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Honda Reportedly Closing Down Swindon, UK plant by 2022

Honda Reportedly Closing Down Swindon, UK plant by 2022

That’s where Honda makes the (now global) Civic

Honda established its Swindon, UK plant back in 1985 and it functioned pretty well until the late 2000s credit crunch when the manufacturer closed about half of it. Before the financial crisis that really made its presence felt in 2008, Honda was making the Civic, CR-V, and Jazz in Swindon, but after the restructuring job, it only kept Civic production going at the site - now it looks like it plans on closing the facility for good, in 2021 or 2022.

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General Motors and Honda Collaborate On Autonomous Technology

General Motors and Honda Collaborate On Autonomous Technology

This is a big, big partnership that could put the other market players on red alert

A lot of partnerships are arising these days. It’s not just automakers and tech companies, but also automakers and automakers. This time, it’s General Motors and Honda teaming up to take on the world with Autonomous Technology. General Motors and Cruise Automation announced collaboration with Japanese giant, Honda that will seek “large-scale deployment” of technology for autonomous vehicles.

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As Ford Cancels its Future Sedans in America, Honda Introduces the Civic Saloon to the U.K.

As Ford Cancels its Future Sedans in America, Honda Introduces the Civic Saloon to the U.K.

It’s an affordable “four-door coupe”

Honda’s new-gen Civic is quite the looker. Here in the States, we were lucky enough to get both the hatchback (and the Type R, finally) and the sedan or “saloon” as our European brethren call it. Over in the U.K., however, the only choice is the Civic Hatch, but that will change now as Honda plans to bring the saloon to U.K. dealers by August 2018.

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As the Ford Focus RS Fades to Black, Honda Jacks Up the Price on the Civic Type R

As the Ford Focus RS Fades to Black, Honda Jacks Up the Price on the Civic Type R

It remains the best deal for the money but still…

Reports are coming in, and it looks like the Honda Civic Type R will see a small price increase starting in May of 2018. As Cars Direct reports, the Civic Type R will see a baseline price increase of $600, raising the entry cost to $35,595 including destination which also saw a $5 increase across the board. This isn’t the first time the Civic Type R has seen a price increase but nearly triple that of the $215 price increase that went into effect for November 2017. For what it’s worth, the entire Civic lineup sees an increase, but models below the Type R will only increase by $100.

This news comes right on the heels of Ford’s announcement to execute damn near all of its car lineup, including the Focus RS, at least for now. If Ford doesn’t bring the next-gen Focus RS to U.S. shores, the Civic Type R will have just one true competitor, the Volkswagen Golf R – a model that comes in at $5,040 more than the Type R as of the time of this writing. Of course, you could count the Subaru WRX STI as a competitor, and we do, but – despite its similar performance – it’s not really a hatchback. It’s also more expensive, though, hitting the wallet for a minimum of $36,995 or $1,400 more if you include Subaru’s $860 destination charge.

So, while Honda has increased the pricing of the Civic Type R mid-year, with no sign of any improvement whatsoever, it’s still the cheapest performance hatchback on the market, even if you include the non-hatch WRX STI.

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Teen Dies After Being Pinned by the Third Row Seat of a 2004 Honda Odyssey

Teen Dies After Being Pinned by the Third Row Seat of a 2004 Honda Odyssey

His life could’ve been saved if other people did their jobs

A 16-year-old boy in Cincinnati, Ohio died after getting pinned behind the third-row seat of a 2004 Honda Odyssey. The young man, identified as Kyle Plush, died of asphyxia due to chest compression, even after calling 911 not once but twice. The death has been ruled accidental, but there are still plenty of questions that need to be answered behind the circumstances of his death, particularly the way responders handled his calls for help.

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Honda Puts Safety First - Will Offer Honda Sensing Safety as Standard Equipment from 2022

Honda Puts Safety First - Will Offer Honda Sensing Safety as Standard Equipment from 2022

It’s still a long way, but it’s good to know that Honda’s taking car safety tech seriously

Honda’s Sensing safety system is fitted on one million vehicles in the U.S. today, but that number is going to pale in comparison to Honda’s plans for the system moving forward. According to the Japanese automaker, Honda Sensing will come standard on all 2022 model year vehicles, a huge increase from the current lot of models that are already carrying the safety system.

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Honda Will Make the Nissan Leaf and VW E-Golf Obsolete When the Urban EV Goes on Sale in 2019

Honda Will Make the Nissan Leaf and VW E-Golf Obsolete When the Urban EV Goes on Sale in 2019

A lot of eyes will be on Honda with the production version of the Urban EV

The Honda Urban EV Concept was one of the most pleasant surprises of 2017. It made its debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, and in the months since, Honda has apparently decided that it was promising enough that the Japanese automaker has decided to approve a production version. In fact, order books for the production version of the model are scheduled to open from early 2019, setting the stage for the Urban EV Concept to become Honda’s first mass-produced battery electric vehicle to hit the market in Europe.

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Honda, Toyota, and Nissan Threaten to Leave the U.K. if Brexit Kills Profits

Honda, Toyota, and Nissan Threaten to Leave the U.K. if Brexit Kills Profits

A large cloud looms over the U.K. after it exits from the European Union

The uncertainty of the U.K.’s “Brexit” away from the European Union looms as one of the world’s biggest storylines since the shock vote that happened in 2016. There’s still a year away before the U.K. formally leaves the European bloc, but there are already concerns from other countries all over the world about the kind of trade agreements that will arise from the country’s departure from the EU. One of the concerned nations is Japan and, in an unusual move for the normally docile Japanese people, the country said that its companies would leave Britain if trade barriers made them unprofitable. Among the Japanese companies that could exit Britain include Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Mitsubishi.

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Automakers Say Manufacturing Jobs Are Safe From Robot Takeover, For Now

Automakers Say Manufacturing Jobs Are Safe From Robot Takeover, For Now

Assembly lines still require human talent

Fears that automation in the auto manufacturing sector will make the human worker redundant are widespread. However, according to a recent report from Bloomberg, the current state of technology still requires a human touch to do the job right.

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Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World

Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World

Some surprises and some familiar faces

Determining the value of a car brand can be a tricky exercise. There are so many variables to consider that ultimately, the results may differ from one study or another. What we do know is that, at the very least, the cream always rises to the top. The standings may be different depending on who the author of the study is, but it’s pretty much the same automakers making up a majority of the list.

In this exercise, we’re taking a look at the ten most valuable car brands, at least through the eyes of Interbrand, an independent agency that specializes in determining the world’s most valuable brands. Obviously, such a task involves creating a specific set of formulas and calculations using a variety of available information, including a company’s financial forecast and then using it with its own in-house-developed “role of brand” and “brand strength” calculations. If it sounds complicated, it’s because it is, especially in the current automotive climate where buzz words like “electrification,” “ride-sharing,” and “autonomous driving technology” have staked bigger pieces of influence among automakers of all shapes and sizes.

Even then, there are also certain requirements that each automaker has to meet to be eligible to be included in the list. These requirements include having a sales presence on at least three continents and having a third of a company’s revenue coming from its home market. Ultimately, it all boils down to a lot of tech jargon that’s a little above my head. What I can tell you, though, is that the final list that Interbrand came up with is both expected and revealing. A few notable names made it in predictable spots while a few surprise inclusions definitely raised our eyebrows.

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Honda Has Some Pricey Accessories For The Civic Type R In Japan

Honda Has Some Pricey Accessories For The Civic Type R In Japan

Easy to admit, though, they look pretty good

Every new car owner is faced with the tempting realization that new cars come with their own perks, including personalizing the car and adding whatever accessories are available. That temptation is even more understandable when the new car is the Honda Civic Type R. That’s probably why everybody is freaking out about these new accessories Honda just released for the Type R. The only caveats are that they’re only available in Japan, and more importantly, they cost more than you expect them to.

To put it in perspective, accessory prices in Japan make the prices at Hamilton Honda seem like bargains by comparison. It’s that incredible. Take for example the three-piece, red accent trim that sits just above the front grille and the headlights. That piece costs $293 based on current conversation rates. That’s actually a decent price if you think about it. But would you pay $1,564 for a carbon rear wing with a crimson polyester weave? How about Crystal Black Pearl or Red mirror covers for $137 a piece? While we’re at it, Type-R-branded floor mats have been priced at $577, close to double the price of what Hamilton Honda is asking for the same item. The prices are incredible, but the circumstances of the Japanese market do dictate that they’re priced as such. It’s a good thing that they do a fantastic job of dressing up the Civic Type R because, with the accessories in place, the hot hatch looks dramatically more potent and menacing.

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Consumer Reports Reliability Ratings Are Out; Buick Climbs to No. 3 While Honda Falls to No. 10

Consumer Reports Reliability Ratings Are Out; Buick Climbs to No. 3 While Honda Falls to No. 10

Tesla also made its debut in the rankings, but it wasn’t a good one

Consumer Reports’ Annual Brand Reliability survey is a go-to source for a lot of prospective car buyers who rely on the rankings to determine whether the brand and model they’re choosing is worth the money. Recently, Consumer Reports published its latest reliability rankings and the biggest winner other than Lexus and Toyota retaining the top two spots for the fourth year in a row is Buick.

Believe it or not, but General Motors’ luxury brand finished third in the rankings, the first time a U.S. auto brand has cracked the podium since Consumer Reports started tracking and ranking these things over 35 years ago. By comparison, Chevrolet is the next highest U.S. brand in the rankings and it finished 15th out of 29 brands tested by Consumer Reports.

Buick’s achievement can be attributed to a number of factors, and while its limited vehicle lineup was seen as an unintended advantage, it still speaks to the brand’s revival as a legitimate player in the luxury car segment.

The brand’s surprising rank also comes in the midst of a lot of predictable results, most notably the continued dominance of Asian brands in the rankings. In addition to Lexus and Toyota finishing first and second, respectively, Hyundai and Kia came in at fifth and seventh in the rankings, respectively. Nissan, Acura, Infiniti, and Mazda also moved up the ranks, leaving Honda and Subaru as the notable exceptions. Honda, in particular, was undone by the Civic receiving a “much-worse-than-average” reliability rank in part because of its botchy power equipment and infotainment systems.

European brands also scored well, relative to their past rankings. Audi continues to be the best of the lot with a fourth place finish while BMW cracked the top 10. Even Mercedes, which languished in the bottom third of the rankings in last year’s survey, moved up four places to 17th.

American brands were scattered all over the rankings, although most of them finished in the bottom half of the survey. Chevrolet did move up from 20th to 15th place on the back of strong performances from the Cruze and Corvette models, but Cadillac and GMC dropped in the rankings. Then there’s Tesla, which made its debut in the survey, only for it to finish near the bottom at 25th, thanks in large part to the abundant of issues attributed to the Model X.

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While Other Manufacturers Are Working Together, Honda Plans to Remain a Lone Ranger

While Other Manufacturers Are Working Together, Honda Plans to Remain a Lone Ranger

For better or worse, Japanese automaker is taking pride in its own independence

The auto industry’s rapid evolution has given way to consolidation among auto brands. In the Japanese auto sphere alone, recent transactions are in the process of seeing Toyota adding Suzuki into its fold and Nissan taking control of Mitsubishi. Then there’s Honda, which is steadily going about the business of minding its own, which, according to CEO Takahiro Hachigo, is exactly what the company wants to do. Go look elsewhere for news of consolidations because Honda is happy standing on its own two feet.

Hachigo made the proclamation to Automotive News, stressing that while the company will pursue any technical partnerships that could be considered as “win-win” situations, it’s not going to do so at the cost of moving away from its core business goals, even if the rest of the industry seems to be pre-occupied with adding more sales volume to their names. "We want to draw a line between those who want to do that and ourselves. We want to stay within the five million range," Hachigo said, referring to Honda’s global sales volume.

The independent status attributed to the Japanese brand is something that it holds dearly. It might even be a point of pride, or as Hachigo describes it, “a key part of its brand’s DNA.”

Then again, the “we’re on an island and we’re staying here” strategy does come with its own share of risks, especially in a time wherein rising costs in developing new-age technology (zero emissions, electrification, and autonomous driving) have forced a lot of Honda’s rivals to strike partnerships to mitigate the costs and the burden that comes with developing these new techs.

It’s a delicate situation to be in, but Honda seems to be confident that it can do it on its own. Let’s just hope for its sake that the road it’s taking in this current automotive climate doesn’t end up biting it in the end.

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Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Has a Better Range Than Tesla's Range-Topping Model S

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Has a Better Range Than Tesla’s Range-Topping Model S

It’s a huge selling point when the car launches later this year

Zero-emissions vehicles are more than just about the amount of horsepower they produce. The truth is, power often takes a backseat to range, or how far a zero-emissions vehicle can go on a single charge. To this day, the threshold seems to be 300 miles on a single charge, something that only a few cars are capable of achieving. One of these cars is the range-topping Tesla Model S P100D, which has a range of 315 miles. Another model that’s expected to break that mark is Honda’s Clarity fuel-cell vehicle, and according to the Japanese automaker, the Clarity FCV will have an EPA rating of 366 miles on a single tank, or the equivalent of 68 mpg combined (city and highway), making it the new standard-bearer for the highest range among zero-emission vehicles.

Do the math and the Clarity FCV can push 51 miles longer than the Model S P100D. More importantly, the Clarity FCV has 54 miles on its direct competitor, the Toyota Mirai FCV, which has a reported range of 312 miles. And let’s not even compare the equally new Chevrolet Bolt, which carries a range of 238 miles, 128 miles less than the Clarity FCV.

Having the highest range among zero-emission vehicles is an important selling point for Honda. It’s the performance car equivalent of horsepower, in large part because customers are most likely to gravitate towards cars that can last longer and farther on the road than their competitors. Considering that refuelling times for these cars are dropping with the advent of new technologies, range is quickly become one of the de facto numbers that prospective buyers will be looking for when they’re in the market for a zero-emissions vehicle.

The good news for Honda is that the Clarity FCV also comes with a number of interesting features, including Honda Sensing technology, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Pricing for the car has yet to be revealed, but the most common figure being thrown around is about $60,000, a tad more expensive than the Mirai FCV.

The biggest downfall of the Clarity FCV is its limited availability. Honda is only selling it in California, matching the locations of its network of hydrogen refueling stations. Only six dealerships in Southern California, five in the Bay Area, and one in Sacramento are selling the Clarity.

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Honda Sets Target To Roll Out 1 MIllion Green Vehicles By 2030

Honda Sets Target To Roll Out 1 MIllion Green Vehicles By 2030

The goal is to sell that number in the U.S. per year

With the future of the auto industry currently in a state of flux, various automakers are piecing together specific plans to become a major player in the future. Whether it’s cornering electrification or diving deep into autonomous driving vehicles, each company has its own long-term plan ready to be rolled out when the time’s right. In Honda’s case, that plan appears to be a major onslaught of green vehicles in the, including hybrids, plug-ins, fuel cell vehicles, and electric vehicles amounting to a total of 1 million sales per year by 2030.

The goal is as ambitious as it comes considering that Honda isn’t exactly lighting the sales charts on fire with its hybrid offerings. In fact, through June, the automaker has only sold 2,329 hybrids in the U.S. in the 2016 calendar year, a number that represents just .0047 percent of what it’s aiming for by 2030. It certainly hasn’t helped that Honda’s hybrid offerings in the U.S. market is limited to just the Acura RLX sedan, the NSX supercar, the Honda Accord Hybrid, and whatever’s left of the CR-Z hybrid hatchback, a model that will soon be discontinued and replaced by the soon-to-arrive Acura MDX hybrid.

Even if Honda’s current hybrid state doesn’t inspire too much confidence, CEO Takahiro Hachigo is confident that the automaker can achieve its plan, which in some ways is set to kick off this year with the introduction of the Clarity hydrogen fuel cell sedan, the first of three Clarity-badged green cars the company plans to roll out in the U.S. The second of these three models, the Clarity plug-in hybrid sedan, is scheduled to launch in 2017 while the all-electric Clarity joining the fold at an unspecified date. Two other hybrid models – a Civic and a CR-V – are also expected to enter the market before 2020.

It remains to be seen how successful these new models are going to be and how they’ll be able to complement Honda’s existing green car lineup. But let it be said that Honda isn’t being conservative with this goal. The company is dreaming big, as it should considering that “Dream Big” is one of its core values.

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Honda Developing Augmented Reality Safety Systems for In-Car Use

Honda Developing Augmented Reality Safety Systems for In-Car Use

Letting you see the unseen

While all-electric power and autonomous driving systems grab most of the headlines these days, there’s another piece of tech out there that’s worthy of your consideration – augmented reality (AR). It’s the same stuff used in the video game sensation Pokemon Go, but rather than imprisoning adorable monsters, some folks are interested in using it for four-wheeled applications. The latest automotive AR news comes from Honda, which just filed two patents that outline how the technology can be used to enhance safety behind the wheel. While Honda has yet to release an official statement on the technology, the patents summarize systems that allow drivers to avoid pedestrians and rear-end collisions.

Essentially, the patents propose a system that pulls images and information from various onboard sensors, then relays that info to the driver through a heads-up display that projects it onto the windshield, revealing what would normally be obstructed or out of sight.

One of the patents shows a system that detects pedestrians, then shows the driver an AR display of an intersection dotted by pedestrians, including those in the driver’s blind spot.

A second patent incorporates vehicle-to-vehicle communication whereby the distance between two cars is projected into the driver’s field of vision. Should a car ahead of the group brake heavily or identify an obstruction, it will relay that information to the cars behind it, with the drivers notified by an AR display.

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Honda NSX Will Cost Significantly More In Japan Compared To The Nissan GT-R NISMO

Honda NSX Will Cost Significantly More In Japan Compared To The Nissan GT-R NISMO

You would think that for an automaker that comes from Japan, its home market would get first dibs on any of the cars it builds. But that’s not the case with the Honda NSX. Apparently, the Japanese market isn’t getting the NSX until 2017, much later than other countries like the U.S. and Australia. Even more curious, the NSX will come with a base price of ¥23.7 million in Japan, or the equivalent of $235,000 based on current exchange rates. That amount is not only 50 percent higher than the supercar’s base price in the U.S. of $156,000, but it’s also a lot more expensive than the Nissan GT-R Nismo in Japan. For the record, the GT-R Nismo is priced at ¥18.7 million in Japan, or around $186,340.

It sounds ridiculous that a Japanese supercar costs more in its manufacturer’s homeland compared to international markets, but if you pull the curtains behind the development of the NSX, a number of revealing informations will tell you that it’s not as it might seen. First, the NSX, despite “technically” being a Japanese supercar, is actually being produced in the U.S., specifically at the automaker’s new Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Marysville, Ohio. That puts it in the “imported car” category, which traditionally carries a higher tax rate than local or regional cars. Then there’s the issue of Japan’s other tax rates, not the least of which includes an eight percent gas-guzzler tax that adds to the rising price tag of the supercar. Throw all of these charges together with the NSX’s base price in Japan and you get to that rather exorbitant figure.

In any event, Japanese customers aren’t obliged to buy the NSX if they feel that it’s not worth the price of owning one. Those who don’t mind paying a premium for the car now have a chance to get a hold of one as NSX Performance Dealers in Japan are now accepting applications for the supercar. Only 100 units will be made available in the first year with deliveries expected to begin on February 27, 2017, or May 2017 in the case of models that come with iron brake rotors.

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Honda Filed Patent For 11-Speed, Triple-Clutch Transmission

Honda Filed Patent For 11-Speed, Triple-Clutch Transmission

A new, innovative gearbox could hit the market soon

While two decades ago seven-speed transmissions for passenger cars were unheard of, they are quite common today. Actually, automatic transmissions have been receiving additional cogs on a regular basis, with several vehicles using eight- and nine-speed automatics. More recently, Ford and GM have announced plans to introduce a jointly-developed 10-cog unit, but a patent that Honda filed with the Japanese Patent Office suggests that in the future we might use transmissions with even more gears.

According to AutoGuide, the Japanese manufacturer filed a patent for a new 11-speed gearbox that will use three clutches (instead of just two). The patent describes a transmission that shifts quicker and delivers better fuel economy. The third clutch is also supposed to reduce the drop in torque that occurs during up shifts on a regular dual-clutch gearbox, but there’s no information as to how the unit actually works.

Also, there’s no mention of what type of vehicle this transmission would eventually be offered in, but it sounds like it could find a home in small, fuel economy-oriented cars. It could also be used on the company’s future sports cars, as well as in larger vehicles in need of better fuel economy. On the other hand, it might not make it on the market at all, as patents don’t always spawn mass-produced parts.

The patent was published on May 27, 2016, and is no longer available on the Japanese patent office’s website. Stick around for updates, we’ll be back as soon as we get fresh info.

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