Friday, August 24, 2012

Honda Insight Wins Best Value of the Year Award

While many of today’s latest hybrid cars offer excellent fuel efficiency, fewer offer excellent value. The 2012 Honda Insight, however, delivers both. According to the EPA, the affordably priced Insight can achieve 41 mpg city/44 mpg highway/42 mpg combined. According to the experts at IntelliChoice, it’s also the No. 1 Compact Car in their annual Best Overall Value of the Year Awards. And as you can tell by its name, the honor takes into account much more than fuel efficiency. According to IntelliChoice, the winners are chosen through “careful and practical analysis of seven major ownership cost areas; depreciation, maintenance, repairs, fuel, fees, financing and insurance.”But the Insight does happen to be exceedingly frugal at the fuel pumps. In fact, those EPA grades, along with its low level of emissions, also scored it a place on this year’s “2012 Greenest List” from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). It wasn’t the only product from Honda to receive that recognition, either. Honda topped all other brands with four entries among the 12 award winners, also including:
Honda Civic Natural Gas—The only factory-built, CNG-powered car produced in America, the Civic Natural Gas is now available in more than 35 states and was named 2012 Green Car of the Year by Green Car Journal.
Honda Civic Hybrid—Now able to post EPA marks of 44 mpg city/44 mpg highway/44 mpg combined.
Honda CR-Z—Offering a dynamic driving experience, aggressive styling and EPA ratings of up to 35 mpg city/39 mpg highway/37 mpg combined.
Said Steven Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office at American Honda: “The ACEEE’s annual recognition of Honda’s fuel-efficient vehicles further validates our commitment to create a cleaner, more energy-efficient and sustainable transportation future.”

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Honda Marks 30 Years of U.S. Auto Manufacturing With Production Start of All-New 2013 Honda Accord

Honda President at Accord LaunchAssociates at the Marysville Auto Plant today started production of the all-new 2013 Honda Accord, marking 30 years of automotive manufacturing in the United States. With sophisticated styling, premium features and unique technologies that make Accord more fuel efficient and fun to drive, the ninth-generation Accord will go on sale next month.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich along with other government and community leaders joined Honda associates at the plant today as the first mass-produced 2013 Accords rolled off the assembly line. The Accord has been in continuous production at the Marysville Auto Plant since it started operations as the first Japanese automaker in the U.S. on Nov.1, 1982 with production of the second-generation Accord Sedan. The plant has produced more than 9 million Accords during the past three decades.
"This new Accord excels in all areas, and it's being built in a plant that excels in all areas as well – including flexibility, efficiency and quality for the customer," said Hide Iwata, president and CEO of Honda of America Mfg. "For 30 years, the Accord has been the signature vehicle from Honda, and it remains the industry benchmark in a very competitive segment."
Located northwest of Columbus, the Marysville Auto Plant redefined the American automobile industry over the past 30 years with its highly skilled workforce, top quality, production flexibility and environmentally responsible performance.
During the line-off event, Jeff Tomko, plant manager of the Marysville Auto Plant, hailed the high degree of quality and craftsmanship achieved by the Honda associates building the new Accord.
2013 Accord Production with Ohio Governor"The styling is outstanding, the features are impressive and the technology is unlike any other vehicle in this segment," said Tomko. "But what really makes this vehicle great is the hands-on craftsmanship that each of our associates have put into building this new Accord."
With its full-model change, the 2013 Accord has a sculpted and aerodynamic exterior, all-new engines and transmissions, and innovative features that include the LaneWatch™ blind-spot display which enhances visibility of the passenger-side roadway; Lane Departure Warning; and Forward Collision Warning. New technologies that are standard on all Accord models include rearview camera and Expanded View Driver's Mirror. Also standard are popular technologies including Bluetooth®1 HandsFreeLink® phone interface, Multi-Information Display (i-MID), SMS text messaging function and Pandora® Internet Radio interface2.
"Together, we worked hand-in-hand to ensure that every detail of this vehicle could be manufactured with the highest levels of quality," said Mike Fischer, manufacturing new-model leader for the Accord. "We have been very successful at taking an exciting design concept for the 2013 Accord and turning it into a segment-leading product for our customers."
One example is the Accord's seamless, one-piece instrument panel, which reduces road noise and makes for a much more quiet and luxurious ride. Making this one change required three new machines, two new welders and installation of a special seismic floor six feet deep into the plant floor to eliminate vibrations that could cause variations with the ultrasonic knife used to score perforations that will enable deployment of the front passenger airbag.
"This new Accord will be very fun to drive, will offer great fuel economy, and will feature a comfortable cabin with a very quiet ride," said Tomko. "Our team at the Marysville Auto Plant is ready to build it, and we are committed to manufacturing it with the best quality and reliability in the business."
Honda's engine and transmissions plants in Ohio on Thursday started mass production of Honda's new "Earth Dreams" powertrain series, a new generation of engines and transmissions that will make their U.S. debut on the all-new 2013 Honda Accord.
Along with a total redesign of the vehicle, the ninth-generation Accord is the first in North America to apply Honda's Earth Dreams engine and transmission technologies that offer improved fuel efficiency and fun-to-drive performance. This includes a new four-cylinder direct injection engine paired with a new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), and a new V-6 engine with 6-speed automatic transmission that provide an excellent combination of fuel efficiency and performance.
Honda is investing $220 million to launch the CVT production for vehicles produced in North America, including $120 million for the new CVT line and nearly $100 million at the Anna Engine Plant for the production of the CVT's high-tech pulley components starting next year. The expanded production will create 150 new jobs at the two plants.
The Accord also is an important product for domestic suppliers in Ohio and the rest of North America, which manufacture the vast majority of the parts and components for its production. More than 200 parts suppliers in the U.S. manufacture parts for the Accord.
Honda's parts purchasing will exceed $20 billion this year in North America from more than 600 parts suppliers in the region, including 500 in the U.S. and 150 in Ohio. Parts purchasing has continued to grow in the region as Honda's production has increased in North America, and due to increasing exports of parts from North American suppliers to Honda plants in other parts of the world.
About Honda in Ohio
Based on Honda's longstanding commitment to "build products close to the customer," Honda began operations at its first U.S. auto plant nearly 30 years ago, on Nov. 1, 1982, in Marysville, Ohio. The Marysville plant currently employs approximately 4,400 associates. In addition to producing both the four-cylinder and V6 models of the Accord Sedan and Coupe, the Marysville plant is the sole manufacturing site for the Acura TL luxury Sedan. Honda and Acura vehicles are produced using domestic and globally sourced parts.

Honda also operates an auto plant in East Liberty, Ohio, that builds the segment-leading Honda CR-V compact sport-utility vehicle (SUV) and the Honda Crosstour crossover utility vehicle, and the Acura RDX luxury SUV. Honda has the capacity to build 680,000 automobiles annually at its two Ohio auto plants.
In addition to manufacturing, Honda has established substantial R&D operations in Ohio, along with other operations that support product development, manufacturing and sales of Honda and Acura products in North America. The company employs more than 13,500 Ohioans and tens of thousands more through its suppliers and other business partners. The company's total investment in its extensive operations in the state exceeds $8 billion.
Honda has seven auto plants in North America with the capacity to manufacture 1.63 million automobiles annually. Honda has announced that by 2014, the company's North American auto production capacity will reach 1.92 million units. More than 85 percent of the Honda and Acura products sold in the U.S. are built in North America.
Source: American Honda

Monday, August 20, 2012

All About Honda

Honda Origins
Honda Motor Company was founded by Soichiro Honda back in 1948. Initially, the company made motorbikes, as there was a shortage of gasoline in a cash-strapped postwar Japan. Early models were essentially bicycles that were fitted with small engines.
The bikes Honda produced gradually grew more sophisticated and included models like the Juno scooter, which was intended as Honda's version of the Vespas that were popular at the time. Honda didn't begin building automobiles until the early 1960s when the company sold cars exclusively in Japan.
Honda in America
Honda was quick to recognize its potential to succeed in the American market. To that end, the company established the American Honda Company in 1959. One of the first products the company offered stateside was the C100 Super Cup, a popular motorbike with no crossbar.
The first car Honda introduced to the U.S. auto market was the N600. The N600 was a larger engine version of the Honda N360, a Japanese model. The N600 was designed with an eye toward European and U.S. drivers; however, it largely failed to catch on Stateside.
Far more successful in the U.S. market, Honda Civic debuted in 1973. While still compact and ultra fuel efficient, the Civic provided more interior space than its predecessors. In addition to offering good fuel economy, the Civic was also affordably priced. The Civic went down well with American car buyers, paving the way for the Accord, which was released in 1976. Two years later, Honda introduced the Prelude, a compact two-door sport coupe with a twelve-valve 1750 cc engine.
Honda's profile continued to grow and diversify in the U.S. auto market throughout the 1980s. By introducing the Acura upscale brand, Honda became the first Japanese automaker to launch a luxury brand and began to manufacture Accords in the U.S. By decades end, the Accord would be the most popular car sold in the U.S.
Honda vehicles gradually grew in size throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. Compact cars such as the Civic and the Accord continually grew in size until there were midsize and full-size versions of both available. Honda's slate of U.S. offerings now includes hybrids, SUVs, crossovers, sporty coupes, minivans, and more.
Honda Models
The Honda Civic could be considered to be definitive when it comes to the compact and subcompact segments of the U.S. automotive market. The Civic was initially introduced as an affordable, ultra-fuel-efficient compact. However, over the years, it became larger and more upmarket. Originally available as a two-door model or three-door hatchback in the 1970s; today, the Civic is available in two-door and four-door versions. The four-door Civic is also available as a hybrid.
Like the Civic, the Accord is also considered to be one of the definitive vehicles in its class. The Accord is available in coupe and sedan version, with a crossover Accord Crosstour coming in 2009. This allows it to command an even larger segment of the market as a whole, helping it to maintain its status as one of the most popular cars in the U.S.
Honda Fit is another vehicle currently produced by the company. A five-door hatchback, the Fit is a subcompact that was introduced in 2001. It's generally more affordable than the larger Civic but offers the same fuel economy and reliability in a sporty urban runabout package.
Some other current Honda models on the market include the Crosstour, which is a full-size crossover version of the Accord and was introduced in 2010. Additionally, the Honda Odyssey minivan is one of the best-selling vehicles in its class.
The Honda element is a compact crossover SUV that was introduced in 2003. Also released in the same year, was the larger and more rugged Honda Pilot, a midsize crossover SUV.
Honda Products and Technologies
Honda produced many innovative technologies over the years. During the 1990s, the company introduced the performance-oriented VTEC, variable valve timing system. Honda also excelled at creating sturdy, lightweight aluminum car bodies that promote safety, fuel economy, and performance.
American drivers take to vehicles like the Civic and the Accord en masse for decades now. This is in large part due to the affordability, reliability, and fuel efficiency. However, over the years, Honda evolved its brand to be about more than just fuel economy and reliability. Today's Hondas offer drivers more upmarket features and are just as popular for its style, performance, and overall quality.


How to Prevent Theft from Your Car

1. Choose a parking space: There are many types of places to park. You can park on the street, in an open lot, in a garage, or in a parkade (these are often underground, and a favourite target for thieves).  The ideal parking space involves as much traffic around it as possible, be it foot traffic or other vehicles passing by, the more people around, the less likely your vehicle is to be broken into.  The ideal parking space is also in a decent area, where there are few homeless (as they are the most often ones to break into a vehicle), and the best spaces are between exits. The more effort, and the more risk, the less chance that anything will happen to your vehicle
2. Remove all valuables.  This also seems like a no-brainer, but people leave things in their vehicles all the time, remember: No Profit, No Crime.  To clarify, this DOES NOT mean "let's just put everything in the trunk" as most trunks are very easily accessible.
3. Leave the vehicle as open looking as possible.  This means that you should always leave your centre console, glove compartment, and any other "cubby holes" open, so that when a thief looks into your vehicle, they will see that there is nothing worth taking, and they will move on to the next vehicle.
4. If you do become a theft victim, make sure that the first thing you do is file a police report, the sooner the better, and pay attention to details.  Try to figure out how the vehicle was broken into (eg. Window taken off the frame, pry marks on the window frame, or a completely smashed window).  Call the company that owns the lot that you are parked in and report the incident.