special "G-Design Shift logic" the company says offers more immediate acceleration response than either conventional automatics or other CVT's, while "offering a sporty driving experience exceeding all other CVTs."
                                And darned if I can't really argue that. I still don't like how a CVT never shifts – it just feels weird – but Honda's new example doesn't whine or feel like a stretching elastic band. It feels pretty much like a conventional automatic, except that it doesn't shift. I'd still like to try the six speed auto, though.
                                Even better, the Touring can be had with a six speed manual, and Honda's sticks are usually quite fine.
                                The new Accord eschews the old one's double wishbone front suspension, but the new MacPherson strut setup works well and Honda says it's lighter. The rear suspension is of the multi-link persuasion and it's also set well. You won't mistake the Accord for a Panamera, but you won't confuse it with an aircraft carrier, either. It's a bit softer than it is sporty, but it won't lull you to sleep by the first intersection, either. Honda has struck a nice balance.
                                The interior doodads are cleaner than before. Oh, there's still a cursor control thingy – and it's mounted a tad far away for my stubby little tentacles – but the audio system now has a touch screen and that's a big step in the right direction. And the info LCD mounted up high is still there, so you get the best of both worlds.
                                And get this. There's a new "LaneWatch" feature available that uses that LCD as a TV monitor to display the view down the passenger side of the car, giving you a wonderful view of what's happening beside you. It comes on automatically when you flick on the right turn signal, and you can put it on manually via a button on the end of the stalk.
                                When I first saw feature this I thought it was obtrusive and a bit over the top – features for features' sake, as it were. But every other person I had in the Accord thought it was a fantastic idea and by the time I returned the car I had come around to their thinking. It's a marvelous innovation and I shan't be surprised to see the idea stolen by other carmakers just as the "three blink" lane change signal light is slowly becoming ubiquitous (and a good thing, too, though considering the attention span of many drivers these days it really should be four blinks).
                                Standard features for all Accords include a power driver's seat, 17 inch alloy wheels, a rear view camera, Bluetooth and a text and email messaging function. You can up the Accord ante by adding a hard disc drive-based satellite-linked navigation system with voice recognition and 3D map view, and 18 inch alloy wheels. New "visibility technologies" include an "expanded-view" driver's mirror, the aforementioned LaneWatch feature and such stuff as LED headlights, daytime running lights and brake lights.
                                You can also get a Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and a Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system.
                                I had some issues with the voice interface, which seemed to be rubbed the wrong way by my smart phone (or vice versa), but if I'd had more time with the car I undoubtedly would have wrestled the robot to the ground. Still, I've used easier systems.
                                Instrumentation is the usual Honda efficient, the seats are comfortable and, other than my issue with the robotic brain, everything works as it should.
                                I'm really glad Honda has come through with this Accord. It's a great car that seemed in recent years to kind of disappear among the herd, but now it's out there proudly and unapologetically, throwing down the gauntlet in front of those who thought there were other, better choices out there.
                                That doesn't mean there aren't, of course, but you're going to have to look harder now.
                                The 2013 Honda Accord Sedan starts at $23,990 Canadian. The four cylinder Touring model starts at $30,390 Canadian.



                                Honda blasts industry for false mileage claims

                                Honda isn't pulling any punches when it comes to the industry's latest trend of overstated fuel economy claims.

                                John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president, spoke earlier today at the Automotive News World Congress, with the topic of discussion eventually turning to false mileage claims. The subject was clearly a sensitive one for Mendel, and he let the industry know it.

                                "Aggressive fuel-economy claims that turned out to be not so accurate puts pressure on all of us," Mendel said, according to Automotive News. "Competitive pressure should never let us betray the trust of our customers."

                                He added: "Something that happens to one of us affects public trust in all of us."

                                Although Mendel didn't mention any automakers by name, it was obvious he was referring to Hyundai, Kia and Ford. Both Hyundai and Kia admitted to inflating fuel economy figures for most of its vehicles last and Ford is currently under investigation for the mileage claims of its Fusion and C-Max hybrid models.

                                Ford hasn't admitted any guilt, but the EPA launched investigations into the Ford Fusion hybrid and C-Max hybrid after Consumer Reports stated it recorded rear-world mileage up to 21 percent below what Ford claims on the vehicles' window stickers.
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                                Last edited by tokyodream; 18-01-13, 08:42.
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