Report: Nissan-Honda Tie-up Didn't Makes It to the First Date

Romance was not in the air when Japanese officials attempted to spark a merger between troubled automaker Nissan and its far healthier rival, Honda, a report in the Financial Times claims.

According to three sources, the effort to bring both automakers to the table — a high-level decision apparently originating in the Japanese Prime Minister’s office — went nowhere. Can anyone imagine a reason why Honda would turn up its nose at such an idea?

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Grey Skies Gonna Clear Up: Honda Reports Bigger Loss, Sees Light at the End of the Year

Honda reported a $765 million loss in the fiscal quarter ending June 30th, a marked downturn in its financial standing when compared to the quarter before.

Hardly shocking, though, given the virus-related global sales plunge and the production shutdown that afflicted the American manufacturing scene in April and May. Honda’s characterizing it as a “nowhere to go but up” scenario.

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Beancounters to the Rescue? Office Staff Keep Honda Production Afloat in Ohio

This isn’t the first time we’ve learned of an “all hands on deck” situation taking place at a U.S. assembly plant. Recall this report from earlier this month, in which sources claimed managers and other white-collar employees hit the floor at General Motors truck plants in a bid to cover absent workers.

It was inevitable, given the reality facing companies hoping to maintain full production amid a viral pandemic. The latest report comes out of Marysville, Ohio — home to an enormous Honda assembly operation. Seems even accountants had to don hardhats.

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2021: A Honda Odyssey

It’s true that the once-hot minivan segment was shrinking rapidly even before the pandemic hit. Since then, things have only gotten worse for a vehicle type once seen as the go-to conveyance for growing families.

How bad is it? Our own Tim Cain recently traded in his Honda Odyssey for a shiny new Ridgeline pickup. We were aghast.

Well, this turn of events hasn’t stopped Honda from putting what it feels is its best minivan forward. For 2021, the Odyssey returns with a fresh(ened) face and new content. But can it budge the sales needle when it goes on sale next month?

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Joining the 1 Percent: I Bought a Honda Ridgeline

1 out of every 100 pickup truck buyers in the United States chooses the Honda Ridgeline.

That sounds to me like exclusivity. That’s a strong whiff of individuality I sniff. It’s positively road-less-traveled kind of material. And I’m hopelessly drawn toward vehicles that operate way outside the mainstream.

Therefore, in the third model year of the second-generation Ridgeline’s tenure, I swapped our Honda Odyssey for a 2019 Honda Ridgeline to use as the family steed. What else are you going to buy when your vehicular wish list includes exterior and interior cargo space, four driven wheels, reasonable fuel economy, comfortable seating for five, high safety ratings, killer resale value, and a ton of standard equipment?

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Singing the Manual Transmission Blues

Last week’s biggest automotive product story was the unveiling of the next Ford Bronco.

Last week’s second-biggest automotive product story was that if you want the Bronco with the off-road-oriented Sasquatch package, you won’t be able to get it with a manual transmission.

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Honda Swings Axe, Ends Life of One Model, Two Fun Variants

Honda, perhaps taking a cue from domestic manufacturers, has decided to diminish its passenger car ranks.

Reported today by Automotive News, the automaker has decided to discontinue the Honda Fit in the U.S., while also killing off the Honda Civic coupe and ending manual transmission availability in the Accord.

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Reader Review: 2019 Honda Accord Sport 2.0T - Peak Sedan

I have long been a family sedan buyer and was looking at replacing my aging ride. I have enjoyed rowing my own gears for more than two decades now, with the occasional automatic transmission thrown in the mix.

This time was a little different, in that there are so many extracurricular activities with three kids. My wife and I frequently find ourselves having to divide and conquer to get it all done. Making the challenge more difficult has always been the fact that I prefer a manual transmission, while she avoids driving a stick-shift like the plague, despite being fairly well versed in the three-pedal dance. I guess, like the market in general, she just doesn’t find joy in that level of engagement.

So, the writing was on the wall: An automatic transmission was in my future when I began hunting for a new whip.

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Rumor Mill: Honda Civic Type R to Get Even Wilder

The Honda Civic Type R isn’t exactly subtle.

Its boy-racer styling and big wing announce its presence and mission with authority. It’s as if Honda is saying, “Hey, you want subtlety in a hi-po Civic? Get a Si.” Note: The Si is easily identifiable because of a spoiler of its own, albeit one that’s far less ostentatious.

If the current Type R doesn’t exactly blend, what does one make of the rumors swirling across the Internets this morning?

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Honda 'Boycotts' Facebook and Instagram

American Honda has joined a cadre of sizable brands opting to pause advertising on Facebook and Instagram in order to “stand with with people united against hate and racism.” It’s part of a broader campaign, called #StopHateforProfit, in which activists push brands to boycott social media giants until they enact stricter regulations about what constitutes actionable language that should be censored/penalized.

Over the last few days, we’ve seen numerous companies adopt the increasingly popular campaign, yet the reasons for doing so seem as varied as their individual terms and conditions. Multinational consumer goods company Unilever said it will scrap all social media advertising for the remainder of 2020 in the United States. While most attribute this primarily to hate-speech concerns, the company also noted that the contentious political climate on those platforms (including Twitter) having become undesirable for its own advertising purposes. Coca-Cola is similarly pausing social media spending for a few weeks, it’s made it clear that it’s not joining the official boycott, despite claims to the contrary in the news.

While Honda’s involvement in the movement is a little easier to follow, there are still a few twist and turns.

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Food for Thought: Honda Civic Si or… Corolla?

If you’re like us — and I do mean us, as this is an issue on which there’s no disagreement — you probably view the Honda Civic Si as an attractive entry in the affordable “fun” car realm. A peppier-than-most powerplant, standard six-speed manual, brand appeal, stellar model reputation, and a spacious cabin? What’s not to like?

Well, certainly not this lease offer, which makes the 205-horsepower Civic Si a cheaper get than a low-end Corolla.

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Honda Rebounds From Cyber Attack; So, What Happened?

Struck by a cyber attack on its global computer network that temporarily knocked out a few factories and most of its customer service centers, Honda is reporting that things are gradually returning to normal.

“Work is being undertaken to minimize the impact and to restore full functionality of production, sales and development activities,” the company said in a statement earlier this week.

Impacted facilities are supposedly already in decent shape, and the business hopes to move past this in short order. But what actually happened?

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From the 'What Next?' Files: Honda Production Idled by Cyber Attack

Production of certain Honda vehicles ran into another roadblock on Monday, as the automaker claims it was the victim of a cyber attack.

Reuters reports that production ceased at many of Honda’s manufacturing facilities in the wake of the suspected attack out of fear that quality control processes may have been compromised.

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Pandemic Muscles Into Honda and Mazda's 2019 Profits

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic only reared its spiky head at the tail end of the fiscal year, but the disruption to automakers was strongly felt. In a new vehicle market that was largely cooling off, the impact of fewer sales and idled plants was immediate.

That said, the virus didn’t spread the damage evenly.

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2020 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring Review - Price Rains on the Performance Parade

The Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring exists to fill a niche in the Civic lineup.

If the Civic Hatchback Sport presents as the value “sporty” choice – a sleeper version of the cranked-up Si and pumped-to-the-max Type R, complete with available manual – the Sport Touring aspires to be a more luxurious version of that car while retaining characteristics that make it an enthusiast’s choice. The #savethemanuals crowd will be happy – you can get it with a stick.

It also is the nicest Civic hatch you can get with three pedals, and arguably the nicest Civic you can get in hatchback form, period – and very possibly Honda’s nod to Si intenders who bemoan that car’s lack of an available hatchback body style.

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  • Jwee I think it is short sighted and detrimental to the brand. The company should be generous to its locked-in user base, treating them as a resource, not a revenue stream.This is what builds any good relationship, generosity to the other partner. Apple does with their products. My iPhone is 5 years old, but I keep getting the latest and greatest updates for free, which makes me feel valued as a customer and adds actual value. When it is time for a new phone, Apple past treatment towards me certainly plays into my decisions (as did BMW's - so long subscription extracting pigs, its been a great 20 years). Imagine how much good will and love (and good press) Polestar would get from their user base if they gave them all a "68 fresh horses" update overnight, for free. Brand loyalty would soar (provided their car is capable).
  • ToolGuy If I had some space I would offer $800 and let the vehicle sit at my place as is. Then when anyone ever asked me, "Have you ever considered owning a VW?" I would say "Yes."
  • ToolGuy In the example in the linked article an automated parking spot costs roughly 3% of the purchase price of the property. If I were buying such a property, I would likely purchase two parking spots to go with it, and I'm being completely serious.(Speaking of ownership vs. subscription, the $150 monthly maintenance fee would torque me off a lot more than the initial acquisition cost.)
  • ToolGuy "which will be returned as refunds to citizens of the state" - kind of like the Alaska Permanent Fund? Make the amount high enough and I will gladly move to California to take advantage (my family came close to moving there when I was a teen, and oodles of people have moved from CA to my state, so I'm happy to return the favor).Note to California: You probably do not want me as a citizen.
  • ToolGuy Nice torque figure.