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Honda, Acura to Make Major Debuts in Detroit

2015 Honda Fit, new Acura TLX on tap – and Civic Type R could follow.

by on Dec.19, 2013

A teaser image of the 2015 Honda Fit.

Honda and its upscale Acura division will make at least two significant bits of news during the North American International Auto Show next month.

On the Honda side, the maker will introduce its completely redesigned Fit subcompact, while Acura will pull the wraps off an all-new sedan, the TLX. There may be a few surprises in store, as well, a senior Honda official all but confirming that the maker is getting ready to announce plans to bring the Civic Type R to the U.S. market.

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The new 2015 Honda Fit will be larger yet lighter, more powerful, more fuel-efficient – and boast a more flexible interior than the outgoing hatchback, according to Mike Accavitti, the maker’s senior vice president for U.S. automotive operations.  It will, he explained during a Detroit background session, be “perfect for the next generation of buyers who don’t want to sacrifice space, performance or features.”

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Honda Will Build Accord Hybrid in U.S.

Marysville, OH plant to add 50 jobs, 95,000 square-feet.

by on Jan.10, 2013

Honda will offer both a conventional hybrid and this plug-in version of its latest Accord sedan.

Honda’s oldest U.S. assembly plant will take on production of the maker’s newest gas-electric model when the Accord Hybrid goes into production in Marysville, Ohio later this year.

The move comes as part of a major shift in strategy by Honda, which like its Japanese rivals has traditionally retained production of its most technologically advanced models for its home island plants.  The Accord Hybrid Sedan will become the third of Honda’s latest gas-electric vehicles to go into production in North America, following the Civic Hybrid and Acura ILX Hybrid models.

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Honda will spend $23 million to upgrade the Marysville plant and add an estimated 50 new “associates” to handle the new model. The factory will add a new 95,000 square-foot facility specifically for the Accord Hybrid.

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Honda, Lincoln to Unveil Downsized Crossovers at Detroit Auto Show

Compact CUVs among the market’s fastest-growing niches.

by on Dec.11, 2012

Honda's Urban SUV Concept will reappear after a new assembly plant opens in Mexico.

Honda plans to unveil the Urban SUV Concept at next month’s Detroit Auto Show, a crossover that will be based on the Japanese maker’s subcompact Fit model.The North American International Auto Show, as it’s formally known, will be awash with downsized crossover-utility vehicles – including the long-rumored Lincoln MKC which will share some of its basic underpinnings with the small Ford Escape, albeit trimmed out for the luxury market.

Small cars, in general, are rapidly gaining ground as fuel prices nudge ever upward. According to Ford Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields, B- and C- segment models have jumped from 13% of the overall U.S. market to 20% since 2005. And the trend is expected to continue at an even faster pace.

 

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Nowhere is that expected to be more apparent than in the compact and subcompact crossover niches. Manufacturers are rapidly adding ever-smaller crossovers such as the Buick Encore and BMW X1, both in mainstream and upscale market segments.

Honda is offering little detail other than to describe the Urban SUV as “a global concept model combining a sporty and dynamic SUV profile with a spacious, functional interior.”

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First Look: Honda Accord Coupe Concept

by on Jan.11, 2012

Honda reveals a Coupe Concept for its ninth-generation Accord line.

“To say last year was an incredible challenge would be a gross understatement,” suggested John Mendel, the chief U.S. executive with American Honda, as he opened up the maker’s Detroit Auto Show news conference.

The maker suffered a double-digit decline in U.S. sales, largely as a result of production shortages following the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami of March 11 – but it also had problems with some of its new product launches, the 2012 Honda Civic, for one, taking serious criticism.  So, the upcoming launch of that long-time midsize market mainstay, the Honda Civic, will be a critical step in the maker’s efforts to turn things around.

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Honda is offering a glimpse of what’s to come in the form of the new Accord Coupe Concept making its debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show.  A production version of the 2-door will be unveiled at an upcoming auto show, with both the ninth-generation Honda Accord Coupe and Accord Sedan set to join the maker’s line-up for 2013.

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Honda Will Reveal New Accord Coupe in Detroit

Maker hopes for a solid reception for critical midsize line.

by on Dec.12, 2011

Honda is holding back on the images before the next Accord Coupe Concept's Detroit debut.

Honda has been making plenty of news in recent days, from the announcement that it will launch of advanced new hybrid and conventional gasoline engines to this morning’s revelation that an all-new version of the long-awaited Acura NSX is in the works – the latter part of a major facelift for Honda’s luxury brand.

Now comes word that a concept version of the next-generation Honda Accord will be taking its bows at next month’s Detroit Auto Show.

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Unfortunately, the Japanese maker has decided to hold back on advanced images, nary a teaser of the NSX or Accord accompanying today’s tempting announcements. But, if tradition holds, what we will see at Detroit’s Cobo Center, in barely four weeks, will be darned close to the production version of the 2013 Honda Accord.

Indeed, a terse release from Honda suggests the prototype will “reveal the styling direction” of the new midsize line-up, which will feature a “dynamic and aggressive profile.”

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First Look: 2012 Honda Civic Concept

All-new model set for January debut at Detroit Auto Show.

by on Dec.13, 2010

Set for debut at the Detroit Auto Show, the 2012 Honda Civic Concept.

Honda has confessed to an open secret: a much-awaited new version of the popular Civic model will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show, next month, and this official rendering offers a hint of what’s to come.

The image of the ninth-generation Civic, one of two foundational vehicles for Honda, will appear in the line-up for the 2012 model-year, and not a moment too soon.  The compact passenger car segment is facing more competition than it has seen in years, with a variety of new offerings from the U.S. and South Korea aiming to topple the established order.

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Though they remain the segment’s best-sellers, the current, gen-eight Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla are more vulnerable than they have been in years, industry analysts warn, but the launch of an all-new Civic should help Honda hold onto its segment – at least if it hits the mark.  Toyota has taken significant heat for the current Corolla, which suffered from both cost-cutting and differences of opinion between the company’s U.S. and Japanese managers.

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