TCS Daily Car News 6/18/12
- 06/18/2012 |
- by Terry Heick |
- Total Car News / Manufacturer
Honda Seeks to Revise Product and Image
“If Honda does not race, there is no Honda.”
While Civics and Accords lead sales efforts, Honda founder Soichiro Honda’s words are being taken seriously now by a company looking to regain a mythos won by diverse product and technological innovation. While it was a Honda engine that powered the Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti's car in May, the effort continues.
"I know that there is a particularly high expectation for Honda to get back that magic it had at one time," said Erik Berkman, Honda’s first American president of Research and Development, who has 30 years with the company.
Berkman explains the feeling at Honda, who plan to bring back the NSX to support the effort, "Having high expectations or pressure is what's necessary to get us to a point where we're performing. We want everybody to fall over and go: There it is again. There's that Honda we used to praise."
Nissan Increasing Leaf Production
Though sales of the Nissan Leaf have dropped recently, demand is not the issue.
Nissan plans to double sales of the electric vehicle to 20,000 by increasing production through a new plan in Smyrna, Tennessee.
Bill Krueger, the vice chairman of Nissan Americas, explained that “(Nissan) had to fulfill demand from one point globally. Once we localize it in December…demand will be available.”
Audi and Nissan Dominate Le Mans
More than 240,000 spectators saw Audi dominate the prototype LMP1 class, sweeping the podium, and 4 out of the top 5 spots.
The top two spots belonged to the Audi R18 e-tron, making it the first hybrid to win Le Mans.
Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG explained, “With the e-tron quattro in combination with ultra lightweight design, we put a completely new technology on the grid and immediately won with it – this cannot be taken for granted by any means, particularly here at Le Mans. This weekend again showed the type of things that can happen in this race and how important perfect preparation is.”
Though their innovative DeltaWing experiment failed to finish due to an accident with another car, Nissan dominated the LMP2 class by taking 9 of the top 10 spots, albeit forgoing the top spot to a Honda-powered car by Starworks Motorsport.