Tag: Honda

By on February 28, 2019

China might not be the kind of market everyone thought it was — one without a ceiling, boasting unlimited potential for growth. One by one, automakers find themselves having to confront economic reality.

Despite amassing a network of factories that could theoretically outproduce the rest of the world, the Asian country’s automotive sector only operates at about half its total capacity. That’s disconcerting. Even Europe, site of some serious industrial headwinds of its own, manages to operate around 70 percent capacity.

While the reasons for China’s woes are ludicrously complicated, one of the most pressing issues is that its economy is slowing much earlier than anticipated. Automakers, both foreign and domestic, almost universally believed that The People’s Republic would surpass the United States as the world’s largest automotive market — and they were right. But investments kept pouring in, factories were built, and the market started to cool prematurely. The situation only grew worse as incentives dried up and people began buying fewer cars; now, 2019 is shaping up to be a very bad year for the nation’s automotive sector.  (Read More…)

By on February 27, 2019

Image: Honda

Ahead of its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, Honda has revealed the prototype of its upcoming “urban electric vehicle” in full, providing tasty yet bittersweet catnip for eco-conscious American drivers who have neither the funds nor patience to hop aboard the Tesla train.

The e Prototype, a successor to the brand’s 2017 Urban EV concept, should give buyers a good sense of what they’re in for. European buyers, that is. Despite the considerable buzz generated by this car, it stands to remain well out of reach for North Americans. And, depending on your point of view, that’s a shame. (Read More…)

By on February 25, 2019

Truth be told, North American Honda plants do build the lion’s share of Civics sold in the region. However, last week’s announcement of the impending closure of the automaker’s sole UK facility means a 100-percent locally sourced crop of compacts in the future. (Read More…)

By on February 19, 2019

Image: 2017 Honda Civic Type R

The sole production site of the Honda Civic Hatchback and Type R will close by the end of 2021, Honda told UK employees on Tuesday.

Honda’s Swindon facility, built on the site of a former WW2 aircraft factory, began building Accords for the UK and European markets in 1992, adding the popular Civic to the mix two years later. Amid a turbulent time for trade and auto sales, Honda plans to shutter the facility, throwing 3,500 employees out of work and leaving the future of the Civic Hatch and its variants in question. (Read More…)

By on February 18, 2019

Honda builds Civics in a number of locales, but Americans know of Honda’s Swindon, UK assembly plant mainly because of the Civic Type R. After years spent shunning the North American market, the automaker finally sent ships loaded with hi-po front-drivers across the Atlantic for the 2017 model year.

Swindon handles production of all Civic hatch models, leaving plants in the U.S. and Canada to handle sedan and coupe builds. It seems all those hatches, hot and less so, will need to find a new home after 2021. (Read More…)

By on February 14, 2019

We’ve gone from concept vehicle to prototype, but Honda’s upcoming Urban EV — a pint-sized commuter that’s arguably the first mainstream electric to garner legitimate youth enthusiasm — is no closer to coming to North America. It’s also less retro than its show car predecessor, but no one expected that trillion-inch flatscreen to make it to production.

Oh, you’ll still have screens galore, though. (Read More…)

By on February 14, 2019

2019 Honda Passport with Accessory Roof Rack

A thought struck me the other day – since joining TTAC, I’ve liked just about every Honda I’ve reviewed. I even found little fault with the Clarity, which I was otherwise neutral towards.

That doesn’t mean I like every Honda. I drove the Fit for 10 minutes at a media event last fall (no review … 10 minutes isn’t enough time) and while I found it pleasant, it didn’t resonate with me the way the first-gen car did. The HR-V is fine, but I don’t think it would be my first choice in that class. I have yet to drive the CR-V and Pilot.

Realizing that I like most of Honda’s present offerings, I started wondering. Were I to work for an automaker, forced to switch vehicles every 60 or 90 days in order to cycle through the lineup, which brand has a roster I like enough that I’d want to rotate completely through?

(Read More…)

By on February 2, 2019

2019 Honda Passport with Accessory Roof Rack

No, not just because American buyers open their wallets for anyone hawking a high-riding vehicle; rather, because an influx of cash would help stabilize Honda’s balance sheet.

The automaker’s global profits took a 40 percent haircut in the fiscal quarter ending December 31, with net income falling 71 percent in the same time frame. North America wasn’t a fiscal fortress, either. While a new crossover that straddles segment boundaries isn’t the cure for all that ails Honda, it’s anything but hindrance. (Read More…)

By on February 1, 2019

2018 Accord Sport 2.0-Liter Turbo - Image: Honda

Of all the automakers populating this vast land, none display quite same the level of guarded optimism for the passenger car’s future as Toyota. Two years ago, if you recall, it boldly declared that its new Camry might save the midsize sedan segment. Well, there’s now a new entry in the rose-colored glasses race.

Honda feels that public distrust in the ability of a four-door sedan to carry occupants to their intended destination has pretty much bottomed out. (Read More…)

By on January 31, 2019

My first press trip as the M.E. at this august website had me driving the Honda Civic Type R on a track outside Seattle. And on road, as well. I pronounced it worthy of the hype.

So naturally, I had to see how it handled the daily grind. There’d be no track driving – I asked, but Honda would’ve needed to do special prep, so that was a no-go – so treks to the grocery store and the suburbs would have to suffice.

Was it still “all that?” In a word, yes.

(Read More…)

By on January 29, 2019

2019 Honda Passport

Honda really wants to prove that its 2019 Passport five-seat crossover has off-road chops.

To that end, it’s possible I had more wheel time on washboard-surfaced gravelly roads than I did on paved surfaces during my day with the newest trucklet on the block. Some of this was by my choice – I chose to get more time off-road for the sake of photos. Still, Honda definitely wanted to show that the Passport is capable off-road.

Which it was, at least on the route we drove. Frankly, most crossovers with decent ground clearance would’ve survived our trek through the cold and sunny high desert, although two of the Passport’s benchmarked competitors, the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano, might not be included in that “most.” More on that in a bit.

Thing is, and this refrain dates back to the earliest days of the SUV – few buyers will ever take the Passport off-road. Few buyers of any vehicle in this class take their rigs off-road. Only the owners of the highly capable Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota 4Runner are likely to, and even then, I’d bet the percentage who actually do is small.

Why all the hullabaloo from Honda about off-roading, then? Is the Passport truly on par with the JGC and the ‘Yota when out in the sticks? Is the Passport so bad on-road that Honda emphasized off-road driving? Or did someone on Honda’s PR team just really want to see southern Utah?

(Read More…)

By on January 23, 2019

Back in 2017, Honda debuted its adorable Urban EV Concept, a vehicle that ended up becoming the belle of the Frankfurt Auto Show. Its cheeky design was suitably modern while still adhering to traditional automotive models. In fact, the car seems styled in a manner that’s intentionally reminiscent of the first-generation Civic.

Having already promised a production version for the European market, Honda has issued an update on the vehicle’s progress. The automaker recently confirmed it will show a new prototype of the Urban EV at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show in March, ahead of a production model slated to debut later this year. It also provided a teaser sketch of the model (above), proving that Honda doesn’t want to alter the cute little car more than it needs to.  (Read More…)

By on January 9, 2019

You hear it time and time again on the internet. “There are no bad cars today.” It’s proclaimed by those who lived through the Malaise Era and have personally experienced the build quality and reliability of an new Renault Le Car or Chevy Monza. And while things are most definitely better than they were, nothing’s perfect. Bring out your critical fingertips.

(Read More…)

By on January 8, 2019

Expanding on last year’s concept, Honda is reintroducing “Dream Drive” for this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Previously a platform intended to provide passengers with augmented and virtual reality experiences, Double D now focuses primarily on in-car purchases. In fact, the service seems identical to General Motors’ Marketplace.

That’s right, Honda is entering the dark realm of in-car consumerism and twisted corporate partnerships. (Read More…)

By on December 28, 2018

Tesla Model 3, Image: Tesla

A little over a month ago, we ran the results of our best/worst cars of 2018 poll. At the end of each post, I reflected a bit on the results, but I wanted to dig a bit deeper.

While I had hoped to do this a bit sooner, other work got in the way. So Steph and I decided it would be a good way to close out the year.

(Read More…)

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