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One thing that gets under our skin here at DCH Gardena Honda is a back seat driver! It seems quite often folks riding in the back want to be in control, telling us how fast to go, when to turn and watch out for that guy on the sidewalk! Once again Honda is going to offer a chance to be a real back seat driver to 6 lucky winners in this years 'Fastest Seat in Racing' contest. We cant enter but those that can will be eligible for a package that includes: a ride in the IZOD IndyCar® 2-seater driven by an Indy 500 champion (pssst, it might just be the great Mario Andretti himself!), 2 credentials to the race (yes, pit passes and everything!), 3-day/2-night hotel accommodations, roundtrip airfare for 2, $1,000 worth of IZOD gear and spending cash! If we didnt luv working here so much we might resign just to enter... KIDDING boss! For your chance to enter click here. If you do win, you have to promise to hold up a sign that says, "Hi DCH Gardena Honda" while doing 200 mph down the straight, it'll be ok we swear! :)

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The free Starbucks Coffee Bar here at DCH Gardena Honda is often the center of many a spirited discussion among the staff on car related topics. Today an article listing the 50 worst commutes in America got the conversation going as yours truly drives the route at #1! Most of us here commute from pretty far and we all agree that a Honda is the best car to endure traffic in but then again we are a bit biased so it was great to read a post by Forbes that confirmed what we have been saying all along! On this years "10 Best Cars for Commuting" there just so happen to be TWO Hondas, the Civic Hybrid and the Accord! Using data collected by the good folks at Consumer Reports the editors of Forbes ranked vehicles by fuel mileage and front seat head and leg room. Comfort was weighed with economy and of course Honda was the strongest contender! Its always nice to have confirmation of what we have been saying from folks like Forbes! Read the whole post over here, and stop in to DCH Gardena Honda today to get into your own Best Commuter Car! :)

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The way cool lil CR-Z has been a hit around here at DCH Gardena Honda since the moment it hit the ground, now its set to even more awesome with some help from Honda tuning guru Mugen! Honda’s in-house tuner MUGEN in Europe and Honda UK are currently developing a heavily tuned version of Honda’s new CR-Z sport hybrid. Being prepared for a world debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, MUGEN Euro claims that the new model will deliver “Type R-like” performance with the potential of delivering even better fuel mileage! Featuring reworked suspension and brakes to improve chassis dynamics, MUGEN will also be adding some weight-saving materials such as a carbon fiber hood and special allow wheels to reduce unsprung mass. New fascias front and rear along with a new spoiler round out the package and improve aerodynamics. The staff at DCH Gardena Honda is hopefull that the Mugen CR-Z makes it stateside but there is no word just yet. Read more on the Mugen here and even more on the rumors over at our friends the Temple of VTEC here.

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Just the fact that we work for a Honda dealer makes it pretty obvious that most of us here at DCH Gardena Honda are huge motor sports fans! This weekend is the official end of winter hibernation for us gear heads, at least those of us the follow the four wheeled action, with the 12 Hours of Sebring kicking off tomorrow. For well over 4 decades the biggest names in racing have cut their (racing) teeth on the tarmac at one of the nations oldest continued races. Sebring's 12-hour enduro usually serves as "dress rehearsal" for Le Mans, the brutal 3.7-mile circuit is the toughest road racing facility in the world and is an ideal place to "shakedown" unproven cars before the French 24-hour classic. Returning American Le Mans Series champ Highcroft Racing’s newly developed Honda Performance Development ARX-01e prototype is anticipated to be a strong contender this year with the fifth fastest practice times right behind the powerhouse teams of Audi and Peugeot. Although Honda's efforts on the two wheeled tracks started a few weeks ago, we are so excited to see some four wheel racing fury and this year is set to be an awesome one! Read more about the Highcroft Racing Team here and follow them on facebook here for all the up to the minute action from Sebring! More than likely the TV's on the showroom here at DCH Gardena Honda will be set to the racing, just dont tell the boss! :)

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The attention of the staff here at DCH Gardena Honda has been pretty focused toward Japan over the week since the tragic events that have nearly crippled an entire nation. Our Hearts, Prayers and Condolences go out to all those affected by this disaster and we continue to hope for the best. Following is the latest press release from Honda Motor Company;

"March 16, 2011 – 1:00 p.m. PDT

Honda would like to express its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims of the earthquake in Japan, and our sincere hopes for the earliest possible relief and recovery of the affected areas.

Damage was widespread in the Tochigi area, where Honda has a number of operations. Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has confirmed the fatality of a Honda R&D associate at the Tochigi R&D Center, when a wall collapsed in a cafeteria. The associate was male, 43 years old.

In addition, 17 Honda associates were injured in the Tochigi area from collapsing ceilings and other damage during the earthquake (initial reports put the number of injured at 30).

Japan Operations
  • As of March 14, all production activities are suspended at the following Honda plants: Sayama Plant at Saitama Factory (Sayama, Saitama), Ogawa Plant (Ogawa-machi, Hiki-gun Saitama), Tochigi Factory (Moka, Tochigi), Hamamatsu Factory (Hamamatsu, Shizuoka) and Suzuka Factory (Suzuka, Mie).
  • From March 15 through 20, Honda will suspend all production activities at its plants listed above as well as at Kumamoto Factory (Ozu-machi, Kikuchi-gun, Kumamoto).
  • From March 14 through 20, Honda will suspend regular operations at all Honda facilities in the Tochigi area, where damage was more serious, and focus on the recovery of each operation. Honda associates will not come to work during this time at those facilities, including Tochigi Factory, Honda R&D Co., Ltd., R&D Center and Honda Engineering Co., Ltd.
  • Honda is cooperating with electricity conservation efforts and rolling blackout measures, prioritizing the relief and recovery of affected areas.
  • Honda has made contact with all Tier 1 suppliers in Japan and is collecting information from them regarding the status of their operations.

With the hope to contribute to the earliest possible relief and recovery of affected areas, Honda will provide the following aid:
  • From Honda in Japan, 300 million yen (approximately $3.7 million) toward the relief and recovery effort
  • A total of 1,000 generators (gasoline-powered and home-use gas canister-powered), along with 5,000 gas canisters. Honda also will dispatch its staff to explain the use of this equipment.
  • The Honda family of companies in North America will establish special matching gift programs for their associates for donations to the Red Cross to aid the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Donations from associates will be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis, with no personal or corporate donation limit. Honda employs more than 29, 000 associates in North America.
North American Operations
Honda has confirmed the wellbeing of all Honda associates on assignment in Japan from North America.
There is no immediate impact on Honda's operations in North America. More than 80% of Honda and Acura products sold in the U.S. are produced in North America, and the vast majority of automotive parts for Honda automobiles manufactured in North America are sourced in the region.

The following vehicles we build in North America are supported by our base of 600-plus North American first-tier suppliers:

Marysville, Ohio Honda Accord, Honda Accord Coupe, Acura TL, Acura RDX

East Liberty, Ohio Honda CR-V, Honda Element, Honda Accord Crosstour

Greensburg, Ind. Honda Civic Sedan, Honda Civic GX natural gas

Lincoln, Alabama Honda Odyssey, Honda Pilot, Honda Ridgeline

Alliston, Ontario Honda Civic (Sedan, Coupe, Si) Acura MDX, Acura ZDX, Acura CSX (The CSX is sold only in Canada)

El Salto, Mexico Honda CR-V

Honda is assessing the long-term impact on Honda auto production in North America, since some auto parts are supplied from Japan.

We currently have adequate inventory of products supplied from Japan, both in inventory and in transit from Japan.

Honda Fit, Insight, CR-Z, Civic Hybrid, Acura TSX and Acura RL are produced in Japan for the North American market. Honda produces a small percentage of CR-Vs in Japan for the U.S. as well.

Honda's operations in North America and globally will do everything they can to support the recovery of Honda's operations in Japan."

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