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Tag: auto

2015 Honda Fit is “Faster, Smarter, and Thriftier”

We love this article that declares the 2015 Honda Fit as the secret star of the Detroit Auto Show. Surely, it wasn’t the biggest or flashiest vehicle there, but it definitely got people talking. Here’s how:

  • “In a remarkable achievement in packaging, the 2015 Fit is smaller on the outside but significantly larger on the inside. Offering the interior room of a compact-size car in a subcompact body will boost Honda’s fuel economy and give it a leg up in the mileage wars.
  • “The Fit represents a spirited return by Honda to its sporty small car roots with edgier styling, peppier powertrains, and greater functionality. It is the first tangible evidence that the Japanese manufacturer has shucked off its recession-driven, cheap-and-cheerful mindset and recaptured the energy that has made it the U.S.’s fourth bestselling brand.
  • “When Honda starts producing the Fit in North America later this year, it will nearly quadruple the supply of available vehicles, making Fit the spearhead of Honda’s drive to boost U.S. sales.”

Not only is it smaller (but bigger at the same time), it will also have an impressive fuel efficiency of 36 mpg combined (41 highway, 33 city).

The article goes on and on about how awesome the 2015 Honda Fit is; read the whole thing to find out exactly why we should all look forward to it arriving at Apple Valley Honda, Northwest Honda, and Sims Honda dealerships!

Honda Teases the Future at Tokyo Auto Show

The Tokyo Auto Show, as one might imagine, is one of the most prestigious auto shows in the world. Honda reserved the most floor space to unveil 18 production models and a few other concept cars. All are wow-worthy.

While there is much to review with the production models and the concept cars, including the much-buzzed-about NSX, we won’t review all of it, but we thought this quote summed up nicely the current vehicles Honda is producing and the vehicles yet-to-come: ““I would like our customers around the world to feel the strong spirit of Honda. Please keep your expectations high for these two sports models. Now, future cars cannot simply be fast and cool. They also must not show any compromise in the area of environmental concerns,” said Takanobu Ito, Honda Motor Co. Ltd. president, chief executive officer and representative director.”

And not just the sport models. Honda also had on display its insanely successful and popular (on all accounts) 2014 Honda Accord series (gasoline, hybrid, hybrid plug-in, etc.).

Certainly the astounding-looking NSX and S660 concept vehicles got lots of buzz, but another one that got a lot of attention was the urban SUV, Vezel (which will go by a different name when it hits the U.S.)

According this article, “Another must-see at the show is the world premiere of the N-WGN, the fourth model of the N Series of mini-vehicles, as well as the world premiere of the planned production model of the second-generation Global Compact Series, which is based on the Urban SUV Concept that was unveiled at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in January.

“We believe that this new model will serve as a basic car for the future of mini-vehicles, N-WGN. The N-WGN is a mini-vehicle that balances everything at a high level, including spaciousness, safety and driving performance that go beyond those of conventional mini-vehicles and far exceed customer expectations,” said Sho Minekawa, Honda Motor Co. Ltd. senior managing officer and chief operating officer for regional sales operations.”

Undoubtedly the Tokyo Auto show is stirring up a lot of excitement in Honda and about Honda. We just can’t wait!

Auto Defaults on the Rise, Auto Industry Still Stable

Experian Automotive released an industry analysis that showed year over year 60-day car delinquencies were up by .02 percent; the first increase since the Great Recession. But, there is no reason to panic just yet, according to Experian. The autoloan business is still healthy.

“When you take a step back and look at the market compared to where it was three years ago, we still have remarkable stability,” said Melinda Zabritski, director of automotive credit for Experian.

According to this article, “By comparison, three years ago, 30-day delinquencies rose to 3.06 percent in the second quarter of 2009 and 60-day delinquencies were 0.80 percent. Combined, they accounted for $25.5 billion in at-risk loans, according to Experian.”

While this information is certainly interesting, if not mildly concerning, I found it fascinating that neither Experian nor the writer of this article bothered to try to explain why car loan delinquencies were up in the fourth quarter. This information would have been much more useful if it included potential explanations and, also, an Experian’s reasons for not being concerned about the uptick in missed car payments.

I have no ideas as to why that is, do you?

The best part of this article was the writer’s suggestions for people if they are be 30 to 60 days delinquent on their auto payment. Here are his tips:
“1. If you fall behind in your car payment, do not hide from the finance company. Call them, and ask to speak to a loan counselor. If it’s a temporary problem, they will often give you a 30-day grace period. If it is a bigger problem, talk to them about the situation and see how you can avoid a black mark on your credit history.

2. See if you can refinance the car. Le’s say you are paying $300 a month on a vehicle that still has two or three years left on the loan. Check to see if you can refinance the car to lower your payments by extending the loan period a couple of years.

3. It sometimes happens that the car you are paying off is worth more than you owe. If that is the case, you should sell the car and see if you can replace it with something used until you are back on your feet. Most often, though, people owe more than the car is worth.

4. You might be able to get someone to take over the loan for you, but that will require transferring title and actually selling it. Talk to your lender about restrictions on such a transaction.

5. Why do you want to avoid default and repo at all costs? Two reasons. It messes up your credit rating, making all the borrowing you will do for some time more expensive. Also, after a repo, the finance company sells the car at auction, often for less than it’s worth. And you, the owner, will be on the hook for the balance, and with no car. That’s a terrible outcome.”

Auto Industry Has Best Year Since 2007

With credit more available and the economy slowly recovering, the U.S. auto industry sales rose 9 percent led by individuals and businesses who may have stayed out of the market for a couple years and now need to replace aging vehicles.

While this article focuses a lot on GM and Ford, the first paragraph of the article (and another paragraph near the end) mentions that this growth is led by foreign manufacturers, like Honda.

Of course growth in the automobile industry is welcomed by every automobile company, foreign or domestic, and the level of growth last year is definitely encouraging. However, we thought the most interesting part of this article was the discussion of how national politics and tax increases on midde-income families could affect the automobile industry.

Many industries, including the auto industry, were and are paying close attention to the debt ceiling talks and the fiscal cliff that was “largely averted” Jan. 1 of this year. The article points out that there was a payroll tax increase that took effect at the beginning of the year and the hostile national politics affecting the economy may keep people off the dealership lots.

The 2 percent tax increase will take about $1,000 from the average household budget, the article said, which is about the same as a down payment on a vehicle.

“It would have been nice if all the open questions had been resolved in the ‘fiscal cliff’ discussion over the holiday, but clearly they weren’t, and that does extend this period of uncertainty from a consumer point of view,” Jonathan Browning, head of Volkswagen AG’s American unit.

The auto industry is hoping that more available financing and an economy that’s recovering as a whole will be enough to compensate for uncertainty and higher taxes.

“The cheap financing and improved income will make up for that, but that’s something we’re going to have a keep an eye on,” Jesse Toprak of TrueCar.com said.

What do you think? Will $1,000 less out of your family’s budget and uncertainty about the economy (and the politics involved) affect your car buying this year?

 

Honda Kicks it into GEAR: Surprise Unveil at Montreal Auto Show

I didn’t even know there was a Montreal Auto Show and, apparently, that’s because it’s the same week as the Detroit Auto Show (the Montreal Auto Show should get a new events planner). So it’s no surprise that those in Montreal don’t expect many surprises because most of the concepts get unwrapped south of the border.

Well, Honda gave the Montreal a big surprise.

Honda unveiled its new concept car named the GEAR, sub-compact car built for Gen Y lifestyles: “simple and utilitarian, but also customizable, connected and full of personality.”

Dave Marek, Design Director at Honda R&D Americas explained: “Subcompact cars are usually either utilitarian, but uninspiring or they’re fun, zippy cars that are impractical and too expensive for the Gen-Y buyer. GEAR Concept tears down those walls – it’s practical but fun, customizable, connected and affordable. Everything that young, discerning urban buyers would want in a car.”

While cars that actually go into production tend to look a bit different than the concept car, we are excited to see what the Honda GEAR will look like on the outside and inside and what the engine specs will be.

Check out all the pictures HERE.

 

Honda Unveils its Urban SUV Concept at Detroit Auto Show: Video


Honda has teased us with peek-a-boo pictures of its Urban SUV Concept and, while we liked what we saw, we were really excited to see this short video by CNET showcasing the sleek looking compact SUV at the Detroit Auto Show recently.

See the video HERE.

As the video takes us through an abbreviated two minute tour of this silver bullet with LED lights, we were pleased to see the versatility of the inside of the vehicle. The Urban SUV will regularly be able to seat five, but the back seats fold down flat to provide a lot of storage space (perfect for transporting all those things that urbanites transport). In fact, the commentator drew a very fair comparison of the Urban SUV to the popular Honda Fit (“on steroids”) that has the same kind of versatility. However, the Urban SUV is quite bit taller than the Honda Fit, so you’ll be able to get even more urban stuff in there.

I was surprised to hear that Honda’s Urban SUV is nine inches shorter than the it’s older sibling in the compact SUV family, the Honda CR-V. I surely doesn’t look nine inches shorter and with the ability to seat five AND those fold-down seats, we’re betting it doesn’t feel nine inches shorter.

Expect to see Hondas Urban SUV in markets in 2014!

Honda’s Lineup for Tokyo Auto Show

Honda’s Lineup for Tokyo Auto Show

Modulo Climax

Honda revealed its lineup for the Tokyo Auto Salon will include a lot of speed, a lot of presentation, and, dare we say, a lot of pizzazz (including a vehicle covered in rhinestones. Too bad this article doesn’t include pictures of that one).

Honda will display another vehicle in its N-One series, the Modulo Style, which looks boxy, but fun to drive in the cities where space and parking are tight. The racing models Honda has included seem to reference its sporty past and cutting edge future.

Check out this article

at Carbuzz.com for pictures of some of the Hondas we can look forward to hearing and seeing more about!

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