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Posts Tagged ‘honda news’

Honda CEO Ousted Amidst Airbag Woes

New chief executive Hachigo facing serious challenges.

by on Feb.23, 2015

Honda CEO Takanobu Ito shakes hands withe successor, Takahiro Hachigo in Tokyo on Monday.

Honda’s ongoing airbag problem has claimed another victim. In this case, it’s President and CEO Takanobu Ito, who will step aside in April, at the end of the automaker’s fiscal year.

Honda has been forced to recall millions of vehicles around the world due to problems with faulty airbags supplied by close ally, the Japanese partsmaker Takata. But Honda has run into a number of other issues and earlier this month scaled back its earnings forecast for the rest of the year.

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Ito will be replaced by Takahiro Hachigo, currently Honda’s managing officer. During a 33-year career, Hachigo helped guide the maker’s business ventures in China, Europe and the U.S. Among other things, he led the development of the popular Honda Odyssey minivan built in one of the maker’s many American assembly plants.

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Honda Curbs Production in Face of Parts Shortages

Nissan, Toyota impacted less by dockworkers strike.

by on Feb.17, 2015

In Oregon, Local 12 Southport boat pickets: Local 12 members Leonard Nelson, John Huber, Bob Palmer & Steve Maine. Photo credit: ILWU.org

Due to a prolonged strike by dockworkers at ports on the West Coast, Honda is running short on parts it needs for plants in Ohio, Indiana and Canada. As a result, the Japanese maker is slowing down production rates at the plants in those places, the maker said.

“We are experiencing parts shortages at our auto operations in Ohio, Indiana and Canada that is impacting regular production,” Honda said in a statement.

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Operations have been curtailed at plants in Greensburg, Indiana; Allison, Ontario; and Marysville and East Liberty, Ohio. Since January, Honda has using a combination of air cargo and special truck shipments to obtain key parts. (more…)

Honda Follows Toyota’s Lead Cutting Global Sales Targets

Japanese maker plans to reduce complexity to improve quality.

by on Feb.16, 2015

Honda is taking a hard look at its quality issues, due in part to the Fit begin recalled five times.

Honda, which has been reeling due to a series of recalls in the U.S., scrapped its global sales target of 6 million units by the end of 2017 as it follows the example of one of its principal Japanese rivals, Toyota, which is also scaling back sales targets.

Takanobu Ito, Honda’s chief executive, told reporters during a test drive in northern Japan that Honda will reduce the number of variations of its vehicles it manufactures. This will reduce the workload of its over-taxed engineering staff and protect the company’s reputation for quality, which has been undermined by a series of safety-related recalls of airbags made by Takata Corp., which was once one of its most trusted suppliers.

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“We want to be more efficient,” Ito said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Even though we’re narrowing these down that doesn’t mean our business would shrink.” (more…)

Honda Makes “Dramatic Shift” With Redesigned 2016 Pilot

New ute’s design moves “outside the box.”

by on Feb.12, 2015

New for 2016, the Honda Pilot gets a dramatic exterior restyling with its customary boxy shape replaced with sculpted curves.

With the plunge in gas prices, few automakers seem better positioned than Honda with its array of utility vehicles, and one of those is getting a major update just in time for the Chicago Auto Show.

The first eight-passenger SUV in a mainstream segment has also been one of the market’s hottest utility vehicles, with sales of 1.4 million since it launched in 2002. But where the first two generations stuck with a traditionally boxy design, the new Pilot is making what Honda officials are describing as a “dramatic shift” in styling while also moving a bit more upscale.

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“I guess you could say we were thinking outside the box,” joked chief engineer Marc Ernst, as he pulled the wraps off the new model. (more…)

Honda Upping its Truck Game

Maker expanding MDX production to 2nd plant, more to follow.

by on Feb.11, 2015

The 2014 Acura MDX has readily outsold all its competitors in the three-row luxury SUV category.

The only one of the major Japanese automakers not to offer a full-size pickup, Honda has long seemed reluctant to enter the lucrative truck market. But with buyers snapping up its SUVs and crossovers as fast they roll off the assembly line, Honda is finally getting serious.

It will introduce two utility vehicles at the Chicago Auto Show this week, a complete remake of the Honda Pilot, as well as an update of the Acura RDX. And, the maker says, it will invest $85 million to expand production of the bigger Acura MDX to a second plant in East Liberty, Ohio.

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Honda’s U.S. growth “will be driven heavily by our light truck business, such as HR-V and Pilot,” Executive Vice President John Mendel said during a Wednesday morning teleconference.

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Honda Tops List of Best Cars for the Money

But Lexus RX350 logs longest winning streak.

by on Feb.11, 2015

The 2015 RDX was one of six Acura and Honda models to take segment wins in the 2015 awards.

With 100s of different models to choose from – and dozens more being added each year, it’s no surprise that a shopper can come up confused when it’s time to pick the right one for their own needs and desires.

It doesn’t help that there are so many different studies designed to rate vehicles on quality or on price. But what happens when you take both that factors into account, along with safety, long-term reliability – and expert reviews? That’s what U.S. News & World Report attempts to accomplish with its annual Best Car for the Money awards.

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And for 2015, Honda Motor Co. comes out on top, grabbing honors in six of 21 vehicle categories – three for the mainstream Honda brand and another three for the upscale Acura marque.

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Honda Earnings Hammered By Recalls, Weak Japan Sales

Maker also cuts forecast for full fiscal year.

by on Jan.30, 2015

A 2002 Honda Civic. One of millions of Hondas equipped with suspect Takata airbags.

Honda earnings took a sharp tumble during the most recent quarter, hammered by a variety of problems including the maker’s airbag recalls, as well as sluggish sales in its home Japanese market.

The maker announced the 15% decrease in net income a day after it said it received reports of two more drivers, including one in Houston, who may have been killed by flying debris caused by the explosive malfunction of its airbags.

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Honda has been forced to recall millions of vehicles using the supplemental restraint systems produced by supplier Takata. It also had to fix problems with its new Fit subcompact. Analysts have estimated the recalls have cost Honda about $255 million, or 30 billion yen – though the maker did not break out details.

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Next Acura RDX Blowing into Chicago

New midsize crossover gets tech upgrades.

by on Jan.21, 2015

The 2015 Acura RDX gets a makeover for 2016 that will make its debut at the Chicago Auto Show next month.

Acura plans to blow into the Windy City next month with a redesigned version of its compact RDX sport-utility vehicle.

The RDX is one of the Japanese luxury brand’s most important products. Acura has long struggled to gain traction in the passenger car market, but it has routinely been one of the leaders in the upscale crossover segment with the RDX and larger MDX.

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The luxury arm of Honda isn’t offering many details, but referring to the strong fuel economy numbers for its V-6 version, an Acura release suggests, “the 2016 RDX takes the position a step further, adding important improvements to performance, dynamics, comfort and NVH,” or noise, vibration and harshness. (more…)

Honda Proclaims 2015 is “The Year of Honda”

FCV finally gets production date after Takata delay.

by on Jan.13, 2015

After a being delayed due to the Takata airbag problem, FCV production will start next year. Photo credit: Len Katz

Honda’s much ballyhooed fuel cell vehicle, the aptly named FCV, made its North American debut today at the Detroit Auto Show. The car is slated for production sometime next year and will hit showrooms in late ’16 or early ’17.

However, the Japanese automaker seems more focused on a bigger picture here in the Motor City. It’s calling 2015 “The Year of Honda.” While it seems awfully presumptuous on the surface, the company has reason to be excited: it’s long-awaited Honda Jet is finally getting off the ground, the FCV overcame some hurdles – including being impacted by the Takata seat belt fiasco – to finally find city streets and Honda is returning to Formula One racing.

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“No other automaker in the world has the depth of R&D know-how and experience to create such a diverse array of advanced technology products, let alone bring them to market,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (more…)

Honda Walloped with $70 Million NHTSA Fine

Automaker agrees to penalty, vows changes in reporting.

by on Jan.08, 2015

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Honda's $70 million fine is basically a sign of things to come: tougher enforcement and harsher penalties.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration slapped Honda was slapped with $70 million in fines for failing to report problems with its vehicles. It is the highest fine ever, supplanting the $35 million agreed to by General Motors earlier this year.

The agency levied two $35 million fines against the automaker because it violated federal legal requirements regarding information NHTSA about potential safety problems in vehicles. The first was for failing to submit early warning reports detailing 1,729 injuries and death and injury claims to the NHTSA for 11 years between 2003 and 2014.

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The second was for Honda’s failure to report certain warranty claims and other claims under so-called customer satisfaction campaigns during the same period. As part of the consent order the maker agreed to, it will also ensure the problems of underreporting problems doesn’t occur again. (more…)