In recent news from Tokyo, Bloomberg and Automotive News report that Honda is placing a greater emphasis on the fuel efficiency in their current and future research and development (R&D). Honda is reacting to the competition encroaching on their territory of reliability, quality, fuel efficiency and being a top company around the world. They see that their market share is potentially in danger from companies like Ford and Hyundai. What are they going to do, rally and bring the best technology to the table they can and cut projects that don’t help them keep their position or improve upon it.
2010 Honda Civic Hybrid
One of those projects that has been cut is the debut of the new Honda/Acura NSX supercar. The project was put on hold back in 2008 much to the disappointment of NSX enthusiasts around the world. However, Honda believes it is for the better because they aren’t seeing the results they want in the business. The company trailed industry averages with only a 13 percent sales growth in the first five months of this year. That is compared to Ford’s 31 percent growth and Hyundai’s 23 percent growth over the same period.
2010 Honda Fit
How are they going to improve? The first step was to set the focus on fuel efficiency. Next is to bring that idea to life. Honda already has the most fuel-efficient line-up in the U.S. market, but the new Ford Fiesta is challenging that, as are models from Hyundai. To meet new U.S. regulations in 2016, Honda is going to have to have an average mpg across their model line up of 37.4—a little more than 11 mpg more than the fleet today. To help achieve or exceed this goal the company is looking at start-stop technology, turbochargers and variable transmissions. There will also be a debut of a new hybrid Civic with a lithium-ion battery. Rumor has it that the new battery composition will allow for the storing of more than twice the energy.
Bottom line—Honda seems to have their sights set on the future, which if they do right should give them greener cars, green in the bank and greater market share.
[Source: Automotive News & Bloomberg]