I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Renault and Caterham's joint venture project will be cancelled

The deal between the two sides was forged in 2012, and resulted in Renault putting its Alpine factory in Dieppe and its 300-strong workforce into the 50:50 joint venture with Caterham. The partnership was called the Societe des Automobiles Alpine Caterham (SAAC) 
As a result, the two were set to launch lightweight two-seat sports cars under the Alpine and Caterham brands, co-developed by a joint engineering department.  

It is understood that both sports cars will still be launched on schedule in late 2016, although it is not clear if they will continue to share the same architecture and powertrains. The Alpine has been tipped to get 250bhp, with Caterham said to be chasing nearer 300bhp. The target kerb weight is 1100kg.
Neither Renault nor Caterham would confirm or comment on the split when contacted by Autocar.

However, reports of tensions between the two partners have been rife since it was confirmed the project would be delayed  earlier this year, after Renault instigated a minor redesign of its Alpine following customer clinics on the car's looks.

Volvo Sales Will Rise This Year, CEO Says.

Volvo's sales are down over 20 percent so far this year, thanks to an ageing product lineup and an ongoing struggle to maintain relevancy in the U.S. market.

But CEO Hakan Samuelsson expects sales to start picking up over the next few months, and predicts sales will rise 5 percent overall this year. "It will be a tough year and a year of turnaround," Samuelsson told Automotive News. "But we have a new team, strategies and tactics in place." Among the new strategies is the debut of the new V60 sport wagon.

With this introduction, Volvo is delving further into a segment which, although may not be huge in the U.S., is one of the automaker's specialties. The car promises plenty of cargo space for families while maintaining up to 38 mpg on the highway. Volvo is also introducing a new generation of fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines starting next month, Samuelsson revealed.

This strategy could help Volvo's U.S. sales grow to 65,000 units this year. After these changes, the next step for Volvo's growth is the introduction of a redesigned XC90 crossover, set to arrive in the U.S. in early 2015. This model, like many in Volvo's lineup, is in sore need of a makeover, as it hasn't been fully redone in a decade. Volvo is also planning a high-performance plug-in hybrid model down the line.

VW to approve budget car after solving cost issues, report says

Volkswagen's management board will sign off on a budget car for emerging markets after ending a long struggle to meet cost targets for the vehicle, a German business magazine said.
VW's senior executives will approve the car in the next few weeks and the supervisory board is expected to sign off on the project by the summer, Manager Magazin said in a report.
VW has been trying for more than a year to hit internal cost requirements for the vehicle, which would likely sell for between 6,000 euros ($8,300) and 8,000 euros and be built in China, the biggest market for budget cars.
The car would be sold under a new brand, which would become VW Group's 13th marque, the magazine said.  It would compete against the General Motors-SAIC Baojun and Toyota Avanza brands in China with annual production of 500,000 units planned, the report said.
The car would launch at the end of 2016 or early 2017 and would be sold in other Asian markets such as India if it is a success.
VW brand development chief Heinz-Jakob Neusser said at the Geneva auto show on March 4 that it was becoming more and more difficult to hit cost goals for the budget car, adding it made no sense to approve a vehicle that was not meeting in-house targets.

VW lacks a strong presence in markets such as India and southeast Asia which are dominated by no-frills models, and without a successful budget car, analysts have questioned whether the group will be able to meet its goal of becoming the world's biggest carmaker by 2018.
A VW spokesman said the carmaker was working vigorously to develop the budget car but that a decision had not been taken yet.

Fiat plans seven new Alfa models by 2018, report says

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will unveil seven new Alfa Romeo models and push to increase sales of the sports car brand fivefold, a report said.
Alfa plans to release a convertible Spider by 2016, followed by the sedan and wagon versions of the Giulia and Alfetta models in 2017 and 2018, respectively, Germany's AutoBild magazine reported Friday.
The Giulia sedan will compete with the BMW 3 series, while the Alfetta sedan would rival the BMW 5 series.

The pipeline also includes two crossover sport utility vehicles, a compact version and a larger one, which will come to the market in 2017 and 2018, respectively, the magazine said.
Alfa is developing a new rear-wheel- and all-wheel-drive architecture for its new models, Automotive News Europe reported in December. The architecture is code-named Giorgio, according to ANEsources.
The MiTo and Giulietta hatchbacks, which front-wheel drive, will not get replacements as previously anticipated, AutoBild said.
The relaunch of the 104-year-old Alfa Romeo brand, along with luxury Maseratis, is a key part of the group's plans to return to profit in Europe by 2016. Both Alfas and Maseratis will be produced in Italy, Fiat has said.

Fiat aims for Alfa sales of at least 500,000 vehicles a year compared with around 100,000 sold last year, AutoBild said. It did not mention a timeframe.
Fiat declined to comment. It is due to unveil a new industrial plan, outlining investments and new models the group will pursue over the next three years, on May 6.
CEO Sergio Marchionne is betting on the sporty Alfa brand because he believes it can deliver the global profile that his mass-market Fiat brand cannot and far greater sales volumes than top-end Maseratis, but the strategy has so far been met with skepticism.
Fiat acquired the Alfa brand in 1986, but has since failed to reinvigorate it despite repeated attempts. Ambitious plans to boost sales to half a million by 2014 have been gradually scaled back, partly because the auto market in Europe was hit by a six-year long slump in sales, leaving Alfa with a weak reputation for quality and just three models.
The recently launched Alfa Romeo 4C coupe was well received, however.

Luxurious new Jaguar XJ Coupe planned

Jaguar is set to replace the XK with a larger luxury GT car based on the next XJ saloon. Our exclusive images show how it could look.

The Jaguar XK will be quietly phased out in the summer, but Jaguar is already working on its more upmarket successor, set to be pitched as a larger 2+2 grand tourer to take on the Bentley Continental GT and new Mercedes S-Class Coupe.

Our exclusive images show how the model could take design cues from the F-Type and increase its dimensions, becoming more of an XJ Coupe than an oversized F-Type. 
A larger grille, chrome-ringed lower air intakes and horizontal instead of vertical headlights set it apart from its sportier brother, although the muscular rear wheelarches, flowing lines and wraparound tail-lamps tie the two cars together.

Although Jaguar sold around 54,000 XKs over its lifetime, only 4,000 found homes last year – largely because the faster F-Type has been taking sales from it. The new car will start from £100,000 to put daylight between it and the F-Type.
There’s likely to be a choice of supercharged V6 and V8 petrol engines, plus, for the first time, a six-cylinder diesel, while the platform is believed to be a stretched version of the F-Type’s aluminium architecture. Don’t expect to see the new GT for several years, though, as Jag enters one of the busiest periods in its history. 

With the F-Type Coupe and Convertible now on sale, its next new car will be the XE small saloon – due in mid-2015 with an all-new iQ[Al] aluminium architecture. Then, in early 2016, comes an SUV (below) using the same structure and previewed by the C-X17 concept.

Coupe and estate versions of the XE are expected in 2016, with an all-new iQ[Al]-based XF following towards the end of that year. This means we’ll have to wait until 2017 at least before we see a new XJ and the car shown here.

Friday, 21 March 2014

USA - Cadillac ATS Crimson Sport Edition Debuts This Spring.

Cadillac will debut a limited-edition ATS this spring, complete with a smoldering red paint job and a host of interior and exterior design extras.

The Cadillac ATS Crimson Sport Edition arrives at the end of this month with added refinement and a sportier edge. Along with its unique metallic paint color, the model will feature special 18-inch Manoogian Dark Silver Premium Painted wheels as well as a color-matched front splitter.

An aggressive aero decklid spoiler, rocker moldings, and a rear diffuser enhance the package. On the inside are four interior color schemes. Buyers can choose Morello Red, Caramel, Light Platinum, or Jet Black, each enhanced with black accents.

The limited edition model also offers a unique microfiber suede material for the shifter and heated steering wheel. The new Cadillac ATS Crimson Sport Edition is available on the 272-horsepower 2.0T Performance sedan for an MSRP of $46,010.

This price is around $3,000 more than the regular edition Performance sedan. Buyers can also opt for the Crimson Sport Edition on the 321-horsepower 3.6-liter Premium model, which is priced at $51,010. Navigation, sunroof, advanced safety packages, and a rear-wheel drive Track Package are optional features on this limited edition ATS compact car.


USA - Extreme Temperatures Can Dramatically Lower EV Range, Study Says.

Most know that electric vehicles have a limited driving range, and that this only gets worse in extremely hot or cold climates. But perhaps what we didn't know is just how severe the problem can be. An electric vehicle's driving range can drop by as much as 57 percent in extreme temperatures, according to a new study by AAA. In neutral climates of 75 degrees, the electric vehicles involved in the experiment averaged 105 miles per charge.

But this decreased dramatically to 43 miles when the cars were subjected to 20 degree weather. When the temperature reached 95 degrees, EV range also dropped considerably, but not by as much. The EVs managed to get just 69 miles in these hot conditions, or 33 percent lower than average. AAA ran tests on a 2013 Nissan Leaf, 2012 Mitsubishi iMieV, and a 2014 Ford Focus Electric during December 2013 and January 2014. Following standard EPA-DOE testing procedures, AAA subjected the cars to moderate, hot, and cold climates in a city driving environment.

The study was conducted with the help of the Automobile Club of Southern California Automotive Research Center. "Electric motors provide smooth operation, strong acceleration and require less maintenance than internal combustion engines,” said the Automotive Research Center (ARC) Manager and Chief Engineer Steve Mazor. “However, EV drivers need to carefully monitor range in hot and cold weather.”

These fears persist despite actions the automakers have taken to reduce range loss in extreme temperatures. Both the Ford and Mitsubishi cars in the study came with active thermal management systems that provided both heat and A/C for the battery pack.

But the same can't be said for the Nissan, which only had a heating unit. Complaints that the Leaf EV suffers from poor range in hot weather has led Nissan to prepare for an improved battery pack on future models.


BMW plant Berlin manufactures 500,000th BMW GS motorcycle with boxer engine.

On Wednesday 19th March the 500,000th BMW motorcycle of the flat-twin-engined GS model series came off the production line – a R 1200 GS. Since 1969 motorcycles have been manufactured for the world market in Berlin-Spandau and since 1980 the BMW Motorrad GS models with boxer engine, too. Motorcycles which inspire the urge for adventure travel and even to go on expeditions to the remotest corners of the earth.
In the autumn of 1980, BMW Motorrad presented the R 80 G/S, a machine which combined the qualities for two very special fields of use: Offroad and street. What began with 798 cc of displacement and 50 bhp of output has developed  into a fascinating high-tech travel enduro in the shape of the R 1200 GS with 125 bhp and 1170 cc over a period of three decades. Furthermore  state-of-the art suspension technology and electronic regulation systems such ABS, traction control or semi-active suspension have been added. This ongoing and above all consistent development of the boxer-engined BMW GS models is a major reason for their status as top-selling travel enduros worldwide. 

Stephan Schaller, President of BMW Motorrad: "By combining street, off-road and everyday qualities, BMW Motorrad created the new travel enduro species with the R 80 G/S. The flat-twin GS became the synonym for this segment. The outstanding talents of the boxer-engined GS models – ride dynamics, offroad qualities, comfort and endurance – have been continuously nurtured, developed and transferred very successfully to other BMW Motorrad model series." 
Marc Sielemann, Head of the BMW Motorrad Berlin Plant: "As a plant it is a privilege for us to continue building on the successful history of the legendary flat-twin GS. With the precision-cooled drive unit, a new evolutionary stage was reached last year. Manufacturing half a million units underlines the fact that the boxer GS represents a cornerstone of our motorcycle production more than ever before."

ŠKODA has produced the 11 millionth car at Mladá Boleslav, the main company plant.

› ŠKODA main factory is the heart of the global ŠKODA production network 
› The root and origin of a 118-year corporate history 
› Cornerstone of the ŠKODA growth strategy; extensive investments

ŠKODA AUTO has produced eleven million vehicles at its main factory in Mladá Boleslav. Six ŠKODA models are currently produced in Mladá Boleslav: the Octavia, Octavia Combi, Fabia, Fabia Combi, Rapid and Rapid Spaceback. As part of the most comprehensive product campaign in its corporate history, the carmaker has extensively modernized and expanded the production facilities over the past three years.
​“Mladá Boleslav is the heart of the global ŠKODA production network,” says Michael Oeljeklaus, ŠKODA Board member for Production. “This, the eleven million vehicles produced, demonstrates the strength and importance of both the plant and the company. More than 50 percent of all ŠKODA cars built to date have left the production lines in Mladá Boleslav, of which one million were produced in the last two years alone. ŠKODA’s heart beats in this town and at this factory. The whole team is very proud of the eleven millionth milestone. In the years ahead, ŠKODA will continue to grow with the most comprehensive model campaign in the company’s history and our main factory is going to play a key role.”

The Mladá Boleslav plant is the mainstay of production in the model campaign that the Czech manufacturer launched around three years ago. Almost 10,000 employees work on producing the current ŠKODA Fabia, the new ŠKODA Octavia, as well as the new ŠKODA Rapid and the new ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback. To accommodate the production of the new models, ŠKODA launched one of the most extensive modernization and expansion projects in the history of the plant. The focus was to increase the production capacity of production line I from 800 to 1,200 vehicles every day. Among other things, a new body shop and a fully-automated paint shop for body interiors were installed. In addition ŠKODA built a new, environmentally friendly press line.

The investments are paying off: the new models made in Mladá Boleslav are selling very well. Growing by more than 30 percent in West & Central Europe, the new ŠKODA Octavia has been a massive hit in the first two months of 2014. The new ŠKODA Octavia is available as Octavia, Octavia Combi, Octavia Combi 4x4 and the powerful Octavia RS version. The new Octavia Scout and the new CNG-driven Octavia G-TEC are soon to follow in 2014. It has not even been two years since the market launch of the new ŠKODA Rapid, and it has already become the brand’s third-strongest model. In 2013, ŠKODA was able to more than quadruple deliveries of the Rapid over the previous year. The ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback has been the brand’s first compact hatchback since mid-2013.

The Mladá Boleslav plant on Václav Klement Road is the ŠKODA plant par excellence and is regarded as the heart of the company’s 118-year success story. In close proximity to the current production halls, the two vehicle pioneers, Václav Laurin and Václav Klement launched the construction of bicycles in 1895, then motorcycles, and from 1905, they began constructing automobiles.

Besides the main plant in the Czech Republic, ŠKODA has two other production sites; Kvasiny and Vrchlabí. The Yeti, Superb and Roomster run off the production lines at Kvasiny and the Vrchlabí plant currently produces the DQ200 double-clutch gearbox for the Volkswagen Group. The Czech manufacturer and Volkswagen Group invested around €170 million into producing the DSG.

In addition to domestic production, ŠKODA, as part of the international growth strategy, is focusing on increasing local capacities in key global growth markets, particularly of China and Russia. In China there have been built to date at the locations of Anting, Yizheng and Ningbo more than one million ŠKODA vehicles for the Chinese market. The production of the new Octavia for the Chinese market has been set for mid-2014. ŠKODA models are also produced at the Russian production sites of Nizhny Novgorod and Kaluga. The assembly of the ŠKODA Rapid for the Russian market began in Kaluga just a few weeks ago.

As part of the company’s growth strategy launched three years ago, ŠKODA plans to increase deliveries worldwide over the next few years to at least 1.5 million vehicles per year. In 2013 ŠKODA delivered 920,800 vehicles to customers worldwide, making it the second-best sales year in the company's history. By introducing eight new or revised models, the brand launched more new models in one year than ever before. ŠKODA will continue on this path to growth in 2014. By the end of February, sales were up 10.6 percent over the same period in 2013.

Various milestones in ŠKODA AUTO’s production:

- 19 March 2014: 11 millionth ŠKODA vehicle at the Mladá Boleslav plant
- 26 August 2013: 4 millionth ŠKODA Octavia
- 9 July 2013: 1 millionth ŠKODA vehicle in China since 2007
- 5 February 2013: 15 millionth ŠKODA vehicle since 1905
- 30 January 2012: 14 millionth ŠKODA vehicle since 1905
- 12 October 2011: 10 millionth ŠKODA vehicle at the Mladá Boleslav plant
- 8 April 2009: 12 millionth ŠKODA vehicle since 1905
- 13 July 2006: 10 millionth ŠKODA vehicle since 1905
- 1991: 5 millionth ŠKODA vehicle since 1905 

Four ŠKODA Citigo G-TECs to start in Monte-Carlo Alternative Energy Rally

  • › Bivalent city runabouts with fuel consumption of only 2.9 kg CNG/100km step up to the competition in alternative drive concepts
  • › Energy efficiency, uniformity and manoeuvrability will be rated 
  • › Seven-times German rally champion Matthias Kahle is looking forward to the challenging route through the Maritime Alps 
  • › Rally to the South of France plus loop over original stages to give that classic "Monte" feeling.

ŠKODA will be starting at the ‘Rallye de Monte-Carlo des Énergies Nouvelles’ from 20 to 23 March with four natural gas-powered Citigo 1.0 G-TECs. The event is the most prestigious competition for vehicles with alternative drive. The most important criterion is the energy efficiency rating on the 1,000+ kilometre route.
​One of the 50 kW (68 hp) ŠKODA Citigo 1.0 G-TEC is to be driven by the seven-time German Rally Champion Matthias Kahle, accompanied by his long-time co-pilot Peter Göbel. Kahle and Göbel are not only specialists in off-road and high-speed, they have also taken numerous victories in regularity events. Being about maximum efficiency, the race is a new challenge for ŠKODA driver Matthias Kahle: “With a predetermined travel time and speed through the French Maritime Alps, accelerating and using as little gas as possible requires extreme sensitivity and concentration.” 

Thus, the rally veteran alludes to the special regulations of the Monte-Carlo Rally for alternative drives. It is not pure speed that counts here, but rather a ‘triathlon’ of qualities essential to everyday motoring. The most important criterion is the energy efficiency rating - the consumption of the different drive concepts and fuel types are converted into a common classification according to a points system. Multiple regularity trials are included in the championship, taking place on some of the classic test routes the Rally Monte-Carlo. The third rating point is the manoeuvrability of the vehicles that will be tested in the principality’s yacht harbour. All tests are run on closed routes not public roads. 

The ŠKODA Citigo G-TEC has many qualities that are in demand in the "alternative Monte": With a combined fuel consumption of just 2.9 kilograms of natural gas per 100 kilometres, it is rated in the EU's energy efficiency class as A+. Thanks to the low CO2 emissions of a combined 79g/km, it has been entered in the 2013/2014 environmental car list of the Traffic Club Germany (VCD). No other model on this list is more economical or climate-friendly.

At the same time, the bivalent Citigo G-TEC, driven by natural gas and petrol, gives a very agile performance: with its 50 kW (68 PS) engine, the car sprints from 0-100km/h in  16.3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 164 km/h. With a turning circle of 9.8 meters and compact 3.56 metre overall length, the vehicle is ideal for city driving and winding country roads. Electronic stability control and ASR traction control are fitted as standard.

The ‘Rallye de Monte-Carlo des Énergies Nouvelles’ is considered one of the most challenging races for alternative fuel vehicles. Electric, hybrid and internal combustion engines and types of energy such as natural gas, LPG, biodiesel, solar power, hydrogen and others will be competing against each other in various rating classes. Only vehicles that produce very little or no CO2 are allowed to participate.
In keeping with the classic Monte Carlo Rally, the "alternative Monte" also starts with a rally, in which all four ŠKODA Citigo G-TECs will be competing in Clermont-Ferrand, France. They will have driven around 550km by the time they reach the stage finish in Aix-en-Provence. From there, the teams will drive about 365 miles to Monaco. Around the Principality, they will be driving a 190kilometer loop, mostly on special stages of the Monte Carlo Rally. In total, the ‘Rallye de Monte-Carlo des Énergies Nouvelles’ is 1105 km long. The victory ceremony will take place on 23 March held in 2014 at the Port of Monaco.

Renault aims for No.2 spot with the Twingo

Renault aims to challenge Fiat's decade-long dominance of the minicar segment with its new Twingo.
"I would like to see the Twingo in the number two spot in this segment," Stefan Mueller, the company's Europe chairman, Mueller told Automotive News Europe in an interview.
The Fiat 500 was Europe's selling minicar last year (see chart below), followed by the Fiat Panda at No. 2 and third-placed Volkswagen Up.
To pass the Panda and Up, Twingo sales would have to be double the car's 2013 volume.

Renault has not released prices or sales targets for the Twingo but Mueller said the company will not be offering the minicar at a low price to win sales. "We won’t do anything just for the sake of volume,” he said.
The Twingo was unveiled at the Geneva auto show earlier this month and arrives in showrooms this summer. The car shares its platform with Daimler's upcoming Smart ForFour four-seater. It has a rear-mounted engine, making it roomier than competitors. It is rear-wheel-drive and can turn in a very tight space, a plus for drivers trying to park in Europe’s cramped cities.
The minicar segment is getting more competitive. One third of the top 20 minicar models will be either all-new or new-generation vehicles by the end of this year. This massive product refresh could boost sales to 1.3 million units in 2016 from 1.1 million last year, said IHS Automotive.
Tougher C02 limits looming in 2020 and a recovery of the Italian car market, Europe’s largest for minicars, is also seen boosting flagging sales of Europe’s third-most popular segment after subcompact and compact cars.
Europe's 10 best-selling minicars in 2013 (unit sales)
Fiat 500: 160,015
Fiat Panda: 152,404
Volkswagen Up: 129,754
Renault Twingo: 77,714
Toyota Aygo: 63,770
Hyundai i10: 61,425
Citroen C1: 56,786
Peugeot 107: 55,242
Kia Picanto: 50,213
Ford Ka: 50,213

Automakers are also offering minicars with upscale features. Three-door cars like the 500 and the Opel/Vauxhall Adam are stylish and let customers pick from dozens of color combinations, enabling their manufacturers to pocket a higher margin than have been the rule in this low-profit segment.
Renault has not said if it will price the Twingo at the upper end of the segment. The base price for the Fiat 500 is 12,310 euros in Italy.
The Twingo’s price "will be competitive but will respect the value of the product, like we did with the Clio and Captur," Philippe Klein, Renault’s product planning chief, said.

"Thanks to our partner Daimler we have a new platform, which is very interesting because it has a rear wheel drive architecture that no competitor has," he said in an interview. "This will give our customers real advantages, such an high maneuverability, good visibility, a small turning circle – one meter less than the best competitor – and a lot of space inside. We think we have made a very interesting car that will give us chances to be successful."
Klein said Renault is not planning to launch a battery powered version of the Twingo. "The new platform that could host an electric version, but we decided not to do it for now. We already have four electric models in our range and we considered it was not necessary to add the Twingo at this stage," he said.
Claire Bal and Nick Gibbs contributed to this report HERE

USA - BMW to confirm new X7, seven seater SUV next week.

The long-rumoured BMW X7 will be built at the company’s plant in Spartanburg, S.C., The Wall Street Journal reported today.
BMW will make the announcement on March 28, the newspaper reported, and will spend several hundred million dollars to expand the plant to build the seven-seat X7. 

BMW had been rumoured to be considering a three-bench vehicle to fill a gap in its crossover lineup.
Construction at the plant would boost production levels to 400,000 vehicles annually from 300,000 today, the Journal reported. The expansion would make the plant one of BMW’s largest and would add several hundred production jobs. BMW has 7,000 employees at Spartanburg.

The plant builds the X3, X5 and X6 crossovers, of which roughly half are exported to more than 130 countries. Most X7s produced at the plant will remain in the United States.

USA - Honda celebrate producing the 20 Millionth US made product

  •  10 Millionth U.S.-made Honda Accord Manufactured In Marysville, Ohio -

The 10 millionth U.S.-built Honda Accord rolled off the assembly line today at Honda's first U.S. auto plant in Marysville, Ohio, as all four Honda auto plants in America celebrated the cumulative production of 20 million automobiles in the U.S.  Honda also marked the achievement at two engine and two transmission plants that build the powertrains used in Honda's U.S.-built cars and trucks.
The Marysville Auto Plant is the historic site of the first Honda Accord produced in America on Nov. 1, 1982, and the first Japanese auto plant to begin production of automobiles in the United States. Since then, Honda has established automobile manufacturing operations in East Liberty, Ohio, Lincoln, Ala., and Greensburg, Ind.

Those plants today manufacture 11 different models, including four passenger cars and seven light trucks.  A fifth U.S. plant, the Performance Manufacturing Center, is under construction in Marysville, Ohio, and next year will become the exclusive global production location for the next generation Acura NSX.
"We are deeply aware that our ability to reach this milestone results from the trust that 20 million customers have placed in our products, and we appreciate their support over the past three decades," said Hidenobu Iwata, president and CEO of Honda of America Mfg. and head of Honda's North American manufacturing. "We also value the commitment made by tens of thousands of associates at Honda and our hundreds of suppliers in the U.S. who build products of the highest quality for our customers."
Honda's U.S. plants produced a record 1,309,917 automobiles in 2013, an increase of 7.4 percent from the previous annual mark set in 2012. Honda is supported by a network of 533 suppliers in the U.S., with purchasing of parts and components last year exceeding $23 billion.
Associates at the Marysville Auto Plant have been building the Accord since production began nearly 32 years ago, and over that time have produced the vast majority of Accords for the U.S. and other markets. Today, the plant produces the Accord Sedan, Coupe and the Accord Hybrid. Accord models also were produced for four years at the East Liberty Auto Plant and two years at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama.
Honda's four U.S. auto plants are supported by engine manufacturing in Lincoln, Ala. and Anna, Ohio, and the production of automatic transmissions in Russells Point, Ohio, and Tallapoosa, Ga.  These plants have produced 23.77 million automobile engines and 18.64 million transmissions in the United States. In 2013, nearly 95 percent of the Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were produced in North America.
Over the past three years, Honda has invested approximately $1.6 billion in its U.S. auto plants to expand production and implement new technologies in products and manufacturing systems.
Honda U.S. Automobile Production
Honda of America Mfg.
Marysville Auto Plant11.4 Million - since 1982
East Liberty Auto Plant4.75 Million - since 1989
Honda Manufacturing of Alabama3.1 Million - since 2001
Honda Manufacturing of Indiana750,000 - since 2008
Honda Cumulative U.S. Auto Production20 Million
About Honda's U.S. Auto Plants
The Honda of America Mfg. Marysville Auto Plant shattered its previous all-time high by producing 492,409 vehicles last year, up 12 percent from 2012, while the East Liberty Auto Plant produced 242,363 light trucks last year. This resulted in record production of 734,772 Ohio-made vehicles at the two plants in 2013. This includes 69,680 vehicles for export to more than 40 countries.
Honda Manufacturing of Alabama produced 333,556 vehicles along with their six-cylinder engines in 2013, just shy of its all-time high set in 2012, due to a major model change for the all-new 2014 Acura MDX. The Alabama plant produced 20,466 vehicles for export to 49 countries in 2013.
Honda Manufacturing of Indiana produced a record 241,589 automobiles last year, up 21 percent from 2012. The Indiana plant started auto production in 2008 and added a second shift in 2011. It produced 18,559 vehicles for export last year.
Honda has the capacity to produce 1.92 million cars and light trucks in North America at eight auto plants, including in Canada and Mexico.  Production recently began of the 2015 Honda Fit at a new auto plant in Celaya, Mexico. With the new Celaya plant, Honda now has the capability to build virtually every product in its lineup in North America, from sub-compact models to light trucks.

USA - Acura TLX to debut in New York

The production Acura TLX performance-luxury sedan will make its world debut at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. 

Designed to compete in the midsize luxury segment, the 2015 Acura TLX will deliver higher levels of luxury refinement and sports-sedan athleticism with exhilarating performance enhanced by next-generation Acura powertrain and dynamic-handling technologies.  

The 2015 TLX will offer two advanced new powertrains - a 2.4-liter 16-valve, direct-injected i-VTEC® 4-cylinder engine mated to an all-new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission with torque converter; and a 3.5-liter 24-valve direct-injected i-VTEC V-6 mated to a new 9-speed automatic transmission. 

Two-wheel-drive models, available with either the 2.4- or 3.5-liter powerplants, will utilize the next-generation of Acura Precision All-Wheel Steer™ (P-AWS™) technology with independent left and right rear-wheel toe angle control. The TLX SH-AWD™, available exclusively with the 3.5-liter powerplant, will employ a next-generation Super-Handling All Wheel Drive™ system that is 25-percent lighter and incorporates new torque-vectoring control logic. 

USA - The storming new Callaway Camaro Z/28

Callaway Cars Inc., recognized worldwide for their limited production, high performance road cars and world-class, internationally competitive race cars, is pleased to announce the introduction of the 2014 Callaway Camaro Z/28 SC652.
How do you commemorate the return of a legend? By building a limited production run with Callaway components and boosting power to 652 horsepower and 620 pound-feet of torque. That’s how.
The Callaway Camaro SC652 is equipped with all of the standard Z/28 features: unprecedented weight reduction, a hand-built 427 cid engine with dry sump oiling, a wind-tunnel-tested aerodynamic package, massive Pirelli® tires, impressive Brembo® carbon-ceramic brakes, race-proven spool-valve dampers, and much more.
Callaway adds Eaton TVS supercharging from the 2006-2013 Callaway Corvette SC652, a high-flow intake system, a low-restriction exhaust system, and other model-specific performance and appearance components. Not for the faint of heart, just ten examples of the SC652 are scheduled for production.
Callaway Camaro Z/28 SC652 Standard Equipment
  • Eaton TVS2300 supercharger system
  • Liquid-to-air intercooler
  • Increased flow rate fuel injectors
  • Model-specific high flow intake system
  • Model-specific low restriction exhaust system
  • Model-specific badging
  • Model-specific embroidered floor mats
  • Model-specific door sill panels
  • Callaway key fob
  • Callaway authenticity documentation
  • Callaway 3 year/36,000 mile limited warranty
Callaway Camaro Z/28 SC652 Optional Equipment
  • Callaway 5 year/100,000 mile powertrain service contract
  • Callaway custom-fit car cover
  • Callaway factory delivery
Callaway Camaro Z/28 SC652 Performance
  • Engine Displacement: 7.0L (427.7 cid)
  • Max. HP: 652 bhp @ 6700 rpm (SAE)
  • Max. Torque: 620 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm (SAE)
  • Zero-to-60 mph: 3.7 sec
  • 1/4 mile ET/speed: 11.5 sec @ 114 mph
Callaway Camaro Z/28 SC652 Package MSRP: $19,995.

The SC652 joins the supercharged line-up of Callaway Camaros for 2014. In addition to the new Z/28-based Callaway, Camaro SS coupes and convertibles are available with 562 horsepower (auto. trans.) and 582 horsepower (manual trans.). Click here for detailed information on all of the Callaway Camaros: SC562, SC582 and SC652.
Callaway’s 3 year/36,000 mile warranty supplements the GM factory warranty, providing the best coverage of any specialist vehicle manufacturer. Plus, an optional 5 year/100,000 mile Powertrain Service Contract is available, illustrating Callaway's confidence in its systems-engineered components.
All Callaway cars and trucks are assembled to stringent engineering specifications by expert technicians exclusively at Callaway factories in Old Lyme, Connecticut, and Santa Ana, California. They are sold by a network of Callaway Authorized Chevrolet Dealers located across the US and Canada.

To locate your new Callaway Camaro Z/28 SC652, contact Chris Chessnoe, Callaway Dealer Program Manager, at his direct line, (860) 389-1885, or email him at cchessnoe@callawaycars.com. Chris suggests, "With a production run of only ten cars, if you want one, it's a good idea to give me a call soon. At least two are already sold. Then I can put you in touch with the Callaway dealer that has the car you want, or can get it."
Camaro and Z/28 are registered trademarks of General Motors Corporation.
Callaway Cars Incorporated is an automotive engineering and manufacturing corporation specializing in high performance applications. Founded in 1976, the corporation’s four core business units include Callaway Cars, Callaway Carbon, Callaway Engineering and Callaway Competition with facilities in California, Connecticut and Germany. The organization produces specialty vehicles, engineering services, and performance products that showcase technological sophistication, artistry in design, and beauty in craftsmanship.

Honda's new futuristic model, the NM4 Vultus.

Honda announces the new NM4 Vultus, a ground-breaking machine inspired by futuristic machines seen in the anime and manga television and film styles, known collectively as “Japanimation”. 

Created by a young design team who remained true to their original concept at every stage through to production, the NM4 Vultus brings radical style to the streets, with function from the future for a new breed of rider. The NM4 represents a machine capable of crossing traditional two-wheeled lines and reaching out to a wider audience. 

Vultus is Latin for appearance, expression – or face. The NM4 Vultus, with its LED lights, future-shock style and stealth bomber silhouette presents a look that will not have been seen in any cityscape this side of an anime movie…
Underneath the brooding menace is a rock-solid chassis and engine package. Packed with low-friction technology, its 745cc twin-cylinder engine is canted forward, creating space and a low centre of gravity. 

Delivering strong low and mid-range power and torque for smooth acceleration coupled with excellent fuel economy, it’s also equipped as standard with Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), giving the rider options between automatic twist-and-go D and S mode – plus trigger-operated computer game-style manual MT mode. Intuitive and easy to use, it adds to the futuristic appeal of the NM4 Vultus and is the perfect complement to the engine’s gutsy, usable performance.