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Can Honda get its mojo back?

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    you have to compare an ilx with the Si engine, since that is basically just the TSX engine anyway.

    Not sure where you were going with this remark, but the base-trim ILX does not have the SI engine. Now the interesting thing is that the ILX with the SI engine will be about $30K, and so is the base-trim TSX, which has the identical powertrain!

    Only of course the ILX has cloth seats at that price, and the TSX has leather, something which may matter to entry-lux buyers. The ILX epitomizes the GM rebadging approach to incremental sales increases, and we can see how well that worked out for GM (hint: it resulted in a bankruptcy).......

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,941
    I meant if you were going to compare an ILX to a TSX, it should be the I with the Si engine, since that is basically the same powertrain as in the T.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,228
    Acceleration might be a tad quicker for the ILX, since it's lighter than the TSX, and the ILX could enjoy a small mileage advantage too. That said, I think I'd choose the TSX, since it retains Honda's excellent double wishbone suspension.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,267
    edited May 2012
    "American Honda Motor Co. has won a reversal of a high-profile small-claims case that would have forced the automaker to pay a Los Angeles woman nearly $10,000 for overstating the fuel-economy claims on the Honda Civic hybrid.

    "Of course I'm disappointed,” said Heather Peters, who brought the suit, "but I'm still glad that I raised awareness that Honda is no longer the great brand that it used to be. They used to go the extra mile in customer service, now they go the extra mile fighting customers in court."

    Honda wins reversal of Civic hybrid small-claims judgment (LA Times)

    That's quite the sound bite; I suspect Ms. Peters has been polishing that one for a few weeks.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,941
    that suit never made any sense. If she needed to sue someone, it should have been the Feds. Honda just followed the rules as defined, and posted the results as instructed. Never a guarantee you would get a specific result.

    hey, would she have screamed, yelled and sued if she was getting 5 MORE than what the sticker said?

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,267
    edited May 2012
    The problem I had with the case was that Honda reflashed the computer and zapped the mpg by doing so.

    And if Honda had clean hands, why did they agree to pay owners $100 (and the plaintiffs' lawyers $8 million)?

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,952
    Maybe cheaper to ante up a pittance than let the most litigious society in history slowly bleed you dry?

    If the issue was repeated en masse in every market where the car is sold, maybe it could be seen as a real issue. Seems like another loud lawyer until then - maybe not really different from the Toyota fiasco. And I am not one to defend corporations (even though they are people too, my friend :shades: )
  • cannon3cannon3 Posts: 296
    has stumbled but not fallen. Honda will be fine. They stop, take a deep breath and get back to work. I believe Honda and Mazda are going to eventually fill niche vehicle segments of sorts. I don't think we have seen the last of the automobile industry re shaping itself. There may even be more mergers in the next decade and maybe even a few more bankruptcies.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,941
    Honda is far from what it used to be, and I don't expect they will ever go back to that. A bigger question is, will they be able to stay completely independent, or will they end up in bed with another maker too?

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,228
    As improbable as it may sound, a Honda-Fiat might make strategic sense, but culturally, not so much.

    I read that Marchionne made overtures to Mazda. This combination might make more sense than a Honda-Fiat one, but here too the corporate cultures probably wouldn't mesh.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,941
    adding Mazda to the Fiat-Chrysler mix seems to make some sense. Gives them some technology that seems to fit their style, and the far east presence that they are lacking. Plus, mazda seems a lot easier organization to absorb/merge with. Honda, that just seems like a tough nut to crack.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,228
    edited May 2012
    In addition to technology, I was thinking of distribution. where Fiat has a strong presence and manufacturing facilities in some major markets of Latin America, and Mazda is stronger than Fiat in parts of Asia. Also Chrysler and Jeep have products that Mazda could badge engineer, or simply sell as-is in markets where it has distribution, and visa-versa (eg. the Miata [it even sounds Italian]).
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,228
    Expensive savings! From today's Detroit Free Press...

    "At an equivalent of 118 m.p.g., the electric Honda Fit is the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the U.S. But getting that mileage isn't cheap.

    Honda announced the eye-popping figure Wednesday, making the small, four-door hatchback more efficient than electric rivals like the Ford Focus, Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV. It goes on the market this summer in Oregon and California.

    The electric Fit has an estimated price tag nearly twice as high as the gasoline-powered version. It would take 11 years before a driver makes up the difference and begins saving on fuel.

    With gas prices falling, high sticker prices for electric vehicles are becoming more of a barrier for American buyers, even though the vehicles are far more efficient than their gas-powered counterparts.

    Through May, carmakers sold just over 10,000 electric vehicles, less than 0.2% of U.S. car and truck sales.

    That's because the numbers don't add up for the average consumer.

    • The electric Fit needs 28.6 kilowatt hours of electricity to go 100 miles. At a national average price of 11.6 cents per kilowatt hour, that costs $3.30.

    A gas-powered Fit, which gets 31 m.p.g., needs to burn 3.2 gallons to travel 100 miles. At the national average price of $3.57 per gallon of gasoline, that's $11.52.

    • People drive an average of almost 13,500 miles a year, so a typical driver would spend $445 on electricity for an electric Fit over a year, and $1,552 on gasoline for a regular Fit.

    • The price of an electric Fit is $29,125 after a $7,500 federal tax credit. That's $12,210 more than the gas-powered Fit -- a savings of $1,107 per year to make up the difference between the electric and the gas-powered version.

    Customers don't want to spend the extra money up front and wait for years for payback, said Geoff Pohanka, who runs 13 dealerships in Virginia and Maryland.

    'People are smart. They're looking for the deal,' he said. 'Is somebody going to fork out $15,000 more for something that gets them less range than their car now? It's not happening.'

    At first, Honda will be leasing Fit EVs only in Oregon and California, for $389 per month. The subcompact seats up to five people and can be recharged in three hours with a 240-volt charging station. A fully charged Fit EV can go 82 miles, meaning a daily commute could cost nothing for gasoline.

    Jesse Toprak, vice president of market intelligence for the car buying site TrueCar.com, said he tested an electric Chevrolet Volt, driving it less than 35 miles a day from his Los Angeles-area home to work and back. The cost of leasing it -- $369 a month -- is comparable to the $300 he would spend on gas.

    'In a lot of these cases, I'm surprised that people are not lining up to get these things,' he said.

    The comparison between gas and electric cars also can vary with geography, largely because energy prices vary wildly across the country. In Oregon, where gasoline is 18% more expensive than the national average and electricity is 16% lower, an electric Fit will save $121 per month in fuel. In Connecticut, which has the highest power prices in the country, the monthly savings are just $83."
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,941
    also missing from the equation is the cost of owning a 2nd car, or renting one, every time you need to leave the immediate area.

    I would actually be a good caniddate, since most of my driving right now is short hop local, but on occasion I do need to take a trip. so every time I needed to do that, I would have to source another car, as opposed to now where 1 is enough.

    I could see it being fine for people that have a consistent commute and a car dedicated to that, with something like a SUV for weekend/travel duty. If you were using 2 cars anyway, that just might pay off with a cheap lease.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    edited June 2012
    the 2013 Accord is getting a CVT for an automatic??? :-(

    The first U.S. car with the new powertrain, a direct-injection engine mated to a newly developed continuously variable transmission, will be the redesigned Accord.

    Is this horrible excuse for a transmission going to end up pervading the car industry in automakers' desperate quest for fuel economy?

    As for this "Earth Dreams" plan for new powertrain technology, I see it still predictably excludes the new diesel from U.S. distribution. Is this going to be the answer to their prayers? They don't seem to be doing anything more than catching up to the market at this point. And now I assume the new Fit next year will also have a CVT...blecch.

    Yet despite tight purse strings, (new president of Honda) Ito re-invested in new technology -- especially drivetrain technologies -- to compensate for Honda's lackluster hybrid system and to match the cutting-edge fuel-injection engines offered by rivals.

    "We had to improve the fuel economy of our cars," Ito said. "I immediately began laying the preparations necessary to achieve this. We tried to innovate our engines and transmissions while also coming out with a fuller lineup of hybrid models."

    What ensued was a suite of six new engines, three transmissions and two hybrid systems known collectively as Earth Dreams. The common thread is the addition of fuel-injection technology and continuously variable transmissions. A 1.6-liter diesel engine is also part of the mix, though there are no plans to bring that to the United States. The goal: to achieve industry-topping fuel efficiency in every vehicle class in three years.

    Ito compares the impact of Earth Dreams to that of the famed CVCC engine project from the 1970s that cemented Honda's image as an engine company first and foremost.

    "In talking about the impact on our business, it is as important as CVCC," Ito said. "This is very, very big."


    I disagree, although it is a step in the right direction. Is Ito old enough to remember how revolutionary CVCC really was? He should be, he's older than me and I remember.

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20120611/OEM02/306119994/1427

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,050
    also missing from the equation is the cost of owning a 2nd car, or renting one, every time you need to leave the immediate area.

    I would actually be a good caniddate, since most of my driving right now is short hop local, but on occasion I do need to take a trip. so every time I needed to do that, I would have to source another car, as opposed to now where 1 is enough.


    I'm in a similar situation, as my job is only 2.5 miles away, and I usually don't go anywhere that's more than 15-20 miles from home. But sometimes I do take a road trip here and there, so I do need the distance on occasion.

    I don't think I'd ever be in the market for a pricey hybrid or all-electric vehicle though, because I just don't drive enough for it to make sense. My 2000 Park Ave goes about 900 miles per month, and has been averaging around 21 mpg since I've had it. Even with its appetite for Premium, I'm just not spending a whole lot per month. When it was around $4/gal, that would've come out to around $172 per month (900 miles per month @21 mpg = ~43 gal, or $172 @4/gal).

    As for an all-electric vehicle, well I pay around 13.5 cents per KWH. So if it takes 28 KWH to go 100 miles, I figure 900 miles per month would be around $34? So, I'd save about $138 per month in fuel, compared to my Buick.

    As little as I drive, it's hard to put a priority on fuel efficiency, since it comes at such a high total cost (increased insurance, car payments, the up-front sales tax of buying a new car, etc).
  • ispanoispano Posts: 1
    Honda is far ahead on future technologies that other manufacturers really haven't much options than to stick to petrol burning cars. Save for Toyota and BMW , everyone else needs to buy systems from the aforementioned two.

    Truth is HONDA Has already developed the next generation vehicle with the FCX Clarity and BMW is almost there. Lithium ion is a hold over for fuel cell, which WILL take off in the future. A lot of people here only think about 3-5 years into the future, where Honda is covering its bases for the next 15-50 years. Their goal is to be a 100 year company, and it will take baby steps as it sees fit. It's like the turtle vs the hare, and we all know how that goes. Honda developed its direct injection system in 2003 and has been working to perfect it without rushing it to market like some other brands. The new accord is going to be one of the only sedans offered with a 6spd manual, at and a separate cvt. The 6AT is not the same as the CVT, which in itself should be an improvement over any other cvt in the market.

    Honda doesn't need a merger with another brand, though some brands like lotus ought to consider it. Honda has far less employees than toyota and nissan, too. Much of the criticism of Honda has been design, which is a completely subjective issue. There's a reason why Honda was chosen by the union of concerned scientists as the greenest automobile manufacturer. Honda is also working with Stanford and Google for future technologies, as well as having developed carbon nanotube technology with other notable institutions in the US.

    Honda has matured and in the process has become responsible. Today's consumers are arrogant, misinformed, need to have it now fools of perception. If consumers were really smart, they would stop buying petrol burning cars and would embrace fuel cell. But they would rather pay for cheaper gas than the upfront costs in taxes or premiums to support the initial costs of switching to such an infrastructure which they cast off as too big an undertaking.

    Honda has dreams for the future with the motto Blue Skies For Our Children being a major catalyst. Honda has a commercial called the Impossible Dream - its lyrics are Fitting to its cause. And Honda isn't out to win popular design contests - they are out to do the right thing which is to usher in the clean era of personal locomotion. Unfortunately, Lithium ion is a necessary evil/stopgap until politicians and big oil special interests are removed from the positions that inhibit advancement. As long as there are intelligent people in this world there will be a Honda engineering cars for them. The next milestone is the 2026 mandate and it will not be petrol cars that will achieve the regulation requirements.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    edited June 2012
    With Honda saving the world, I guess the rest of us can kick back and have a drink! ;-)

    Edit....wow, the ILX has been available for about five minutes and already I am seeing the $249/month lease special in TV ads.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,941
    I have seen them a couple times when i was at the Acura dealer looking at the RDX. Not bad looking, but nothing special style wise (and does not look exactly like a Civic, but if you know it is under there...)

    Does have a nice looking interior.

    Just a bit weak engine wise for the high (30K+) price tag.

    Me, I would spend a little extra to get the TSX. As I suspect many other people will, especially if they want an AT.

    A 6 speed 2.4 could be interesting, if you want a Civic Si with more luxury features and better seats.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    A 6 speed 2.4 could be interesting, if you want a Civic Si with more luxury features and better seats.

    Or a smaller TSX with less features and a softer suspension for the same money. ;-)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,941
    some people like smaller and softer suspension!

    but I thought that an I is still going to be less money than a comparable TSX?

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    The ILX with the 2.4 starts at $30K, and is available only with the manual as I understand it.

    The TSX with the same engine and the 5-speed automatic is exactly the same price, $30K. However, if you are inclined to get the 6-speed manual, you will have to pay $31K.

    Still very close in price, and the larger heavier TSX is the one of the pair with the handling, believe it or not. It also has more feature content at that price than the ILX 2.4 does at $30K.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,267
    "Honda's lowest accrual rate ever was measured in the most recent fiscal year, which was slightly below even 2009's astonishingly low 0.84% rate. Its lowest-ever claims rate was in fiscal 2011, though the most recent year's level was a still-respectable 1.1%."

    At Honda, things have never been better, as warranty costs continue to drop (Warranty Week)

    Some of these good numbers may be skewed by the product mix, since the numbers include Honda motorcycles and other products, but they are still good numbers.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,785
    Seems like Hondas, even as they get more complicated, are still very reliable. Good news.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,689
    edited July 2012
    At almost 32k, am still pretty happy with this car. Did have an a/c issue which Honda stepping up and covering half the price as a goodwill issue. I'm out of warranty years wise but they still stepped up, so was pleased. Will need new sneakers very soon but car still drives like new. Still a happy customer!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • 34pete34pete Posts: 4
    The problem for Honda is that almost all cars are more reliable now.. The people they have buying Hondas are buying them because they are scared to buy something else.. But as other makes prove reliable people will start to jump ship.

    Back in the 90s people like me felt Honda was an engineering leader that was very reliable. Now they are just reliable..
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    edited August 2012
    2013 Honda Accord Officially Uncovered! 2013 Accord Photo Gallery Inside

    A safe update it appears... I think it'll be one of those that will look better in person than in pictures. Definitely looks like Honda is trying to cover both the Camry/Avalon, Altima/Maxima, Fusion/Taurus and Sonota/Azera again, even more so with the addition of the Touring trim and I'm sure a pricetag to match.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    On the positive side, the 6-speed manual will still be available for V-6 coupes, and also for some 4-cylinder trims...I wonder if it will be an LX-only option from here on out....

    It will be interesting to see if they can match Altima fuel economy with the new Accord, now that they are making the leap to CVT. A couple of new model previews made specific mention of how unpopular CVTs are in the U.S., and wondered if that design choice would limit sales appeal. At least the new Earth Whatever engine is DI finally.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    It took Nissan a couple of generations to get that CVT right. Generally, manufacturers don't get them right on the first try, and I doubt Honda will be an exception.
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