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Will Honda Fit Outsell the Civic?

The people at Torque.com believe that the 2015 Honda Fit will play a big roll in the Fit eventually outselling America’s sweetheart, the Honda Civic.

Apparently, the writers got some major blowback from Honda Civic fans who wouldn’t dream of the Civic falling to any vehicle, including the Honda Fit. But Torque.com has published a response HERE about why it believes the Honda Fit is the vehicle for Generation Y-ers…and we kind of agree.

Basically, they argue that the once really inexpensive, young Civic has now matured into a more expensive, bigger, family ride whereas the Honda Fit is a cool, young design specifically for this young generation.

We think it makes sense. Vehicles, even after many redesigns, eventually age or are seen as “older” person vehicles. The Honda Civic has been an American favorite for a long time…a long time. Perhaps is time for Honda to a new vehicle for young buyers that isn’t the Honda Civic.

What do you think? Will the Honda Fit become the car of choice for young Honda buyers?

Aerospace Engineer is Who Makes a Honda

Honda today unveiled the newest associate profile in its 12-part What Makes a Honda is Who Makes a Honda video series. Annie Boh is an aerospace engineer focused on vehicle aero acoustics at Honda R&D Americas (HRA).

An 11-year Honda veteran, Boh oversees wind noise marketability throughout a product’s development. From concept to mass production model, the vehicle’s aerodynamics are evaluated by Boh and her team using computer aided testing and full scale wind tunnel testing. By understanding how the air outside the vehicle impacts the noise inside, Boh develops modifications that help lead to the quiet, smooth ride of Honda and Acura products.

“We have the opportunity to impact the lives of so many people through the power of engineering and design,” said Boh. “To help develop a product used everyday that adds efficiency, functionality and safety to a person’s life is a responsibility the Honda team and I take very seriously.”

In addition to her work at Honda, Boh is a guardian ad litem for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). As a CASA volunteer, Boh serves as a voice in the court system for children who have been the victims of severe abuse or neglect. By getting to know both the children and the adults in their lives, she can make recommendations on what is best for the children long term.

“CASA helps foster the human spirit in a child. A little bit of empowerment – just knowing a child has a choice in life – goes such a long way,” said Boh. “And statistically, this program works. As an engineer, that is very important to me.”

The What Makes a Honda is Who Makes a Honda video series focuses on Honda’s commitment to innovation, inclusion, a youthful spirit and respect for the individual – core tenets of Honda’s approach to business that work equally well in the community. In addition, the videos spotlight the diverse career opportunities that exist within Honda, while also showcasing inspiring ways these associates engage in their communities.

The What Makes a Honda is Who Makes a Honda series will run on Honda’s YouTube channel athttp://www.youtube.com/Honda.

Honda Commits to the Expansion of Hybrid Vehicle Offerings in the U.S.

  • Honda product strategy includes advancement of Earth Dreams™ Technology powertrains, including innovative two-motor hybrid system
  • Strategy will include changes to existing lineup of environmental vehicles

Honda is reinforcing its commitment to a clear product strategy focused on further advancing fuel-efficient and alternative-fuel vehicle technologies that are better aligned with customer needs and that strengthen the company’s U.S. sales momentum.

Keyed to the continued rollout of a new lineup of Earth Dreams™ Technology engines, transmissions and electro-motive technologies, the strategy will be executed over the next three to four years and will include changes to the Honda lineup of advanced technology environmental vehicles, including the Honda Insight. The U.S. model Insight will be available at Honda dealerships nationwide through the end of the year, with production scheduled to end in summer 2014.

Honda’s hybrid product direction in the U.S. will move forward with greater focus on expanded application of the innovative two-motor hybrid system. The two-motor system was introduced on the 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid and powers the EPA-rated 50 mpg city Accord Hybrid, which is the most fuel-efficient rating for a 5-passenger sedan in America.

“No manufacturer has more experience with electromotive technologies than Honda and we are committed to applying our expertise to a wide range of products in the coming years,” said Michael Accavitti, senior vice president of auto operations at American Honda. “Our hybrid vehicle strategy will focus on new models aimed at delivering the class-leading fuel economy and performance our customers’ desire in segments that represent significant growth opportunities.”

The second generation Insight is the most affordable mass-produced hybrid vehicle on the market with a MSRP starting at $18,7251, and an EPA fuel economy ratings of 41/44/42 city/highway/combined2. It was introduced in the spring of 2009 and offered a unique blend of fuel-efficient hybrid performance, 5-door hatchback practicality, top safety ratings and a host of user-friendly features, including the first application of the Honda-exclusive ECO Assist™, a sophisticated feedback system that uses an adaptive color display to indicate overall driving efficiency. Long recognized as an affordable and practical hybrid vehicle choice for customers, the Insight was named a ‘Greenest Vehicle’ by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for four consecutive years and a ‘Top Choice’ by Edmunds.com.

Honda Expands Airbag Recall, Does Not Include Washington State

Honda is expanding a recall on airbags manufactured by Takata Corporation that may explode on impact causing injury. Last month Honda and other auto manufacturers who use Takata airbags issued a recall.

This expansion includes vehicles sold in California and brings the total number of vehicles recalled to two million. That number could rise to three million as Honda puts forth every effort to make sure its customers are safe.

“It seems like humidity has something to do with the faulty airbags, so while the recall hasn’t affected us here in Washington State yet, we thought it was important to make people aware that has been reported as an issue in other places in case they have an issue,” said Tony Carter, general manager of Northwest Honda in Bellingham. “Of course, if anyone has any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.”

According to this article, “The vehicles affected by the recall are the 4-cylinder-engine-equipped 2001-7 Honda Accord; the 2001-2 Honda Accord V6; the 2001-5 Honda Civic; the 2002-6 Honda CR-V; the 2003-11 Honda Element; the 2002-4 Honda Odyssey; the 2003-7 Honda Pilot; the 2006 Honda Ridgeline; the 2003-6 Acura MDX; and the 2002-3 Acura TL and CL.”

 

Honda Odyssey is Worth the “Extra Costs”

The new Honda Odyssey comes with a TON of really great features. Of course, we love them all and think the Honda Odyssey is worth every penny. But you might call us biased, so that’s why we’re linking you to this article at Boston.com where someone asked this same question: is it worth it?

Bottom line? Yes. Absolutely yes.

In the brief affirmative response, the writer pointed out these aspects that make the Honda Odyssey of highest value of all minivans:

  • Gas mileage
  • Flexible seating arrangements
  • The built-in vacuum
  • Honda vehicle’s reputation for keeping their value

We would also add items like safety, reliability, and the available technological features that come with the Honda Odyssey that simply make it the best value minivan on the market!

“If you are looking for a great minivan, look no further than the Honda Odyssey” said Tod McLaughlin, general manager at Apple Valley Honda in Wenatchee. “This new model has everything you could want: versatility, safety, space, function, technology, and even a built in vacuum. Everyone who has driven one and owns one loves it.”

Stop by Apple Valley Honda, Northwest Honda, or Sims Honda dealership to take the new Honda Odyssey for a test drive!

Honda “Un-Targets” Young Hispanic Consumers

We love the marketing geniuses that work with Honda. Why? Well, lots of reasons, but the latest reason is this commercial that pokes fun of classic efforts to target young Hispanic consumers.

We have all seen the sometimes over-the-top and embarrassing efforts of companies to target their advertisements at young Hispanics. Why is it over the top?

“Latino millennials are much more than what we make of them. They are a versatile bunch. They ping-pong between cultures, languages, interests and behaviors. That’s why it’s funny when you hear others trying to fit them into their box of clichés,” Andrew Orcí, president of Orci agency that created a new 2015 Honda Fit commercial mocking these cliches .

“Felipe Esparza, as our ‘Latino expert,’ is the perfect voice to make fun of this situation. Why? Because not even a Latino can define a Latino. They simply defy all expectations.”

Young Hispanic consumers are “pretty much like everybody else” so we really enjoyed this commercial making fun of the cliches with comedian Felipe Esparza.

Check out the commercial HERE.

Support for Small Business Suppliers is a Tide that Lifts all Boats

This is a great brief article that explains how American Honda vehicles sold in the United States are. Not only are they made in America, which supports local workers and economies, but Honda strives to support smaller, local businesses to increase that impact. This is an article from the perspective of the VP of Honda North America.

Our Perspectives
Rick Schostek, Executive Vice President, Honda North America, Inc.

When the White House asked Honda to sign a pledge in support of suppliers that are small businesses, there was never a moment of hesitation, because the goal of supporting small business is vital to the success of Honda in America.

It is a little known fact that Honda was established in America in 1959 with less than $125,000 in working capital.  With $100,000 of that going to purchase a very small building in Los Angeles, we actually had to borrow money to buy a truck to deliver our motorcycles to dealers.  We have never lost sight of the challenges of doing business as a small company.

Today, the small businesses that provide us with parts for our automobile, powersports, power equipment and aircraft production in America, and that provide services ranging from security to landscaping, are integral to Honda’s U.S. sales, manufacturing and R&D operations, and we have a long and deep commitment to hands-on collaboration.

At the core of Honda’s approach is our desire to establish long-term relationships with suppliers, based on trust and mutual benefit, and with a commitment to diversity.

So it was that on July 11, one of our suppliers, Billy Vickers, the president and chief executive officer of Modular Assemblies Innovations (MAI), of Dublin, Ohio, joined me in attending a roundtable discussion with President Obama at the White House.  During the discussion Honda signed a pledge to assist small business suppliers by reducing capital needs and providing insight into best practices.

We recognize that small business suppliers work on tight budgets with capital as a premium.  These constraints can stifle growth, innovation and efficiency.  Additionally, while smaller suppliers may have opportunities to improve their efficiency, they often lack the resources and expertise, which can put them at risk of falling behind their big business competition.

As Honda has expanded its manufacturing operations, we often work with existing, smaller companies to expand their business to serve our needs.  For instance, Billy Vickers’s company, MAI, has grown in Ohio, Alabama and Indiana, along with the growth of Honda operations in these states, and now employs more than 250 associates.

One of the ways in which Honda has supported a minority-owned business such as MAI is by providing adjusted payment terms, reducing MAI’s upfront costs by assisting with the purchase of costly components and giving the company the cash flow it needs to operate and expand its business.

We also provided on-site process engineering assistance at MAI to collaborate on best practices to help MAI improve its efficiency and quality in the company’s manufacturing processes. Because of this teamwork, MAI has been able to grow its business and venture into new areas. All of these approaches are aligned with the White House pledge.

We will continue to pursue and expand these types of efforts to help our small suppliers grow and invest in the United States.  The needs of each small business are different, but we understand reducing capital needs means the ability to expand, and learning from others is often the best way to improve efficiency.

Honda is no longer a small business. In 2013 alone, Honda purchased more than $23 billion in parts and materials from more than 530 suppliers across the country – that was a new record for our company. Further, Honda purchased another $10 billion in a wide variety of equipment, products and services from more than 5,000 MRO suppliers (Maintenance, Repair and Operational).

But we still operate with the spirit of a young and small business – and we are pledged to support other companies that are now in that position.  It is a great “win-win-win” formula for the supplier, for Honda and for the U.S. economy as a whole.

Honda’s Award-Winning Environmental Short Film Series Takes Home Two 2014 Telly Trophies

Both short films are less than 3 minutes long and linked near the bottom of the article; we definitely recommend you take 5 minutes to watch them both and be prepared to be impressed by the ingenuity and innovation of Honda employees as they work hard to protect our environment.

Honda’s Environmental Short Film Series has received national recognition for the second consecutive year. “Never Ending Race,” a film that captures Honda’s pioneering efforts to dramatically reduce vehicle emissions over four decades, has received 2014 Telly Awards in two online video categories: Green/Eco-Friendly and Social Responsibility. The Telly Awards was founded in 1979 and is the premier award honoring outstanding video and film productions. With nearly 12,000 entries from five continents, this year’s competition was one of the most sought-after in history.

Honda’s Environmental Short Film Series highlights remarkable initiatives – dreamed up and developed by Honda associates – that fulfill the company’s vision for reducing its environmental impact and creating a sustainable future. “Never Ending Race,” the third film in the series, tells the story of Honda’s industry-leading efforts to reduce vehicle emissions, and how its technology leadership led to more stringent exhaust emissions standards. Today, as a result, smog-forming emissions from new vehicles are one one-thousandth of 1970 levels.1 The video has garnered more than 130,000 views online since its release.

“Our greatest challenge in creating “Never Ending Race” was to successfully capture in just four minutes a story that unfolded over four decades,” said Marcos Frommer of Honda North America, Inc., one of the producers of the film series. “In accepting this award, Honda thanks its associates – past and present – who have worked to reduce vehicle tailpipe emissions with the same competitive spirit and vigor that defines our racing spirit.”

The Honda Environmental Short Film Series, featured on Honda’s YouTube Channel, was launched in August 2012 with the film, “Paint by Numbers,” which told the story of Honda engineer Shubho Bhattacharya who, inspired by his belief that global climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing mankind today, developed technology to reduce energy use in the auto body-painting process at Honda manufacturing plants in North America. The second film, “Every Drop Counts,” released in October 2012, tells the story of how a retired plant engineer’s sketch inspires a team of associates to generate clean, renewable energy using a simple but ingenious device. “Paint by Numbers” was awarded two 2013 Telly Awards.

Select Honda Pre-Owned Vehicles Recognized as Safer Choices for Teen Drivers by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

  • Certain model year Honda Accord, CR-V, Element, Odyssey and Pilot vehicles rated as some of the best pre-owned vehicles for teen driver safety
  • Honda is the most durable, longest lasting brand in its class1

Several model years of Honda pre-owned vehicles have been recognized by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) as part of its first-ever list of safer used vehicles for teen drivers. Research conducted by IIHS found that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers, and suggests that the type of vehicle driven has a big effect on the degree of risk. Further IIHS research showed many teens drive used vehicles lacking important safety technology, and, as a result, a list was compiled to help guide parents in making safer choices.

Honda pre-owned vehicles earning this first recognition from IIHS as among the best, safer choices for teen drivers under $20,0002 include the Honda Accord Sedan (2012 and later), Accord Coupe (2013-14), CR-V (2012 and later), Element (2007 and later) and Honda Odyssey (2011 and later). Additionally, the Honda Pilot (2006 and later) and the Honda Odyssey (2005-10) were included on the list of good choices for teen drivers under $10,0002.

“Enhancing the safety of our customers and the quality of our products is a top priority for Honda,” said Art St. Cyr, vice president of product planning and logistics at American Honda. “Our long-term commitment to enhancing safety and durability makes Honda an ideal choice when shopping for safe, reliable transportation, new or pre-owned, for all drivers including teens.”

For added piece of mind, customers choosing a Certified Pre-Owned Honda (http://www.certified.honda.com) vehicle on this list from one of our authorized Honda dealerships, an extensive limited warranty is included. According to IHS Automotive vehicle registration statistics, Honda is the most durable, longest lasting brand in its class1.

Vehicles considered “best choices” for under $20,0002 have good ratings for side crash protection, good head restraints and seats for rear crash protection, and good roof strength to protect occupants in rollover crashes. Vehicles considered “good choices” for under $10,0002 have good or acceptable side crash protection and head restraints rated better than poor. If rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the vehicles earn a 4 or 5 Star Overall Vehicle Score, for model years 2011 and later, or 4 or 5 Stars in the front and side crash safety tests for earlier models tested under NHTSA’s old rating system.

All Honda vehicles on the list come equipped with standard Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control (what IIHS calls Electronic Stability Control or ESC) and provide good protection in moderate overlap front crash tests. According to IIHS, systems like Honda’s VSA® reduce fatal single-vehicle crash risk by about half and fatal multiple-vehicle crash risk by one-fifth (see Status Report, June 19, 2010, at iihs.org).

Honda Safety Leadership
Honda has a long history of leadership in the development and application of advanced technologies and designs meant to enhance the safety of all road users, including automobile occupants, motorcycle riders, and pedestrians. The company operates two of the world’s most sophisticated crash test facilities in the U.S. and Japan, and is responsible for numerous pioneering efforts in the areas of crashworthiness, airbag technology, collision compatibility and pedestrian safety. American Honda leads the industry for 2014 in third party crash test ratings with more models rated TOP SAFETY PICK and TOP SAFETY PICK+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) than any other manufacturer.

IIHS Best Used Car Choices for Teens Under $20,000: IIHS Good Used Car Choices for Teens Under $10,000:
Honda Accord Sedan (2012 and later) Honda Pilot (2006 and later)
Honda Accord Coupe (2013-14) Honda Odyssey (2005-10)
Honda CR-V (2012 and later)
Honda Element (2007 and later)
Honda Odyssey (2011 and later)

 

# # #

1 Durability based on longevity. Longevity based on IHS Automotive: Polk U.S. vehicles in operation vs. new vehicle registrations for 1988-2013 for Honda and competing non-luxury brands.
2 Based on IIHS pricing research among all used vehicles. Prices will vary and may be higher for certified pre-owned vehicles, which offer multiple benefits, including limited warranty coverage.

HPD Announces Collegiate SAE Program

  • Student SAE programs now eligible to join the Honda Racing Line
  • Includes Formula SAE, Baja SAE and other SAE university programs
  • Provides access to Honda Racing Line products and services

Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) collegiate-level programs will now be able to join the Honda Racing Line, giving them access to products and services offered by Honda Performance Development.

Universities operating SAE-affiliated programs, such as Formula SAE and Baja SAE can now apply for membership in theHonda Racing Line, gaining direct access to HPD-developed racing products, original equipment replacement parts and support specifically tailored to the motorsports competitor.

“We are delighted to be offering memberships in the Honda Racing Line to universities involved with collegiate-level SAE programs,” said Jeff Barrow, HPD Manager of Commercial Motorsports.

“Both HPD and our parent company, American Honda, have long been associated with the SAE and the organization’s student competitions. Many current HPD associates participated in Formula SAE and similar programs during their university years,” Barrow added. “Now these programs will have access to our performance product lines as well as our talented technical support.”

To join the Honda Racing Line, a university SAE program administrator can contact HPD to obtain an HPD Collegiate SAE Program Racing Product Purchase Agreement. Once completed and returned to HPD, the university program will be assigned a membership number providing access to HPD products and services.

For more information on the HPD Collegiate SAE program, contact Jeff Barrow, Manager, Commercial Motorsports, Honda Performance Development, Tel. 661-702-7845 or e-mail jbarrow@hra.com.

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