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Honda Accord and CR-V Tops in Owner Loyalty, According to IHS Automotive

The Honda Accord and CR-V were each awarded a 2013 Polk Automotive Loyalty Award recognizing superior performance in owner retention for the 2013 model year. The Accord, America’s best-selling car in retail sales*, was honored for owner loyalty in the “Non-Luxury Traditional Mid-Size Car” segment. For the second straight year, the CR-V, America’s best-selling CUV, captured the award in the “Non-Luxury Compact CUV” category.

“Model loyalty largely depends on long-term customer satisfaction and keeping each vehicle at the top of its class, two things at which Honda excels,” said David Hendley, assistant vice president of sales at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Being recognized by IHS Automotive in two of the largest and most competitive vehicle segments illustrates both the quality of our vehicles and the customer satisfaction efforts of Honda dealers across the country.”

Presented by IHS Automotive, the Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards are based on actual model year purchase/lease activity and recognize manufacturers for superior performance in owner retention – a critical aspect of building and maintaining market share. Owners had such a positive overall experience that they came back to buy another vehicle of the same model, make, or manufacturer. The Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards are the only fact-based awards in the industry based on owner loyalty. This year’s awards are based on analysis of more than 7.4 million actual consumer transactions to determine the winners based on information obtained from state registration and lease transaction information.

* Based on IHS Automotive, Polk new-vehicle registration data through the end of November 2013.

2014 Honda Civic Coupe Makes Today a Good Day

We haven’t seen many commercials for the 2014 Honda Civic Coupe, which is really too bad because it is an awesome driving machine.

We did, however, find this one that seems to sum up the design and attitude of the 2014 Honda Civic Coupe with the song “Today is Pretty Great.” We think that any day you’re driving a 2014 Honda Civic Coupe is pretty great.

“The 2014 Honda Civic Coupe is really fun to drive,” said Keith Hofkamp of Sims Honda in Burlington. “I definitely drives more like a sports car than what you think you would get in a regular compact car. If you want a car that can really get up and go at an affordable price, then you should really come check out the 2014 Honda Civic.”

Watch the commercial here and tell us what you think…then stop by take one for a test drive!

2015 Honda Fit, 2014 Civic Infotainment System is “Advanced”

Infotainment systems are becoming as important as vehicle performance and comfort. People want superior technology and access to the desired information when they want it…how they want it.

The infotainment system in the 2014 Honda Civic and in the newly unveiled 2015 Honda Fit, is exactly what consumers want: simple yet advanced.

According to this article, “Debuting at the recent Detroit Auto Show, the new Fit features a 7-inch touchscreen that lets users swipe, pinch, and tap — just like a smartphone. Instead of Honda’s old, two-screen i-MID display with jog wheel, the Fit’s infotainment system is streamlined and easy to use.”

The 2015 Honda Fit is only the second car (after the Honda Civic) to have Siri Eyes Free Integration. At the Detroit Auto Show, the infotainment “…impressed. It was quick to process and responsive to inputs. And the pinch and swipe capacity was on par with most smartphones.”

This is just one more reason to check out the 2014 Honda Civic and look forward to the 2015 Honda Fit!

2014 Honda CR-Z Provides Unheard of Hybrid Performance

We like to find fresh articles and information for you, but sometimes someone else writes it so well, it’s hard to say otherwise. As such, below is a press release from Matt Castrucci Honda in Ohio on the incredible performance of the 2014 Honda CR-Z. Check it out:

“It’s official; hybrid vehicles are here to stay. With nearly every major automaker producing a hybrid vehicle in one way or another, driving down a highway and not seeing one would be a shock. What wouldn’t be a shock, however, is driving down a highway and not being able to recognize the Honda CR-Z as a hybrid vehicle.

“Hybrid vehicles are great for the environment and the wallet when it comes time to fill up, but if there was one pitfall to these gas-sipping vehicles, it would be that they lack the athleticism and style many vehicle shoppers are after. Generally easy to spot, most hybrid vehicle options feature lackluster designs where the majority of innovation gets placed into powertrain configurations. Going against the hybrid grain, the 2014 Honda CR-Z at Matt Castrucci Honda takes a completely different approach on what a hybrid should look and drive like.

“Packaged tightly into a sleek hatchback design, the 2014 Honda CR-Z features a surprisingly aggressive look for a vehicle that competes in the hybrid segment. Thanks to a sport-inspired front end design, aggressively molded side panels and a distinct rear end, the CR-Z looks more like a performance vehicle pieced together with aftermarket parts than one concealing a hybrid engine.

“Honda doesn’t just stop with changing the appearance of its CR-Z to become more athletic. An extra emphasis on its driving characteristics are also taken into consideration. Producing a more thrilling ride for its drivers, the CR-Z uses the combination of a gas-powered and electric motor to give it unheard of hybrid performance.

“The CR-Z produces a lively 130 horsepower and 140 pound feet of torque (with a six-speed manual transmission) that is controlled with Honda’s perfected science of the responsive drive-by-throttle steering system.  In addition to the responsive steering of the CR-Z, a firmer suspension has also been placed into the CR-Z to give it a driving feel unlike any other vehicle in its class.”

2014 Honda Fit Better Value Than Nissan Versa-Note

We see a lot of comparisons including the Honda Accord and Civic because they are two of Hondas most popular vehicles. So this article comparing the 2014 Honda Fit and Nissan Versa-Note definitely caught our attention.

Especially because the 2014 Honda Fit was declared the better value by Torquenews.com.

“In closing, you get what you pay for. While both makes offer great value for the dollar spent, we believe that the Honda will hold up better for the long term while providing a more pleasurable driving, ownership experience. By the time we factor in initial purchase price, overall quality of product, standard features and performance, the Honda Fit wins this very close small hatchback sector comparison.”

The article complains of lame performance and uninspired interior in the Nissan Versa. By comparison, “The interior of the Fit Sport as comparably priced to an optional feature loaded Versa-Note is superior as to aesthetics, ergonomic placement and standard creature comforts.”

Yes, the Honda Fit starts at $1,500 more than the Nissan Versa-Note, but we all know there’s a difference between “affordable” and “cheap;” the Nissan Versa-Note may have given up enough things in an effort to make it affordable that it might have crossed over into cheap.

“The 2014 Honda Fit is a great hatchback,” said Tod McLaughlin of Apple Valley Honda in Wenatchee. “Starting at just around $15,400, the Honda Fit is certainly affordable but is still a high-quality, Honda-quality vehicle.”

Stop by Apple Valley Honda, Northwest Honda, or Sims Honda dealership to take the 2014 Honda Fit for a test drive and find out exactly what makes it a better value than the Nissan Versa-Note.

Kicking Tires’ Honda Civic Gets a Ding

I wrote about the three accidents my family has been in over the past few months, so it was nice to see this article and know that we aren’t the only ones who have bad things happen to their Hondas.

This incident wasn’t exactly the same since the Honda Civic was the victim of a two car accident that overflowed on to the parking spot where the Civic was resting, but damage was done as you can see in the pictures featured in the article here.

We also thought it was timely considering all of the icy, snowy weather much of the Eastern United States is getting. No doubt there will be a few fender benders during this time. The great news for all those Honda drivers is that Hondas are so well designed that they absorb as much as the impact as possible so you do not (I speak from personal experience). Our situation was similar to this one where the damage didn’t LOOK real bad until the repair experts got in there and saw how much impact the car had taken under the surface…specifically designed that way to keep occupants safe.

“Accidents happen,” said Keith Hofkamp, general manager of Sims Honda dealership in Burlington. “It might be your fault, it might not be. But in a Honda you can have confidence that your are driving some of the safest cars are on the road.”

Stop by Sims Honda, Northwest Honda, or Apple Valley Honda to test drive some of the safest cars on the road!

 

Honda Dealership in New Jersey is First in Nation to Achieve “Electric Grid Neutral” Status

Of the approximately 17,500 automobile dealers in the United States, Rossi Honda of Vineland, New Jersey is the nation’s first and only dealer to achieve “Electric Grid Neutral” status, producing as much as or more energy from renewable energy sources than it consumes from its local electric utility over a one-year period.[1] Working closely with Honda’s Environmental Leadership Program team, the independently-owned dealership was able to quantify its energy use and develop and execute a plan to make it the nation’s first electric grid neutral dealer, a significant achievement for a type of business that has large energy needs.

Watch a video about it here: http://youtu.be/5NyUf_Kn6Pg

Electric Grid Neutral buildings reduce CO2 emissions resulting from the generation of electricity by the nation’s electric grid. CO2 (carbon dioxide) is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change.

Rossi’s precedent-setting achievement earned it a top-level “Platinum” Honda Environmental Leadership Award, reserved for dealers who verifiably reduce their net grid electricity use to zero (Electric Grid Neutral) or achieve LEED[2] certification. Through a combination of energy efficiency measures and on-site solar energy, the dealership reduced its annual grid electricity consumption by approximately 321,000 kWh and annual CO2 output by approximately 341,000 lbs.

How Rossi Honda Did It
In 2012, Rossi installed a 223kW solar PV system that generated 90 percent of its total electricity consumption from solar energy. In March 2013 Rossi replaced the metal halide lamps on its parking lot light poles with LED lamps, reducing its energy consumption by 22 percent. After the lighting upgrade, the solar PV system now generates over 100% of the dealership’s annual electricity use, achieving Rossi’s goal of Electric Grid Neutral.

The local electric utility invoices Rossi Honda the difference between its electricity consumed and electricity generated by the dealer’s photovoltaic solar system. Ron Rossi, the dealership’s owner, saw a steep decrease in the electricity he consumed from the utility, and a corresponding steep decrease on his utility bills.

The Challenge of “Greening” Auto Dealers
Automobile dealers have unique energy use characteristics that are different from other typical commercial or industrial energy users. Abundant parking lot and interior lighting, an auto service and repair operation, and an on-site car wash are all common features that can contribute to high energy demand.

Honda, which launched its U.S. “Green Dealer” program in 2012, has developed a measurable and verifiable system to help its dealers achieve significant reductions in energy use and cut their CO2 emissions. The voluntary program has three successive target levels – Silver, Gold and Platinum – that allow dealers to develop incremental improvement strategies.

To achieve the entry-level Silver award, dealers must achieve a 10 percent minimum reduction in total energy use. The Gold level award requires dealers to reduce their energy use by 30 percent or more. To date, 200 dealers have enrolled in the program, and 28 have earned an award.

Rossi is the first Electric Grid Neutral Honda dealer in the country and the fourth to earn the highest level Platinum Environmental Leadership Award from Honda.

Honda Environmental Leadership
Over the past three decades, Honda has been working to reduce the environmental impact of its products, manufacturing and logistics operations, and facilities in North America. These initiatives are reported annually in the company’s North American Environmental Report. Expanding its environmental initiatives to its dealer body is the logical next step in the company’s effort to reduce waste, energy use and CO2 emissions across the full spectrum of its operations and throughout the lifecycle of Honda and Acura products, including at the point of sale.

In 2006, Honda became the first automaker to announce voluntary CO2 emissions reduction targets for its global fleet of automobile, power sports and power equipment products and its global network of manufacturing plants. Today, the company is striving for even greater reductions in CO2 emissions that contribute to global climate change, while also working to minimize waste, water use and the total environmental footprint of its operations worldwide.

Executive Quotes
“Rossi Honda has pioneered a new era for automobile dealers in which they too can be environmental leaders,” said Steven Center, vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., in charge of the company’s Environmental Business Development Office. “By virtually eliminating CO2 from the consumption of electricity and saving money in the process, Rossi has created a path that other dealers can follow.”

“By becoming the first Electric Grid Neutral dealer in the nation, we want to demonstrate that even automobile dealers, which are big energy consumers, can take a leadership role in being environmentally responsible businesses, and save money at the same time,” said Ron Rossi, owner of Rossi Honda. “We encourage all dealers to join us in this effort.”

Honda Earth Dreams Technology™ Two-Motor Hybrid System Named to Green Car Journal’s Top 10 Green Car Technology List for 2014

Official Press Release from Honda:
  • Two-motor hybrid system that debuted in Honda Accord lineup delivers both class-leading fuel efficiency and excellent performance
  • Powertrain featured on Honda’s most fuel efficient gasoline-powered models, the 115 MPGe Accord Plug-In and 50 mpg Accord Hybrid

Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology™ two-motor hybrid system that helped the 2014 Accord Hybrid earn an EPA-rated fuel economy of 50 mpg city has been named to Green Car Journal’s Top 10 Green Car Technology List for 2014. Part of an expanding lineup of Honda Earth Dreams Technology powertrains, the innovative two-motor hybrid system generates class-leading fuel efficiency without compromising performance.

“Honda’s hybrid technology has progressed substantially since the introduction of the Insight in 1999,” said Art St. Cyr, vice president of Product Planning and Logistics at American Honda. “Today, the Honda two-motor hybrid system that powers the Accord Plug-In and Accord Hybrid is the direct result of our commitment to create advanced vehicle technologies that offer top-of-class fuel economy ratings with a fun-to-drive character.”

The Two-Motor Hybrid System, available on the EPA-rated 50 mpg Accord Hybrid1 and the EPA-rated 115 MPGe Accord Plug-in Hybrid1, seamlessly blends electric-only, hybrid and engine drive modes along with powerful regenerative braking to provide responsive and efficient performance in a wide range of driving situations. As the powertrain shifts seamlessly among the three driving modes, the system utilizes power from the i-VTEC® 4-cylinder engine and the electric motor to suit the driving conditions moment to moment.

The Green Car Technology™ awards honor important enabling technology helping to create a new generation of fuel-efficient, alternative-fuel, or low-emission vehicles. Technologies considered for the award range from advanced powerplants and drivetrain components to on-board systems that work toward increasing efficiencies, reducing petroleum use or improving environmental impact. Qualifying technologies must be in use by vehicle models currently on the market today.

“Honda’s two-motor plug-in hybrid technology proves that high efficiency can go hand-in-hand with driving enjoyment,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of the Green Car Journal and CarsOfChange.com. “Building on the strengths and outstanding efficiency of the two-motor Accord Hybrid, Honda’s Accord Plug-In adds the important flexibility of driving on hybrid, gasoline, or plug-in battery power as conditions and needs warrant.”

Honda Environmental Leadership
In addition to the Earth Dreams Technology powertrain suite, Honda is committed to further advancements in fuel efficiency, with a focus on the broad application of technologies such as Eco Assist™, VTEC™ and Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™). Honda has also led the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) rankings of overall vehicle environmental performance since 2000, and a Honda vehicle has topped the list of America’s greenest vehicles from the America Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for 15 consecutive years.

150 city/45 highway/47 combined mpg rating for Accord Hybrid. 115 combined miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) electric rating; 47 city/46 highway/46 combined MPG gasoline only rating for Accord PHEV. Ratings determined by EPA. Use for comparison purposes only. Your MPGe/MPG will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery-package/condition, and other factors.

Honda Projects Record Year with 6% Gain in U.S. Sales

Always aiming for bigger and better things, Honda is aiming to make 2014 its best year ever by increasing sales by 6%.

“We definitely think that’s doable,” said Tony Carter of Northwest Honda in Bellingham. “Honda vehicles are only getting better in sales, especially with vehicles like that new Honda Accord and upcoming, redesigned 2015 Honda Fit. The new Fit will will really affect sales because people are really going to respond to the new design.”

Erik Nelson, chairman of the brand’s dealer advisory board, said Honda has been helping dealers’ back shops with Express Service “tools, training and teams” that can improve throughput for oil changes and minor services.

“2014 will be a really great year for Honda,” Carter said. “I think it will be really exciting as people continue to buy the impressive Accord, award-winning CR-V, and updated Fit. And all the other Hondas that just keep getting better every year.”

Stop by Northwest Honda, Sims Honda, and Apple Valley Honda to find out why Honda will have a record-breaking year this year!

Honda Exports Many Cars from U.S.

Some people still think of Honda as a foreign car.

The number of people who feel Honda is foreign, though, is drastically shrinking. The fact is, long gone are the days when the U.S. imported 100% of Honda vehicles.

Honda actually exports more vehicles from the U.S. than it imports. According to this article, “The automaker exported 108,705 vehicles last year and imported 88,537. ”

Those cars that are exported now serve Honda drivers in 40 countries.

“Achieving net exporter status is a natural result of our commitment and investment in the U.S. and North America,” Tetsuo Iwamura, president and CEO of Honda North America, said in a statement. “The achievement of this tremendous milestone is a result of the efforts of the tens of thousands of associates in America who develop and produce our vehicles and those who manage the export of these products to customers in global markets.”

Honda knows the importance of the American market and benefits of building vehicles on U.S. soil, so they have continually invested more money into building vehicles here and creating more jobs.

“Honda is definitely becoming more of an American brand,” said Tod McLaughlin of Apple Valley Honda in Wenatchee. “They are building and exporting more cars than we are importing. Not only that, but a lot of important design and research happens on U.S. soil.”

We love Honda and we love American made Hondas :)

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