The latest from Honda-Torque News

 

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

 

This week in Honda-Torque News I share Honda Motor Company’s sales report for February, yet another record sales month for American Honda.

Light truck sales, the Fed’s designation for any light-truck-like crossover or SUV drove the brand to a record February with 2017 CR-V SUV outselling Accord and Civic, for the first time in memory. Noteworthy is a double digit increase in sales volume for Honda’s HR-V subcompact CUV, and continued momentum for Fit, the entry portal to the American Honda lineup. Read my latest take on 2017 Honda HR-V here.

Parks McCants with 2016 Honda HR-V in Miami, Fl..

American Honda embraces alternative propulsion

For the second month of 2017, we note an interesting development on Honda’s electrification front, with 2017 Accord Hybrid posting a 385% sales gain over February 2016. Does the uptick indicate sustainable growth through the driving public’s acceptance of the electric car, or are Californian’s simply easing their way into a less crowded, quick moving Diamond Lane?

While Clarity FCV and Accord Hybrid owners do benefit from an environmentally friendly pass, as to congested L.A. and Orange County traffic congestion, I do believe the general appeal of a high-torque clean burning auto to be a bit broader than the outskirts of L.A., so do the engineers at Honda. Read our latest slant on Honda auto electrification here.

Clarity Battery Electric

As earlier reported by Torque News and others, the 3rd generation Clarity Fuel Cell manufacturing platform further expands into a gasoline/electric hybrid varient, and a battery electric offering. Honda, while not specific as to the near future application of electrification, has indicated that a crossover, SUV, or pickup truck may be in the works in the not too distant future.

Despite current low-fuel pricing, for Honda Motor Company, and other makers positioning for market share in California, still the world’s largest auto market, electric is the viable future in high-torque-output, super low to no exhaust emission, environmentally friendly, personal and commercial transportation.

You will see, and possibly drive, or ride in, a fully autonomous, (hands-free, sensory, computer controlled) long-range electric car within the next decade.

I’ve experienced high-speed hands-off-the-wheel driving behind the wheel of this car. 2017 Volvo S90 is like no other car on the road today.

it’s a trip!

 

American Honda’s John Mendel leaves a positive legacy in wake of retirement

John Mendel
Mr John Mendel Executive Vice President, American Honda Motors, automotive division.

Our collective hats are off to Mr. John Mendel as he vacates the top office at American Honda Motors for greener country pastures. No worries, American Honda Motors remains in very capable hands as 2nd in command Mr. Jeff Conrad picks up the Mic at a time when Honda can do little wrong.

With Accord, Civic and CR-V leading segment sales in the U.S. auto market, the future outlook remains bright for America’s # auto manufacturer. John Mendel leaves A.H.M.C. on a high note, with record sales recorded in 2016 — thanks to the continued sales success of the top-3 — as well as new-found market momentum in Fit and HR-V., both great values, presenting exceptional optional and standard passive and active safety features, Lane Watch, and a very decent transformable ‘magic-seat’ interior.

Ode to Mr. John Mendel, as published today in Honda-Torque News

John Mendel takes a final bow at American Honda

In a world of an eminent ongoing change, there comes a shift at American Honda Motor Company. An auto-world-celebrity in his own right, “Big John” Mendel will be missed.

I meet John Mendel at an Acura TLX event a few years back in Virginia. At that time, I found this big bear of a man, a formidable, well spoken, but effectively the “King” of American Honda Automotive, not overly approachable. With the Takata Airbag related threats would come bodyguards, that too would change.

I would come to consider John a friend as he went out of his way to share with me what he could about the inner workings of Honda, near future developments, and where the maker focused as to alternative transportation, safety, and electrification. Furthermore,  I appreciated John’s personal acknowledgement of my work as an automotive journalist.

As it turned out, the more that I got to know John, I would soon come to realized that Mendel epitomized the roll-up-your-sleeves and get it done attitude that drives Honda. What you see with Mendel, is what you get. There’s no false pretense present, he’s a genuine Honda player, and a “car guy,” in the old-school sense of the auto industry.

John Mendel worked his way up through the Ford Motor Company, before transitioning to Mazda, and then Honda Motors in 2004 — just on time for the world-wide recession. He made it through the economic s… storm, Honda made it.  John Mendel is well liked by dealers, the automotive press, and associates. Because, at his base corp. he’s one of us, a no-nonsense team player.

Effectively the head of Honda’s U.S. Automotive operations, John Mendel would appear time and time again over the years, sharing the good news, as to industry benchmark setting model roll outs, while putting out media fires, airbag recalls, and the supply chain cause and effect, of earthquake, and tsunami related impact on America’s 4th largest automotive brand.

Through good and bad times, “the buck stopped” at John’s desk, as he masterfully handled diversity, setbacks, and success, masterfully. All, to the bennefit of Honda, and its premium brand Acura, a true professional.

As with all entrepreneurs

As announced yesterday by Honda News, Mr. John Mendel will retire from Honda. He joins his sons in a micro distillery start-up in Mammoth California. I’ll be headed out to “Devil’s Creek Distillery” to sip some moonshine sooner than later, and wish John Mendel smooth sailing towards continued success.

2017 Honda Ridgeline road trip
Honda reinvents the midsize truck segment.

As to the future of American Honda Motors, it’s in good hands with Mr. Jeff Conrad. Stay tuned.

American Honda Motors presents exceptional motivation in 2017

On the road with 2016 Civic Coupe
Honda Civic Coupe on the back roads of San Diego, California

American Honda Motors presents exceptional personal transportation, segment topping standard active safety and accident prevention in 2017 with a unique design and flair, not always associated with the Japanese owned car company that first introduced economy-class personal transpiration to North America 44 years ago with the unveiling of Honda Civic.

American Honda carries the reinvention of its entire car, SUV and light truck lineup into 2017. Coming off of the unprecedented sales success of the 10th generation Honda Civic Sedan — the first turbocharged Civic in the brands history, American Honda now holds 4 segment – topping sales leaders with Accord, Civic, CR-V and Odyssey selling more retail units than any other brand offering in their respective segments. Read my latest slant on Honda Civic Hatchback Touring here.

I predict the buzz to continue in 2017 with Civic Coupe Si, CR-V, Odyssey and Accord.

Today in Honda Torque News I expand a bit on the future of American Honda Motors and how advent cars like the Clarity FCV and the reinvented 2018 Odyssey minivan will propel Honda to new sales records in 2017.  Read my latest Honda-Torque News article here.  According to our sources in Torrance, California, when Honda Odyssey debuts January 10 at the Detroit International Auto Show, the auto industry will take notice.2018_Odyssey

Honda tells us to expect an even more aerodynamic Odyssey with much improved ride quality, road handling, a quieter cabin, advanced driver and passenger seat design — greater interior passenger and cargo space, as well as increased engine power and fuel efficiency. Where will Odyssey’s 2017 MSRP land? Well, while that’s anybody’s guess at this time, I anticipate a minor price bump at the entry trim level with the edition of a premier touring edition-Honda style!

Following the expanded model lineup of America’s best selling compact car brand, Odyssey will come to market in 2017 as a 2018 model offering greater performance, safety, person to car connectivity and near intuitive ease of operation.

In short; Honda will present exceptional personal auto-motivation in 2017. at an attainable price point.

 

Civic tops our Honda news for December

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback passes my drive review with flying colors.

With a much anticipated arrival of the manufactured in England 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback,  the 44 year compact icon bettered its sales position in the United States. Actually, Civic was the best selling compact sedan in North America for 2016. We first experienced 2016 Civic behind the wheel in Malibu, California.

And although American Honda doesn’t disclose individual variant sales numbers,(sedan, coupe, hatchback) I’ll step out on a limb here with a qualified guess that the November arrival of Honda’s turbocharged 5-door hatchback pushed the lineup into a world-class-compact competition, with very positive sales results.

On a personal note: 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Touring was my Honda-Torque News pick for Honda’s most surprising car offering in 2016.

That’s a big deal with American Honda no leading the sales race with 4 contenders taking #1 in class: Honda Accord, Civic Sedan, CR-V SUV and Odyssey Minivan. In short, the buying public has made Honda the fastest growing automotive brand in North America. And crossover/SUV fans: 2017 Honda CR-V arrives with a welcomed surprise or two.

When we look to the numbers, Honda not only builds well over 95% of cars sold in North America, in Canada, Mexico and the U.S., but, when looking to domestically sourced parts percentage, your North American Honda contains a higher percentage of “Manufactured in the U.S.A.”parts than Chevrolet, Dodge or Ford.

As to the engine: Honda’s dedicated to manufactured in the U.S. low displacement, super low friction and near-zero emissions turbocharged 4 cylinder gasoline engines throughout the re engineered lineup. This holds true for the exceptional manufactured in England turbocharged 5-door hatchback. Reflecting on my initial drive time, I find Civic Hatchback to be the most refined offering in the 10th generation lineup. Speaking of auto-innovation, take a look at Honda Clarity.

As to Honda’s latest Civic offering: Say what you will, I appreciate the utility of a compact hatchback; Honda’s quirky good looks, and what I now consider to be the most comfortable power adjusted driver’s seat in the Civic brand.

Was it love at first site? Well no! But much like the proverbial ‘girl next door,” she grows on you.