Yet another ‘best year ever’ for American Honda Motors

Honda_CLarity_Electric
Honda Clarity Fuel Cell captures market interest in 2017. Photo Attributes American Honda 2017

Today in Honda-Torque News: What can I tell you, Honda Torque News is my day job. I look forward to reporting Honda news and updates. And, on slow news days, I have a bit of fun with it! With Honda’s annual sales report coming to press a day late this year, American Honda Motor Company announces, for the third year running, anew sales record for America’s # 5 auto maker. * as measured by sales volume.

For December, we discover an astounding 60% uptick in Honda Pilot sales, for total sales of 127,279 sold in 2017. Honda points to increased production capacity with Alabama coming on line — Could be! Dealers can’t sell cars without inventory. However, with no shortage of competition in the mid and full size 3-row SUV segment, the comprehensive drive and ride package that is Honda Pilot consistently meets or surpass the needs of a mostly Soccer Mom, multi-tasking, 3+ Kids family market, and, offers something Honda Odyssey doesn’t – all-wheel-drive.

I called the reinvented Honda Pilot a refined SUV bargain in 2015, it still is. When compared to Toyota Highlander, Mazda 9, and Chevy Tahoe, Pilot can’t be beat for value-packed standard featured packaging, V6 engine performance, and class-leading fuel efficiency. Me, I just like driving Pilot.

Honda’s best selling vehicle for 2017 just happens to be a compact 2-row SUV, or a crossover, depending on how you look at it. At any rate, Honda CR-V, the best selling SUV of all time, just beat Honda Accord and Civic for the top sales spot in 2017.

I first reported on the reinvented, up-sized Honda CR-V in 2015. At that time I was astounded by CR-V’s new found handling characteristics, quiet, comfortable cabin, and innovative, fuel efficiency 1.5 Liter turbocharged gasoline engine, and segmented CVT (continuously variable) transmission.

Honda CR-V outsold Toyota RAV4 in 2017 with 377,895 units sold for the year. That’s a lot of Honda CR-V!  Yet there’s more to Honda’s annual sales report hen initially meets the eye. With the market introduction of Honda Clarity PHEV

comes an opportunity. Learn more about Honda’s premier plug-in-electric vehicle here.

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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!

 

2017 Honda CR-V named Car and Driver ‘Best Compact SUV’

Interestingly enough, prior to its North America dealership debut, auto industry bellwether “Car and Driver.com” names Honda’s reinvented 5th generation CR-V “2017 Best Compact SUV” when weighed against some rather good competition.

I had the pleasure of driving 2017 Honda CR-V from San Francisco to Monterey California last month, and was just a bit blown away by how comfortable, road worthy and spacious CR-V truly is. Read my first drive impressions here.

But in short: What Honda has done with CR-V goes way beyond turbocharging; although the benefits of the 1.5 Liter VTEC 4-cylinder gasoline engine can’t be understated. Where 2017 CR-V truly shines is in superior interior seating comfort, ease of control, and welcomed added passenger, cargo space.

I was further impressed by CR-V’s much improved interior noise reduction, total lack of torque steer, side roll and truck-like suspension attributes. It’s posh way beyond the restrictions of the compact crossover/SUV classification. Apparently our friends at “Road and Track” agree with me. I further predict that 2017 Honda CR-V will continue to rank as the best-selling SUV of any size segment in North America.

Read how Road and Track assessed Honda’s best-selling SUV here

CR-V’s in good company with 2017 Honda Ridgeline Pickup. In other news we find the 2nd generation Honda Ridgeline picking up yet another much coveted auto industry accolade. With a reported 60% of all new auto sales dedicated to the pickup truck, crossover or SUV, according to Road and Track.com, Ridgeline is the best value found in today’s growing midsize pickup truck segment.

Read my latest Honda Ridgeline road adventure here.