UPDATE: Clarification on CR-Z at bottom.
Honda is doing a bit of late spring cleaning as it looks to get its hybrid house in order. The automaker announced production of the Civic CNG has ended and multiple hybrid models will soon get the axe.
Honda isn’t abandoning hybrid technology, however, as John Mendel, Executive Vice President, Automobile Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., hinted there are replacements in the pipeline in a release sent out today.
Class Counsel are correct in asserting that Peters’ demand for access to the fruits of discovery as actually a thinly disguised effort to use the discovered material to assist Peters in ‘begin[ning] a cottage industry of representing consumers or selling her $15 CD to them’.
Whoa, that’s a convoluted sentence, courtesy of the judge who mediated the settlement in the Honda Civic Hybrid class-action case. However, it more or less reflects the sentiments of the appeals court which just ruled Honda’s appeal of the $9,867 small-claims settlement granted to attorney and Civic owner Heather Peters. What does it mean? Click the jump for a helpful graphic.
Reuters reports that Honda has canceled plans to build a new minicar and diesel engine plant north of Tokyo, as the company focuses its product offerings ahead of worldwide emissions standards ramp-ups. Honda’s move away from diesel has been slowly building for years, and the strategy was all but confirmed by the cancellation of a US-market Acura TSX diesel, which was replaced by the V6 TSX. Instead of developing new oil-burners, Honda is focusing on a new hybrid drivetrain capable of powering its larger vehicles. Thus far Honda has kept a conservative approach to hybrids, refining its “mild hybrid” IMA system over several generations. As Honda seeks to improve its fleetwide emissions, this new system (which could be Honda’s first “full hybrid”) has taken on new importance. Honda will officially announce its medium-range plans next Tuesday… and don’t be surprised if it involves a new full hybrid system capable of going toe-to-toe with Toyota’s Synergy Drive.
Honda’s half-hearted approach to hybrids is about to be shaken up, possibly leading to the development of a hybrid system that goes beyond Honda’s traditional integrated motor assist (IMA) system. Automotive News [sub] reports that Honda CEO, Takanobu Ito has told his Research and Development staff to develop a hybrid which beats the Toyota Prius in fuel economy. Or else. This development probably has something to do the failure of the Honda Insight (Prius sales in 2009 were 139,682. Insight sales for the same period: 20,572); as Honda Executive VP, John Mendel said “Are we happy with how sales are going? No, we’re not happy.” Mr Ito made it clear that Honda’s hybrid line up is a top priority. “We want to develop and expand our hybrids,” said Ito. “We made some major sacrifices to shift people and resources to do that.”