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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
At the Beijing Motor Show, Honda revealed two further concept models, which are said by the company to hint at the brand’s future design direction. The first is called the Concept C, with the letter referring to (and we’re not making this up) “Cool,” “Challenge” and “China.”
Looking a bit like an update of the Acura TL, the Concept C is a four-door sedan with a bold grille and sculpted side flanks. It’s quite possibly the most adventurous styling exercise we’ve yet seen on a Honda four-door, concept or production.
Chinese-built cars are arriving in North America, but before you reach for the keypad, we’re not talking about hordes of BYD, Chery, Geely or Brilliance models washing up on our shores, rather the fact that Honda is now importing Chinese assembled examples of its Fit subcompact for consumers in Canada.
This forms part of a decision by Honda and other Japanese automakers to reduce dependence on vehicle production in the Home Islands due to the current high value of the yen against other major world currencies, which is severely eating into profit margins.
In Honda’s case it also helps squeeze more money out of its small cars, which are relatively popular with buyers in Canada, yet traditionally far less profitable than larger models.
In terms of quality (often a subject that’s brought up regarding Chinese consumer goods), Honda says it shouldn’t be an issue, it’s Canadian executive vice president Jerry Cherkin stating, “we are fully confident that these vehicles meet all Honda standards.”
Honda has been exporting Chinese built Fits for some time, particularly to European countries (where it’s sold as the Jazz) with few issues, thus in many regards adding Canada to the roster of export markets seems a logical step.
However, despite these Fits showing up on dealer lots north of the border, so far, there are no plans to sell such cars in the United States.
Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst with Edmunds.com believes American consumers are more resistant to the idea of buying Chinese products, especially cars, thus the concept of doing so at this point, given that the US is still a major source of both profit and prestige for Japanese automakers, would probably not work in Honda’s favor.
[Source: NY Times]
Yes it’s true. After initially stating that a sportier version of the new Civic didn’t fit in with Honda‘s vanilla marketing strategy, inside sources reveal that in fact, such a car is under development.
Following criticism that Honda has abandoned its enthusiast followers in favor of pure mass-market appeal; company president Takanobu Ito’s plan to help the brand regain some of the sporting credentials it has lost this past decade, is a glimmer of hope to those who fondly recall the days of NSXs and anything Type R.
Exactly what features this new ‘hot’ Civic will incorporate remains to be seen, though expect suspension and styling tweaks, standard six-speed manual gearbox and a uniquely tuned four-cylinder engine As to when it will be launched, possibly a couple of years from now, though given that the previous Civic Type R didn’t make it North American shores, expect this one to follow the same course, being based on the sportier Euro market model and primarily tailored for an audience across the pond. Pity.
As a result of identifying problems with power window switches, Honda Motor Co. has announced it is recalling some 960,000 vehicles worldwide.
The recall is mostly related to 2006 to early 2010 Fit subcompacts (totaling almost 800,000). In addition, in the U.S., the company is also recalling some 80,111 CR-Vs from the 2006 model year for similar problems. The recall is a result of potential problems such as fire hazards that could result from faulty electrical contacts in the switches.
Another vehicle being recalled is the CR-Z hybrid, including some 5,626 currently on US roads. In this case the problem concerns the vehicle’s Engine Control Unit; the CR-Z has come under criticism for its rather underwhelming performance, especially as it relates to fuel economy.
Honda hasn’t said how much this global recall will cost, though with it following in the wake of supplier struggles resulting from the March 11 earthquake in Japan, it has proved yet again, that 2011 is shaping up to be one of the most difficult years the automaker has faced in recent times.
Having suffered more than other automakers due to the earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan, Honda has been struggling to fix supply chain disruptions, which have resulted in plant slowdowns and limited vehicle availability at dealerships.
Now the company says most of those issues are being resolved and in a recent statement to its US dealer network, Honda said that production is expected to ramp up in the next few months, providing a significant inventory boost to dealers.
John Mendel, American Honda Executive VP told dealers in a company memo to expect the availability of vehicles in July to increase by 11 percent versus June, however supplies of bread and butter models such as the Civic and Accord remain low, with most current inventory currently comprising of traditionally slower selling vehicles such as the Fit subcompact along with the CR-V and Pilot SUVs.
However, Mendel encouraged dealers to be optimistic, saying “we all know that the automobile market is getting better and we want to be able to grow along with it,” though he also cautioned that at present dealers “need to continue to push hard on the sales front,” selling what inventory they have.
[Source: Automotive News]
It seems to be the latest thing for corporations to be liked or get fans via official Facebook pages. However, in some cases the idea appears to have clearly worked.
Honda Motor Co, which founded its official page back in 2009 can now boast that it has more than 1 million fans.
In fact some people have done incredible things to prove their loyalty to the brand. Examples include getting Honda tattoos, requesting special ‘Honda’ haircuts, even carving the company logo on their front lawn.
Now in what Honda describes as “We’re Fans of You Too Week,” the company is giving back. It carved the name of the lawn fan on the grass outside corporate headquarters in Torrance, while Honda employees got airbrushed tattoos and haircuts incorporating the names of the fans that did the same for the big H.
In addition, Honda has extended its goodwill to include a program called “Honda Loves You Back.” Over the past year, the company has made some surprising gestures, including paying parking fees for Honda owners at select sporting events, even providing customers with a free carwash, lunch and even a backrub!
To see what else Honda has in store for its loyal customers and Facebook fans, click on the link below:
Honda Motor Company; which has been one of the hardest hit of all Japanese automakers in the wake of the massive earthquake in the home islands, has announced that Japanese production will resume on April 11.
This follows on from news that shipping of Honda components destined for factories outside of Japan was to resume on April 4; however in both cases, the company remains cautions. In the case of vehicle production; Honda said that it will likely only reach 50 percent of pre-earthquake capacity, at least in the short term.
Vehicles built in Japan for the North American market include the Fit subcompact; Insight and CR-Z hybrids; the Civic Hybrid and some CR-V models, availability of which is likely to remain affected for the next several months.
[Source: EGM Cartech]
With the Tokyo Auto Salon just around the corner, Honda Motor Co. has announced its star lineup for this year’s show. For 2011, Honda will be putting the spotlight on Honda Access Corporation*2, the company’s in-house aftermarket parts manufacturer. Showcasing what they’re all about will be the TS-1X, based on the new CR-Z.
In addition to the TS-1X, other cars on display will include Honda’s Super GT HSV-010 GT, Formula Nippon FN09 and Honda’s Indy Car Series’ 2011 Indy Japan 300 mascot car for their race cars. From their Modulo line will be a Sports Modulo NSX, STEPWGN, CR-Z and Fit Hybrid. Three other cars Honda will be highlighting are a pair of themed Honda” Freed Spike caravan models and an Acty truck painted in a special Tokyo Auto Salon color.
Honda will also have several motorcycles in their booth this year.
Stay tuned as AutoGuide.com will be bringing you extensive coverage of this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon.
GALLERY: Honda’s Tokyo Auto Salon Lineup
Official press release available after the break.
Honda has issued a recall for 2011 Accord coupe and sedan, as well as Pilot SUV models regarding the front suspension assembly.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the problem stems from two areas – firstly, improperly tightened bolts where the front struts attach to the suspension and secondly, loose spindle nuts that could cause a loss of steering and potentially, the front suspension to collapse.
The problem is being blamed on faulty calibrations on machinery used to torque the bolts at the factory. In total 10,823 Accords and Pilots are affected by the recall and notified owners are urged to contact their local Honda dealer as soon as possible, who will inspect the affected parts and fix the problem free of charge (notifications were sent out beginning on December 23 2010).
This recall comes on the heels of another one affecting the 2011 Accord and also the CR-V (Pilot’s smaller brother), where engine oil leaks are being attributed to improper block casting.