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One Year After the Earthquake, Honda is Stronger than Ever

One year after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, our thoughts remain with those whose lives were lost and the people of Japan who continue the effort to recover from this devastating natural disaster.

We also very much appreciate the patience of our customers who were willing to experience a delay in the delivery of some products due to severe parts shortages caused by the earthquake. We are thankful for their loyalty and for the expressions of support we received during the difficult times.

Thanks to the incredible dedication and teamwork of our associates, suppliers, and dealers, Honda has not only recovered from this difficult challenge, we are rapidly bringing new fuel efficient and fun-to-drive Honda and Acura vehicles to market. Further, even as we faced the most critical parts supply issues last year, we continued to make critical investments in our flexible manufacturing operations and research and development operations in America that will enable us to meet the needs of our customers in the future.

In Ohio, we are in the midst of an investment of more than $500 million in production facilities that are building both our advanced Earth Dreams powertrain technologies and vehicles for our customers here and to be exported abroad.

In Alabama, we are investing more than $275 million to increase production and add a fourth light truck model.  In Indiana, we added a new production shift, virtually doubling employment, and began production of the Civic Natural Gas sedan.

We aren’t stopping there.  Our U.S. R&D operations, which have played the lead role in developing many of our light truck products and Acura models over the last two decades, have a new responsibility to develop the Acura NSX supercar here in America.  And this new NSX will be built in Ohio as well. 

But we have another exciting new model going into production in Ohio, as this fall, we will celebrate the 30th anniversary of automobile production at our Marysville, Ohio auto plant with production of the all-new 2013 Honda Accord.

We will never forget the tragedy that struck Japan on March 11, 2011.  But the challenging spirit our team of associates, suppliers and dealers demonstrated in its aftermath, is now creating new value for our customers and is powering Honda into the future.

Tetsuo Iwamura
President & CEO
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
There has been a ton of publicity surrounding the recent suite brought against American Honda in a local Small Claims Court regarding a woman’s assertions that her Civic Hybrid failed to achieve the mileage she anticipated. While we have our own opinions of the Civic Hybrid and many, many very happy Hybrid customers who consistently sign praise of their Hybrid’s we feel the response from Honda puts it simply and very professionally so we are sharing here:

“American Honda intends to appeal the decision in Peters v. American Honda due to the substantial factual and legal errors reflected in the written decision.

We regret that Ms. Peters is unhappy with the reported mileage for her particular driving experience. However, it is clearly pointed out on the federally required window label that accompanied her car that mileage will vary depending upon a number of factors including options, driving conditions, driving habits and vehicle condition. Those factors affect gas mileage for every car on the road today, hybrid or not. American Honda's advertising regarding fuel economy of Civic Hybrids was accurate when the vehicles were sold and remains accurate today.

There are a number of points of disagreement with the ruling, but the court stated in error that advertising EPA fuel economy estimates is misleading unless the advertising also explains the effects of stop-and-go driving and the use of air conditioning. In fact, federal law does not permit states or state courts to impose additional requirements of this kind. Thus, a Honda advertisement that accurately referenced EPA mileage estimates, truthfully stated that a driver can get "up to 50 mpg" and carefully noted that mileage will vary is not misleading as a matter of law.

American Honda is proud of the fuel saving capability of the Honda Civic Hybrid and is grateful to the many hybrid owners who have written to let us know how pleased they have been in achieving 50 mpg or more in real world driving conditions. In fact, Honda presented evidence of those customer letters in court to help demonstrate the real world capability of the vehicle. Our customers should rest assured that Honda will continue to pursue cutting-edge technologies and strategies to enhance their ability to achieve high levels of fuel efficiency in all of our products.

In conclusion and with all due respect to the court, American Honda believes that the judgment in this case is a radical and unprecedented departure from California and federal law, and, as stated above, we intend to vigorously appeal this decision.”

Well said…

Much ado was made at the debut of the all new Accord Coupe at this month’s Detroit Auto Show. As with any launch there are lovers AND haters of Hondas new version of its flagship vehicle, which as we know from Honda’s past use of ‘concepts’ it should be pretty darn close to the production version. The press release began with the following statement from John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda. "Marking the 30th anniversary of U.S. production, this new ninth-generation Accord will raise the bar again through a tour de force of new Honda powertrain and safety technologies, geared to ensure that Honda and the Accord continue to lead in fuel economy, safety and fun-to-drive performance,"  Very strong words indeed from a company that was blasted so hard last year for the perception by many auto journalists that they didn’t go FAR enough with the redesign of the Civic and didn’t take the new CR-R past the competition in the CUV segment. Although the concept showed drew some immediate criticism for not being a far enough departure from the current Accord Coupe however, I actually think it’s a really nice evolution of the Coupe and looks very different from the one outside my window here at the dealership! We haven’t seen even a hint of what the sedan will look like but here is what we do know so far: Three new engines are coming our way including the first of

This year’s LA Auto Show was packed with exciting new debuts and coming attractions. After a summer of rumors and anticipation we finally got to see the all-new 2012 CR-V in its production clothes. Much had been speculated about a potential 3rd row however it is not to be, but that is a good thing! Not trying to squeeze passengers into an uncomfortable and really not usable 3rd seat made it possible to offer the most cargo room in class, 70.9 cu ft! Rear passengers also get doors that open to a full 81 degrees for much easier entry along with a host of other cool new stuff such as; BlueTooth technology standard, increased horsepower (185), Advanced ‘Multi Information Display Screen, new multi angle rear back up camera (available) and Pandora Internet Radio Interface for iPhone users just to list a few. Our man Chuck snapped some great shots of the CR-V from the floor and our own Mike theHondaGuy was able to sneak a quick walk a round video while one of the Honda Corporate folks was here at the dealership holding a seminar! The first 2012 CR-V’s will arrive toward the end of December; stay tuned here for the latest.
Filed under ‘Awards and Accolades ‘ is yet another “Green Car of the Year” award for our amazing little CNG burning Civic GX! The award was presented to Honda on the first day of the show by the editors of Green Car Journal representing a diverse panel of environmental experts and automotive enthusiasts who annually select a single vehicle for its outstanding environmental performance. We LOVE awards!
The real electricity was generated from the introduction of the Fit EV, Honda’s first all-electric powered road vehicle. With a range of up to 123 miles and quick charging capability of only 3 hours the Fit EV is surely going to shock the EV market with fun to drive, Honda reliability and style! The Fit EV will begin deliveries in summer 2012 and the lease program is said to be very strong indeed. Honda will be partnering with Google, Stanford University and the City of Torrance who will be receiving small fleets of the Fit EV as the get green and go Honda!
We tried hard to dig some details about the next generation Accord, due in spring 2012, from the ‘suites’ that were walking around but Honda has them all on a gag order or something as not one would confirm or deny a thing! We will keep our ears to the ground though, the Internet is bound to have news soon and we will find it first for you! The future looks blazingly bright for Honda as they build on an already incredible line up, stop into DCH Gardena Honda today to see all of the great vehicles available now!

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Quite a few of us around DCH Gardena Honda are parents and like most people with kids on the road we are all extremely concerned with our kids safety. In fact the entire DCH organization cares deeply for the safety of our kids and all kids on the road. To that end the DCH Auto Group has partnered with Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and their regional branches across the US. A dedicated web site has been put up and most of the dealerships in the group have adopted high school chapters local to them as well. Originally, the mission of the SADD was to help young people say "No" to drinking and driving. Today, the mission has expanded. Students have told us that positive peer pressure, role modeling and environmental strategies can prevent other destructive decisions and set a healthier, safer course for their lives.Each year SADD holds a national conference to educate and motivate members from across the country as they come together for a week of intense workshops, this years event was in Chicago and we helped send 6 students from DCH Gardena Honda's adopted school, Leuzinger High School. They are hoping to send delegates to next years conference and we here at the dealership are going to help make it happen! On Saturday, November 17th we will be hosting the DCH Gardena Honda "Winter Wash 2011" car wash fund raising event from 10:00am until 2:00pm. Students from Leuzinger High will be here at the dealership washing cars while our sales managers work the barbecue, yes that means Free Food! There will also be music and tons of fun for all as we work to raise money for a great cause and awareness of teen safety and positive life choices. Please join us this Saturday, the recent rains have left everyone's cars grimy and in need of cleaning and you know you were gonna wash yours anyways so why not let us make it pretty and feed you at the same time!?! We hope to see you here and Thank You for your support! 

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The 2011 LA Auto Show kicks off November 17th and this years show promises to be the best in a very long time with almost 60 debuts and many, many concepts being displayed. Of course the debut we are anticipating the most is the all-new 2012 Honda CR-V! Although many pics are now online, specific information has still been sketchy and Honda has done a great jobs keeping the goods under wraps! We plan on being at the doors early and among the first to see the actual production version so stay tuned Honda friends, the Honda Guy from DCH Gardena Honda will have all the info here!
Show dates are November 18th - 27th and discount tickets are available here at DCH Gardena Honda so stop in on your way to save some $ at the show! :)

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TO:        All Honda Automobile Dealers
FROM:  John Mendel
RE:        Impact of Flooding in Thailand
DATE:   October 31, 2011
Over the past several weeks, Thailand has experienced devastating flooding due to typhoons and a heavy rainy season.  As the flooding continues, a number of Honda suppliers in Asia are currently unable to maintain parts production and I regret to inform you that this will affect North American production of vehicles from November through mid- to late-December.  Unlike the initial situation following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan when we were uncertain about its duration, we are confident about the finite time frame regarding the production disruption that will result from the situation in Thailand.
To better manage the available parts supply in North America, effective November 2, Honda must take the following actions:
  • We will temporarily adjust automobile production at all six Honda auto plants in the U.S. and Canada. Currently, we anticipate that this situation will require adjustments through mid- to late-December.
  • At this time, we can confirm that auto production will be at approximately 50% of the original plan through November 10, 2011.  Subsequent adjustments will be announced as they are determined based on the parts supply situation.
  • The December on-sale date of the all-new 2012 Honda CR-V could potentially be delayed by several weeks.  The on-sale date will be announced in the near future.
We expect to resume normal production levels in mid- to late-December.  Your planned production for November will be spread out between November, December and perhaps January depending upon our recovery efforts.  In addition, the planned production for December will be built in January, 2012.  We will share updated information as soon as we are able to confirm additional details including vehicle sourcing from Japan.
As background, the vast majority of parts and materials used to produce these products are purchased from suppliers in North America, yet a few critical electronic parts are sourced from other regions of the world, including Thailand, which has become a center of automotive and electronics manufacturing.  We are working closely with our suppliers in Thailand and throughout our global network to reestablish the flow of parts for the products we make in North America.
We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause to our customers, and we’re working closely with our suppliers and operations throughout the world to manage this situation.
Ironically, we just announced that the last of our six auto plants in North America has returned to normal production following the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan – and we have begun production on a new second shift at the Indiana plant.  Now, we sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding as we manage yet another unprecedented situation caused by Mother Nature.
I know you join the Honda family of companies in North America in expressing our deepest sympathy and concern for the victims of the floods in Thailand and our sincere hopes for the earliest possible relief and recovery from the damaged areas.
We will continue to communicate with you on an ongoing basis as information becomes available. I sincerely thank you for your continued partnership and understanding as we navigate the road ahead.  In the meantime, please continue to maximize your sales and separate from the rest of the pack by making sure we take care of our customers.
Finally, we realize this interruption comes at a time when we were just getting our sales momentum back on track.  The good news is that we have already been through the toughest event of 2011 and, by working closely together, we have continued to prosper.  Although this new challenge comes during our holiday season, we fully expect to remain strong in the market as we work to close out the year successfully.  Rest assured we will make our best effort to improve the supply of vehicles as soon as possible.

MESSAGE FROM DCH GARDENA HONDA: Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the events in Thailand, we hope for the best for all.

While future inventory levels will most definitaly be affected by this news, our current inventory is at the highest level of the year so NOW IS THE TIME to buy your new Honda.

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As the end of the year approaches and the next years models are discussed more heavily on the Internet and off the record we have been reading/hearing many rumors about whats in the pipeline for Honda. We try our best to verify the things we write about but there is always the chance we received incorrect info and its always a tough call whether we share what we have heard with our faithful readers or not as we sure don't want to ever mislead our friends. In that effort we wanted to share some new versions of things we have shared previously. First up, we do KNOW that the next generation CR-V, coming in November, will have a third row seat AVAILABLE however we DON'T know for sure if it will be a US option as we have now heard that it possibly may be offered in Europe only. Next, we have shared that the Ridgeline will be going away soon and possibly the pickup slot in the line up filled with a smaller truck based on the new CR-V chassis, while the CR-V derived truck may still be in the works Honda is saying 'officially that the Ridgeline will stay with us for the "foreseeable future". Now, we aren't exactly sure about that phrase foreseeable future, it could mean another model year or it could mean ten more we don't know but think the former is closer to reality... With the all new Camry due to hit anytime the speculation about whats up Honda's sleeve for the all new 2013 Accord, which is going to arrive here early spring 2012, are running rampant. We have heard about a 'possible'  Plug In Hybrid version and have even seen a semi disguised test vehicle being driven here in the South Bay area but can not confirm this as a real option as of yet.  The only thing we can confirm for sure is that Honda did feel quite a sting from the many reviews of the new '12 Civic that said Honda didn't push far enough ahead in design and features so we have been told to 'get ready' for an AWESOME replacement to Honda's mainstay vehicle! Although Honda is traditionally pretty tight lipped about upcoming changes we expect to hear some relatively believable rumors being 'leaked' in order to keep interest peaked and the attention away from the Camry and where it should be, on the new Accord! As always, stay tuned here to the Honda Hangout and we will keep you up to date with the latest! We have found a few shots of the new CR-V that show the new lines a bit better than before for you to check out below.  To see the great new vehicles in the current Honda line up stop in today to DCH Gardena Honda where we are 'Delivering Customer Happiness! :)

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Working at a Honda dealership its tough NOT to be interested in motorsports and here at DCH Gardena Honda we especially fancy ourselves as gear heads! The folks at Honda Performance Development do also and they take their passion to an even higher level, they are bringing the world of motorsports and mechanics to kindergarten classrooms in Santa Clarita, CA! The project, based on a higher-level engineering project designed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), uses common household items to build self-propelled cars that then compete for top honors in the class. Using cars constructed of a milk-carton chassis, with wheels made from push-pops, axles made from straws, a balloon power plant, all held together with several pieces of tape and glue the engineers can help the kids learn about mechanical principals while having tons of fun! The top three finishers received Honda Racing t-shirts and models of HPD’s sports cars for their achievements, along with HPD notebooks, knapsacks, INDYCAR posters, and Honda Racing stickers that were distributed to all the students courtesy of Honda Performance Development. It was a winning day for all, though, with all the kids cheering each other on and jumping around in jubilation at their achievements. We WISH we had attended school in Santa Clarita and had this kind of fun! To see how this passion in engineering makes it to the final product stop in today to DCH Gardena Honda!

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At many dealerships the GM, and sometimes even Sales Managers, are allowed to drive a new vehicle from the lot as a 'demo'. Here at DCH Gardena Honda the most often picked demo is the Honda Pilot, the new 2012 model is sure to make that trend continue! Already a fantastic full size SUV, the 2012 gets a freshened up look with new grill and head lamps outside and a much nicer dash layout inside. Honda then added audio system upgrades on Pilot EX and EX-L models which a 2 GB CD-Library (CD-L) and Bluetooth Audio Streaming, along with the addition of Bluetooth HandsFreeLink to those trim levels. Under the hood Honda not only improved the Pilots strong V6 making it smoother but it now also gets better mileage as well! Although mostly subtle, Honda's improvements make an already great choice the very best choice! Deliveries of the new 2012 Pilot will start soon here at DCH Gardena Honda, stop by and see what a great truck this is for you and your family, its what our GM drives! :)

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