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    • By William Maley
      Car Sales Quicken and Trucks Continue Momentum as American Honda Sets New Sales Records in November
      Dec 1, 2016 - TORRANCE, Calif.
      Powered by both cars and trucks, American Honda and the Honda Division set new November sales records American Honda and Honda Division trucks also set new November sales marks Compacts lead, with Fit gaining 43 percent and HR-V soaring 132 percent above year ago levels MDX sets November pace for Acura while RDX gets new November record Acura NSX reaches another milestone American Honda Motor Co., Inc. today reported total November sales of 122,924 Honda and Acura vehicles, an increase of 6.5 percent versus November of last year to set a new November record. American Honda trucks gained 9.9 percent for a new November record on sales of 62,737 units. Honda Division overall vehicle sales also set a new November mark of 111,308 units, rising 7.9 percent. Acura Division sales held fairly steady in November, totaling 11,616 units for a decrease of 5.1 percent.
      Honda
      Continuing to buck the industry trend, Honda car sales helped push the brand to a new November record. Fit and Accord led the way for Honda cars, with strong support from Civic.  Honda truck sales maintained strong momentum with a new November record as HR-V jumped in triple digits and both CR-V and the new Ridgeline had strong sales performances.
      Honda Division sales rose 7.9 percent on sales of 111,308 for a new November record. Honda cars gained 5.6 percent on sales of 56,943 units, while trucks increased 10.3 percent on sales of 54,365 units for a new November record. Accord, recently named one of Car & Driver magazine's 10 Best cars for a record 31st time, enjoyed a robust gain of 6.3 percent on sales of 27,182 units. HR-V sales totaled 8,141 in November, a remarkable 132 percent increase. Civic sales topped 25,000 for the month, gaining 1 percent and keeping Civic on track to set an all-time annual sales mark in December. "Considering the continued consumer appetite for trucks and SUVs, we're excited to see Honda cars resonate so well with our customers," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division. "This is especially gratifying considering the strength of our light truck lineup, as we continue to hit on all cylinders with individual retail buyers."
      Acura
      Acura light trucks continued to show sales muscle, with MDX leading the month of November for the brand and RDX recording best-ever November sales. On the car side, RLX showed an uptick while NSX reached a new milestone.
      Acura trucks continued on pace to top 2015, gaining 7.6 percent with sales of 8,372 units in November. Sales of the redesigned MDX rose 13 percent on sales of 4,622 for the month. RDX had its best November sales to date, rising 1.6 percent on sales of 3,750 vehicles. RLX sales moved up slightly in November, gaining 16.7 percent on sales of 140 units. Reaching another milestone, the custom-crafted NSX supercar has topped 200 customer deliveries since sales commenced in May. "Strong sales of the new Acura MDX demonstrate that our design direction and focus on performance is the right path for the Acura brand," said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of the Acura division. "With the NSX and the MDX leading the way, we will take our entire lineup toward Acura's Precision Crafted Performance DNA."

    • By William Maley
      The Environmental Protection Agency has today proposed to keep its vehicle emission targets through 2025, shocking a lot of people and possibly setting up a major fight between regulators and the automotive industry. 
      According to Automotive News, the proposal will now enter a 30-day comment period. After this period, the EPA administrator could finalize this proposal and begin enforcing these standards a bit quicker. By 2025, automakers will need to increase their  to 54.5 miles per gallon corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) numbers to 54.5 miles per gallon.
      Why move the proposal up now? A proposal was expected next year with a final decision in 2018. The EPA said in a statement their “extensive technical analysis” has shown no reason as to why the timeframe or standards should be changed. Also, automakers will be able to achieve those 2025 standards at “similar or even a lower cost”.
      “Due to the industry’s rapid technological advancement, the technical record could arguably support strengthening the 2022-2025 standards. However, the administrator’s judgment is [that] now is not the time to introduce uncertainty by changing the standards. The industry has made huge investments in fuel efficiency and low emissions technologies based on these standards, and any changes now may disrupt those plans,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation on a conference call.
      That analysis started back in July and is used to determine whether or not the EPA needs to make adjustments to the regulations or schedule.
      But there might be another reason. With President Obama leaving the White House on January 20th and President-elect Donald Trump, there are concerns that Trump's administration could challenge the regulations. By doing this now, it would make the process of undoing these regulations more complicated - notice and comment requirements, possible court battle with environmental groups, etc. McCabe denied this, saying the decision was based on analysis and a “rigorous technical record,”
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
      Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The Environmental Protection Agency has today proposed to keep its vehicle emission targets through 2025, shocking a lot of people and possibly setting up a major fight between regulators and the automotive industry. 
      According to Automotive News, the proposal will now enter a 30-day comment period. After this period, the EPA administrator could finalize this proposal and begin enforcing these standards a bit quicker. By 2025, automakers will need to increase their  to 54.5 miles per gallon corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) numbers to 54.5 miles per gallon.
      Why move the proposal up now? A proposal was expected next year with a final decision in 2018. The EPA said in a statement their “extensive technical analysis” has shown no reason as to why the timeframe or standards should be changed. Also, automakers will be able to achieve those 2025 standards at “similar or even a lower cost”.
      “Due to the industry’s rapid technological advancement, the technical record could arguably support strengthening the 2022-2025 standards. However, the administrator’s judgment is [that] now is not the time to introduce uncertainty by changing the standards. The industry has made huge investments in fuel efficiency and low emissions technologies based on these standards, and any changes now may disrupt those plans,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation on a conference call.
      That analysis started back in July and is used to determine whether or not the EPA needs to make adjustments to the regulations or schedule.
      But there might be another reason. With President Obama leaving the White House on January 20th and President-elect Donald Trump, there are concerns that Trump's administration could challenge the regulations. By doing this now, it would make the process of undoing these regulations more complicated - notice and comment requirements, possible court battle with environmental groups, etc. McCabe denied this, saying the decision was based on analysis and a “rigorous technical record,”
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
      Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears
    • By William Maley
      The diesel emission scandal has left Volkswagen at a bit crossroad in a number of areas. One of them deals with their brand identity in the U.S. For a better part of a decade, Volkswagen was known as the brand that sold 'clean diesels'. But the company is working to rebuild and change their identity. Part of that plan is taking diesel and putting it on the backburner.
      Volkswagen Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken tells Automotive News that diesel will not be a core element of their identity going forward. That isn't to say diesel will be banished from the brand. Woebcken said the fuel are still in their plans from 2017 to 2019 if they can get regulatory approval. But he did say they are re-evaluating diesel in their future lineup for the U.S.
      “We are not stopping diesel. Wherever diesel makes sense as a package to the car, we’ll continue. But in reality, we have to accept that the high percentage of diesels that we had before will not come back again,” said Woebcken.
      “The regulations from 2019-2020 are going to be so hard that we would have had to find an alternative to a certain extent anyhow. The diesel crisis is forcing us simply to think about this earlier.”
      Volkswagen's image rebuilding process in U.S. will see them at the beginning putting more emphasis on crossovers and all-wheel drive offerings. The first part of this process kicks off with the Golf Alltrack launching later this year. This will be followed by the long-awaited three-row crossover next March or April, and the long-wheelbase version of the Tiguan sometime in the summer.
      In 2020, Volkswagen will launch the first of many electric vehicles using their MEB modular platform in the U.S.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The diesel emission scandal has left Volkswagen at a bit crossroad in a number of areas. One of them deals with their brand identity in the U.S. For a better part of a decade, Volkswagen was known as the brand that sold 'clean diesels'. But the company is working to rebuild and change their identity. Part of that plan is taking diesel and putting it on the backburner.
      Volkswagen Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken tells Automotive News that diesel will not be a core element of their identity going forward. That isn't to say diesel will be banished from the brand. Woebcken said the fuel are still in their plans from 2017 to 2019 if they can get regulatory approval. But he did say they are re-evaluating diesel in their future lineup for the U.S.
      “We are not stopping diesel. Wherever diesel makes sense as a package to the car, we’ll continue. But in reality, we have to accept that the high percentage of diesels that we had before will not come back again,” said Woebcken.
      “The regulations from 2019-2020 are going to be so hard that we would have had to find an alternative to a certain extent anyhow. The diesel crisis is forcing us simply to think about this earlier.”
      Volkswagen's image rebuilding process in U.S. will see them at the beginning putting more emphasis on crossovers and all-wheel drive offerings. The first part of this process kicks off with the Golf Alltrack launching later this year. This will be followed by the long-awaited three-row crossover next March or April, and the long-wheelbase version of the Tiguan sometime in the summer.
      In 2020, Volkswagen will launch the first of many electric vehicles using their MEB modular platform in the U.S.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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