Posted on January 12th, 2010 No comments
Normally, I’m the guy whose words tend towards the, shall we say, harsher end. So it’s especially nice to see someone else critical of something. Danny Cooper’s take on the new Honda 2011 CR-Z hybrid is refreshingly subtitled “-Another Honda Fail?” Go read his first glimpse review of the CR-Z.
After reading through the Priuschat news post on the new Honda I have to agree with what he wrote. If those are indeed the performance specs of the car this is another potentially huge fail for Honda. And I have to add here, I don’t get it. Honda is a great company and they make excellent products. They were first to market with a ground breaking hybrid but apparently they’re stuck with IMA and can’t seem to get better performance from it outside of the original Insight (which was a great hybrid).
I don’t know. The CR-Z certainly has the buzz. The legendary CR-X descendent has been eagerly anticipated by a lot of people but it appears that their waiting may have been in vain. That’s a shame.
Posted on October 23rd, 2009 1 comment
If there’s one thing about car shows that annoys me more than this I’m not sure what it is. “Concept cars”. I get why they build and I completely understand these mythical tour the country’s convention centers, sports arenas and fairgrounds.
That said, Honda and Yamaha have both shown “concept” electric motorcycles at the current Tokyo show. Why? Just make them? This can’t be that far off and if it is, then they’re less than forthright in showing this stuff. Just make it and sell it already.
Sometimes the hype is irritating. Especially about things that don’t really need hype. If you can make it, make it.
Posted on September 3rd, 2009 No comments
I was completely unaware of it but it’s not surprising given what I’ve seen on the Toyota pages and feeds.
Posted on August 18th, 2009 No comments
1. Toyota Corolla
2. Honda Civic
3. Ford Focus
4. Toyota Camry
5. Toyota Prius
6. Hyundai Elantra
7. Ford Escape (front-wheel-drive)
8. Honda Fit
9. Nissan Versa
10. Honda CR-V (four-wheel-drive)
Posted on August 17th, 2009 No comments
Green car reports (link here) misses some important details. They say,
The 2010 Insight is the least expensive hybrid vehicle sold in the US, coming in at a base price of $20,400 including delivery. The EPA rates it at 40 miles per gallon city / 43 mpg highway, for a combined rating of 41 mpg.
Problem is, it’s not the base LX that got the high rating, it was the EX which sells for a bit more. So price not being a factor, if the safety between the Prius and the Insight is the same, if the Prius gets better MPG and is more comfortable, which one is the right choice?
Posted on August 17th, 2009 No comments
Right now there is a lot talk about the Volt. With a provisional “MPG rating” of 230 MPG, there is no doubt GM will crank the hype machine into high gear. It’s really what the Volt project has been about, created positive publicity for GM.
One thing is clear to me, GM is still floundering, badly, with poor management, in whatever random direction seems to work at the moment.
This is great little piece which highlights one small problem with GM, promising more than they can deliver. At this point we don’t know exactly how the production Volt will perform. But GM is sure that talking about 230 MPG is the right thing to do.
It’s arguable that plug-ins should not be measured in MPG at all. BusinessWeek’s Ed Wallace argued the same thing here. Consumers need a touchstone, something to compare one vehicle to another but MPG on a plug-in a dangerous guide but MPG usefulness may have jumped the shark. With Nissan claiming 367MPG for it’s all electric Leaf, we see the ridiculous get downright insane. Yes, that’s right. Nissan is claiming their all electric vehicle will get 367MPG (or the equivalent of it) even though it will never use an ounce of gas. Wallace also points out that over-promised and under-delivering has been about the only thing GM has been good at it and it’s never helped them in the past and it won’t help them here.
EDIT: originally the above piece was credited, incorrectly to a blogger from Automobile when it fact it seems the piece was written by Ed Wallace at BusinessWeek. Apologies to Mr. Wallace and BusinessWeek. Link and attribution has been changed.
And then, we still have far too much of the media trying to reduce issues where they shouldn’t be reducing. Here’s CNN/Money‘s latest travesty, it’s about which car makes sense, the Prius or the Volt. Funny, comparing a car that’s been out for a decade to one that doesn’t exist yet. Seems like an odd thing to do. And of course, being CNN/Money, they try, once more, to go down the “which car makes sense based on gasoline costs” which is odd for numerous reasons I’ve pointed out here again and again. CNN/Money dabbles in the typical comparing the Prius to a standard gas car half its size, to try to make the math make sense. I guess that’s why I was an art major.
Head, meet desk. Let the pounding commence.
What’s more, the work that Toyota and to a lesser extent, Honda have done in delivering reliable, long-lasting battery electric hybrids could be undone by a spectacular failure of the Volt’s (or the Leaf’s) battery pack. Batteries are still a huge question in most consumer’s minds even though the Prius has been on the road for a decade now. Add in a nationwide, media saturated, Volt flame out and we could see a backlash against any car with more parts more comlpex than fuel injection. That would be sad but it could happen.
Posted on June 12th, 2009 No comments
The new 2010 Prius took the top sales spot in Japan in May knocking the Insight down to two places to third, with the Honda Fit sneaking into the number two spot. Toyota sold almost 11,000 Prii in Japan in May beating Honda’s high for April by 500 cars.
Posted on June 12th, 2009 No comments
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the Jetta TDI is cleaner than many hybrids and conventional gasoline cars but that the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic hybrids and 10 others are cleaner overall.
So much for VW’s claims. It’s not number one, it’s number eleven. I don’t imagine they’ll be running a “Hey! We’re the eleventh cleanest car!” commercial anytime soon.
The reports from Japan say that the sales of of the new 2010 Prius have been amazing, so much so that Toyota is re-activating some production lines and see their annual goal as very attainable now.
Come on Mark Phelan of the Detroit Free Press, it’s your job to cover cars, this is obviously dumb…
The Insight’s styling screams hybrid, largely because it’s nearly indistinguishable from the Prius. Honda insists that’s coincidental — looks dictated by aerodynamics, not a calculated marketing decision. Perhaps, and maybe the $10 knock-off purses sold on the street just happen to look a lot like designer Gucci bags.
And this is from an article that’s otherwise halfway decent.
There’s been a lot of harumphing in the media over the slow down in auto sales, if you’re like me (and if you are, my apologies) you’ve seen this story in dozens of different versions talking about how lower gas prices and a depression economy have “killed” hybrid sales.
Yes, while all sales slowed, hybrid sales were by no means dead.
And now, with two very exciting new hybrids on the market, I’m seeing things like this, from Daily Tech,
While the auto industry as a whole has struggled, Honda and Toyota have been experiencing new international success, thanks to their new 2010 Insight and Prius hybrid vehicles. With a healthy profit margin of $3,100 per vehicle, these lean, clean, green small cars are selling out and acting as a bailout for their respective companies, while other models and competitors languish.
In Japan, Honda’s Insight already became the first hybrid vehicle to top overall sales charts. Now Toyota’s Prius has a success story of its own on its hands.
Earlier this year Toyota, battered by the economic downturn had to stop production and assembly at many of its plants in an effort to reduce output and lower inventories. However, thanks to the better than expected demand for the Prius, thanks in part to rising summer gas prices, Toyota is putting these plants back in full-time action.
States Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco, “We are considering steps to increase production to meet demand.”
Meanwhile, I notice that one company is promoting this upcoming release…
And I would further note that the speculation is that they’ll be filing for bankruptcy protection soon. Maybe that will slow down their luxury SUV release cycle a bit?
Maybe, but I tend to doubt it.
Barious report that Honda is planning on expanding its hybrid lineup. After this year’s release of the new Insight, Honda plans to work on a somewhat surprising hybrid version of the successful Fit. The Fit will first be released in Japan and if successful will be released here, possibly as early as 2011. And then the much anticipated Honda CR-Z hybrid concept may see the light as early as 2012. The CR-Z was a two seater sports coupe based on loosely on the hugely popular 80′s CRX. 2012 might also be the year for a rejuvenated Civic hybrid.
A hybrid Fit would be surprising in that Honda has made it clear in the past they would not “hybridize” an already economical vehicle, which certainly describes the popular Fit.