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GM, Honda Launch Fuel Cell Partnership

Partners aiming for mass market-ready hydrogen cars by 2020.

by on Jul.02, 2013

GM is testing the viability of its hydrogen-powered Equinox prototype as part of a Hawaiian pilot program.

The following story has been updated with the latest developments.

General Motors and Honda plan to team up in an effort to bring zero-emission hydrogen fuel-cell technology to the mass market by the end of the decade, the makers formally announced Tuesday morning.

Both GM and Honda have already begun fielding small test fleets of hydrogen-powered vehicles – as have a number of competitors including Toyota and Mercedes-Benz – but the goal of the new effort is to help solve nagging technical obstacles while driving costs down to mass-market levels. The makers also hope that by making a serious commitment to fuel cell technology they will encourage the energy industry to expand the availability of hydrogen, something essential to encourage consumer acceptance.

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“The widespread use of future fuel cell vehicles requires a significant advance in cost reduction… and in the refueling infrastructure that will support them,” Tetsuo Iwamura, president of American Honda Motor Co., said during a joint news conference in New York City.  “Two companies can do more together than the simple sum of our individual efforts.”


Honda Moving US Corp. HQ to Ohio

With promotion, new global Honda COO will be based in Ohio.

by on Feb.22, 2013

Tetsuo Iwamura, shown at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, becomes the new chief operating officer of Honda's global automotive operations.

Honda will be moving its North American corporate headquarters to Ohio – where it set up Japan’s first auto assembly plant in the U.S. more than 30 years ago. Adding even more significance to the move is the promotion of Tetsuo Iwamura who will now serve as Honda’s global chief operating officer of automotive operations as well as COO of Honda North America.

About 50 executives and support staff are expected to make the move to Marysville, Ohio from the maker’s long-standing base of operations in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance.  But the California facility will remain Honda’s sales and marketing base of operations for the U.S.

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“These organizational changes will improve the speed of decision-making and the efficiency of our business operations,” said Iwamura, who will now wear a number of hats including president and chief operating officer for North America, as well as the new assignments as the COO of Automobile Operations and risk management officer for Honda Motor Co., Ltd.


Honda Aims to Recover Lost Ground in 2012

New products like Accord, CR-V will be critical.

by on Dec.21, 2011

The 2012 CR-V will be critical to Honda's recovery.

Honda believes it is in a strong position to win back the market share it was forced to surrender this year as it adjusted production to cope with earthquakes and flooding.

The good news for the Japanese maker is that the major disruptions are finally behind it and with production and dealer inventories already on the rise, Honda is already regaining momentum, though it sees the big opportunity to rebuild sales coming in 2012, Tetsuo Iwamura, president and CEO of American Honda told reporters during an appearance in Detroit.

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However, Imaura tempered his predictions of healthy gains next year with an acknowledgement Honda seriously underperformed in 2012, racking up a long string of monthly sales decline. “It will be really low bar,” Imaura noted.


Acura Confirms Return of the NSX

Hybrid supercar concept to debut in Detroit.

by on Dec.12, 2011

Acura hinted that a new NSX might be coming with this prototype sports car used in the recent Iron Man 2 movie - though there'll be distinct differences when the real NSX concept appears in Detroit.

It’s been a long wait but has confirmed first-hand that Acura will bring back the NSX nameplate, with a new concept version of the supercar making its debut at next month’s Detroit Auto Show.

The NSX will be the halo vehicle used to help put a halo around Honda’s luxury brand, which has been struggling to re-establish its identity while newer Asian luxury marques – notably Lexus and Infiniti – leave Acura in their dust.

Unlike the V-10 concept that Acura revealed a few years back, the new NSX will opt for a decidedly different approach for a supercar, adopting a specially-tuned version of the hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive system that the brand will offer in more mainstream models like the RL sedan and MDX crossover.  (For more on the new Electric SH-AWD system, Click Here.)

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The goal, is the “optimization of styling, performance and efficiency,” explained Gary Evert, head of Honda’s U.S. R&D operations, during a secret background session in Las Vegas earlier this month limited to only a handful of automotive media.  “We think this can be a real differentiator for the brand.”


Honda CEO Takes “Ultimate Responsibility” For Civic’s Problems

Senior Honda executives outline plans to resolve company’s current problems.

by on Dec.02, 2011

Honda CEO Takanobu Ito with the RC-E electric racing bike during the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.

Normally one of the darlings of the automotive world, Honda has taken a number of missteps in recent months while also being slammed by a series of challenges ranging from lopsided exchange rates to earthquakes in Japan and flooding in Thailand.

CEO Takanobu Ito is taking “ultimate responsibility” for at least one of the most serious of those problems, the controversial and frequently criticized design of the latest Honda Civic, which has been slammed by such traditionally Honda-friendly folks as Consumer Reports magazine.

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“Ultimate responsibility rests with me,” said the boyish-looking chief executive during a small media roundtable during the Tokyo Motor Show.  The need to respond to the criticism of the Civic – which is expected to result in an unusually quick update of the compact line – “also rests with me and we are working out what responses to take as quickly as possible.”