Thursday, January 30, 2014

Honda is First Japanese Carmaker to be a Net-Exporter from US

Over the last decade or so, many foreign automakers have challenged the idea of what defines an "American car," but Honda took things a step further last year by exporting more cars out of the US than it imported in. Reuters is reporting that in 2013, a total of 108,705 Honda and Acura models were exported from the US with only 88,357 being shipped in. This gives Honda a net exporter status here, and makes it the first of such among the major Japanese automakers.

Honda's US imports have been dropping over the last five years while its exports have been steadily increasing. In 2008, the report indicates that Honda shipped 187,000 vehicles to the US and exported only 20,000, and even by 2012 Honda still favored imports with 136,000 imports and 74,000 exports. The article says that US-made Honda and Acura vehicles were exported to 50 countries with most ending up in Mexico, but the big news is that the Honda's US production set a record in 2013 with 1.3 million units built.

Source: Autoblog

Monday, January 27, 2014

Three Honda Ads Take Home Automobolie Advertising of the Year Awards

In the business of automobiles, having a stable of cars good enough to speak for themselves is a wonderful thing, and Honda dealers all across the country feel very confident in their cars, vans, and SUVs as exactly those kinds of automobiles.

But let’s face it—no auto brand would survive without advertisements, which is why it’s so very important that automakers employ ad and communications specialists to rival the best in the business.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Honda is the Most Durable, Longest Lasting Brand in its Class for Past 25 Years

  • Honda brand is  #1 in class for product longevity
  • No other mainstream brand had a higher percentage of vehicles on the road from 1988-2012.
Honda vehicles are the most durable and longest lasting of any mainstream automotive brand*, according to Polk vehicle registration statistics from 1988-2012. No other mainstream brand had a greater percentage of vehicles on the road than the Honda brand. In the mainstream segment, an industry best 75% of all Honda vehicles sold in the last 25 years were still on the road.
"One of the most important considerations for a new vehicle purchase is how long that vehicle will last and this study demonstrates that Honda quality and reliability is not just part of our hard-earned reputation but represents our industry-leading performance on the road," said Michael Accavitti, senior vice president of automobile operations for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "If consumers want the most durable, longest lasting mainstream brand, Honda vehicles are the clear choice."
The quality and reliability of Honda vehicles is a major factor in their long-standing leadership in earning key industry value awards. For instance, for the second year in a row, Honda won ALG's top honor of Best Mainstream Brand in its annual Residual Value Awards for vehicles that are predicted to retain the highest percentage of their original price after a conventional three-year period. Honda has won the top honor more than any other automaker -- a record 8 out of 11 years they've awarded a mainstream brand. In 2013, Honda also earned multiple awards for individual models for Best Resale Value from and Best Retained Value from
* Durability based on longevity. Longevity based on IHS Automotive, Polk U.S. vehicles in operation registration statistics 1988-2012 for Honda and non-luxury competing brands.
About Honda
Honda offers a complete lineup of cars and trucks through a network of more than 1,000 dealerships in the United States. Honda has more than 30 years of experience producing automobiles in the region, which began with the Accord in Marysville, Ohio, in November 1982. Having produced more than 25 million vehicles in North America through 2012 using domestic and globally sourced parts, Honda currently operates 14 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda automobiles, all-terrain vehicles, power equipment products, engines and transmissions.

Source Honda Media Newsroom

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2015 Honda Fit To Offer Top-Shelf Technologies

It’s hard to believe that the Honda Fit has been around since 2009, but time tends to fly when you’re having this much fun with an automobile. Based on what we’ve seen from the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this month, the Fit is actually about to get even more fun and more practical as it integrates loads of new technology in the completely-redesigned 2015 model year version of the vehicle.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Honda Launches "Gol! Gol!" Hispanic Campaign for 2014 Civic Coupe

Honda is launching the company's latest Hispanic effort for the significantly enhanced 2014 Honda Civic Coupe that went on sale in early December of 2013. The campaign, which focuses on the Civic Coupe's fun, youthful and stylish attributes, airs on Spanish network and cable TV, and also includes a 2-minute online video with supporting digital advertising units.
Known for their Hispanic spin on Techno music and crossover appeal to English-speaking audiences, the band Kinky was tapped to produce a song written exclusively for the new Honda Civic Coupe. The song, "Canción de Fútbol," is the centerpiece of the campaign. The result is an infectious tune that Honda hopes will capture the passion of fútbol fans everywhere. The song will also be released on iTunes later this year.
"The 2014 Honda Civic Coupe is a fresh, young vehicle with fun in its DNA," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of auto operations at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "The new "Gol! Gol!" campaign evokes the same youthful spirit as the Civic Coupe to connect with Honda and fútbol fans alike."
The advertising spots and online videos, directed by famed Mexican actor and filmmaker Diego Luna, depict a couple of young fútbol fans heading to the game in their brand new 2014 Honda Civic Coupe. As they bop their heads to the song on the radio (Kinky's Canción de Fútbol), they look around and notice others are joining in on singing the chorus. Everyone they pass is singing the song, including former Monaco, Barcelona, and NY Bulls fútbol superstar Rafa Márquez, who recently won his first domestic title in Mexico for Team Leon. The spot ends as they arrive at the stadium, where thousands of fans also join in singing the song.
Continuing its outreach to the Latino community, Honda will also launch the new Spanish-language Twitter feed @HondaLatino, which will kick off with the #GolGol campaign. In 2014, Honda will sponsor the "Terra Live Music: Home Sessions", bringing music and adventure on the road to Latinos across the country. Through this program, Honda and Terra will give two users a chance to tour a city with their favorite band in the all-new Honda Civic Coupe. More contest details will be announced later this month.
About Honda
Honda offers a complete lineup of cars and trucks through a network of more than 1,000 dealerships in the United States. Honda has more than 30 years of experience producing automobiles in the region, which began with the Accord in Marysville, Ohio, in November 1982. Having produced more than 25 million vehicles in North America through 2012 using domestic and globally sourced parts, Honda currently operates 14 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda automobiles, all-terrain vehicles, power equipment products, engines and transmissions.

Source: Honda Media Newsroom

Saturday, January 18, 2014

2015 Honda Fit Shapes Up For America

The Fit may be Honda's smallest (and, starting at $15k, most cost-effective) model, but it has never sold in quantities that even approach those of the brand's larger offerings – at least not in the United States. Where American Honda typically sells hundreds of thousands of Civic and Accord models – even CR-V crossovers and Odyssey minivans – annual sales for the Fit typically amount to tens of thousands. But the Japanese automaker hopes to expand its sales in the segment with the introduction of the new 2015 Honda Fit.

Having launched the all-new model several months ago in the Japanese Domestic Market, Honda is presenting the new Fit to the North American market here at the Detroit Auto Show. By and large, it's the same model that will be sold around the world, having been redesigned with more aggressive styling, a larger footprint on the road and more interior space. Only now it will be built for North American consumption at Honda's new plant in Celaya, Mexico, where the automaker plans to also build its new Vezel crossover (or whatever it'll be called here).

The North American Fit ditches the hybrid setup offered in the JDM model in favor of a new Earthdreams 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with direction injection and i-VTEC valve timing to help it deliver 130 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque. That's 13 more horses and 8 more torques than the previous model, and the engine can be paired to either a six-speed manual or Honda's new continuously variable transmission. With the latter, Honda projects the Fit will get 33 miles per gallon in the city, 41 on the highway and 36 on the combined cycle. Lighter and more refined than the outgoing model's powertrain, the new engine sits in a lighter and more rigid frame as well, which Honda expects will earn it top ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.


Honda Introduces All-New 2015 Fit at North American International Auto Show
- More powerful, refined and fuel-efficient Fit set to launch this spring
- All-new U.S. model showcases dynamic styling and upgraded interior packed with class-leading features and technology
- Earth Dreams™ Technology engine and transmissions deliver heightened fun-to-drive performance and class-leading fuel efficiency

DETROIT, Jan. 13, 2014 – Honda unveiled the all-new 2015 Fit at the North American International Auto Show today. Set to go on sale in the U.S. this spring, the new Fit is completely redesigned from the ground up to deliver an unparalleled combination of style, interior space, fun-to-drive performance and fuel efficiency plus leading-edge safety and vehicle connectivity.

"The Honda Fit is a small car with big aspirations. Faster, more fuel-efficient and more fun, it's a subcompact with larger-than-life-capabilities," said John Mendel, executive vice president of automobile sales for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "It's simply the best Fit to date and, we believe, a new benchmark in the small-car category."

Modern Styling with Class-Leading Packaging
The 2015 Fit debuts with a sleek, modern and sporty exterior style. A more aggressive front fascia showcases a new grille and headlight design. A strong character line runs along the side of the Fit, emphasizing the vehicle's aerodynamic profile. Larger 16-inch tires outfitted with a new 5-spoke wheel design give the Fit a planted and sporty stance. In the back, rear reflectors and LED taillights run along the hatch with a chrome tailgate garnish and rear diffuser, all contributing to the Fit's more substantial and dynamic appearance.

Retaining a similar exterior footprint to the current model, the new Fit is slightly shorter (-1.6 in.) and wider (+0.3 in.) with a longer wheelbase (+1.2 in.), resulting in improved handling and maneuverability. Inside, the Fit builds on its already class-leading interior space, airy cabin and large greenhouse thanks to an all-new efficient platform that incorporates a unique center-mounted fuel-tank layout. The new Fit also delivers a significant increase in passenger volume (+4.9 cu ft) and rear legroom (+4.8 in.) compared to the previous model. With the Honda-exclusive Magic Seat® offering multiple configurable seating positions, the Fit provides an unrivaled 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space when the second row seats are folded flat. With an overall height of 60 inches, the Fit allows for easy loading of items into the rear cargo and ingress/egress for passengers.

Enhanced Interior and Technology Features
The 2015 Fit will deliver above-class interior refinement and features while offering value at every trim level. All 2015 Fit models will be equipped with class-leading standard features including Bluetooth® connectivity, a multi-angle rearview camera, and Expanded View Driver's Mirror. For customers looking for premium features in the subcompact segment, Fit will be available with smart entry with push-button start, heated side mirrors, a moonroof, heated front seats, Honda's exclusive LaneWatch™ display and a 7-inch Display Audio1 touchscreen interface with HondaLink™ smartphone connectivity. Soft touch and premium materials are used throughout and, for the first time, the Fit will be offered with available leather-trimmed seating.

Improved Performance, Efficiency and Safety The 2015 Fit marks the U.S. debut of an all-new direct-injected1.5-liter DOHC i- VTEC engine. Generating 130 horsepower2 at 6500 rpm and 114 lb.-ft. of torque2 at 4600 rpm, engine output is increased by 13 horsepower and 8 lb.-ft. compared to the outgoing engine, while reducing weight and improving efficiency. Paired to two new transmissions, a slick-shifting 6-speed manual or a sporty and fuel-efficient Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with available paddle shifters, the Fit powertrain offers superior acceleration and passing performance and is anticipated to have class-leading3 EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 33 city/41 highway/36 combined4 (CVT-equipped models).

Complementing the new powertrain is a revised chassis that provides for improved handling, ride comfort and NVH. A more rigid body, new rear dampers and revised suspension geometry notably enhance the 2015 Fit's ride quality and fun-todrive handling characteristics.

The 2015 Fit benefits from the most extensive use of ultra-high strength steel in the model's history, providing increased body stiffness while reducing platform (underbody and chassis) weight by 57 pounds versus the outgoing model. Equipped with the next generation of the Honda Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, the Fit is anticipated to earn top safety scores from NHTSA and IIHS, including a NCAP 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score and a TOP SAFETY PICK rating with a GOOD rating in all IIHS test modes, including the rigorous small overlap barrier test.

North America Production
The 2015 Fit will be manufactured for the first time in North America at the new Celaya, Mexico plant. With an annual capacity of 200,000 units, the facility will begin mass production of the 2015 Fit next month, adding production of an all-new small Honda SUV later in the year. With introduction of the new manufacturing facility in Mexico, Honda's North American automobile production facilities will have a total annual capacity of 1.92 million units, and will have the capability to manufacture vehicles in all product segments, from subcompacts to light truck models. With the added production, approximately 98 percent of all Honda-brand vehicles sold in the United States will be sourced from Honda plants in North America.

About Honda
Honda offers a complete lineup of cars and trucks through a network of more than 1,000 dealerships in the United States. Honda has more than 30 years of experience producing automobiles in the region, which began with the Accord in Marysville, Ohio, in November 1982. Having produced more than 25 million vehicles in North America through 2012 using domestic and globally sourced parts, Honda currently operates 14 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda automobiles, all-terrain vehicles, power equipment products, engines and transmissions.

1The Display Audio Interface is used for direct connection to and streaming from some current [Apple/Android]
smartphones. For safety reasons, always launch HondaLink applications or perform any other operation on your phone only when the vehicle is safely parked. State or local laws may limit use of texting feature, and Assist functions may be terminated without notice. Your wireless carrier's rate plans apply. Please see your Honda dealer and HondaLink terms and conditions for details.
2 Preliminary estimate provided by Honda. Final specification is subject to change.
3 Among subcompact class vehicles equipped with standard engine and automatic transmission.
4 Preliminary mileage ratings determined by Honda. Final EPA mileage ratings not available at the time of printing. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle

Source: Autoblog

Friday, January 17, 2014

Honda "Hands" Wins Best Auto Commercial

This year the Detroit Auto Show didn't just celebrate the automobile, it celebrated how we find out about the automobile, too. Partnering The One Club, this year introduced the 2014 One Show Automobile Advertising of the Year Award to Cobo Hall, celebrating winners in five different categories of advertising: broadcast television, online, interactive, experiential, and print/outdoor. Winners in those categories were judged by 50 creative directors and journalists, while a Public Choice category was chosen from among nearly 20,000 online votes.

Honda walked off with three of the six awards, its Hands spot taking Broadcast honors, its Sound of Honda getting the Online category and Illusions winning Public Choice. Hyundai made the grade in Interactive with Driveway Decision Maker, Fiat captured Print/Outdoor with its "Letters" ad, and Toyota's Tundra Endeavor Campaign spot and BMW's A Window into the Near Future were co-winners for Experiential.

Source: Autoblog

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Android OS Coming to Honda Infotainment

In the first week of 2014, Honda and Google announced a partnership that could not only change the face of infotainment systems moving forward, but could ultimately culminate in the mainstreaming of self-driving cars.

We’re getting ahead of ourselves, though. We’ll start with the lead, before it’s too late and we bury it: Google and Honda have agreed to use the Android operating system for its vehicles’ infotainment, which is awesome for so many reasons.

A Look at the 2014 Honda Odyssey

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Honda to Be Part of the Open Automotive Alliance

by: Brandon Turkus

Remember how we mentioned that Hyundai would be offering a BlueLink infotainment app for Google Glass? And how last week, we told you about a rumored partnership between Audi and Google? Well, both of these things were just part of a much bigger deal.

Google has teamed up with Audi, General Motors, Hyundai and Honda to form the Open Automotive Alliance. With the help of chipmaker NVIDIA, the group aims to bring Google's Android operating system to the auto industry on a large scale. While the speed with which Android will be adopted by the industry remains unclear - the OAA's own press release says "timing for each automaker will vary" - we could see the first Android-equipped vehicle by year's end.

For those that keep their ear to the ground in the automotive tech world, this is a big deal for more than just one reason - Honda, GM and Hyundai are all partners in the Siri Eyes Free program from Apple. The future of that relationship now that three of its automakers are in bed with Apple's arch-rival, though, could be under threat.

We'll stay with this story as more information becomes available. Until then, scroll down for a press release from the Open Automotive Alliance.
Show full PR text
New roads ahead for Android and the Open Automotive Alliance
Tech companies and auto industry leaders join forces to make the connected car a reality in 2014

January 6, 2014 [12:01AM]

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.; INGOLSTADT, Germany; DETROIT, Mich.; TOKYO, Japan; SEOUL, South Korea., January 6, 2014 – Extending the success of the Android ecosystem, which has seen over one billion devices activated to date, a coalition of auto and technology companies announced today a new industry alliance aimed at bringing the Android platform to a device that's always been mobile: the car.

Audi, GM, Google, Honda, Hyundai and NVIDIA have joined together to form the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA), a global alliance of technology and auto industry leaders committed to bringing the Android platform to cars starting in 2014. The OAA is dedicated to a common platform that will drive innovation, and make technology in the car safer and more intuitive for everyone.

The OAA is aimed at accelerating auto innovation with an approach that offers openness, customization and scale, key tenets that have already made Android a familiar part of millions of people's lives. This open development model and common platform will allow automakers to more easily bring cutting-edge technology to their drivers, and create new opportunities for developers to deliver powerful experiences for drivers and passengers in a safe and scalable way.

"The worlds of consumer and automotive technologies have never been more closely aligned, and this alliance will only pave the way for faster innovation," said Ricky Hudi, Head of Electrics/Electronics Development at AUDI AG. "Working toward a common ecosystems benefits driver safety above all."

"Partnering with Google and the OAA on an ecosystem that spans across vehicles and handheld mobile devices furthers our mission to bring vehicles into our owners digital lives and their digital lives into their vehicles," said Mary Chan, President of General Motors' Global Connected Consumer unit. "We see huge opportunities for the Android platform paired with OnStar 4G LTE connectivity in future Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles."

"Millions of people are already familiar with Android and use it everyday," said Sundar Pichai, SVP of Android, Chrome & Apps at Google. "The expansion of the Android platform into automotive will allow our industry partners to more easily integrate mobile technology into cars and offer drivers a familiar, seamless experience so they can focus on the road."

"We are very pleased to join this alliance with Google as a founding member because Honda is committed to providing the very best connected-car experience to our customers," said Yoshiharu Yamamoto, president, CEO and director of Honda R&D Co., Ltd. "The Honda team is looking forward to collaborating with Google and all OAA members to help advance the safety, value and ease of use of connected-car technologies."

"Through the OAA, our customers using Android devices will soon be able to enjoy the continuous user experience in their Hyundai and Kia vehicles." said Dr. Woong-Chul Yang, Vice Chairman of R&D, Hyundai Motor Group. "By introducing the latest IT technologies safely and securely throughout our full range of vehicles, we continually strive to provide the highest levels of convenience and enhance the in-vehicle experience."

"The car is the ultimate mobile computer. With onboard supercomputing chips, futuristic cars of our dreams will no longer be science fiction," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer, NVIDIA. "The OAA will enable the car industry to bring these amazing cars to market faster."

OAA members share a vision for the connected car, and bringing these open standards of innovation to the market will help extend people's mobile experience seamlessly to another platform they already know and love. Timing from each automaker will vary, but you can expect to see the first cars with Android integration by the end of this year. The OAA invites other automotive technology companies to join in this endeavor.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Honda Posts Best December Ever

Judging by the fact that the Guinness Book of World Records is the top-selling copyrighted book in the history of published works, we’d venture to guess that people are, in general, rather entertained when records are broken. Knowing that, we here at Pacific Honda are pleased to announce that just last month Honda automakers did, in fact, break a record by posting their best ever sales for the month of December, with 135,255 vehicles sold over the course of the month’s 31 days.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Honda Sets All-Time December Sales Record to Earn 2nd Best Annual Sales Total for American Honda

  • CR-V annual sales top 300,000 for first time, joining Accord and Civic
  • Accord posts best annual sales since 2008 with double-digit gain plus strong December
  • RDX posts 20th straight monthly increase, smashes previous mark with sales up 51.6 percent for the year
  • MDX has best sales month in model history
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. today reported total 2013 vehicle sales of 1,525,312 units, an increase of 7.2 percent for the year and the second-best result in company history. A total of 135,255 Honda and Acura vehicles were sold in December, eclipsing last December's strong sales by 1.9 percent (5.9 percent based on the Daily Selling Rate, or DSR*). Honda Division annual sales reached 1,359,876 units in 2013, a year-over-year increase of 7.4 percent and the second best all-time sales total for the Honda brand. The Acura Division posted year-to-date sales of 165,436, a 5.9-percent gain and the best result since 2007.
Honda Division sold 119,504 vehicles in December, a 2.4-percent increase from the previous December. Acura Division posted December sales of 15,751.
Honda core products continued to show substantial sales strength throughout 2013. Based on the latest R.L. Polk data, Accord, Civic, CR-V and Odyssey continue to lead retail sales in their respective segments, with the Pilot SUV also gaining significantly. With respect to total CY2013 sales:
  • CR-V surpassed 300,000 sales for the first time while posting a December best of 28,759 units.
  • Accord sales were up to 10.5 percent to 366,678 units, its best showing since 2008.
  • Civic sales were up 5.7 percent to 336,180 units, its best result since 2008 and the third best in its 40-year history.
  • Odyssey sales surged 32.7 percent in December for a yearly total of 128,987 units.
  • Pilot sales rose 10.3 percent to 126,678 units.
"Breaking our December sales record is a great way to finish a near-record year, but perhaps more significantly, the CR-V joins Accord and Civic as the third Honda vehicle to sell more than 300,000 units per year for the first time in our history," said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales at American Honda. "In a hotly competitive market, where every manufacturer brought their best products, our core models demonstrated significant growth without having to resort to fleet sales to drive volume as some of our competitors do."
Acura light trucks continued to break sales records in 2013 with RDX smashing previous bests and the all-new MDX completing a strong fourth quarter with its best-ever month to push Acura trucks to their best sales year ever.
  • RDX recorded monthly bests for 20 straight months, completing its record run in 2013 with a total sales increase of 51.6 percent for the year.
  • MDX sales continued to rise sharply, delivering a 29.0-percent increase in December for its best month in history on strong customer demand and improving vehicle inventories. Full-year sales were up 4.3 percent to 53,040.
  • RLX brought solid growth to the luxury sedan segment for Acura in an abbreviated model year, posting sales of 5,053 since going on sale last Spring.
"Customers are finding the combination of luxury, comfort, performance and utility in the RDX and MDX to be pretty irresistible," said Jeff Conrad, vice president and general manager of Acura Sales. "With the strongest light truck lineup in our history, we're now turning our focus on our sedan lineup with the all-new TLX to deliver further growth for Acura in 2014."
*The daily selling rate (DSR) is calculated with 25 days for December 2013 and 26 days for December 2012. Year-to-date, the DSR is calculated with 307 days for 2013 and 307 days for 2012. All other percentages in release are unadjusted; see table for adjusted DSR figures.
# # #
Source: Honda Media Newsroom 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Honda Planning a Second Vezel for Developing Markets

by: Noah Joseph

The new Honda Vezel was designed as a global product. Unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in November, the compact crossover is already going on sale in Japan, will soon reach Europe and will eventually hit the North American market as well – albeit with a different name and engine lineup. But it won't be sold everywhere.

According to Autocar India, the Vezel was originally earmarked to reach the emerging market on the subcontinent, but the declining value of the rupee has apparently forced Honda to rethink its strategy. Instead, the Japanese automaker is now expected to develop a second compact crossover – one more cost-effective to produce locally – for sale in India and other, nearby developing markets.

The new model would be based on the Brio, a hatchback that's smaller than the Fit (on which the Vezel is based) and built in India, Thailand and Indonesia. Honda has already enlarged the Brio's platform to create the Amaze sedan and Mobilio minivan. Building a crossover on the same platform would reportedly require some re-engineering – particularly around the wheel wells – but would apparently still be more cost-effective than importing the Vezel.

The resulting vehicle would compete with the likes of the Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster. If Honda keeps its length under the four-meter (13-foot) mark, it could benefit from tax benefits that could make it that much more competitive when it reaches the Indian market around 2016.

Source: Autoblog