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Posts Tagged ‘honda’

Ford, VW Discussions Now Far More Wide-Ranging Than Originally Planned

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.02, 2018

Ford and VW initially wanted to discuss cooperation on light commercial vehicles.

Talks between Ford and Volkswagen are covering far more territory than originally planned, when the two signed a memorandum of understanding in June that initially focused on joint development of commercial vehicles.

While Ford officials have told TheDetroitBureau.com there is no thought to an exchange of equity, virtually everything else seems at least open for discussion, with a number of key ventures being considered. According to various U.S. and European sources, these include joint development of a small pickup, cooperation on electrified and autonomous vehicles and possibly even collaboration on sales and marketing in trouble-spot markets, such as Europe and Latin America.

Breaking News!

Several reports have suggested that a major announcement could be in the offing, and a source close to the talks told TheDetroitBureau that “There could be an update by the end of the year.” But that person stressed that not all the discussions underway are likely to be resolved immediately, and could be spread out over months, even years – even “if everything (being negotiated) comes true.”

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First Drive: 2019 Honda Pilot

Building on strength, fixing the weaknesses.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Aug.21, 2018

The 2019 Honda Pilot offers four terrain control modes to handle off-road conditions.

Nose up, front right wheel spinning in the air. That’s not the pose you normally expect to find yourself in while driving a Honda Pilot. Like most modern SUVs, its buyers are traditionally looking for a people-mover rather than an off-roader — which made for something of a surprise when we joined Honda for a first drive of the 2019 Pilot last week in farm country a few hours north of Los Angeles.

The event included the requisite drive route mixing freeway and local roads but also worked in an off-road stretch which, while brief, managed to demonstrate that the 2019 Honda Pilot isn’t just another, interchangeable soft-roader but a surprisingly competent update of what is already one of the American market’s best-selling vehicles.

Reviews You Can Trust!

The fact that Honda is updating the Pilot at all might come as a surprise considering the current, third-generation model made its debut in the 2016 model-year. And so, as you might expect, the changes are, on the whole, relatively modest, but Honda’s product development team did a good job of picking precisely what to target. That included some subtle exterior updates, improvements to the Pilot’s drivetrain, the addition of a hands-free liftgate and some welcome revisions of its infotainment system, notably the return of a volume knob.

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EPA Reportedly Wants 25% Cut in Fuel Economy

Revised Trump plan would freeze CAFE at 2020 level.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Apr.30, 2018

The EPA's mileage rollback is coming just as gas prices start to surge. Critics warn automakers of a backlash if the numbers reach previous highs.

The EPA and NHTSA are expected to propose cutting the current federal fuel economy mandate by nearly 25% while also revoking the State of California’s ability to set its own tougher standards.

Embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has repeatedly signaled a desire to roll back the rules set under the Obama Administration that current target a fuel economy average of 54.5 mpg by 2025. Reports based on sources at the environmental agency indicate that would drop to 41.7 mpg, the figure that the phase-in of the Obama rules would have reached by 2020. There would be no further increase, under the proposal, until 2026.

News Now!

That has triggered an outcry from consumer and environmental groups, but an even more controversial piece of the EPA draft memo would forbid California from taking steps on its own to effectively neuter the rollback. Under current law the state can set tougher tailpipe rules than the EPA and other states can adopt California’s guideline, something that could effectively require automakers to stick with the current CAFE rules.

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Late to the Game, Honda Puts Autonomous Driving on the Fast Track

Japan's #3 automaker also ramping up electrification efforts.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jun.08, 2017

Author Paul A. Eisenstein goes for a drive in Honda's Level 3 autonomous vehicle prototype.

Honda has long had a reputation for building solid, reliable and fun-to-drive cars and utility vehicles, but it has been slow off the mark in adapting some of the key, cutting edge technologies that are likely to define the automotive world in the decades to come. But that’s about to change, the second-largest of the Japanese automakers lifting the kimono as part of a media tour of its vehicle proving grounds this week.

Among the key revelations made during an opening session, Honda President and CEO Takahiro Hachigo said the carmaker has put its autonomous driving efforts into high gear in a bid to catch up with traditional rivals like Toyota, General Motors and Volkswagen, as well as new auto brands and tech players, such as Tesla, Waymo and Uber.

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The Big Picture!

Honda will put its first hands-free models into production in 2020, although they will only allow autonomous operation on limited-access highways, with a driver at the ready to take control, if needed. Beyond that, said Hachigo, “We will strive to achieve the technological establishment of Level 4 automated driving for personal car use by around 2025.”

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Honda Goes High(er) Tech with 2016 Accord

CarPlay and Android Auto, lower-price safety package added.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jul.24, 2015

The 2016 Honda Accord gets minor styling tweaks and lots of new technology.

Honda will be loading up the 2016 Accord with an assortment of new high-tech features, the maker revealed during a preview staged, appropriately enough, in Silicon Valley.

Sure, Dodge has gotten plenty of attention by offering a 707-horsepower Hellcat package, but these days, automakers have learned that digital technology is really what sells – as was made abundantly clear in the results of the latest J.D. Power APEAL study which showed that owner satisfaction has been surging on products loaded up with the latest digital features.

High-Tech News!

Honda isn’t breaking ground with the 2016 Accord, but it’s not letting competitors like Chevrolet, Ford or Hyundai steal much of a march, either. And, considering Accord’s traditionally loyal following, that may be more than good enough.

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Takata Slapped with Second Class Action Suit

Latest filing in California also names Honda as defendant.

by Michael Strong on Oct.31, 2014

Takata's been hit with a second class action lawsuit and a fourth overall. The latest suit was filed in California.

Even before the dust has settled on the first class action suit against airbag maker Takata, the Japanese supplier has been slapped with a second class action suit. The suit was filed in California.

Hagens Berman, a national class-action law firm, filed suit against Takata as well as Honda Motor Co. alleging the two companies were more interested in their bottom lines than the safety of consumers.

The Automotive Journal of Record!

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, claims that Takata may have cut corners to build cheaper airbags, and that Honda may have bought its airbags from Takata to reduce manufacturing costs. The result, according to the complaint, is that instead of saving lives, defective Takata airbags in Honda automobiles are killing and maiming drivers and passengers involved in otherwise minor and survivable accidents. (more…)

Automakers Report Robust Results for July Sales

Despite impressive results, makers fall short of predictions.

by Michael Strong on Aug.01, 2014

Ford sales were led, once again, by the F-150, but supported by the Fusion and Escape. The maker reported a 10% increase in July.

U.S. automakers enjoyed a strong sales month in July, but fell short of lofty analyst expectations. Toyota and Ford were the only makers to surpass predictions with increases of 11.6% and 10% respectively.

New car sales got a lift during July thanks to an improving economy, ample financing and the appeal of new products. Several companies posted double-digit sales increases, including Chrysler (20%), Nissan (11.4%), Subaru (27%), Mazda (17.1%), Audi (11.9%), Porsche (12.6%), Mitsubishi (21.4%), Land Rover (15%) and last, but not least, Maserati, which was up 315%.

News You Can Trust!

“Incentive spending in July was above this year’s average, taking transaction prices down about one percent,” said John Krafcik, president of TrueCar. “Other than GM and Nissan, every full-line automaker increased incentive spending over last year. With growing discounts and low-interest financing readily available, it’s a great time to buy a car.” (more…)

Honda Rides Strong Asian Sales to $1.94 Billion Profit

US sales drop 6% during most recent quarter.

by Michael Strong on Jul.29, 2014

Honda's North American sales were down 6% in the most recent quarter due, in part, to a sluggish start to Fit production in Mexico.

Despite a sales decline in its largest market, North America, Honda posted a $1.94 billion (198 billion yen) operating profit last quarter by cutting costs and expanding sales in other markets, particularly Asia.

The company’s net income jumped 20% while its sales rose just 5%, the company reported. Honda benefitted from the final push of vehicles on back order due to a rush of sales that came before a sales tax hike on April 1.

Your Automotive Source!

Sales in North America, which accounts for about half of Honda’s revenue, fell nearly 1% through the first six months of the year and 6% for the second quarter of the calendar year, which is the maker’s first quarter. (more…)

Honda Moves from Making Cars to Making Music

Automaker’s new YouTube channel aimed at young buyers.

by Michael Strong on Jun.12, 2014

Honda is hoping its foray into music content, called Honda Stage, will lure young buyers.

Automakers often seek different ways to connect with customers and Honda has decided to take a stab at reaching out to its younger buyers with Honda Stage, a YouTube music channel.

The Japanese maker is partnering with Live Nation, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Revolt and Vevo to develop the channel.

On Top of the News!

“Breaking through the clutter and reaching younger buyers through traditional advertising is proving more and more difficult in this always-on, digital generation,” said Tom Peyton, assistant vice president of Advertising and Marketing for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (more…)

Honda Records Q4 Profit of $1.67 Billion

by Michael Strong on Apr.25, 2014

Honda reported significantly improved Q4 and full year profits today based on a weak yen and strong auto sales around the world.

Honda rode the benefits of its own peculiar “double play” of a weak yen and strong sales to an impressive fourth quarter result. However, the positive impact of the yen is going to decline going forward, the company said.

The automaker reported a quarterly profit of $1.67 billion (170.5 billion yen) compared with less than $800 million (75.5 billion yen) during the same period a year ago. Honda reported sales increased 13% to $30 billion, or 3.1 trillion yen.

Global Outlook!

Japanese buyers seeking to beat an April 1 rise in sales taxes helped push Honda to 1.2 million vehicles sold during the quarter, which was nearly 200,000 units more than last year. (more…)