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Posts Tagged ‘Honda’s John Mendel’

Honda’s Top American Exec, John Mendel Stepping Down

Jeff Conrad to take his place.

by on Feb.21, 2017

Honda's John Mendel accepted the North American Truck of the Year award this year. Mendel is being replaced by Jeff Conrad.

As part of a series of management changes announced Tuesday, 62-year-old John Mendel will step down as the executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co.’s automotive divisions.

A one-time Ford executive who joined Honda in 2004, Mendel was the highest-ranking U.S. member of the Honda team and given credit for not only delivering a series of record sales for the automaker but also for helping guide it through some potentially serious problems, including the recall of millions of vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbags.

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Mendel, well-regarded not only within the company but also by franchised dealers and the automotive media, will be replaced by Jeff Conrad, currently the general manager of the Honda division. In his new role he will, among other things, oversee the high-line Acura division. (more…)

Honda Chief Warns Industry Back to Bad Old Ways

Excess fleet sales, extended-length loans could worsen next sales downturn, says Mendel.

by on Jan.11, 2017

Honda's U.S. Chief John Mendel expressed concerns about the state of the U.S. auto industry today.

Are automakers returning to their bad old ways, repeating the same, short-sighted steps that got them into so much trouble when the Great Recession struck and U.S. car sales collapsed at the beginning of the decade?

That’s something worrying John Mendel, Honda’s top American executive. Speaking at an industry confab in Detroit on Wednesday, he said he’s “experiencing really sweaty palms as he watches the rapid rise of fleet sales, extended loans, sub-prime lending and other risky practices.

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Some of these steps are “taking buyers out of the market,” and will mean lower sales during the next few years, warned Mendel in an interview following his appearance at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit. (more…)

Honda Targets Compact Luxury Buyers with New Civic

Next-gen sedan loaded with technology, safety and comfort features.

by on Sep.17, 2015

The 10th generation Honda Civic sedan is looking to take on upscale competition.

Honda took the wraps off the 10th generation Honda Civic sedan with a clear plan in mind: attract compact luxury buyers. The new sedan will go on sale “Before Thanksgiving,” John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co. Inc., said.

Mendel also said during special preview in Detroit that Honda is preparing to offer more versions of the Civic, one of the world’s most popular cars, will include a sedan, coupe, high-performance Si models, a five-door hatchback and the first-ever Civic Type-R model for the U.S. market.

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The next-generation Civic sedan will be part of the most diverse and innovative lineup in the 43-year history of the model, which remains one of the most popular passenger cars ever sold in the U.S. and a segment leader despite some very tough competition, Mendel said. (more…)

Honda Kills Unloved Crosstour

Maker moves Accord hybrid line back to Japan.

by on Apr.09, 2015

Honda's Crosstour is getting the ziggy in favor of the new HR-V. Production at the maker's East Liberty, Ohio, plant will end this Spring.

Honda is killing off the Crosstour version of its Accord line, a model so unpopular most motorists thought it was gone already. The death of the hatch version does have a plus side for Honda which can now squeeze out more of its hot-selling models at its plant in East Liberty, Ohio.

John Mendel, executive vice president, American Honda Co., said the company is also moving production of the Accord Hybrid from the Marysville (Ohio) Auto Plant to the Sayama Plant in Japan. The Crosstour was one of the rare recent missteps by Honda, which has some of the hottest selling products in America, including the sedan version of the Accord.

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“This move will allow the East Liberty Plant to focus on meeting demand for the CR-V and a refreshed 2016 Acura RDX and, as announced last month, expand light truck production in early 2017 with the Acura MDX,” Mendel said in a statement. (more…)

Nissan and Honda Trade Potshots – and Warn of Troubles Ahead

Keeping incentives under control key to success.

by on Apr.07, 2015

Honda's John Mendel dismissed any notion that Nissan was gaining sales ground on Honda, pointing out that Nissan relies on fleet sales.

Two of the top Japanese automakers have been trading punches in recent days and, in the process, warning of potential problems to come, especially if the U.S. automotive market continues to slow down.

Sales took an unexpected dip in March after five years of generally steady growth coming out of the Great Recession. That has led a number of industry observers to worry that manufacturers might make some risky moves to shore up their sales and market share.

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“As we see the industry flatten, nobody is flattening production volumes,” said Honda of America Executive Vice President John Mendel. As a result, he warned, “You’ll see some bloody battles out there.” (more…)

Honda’s Mendel Hypes Civic Models Coming Soon

Aside from all-new Civic, Type R finally coming to U.S.

by on Apr.03, 2015

American Honda Executive Vice President John Mendel unveiled a new Civic in New York. He discussed some of the maker's other plans.

Honda delivered one of the big surprises of the NY Auto Show this week with the debut of a Civic concept vehicle and the unexpected news that it would launch an all-new version of the compact car line later this year.

The new model will reach showrooms barely four years after the launch of the last Civic generation, something “probably close” to a record for a manufacturer coming up with a “clean sheet of paper” version of a major product line, said Honda’s John Mendel during a small media roundtable following the Civic Concept unveiling.

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But that reflects the increasingly competitive realities of today’s auto industry and Honda’s determination to maintain the appeal of the Civic, long one of the best-selling vehicles in the U.S. It has also been one of the top two models for young buyers, boasted Mendel, along with the bigger Honda Civic. (more…)