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Honda to present HR-V, updated Acura ILX at LA show

Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:59:00 EST

Honda has already showcased its new Fit-based crossover around the world. We've seen it in Tokyo wearing the Vezel name and we've seen it in Paris in 'prototype' form. We've even seen photos of the US-spec version. We just haven't seen that North American model in the flesh, but that'll all be fixed next month at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
That's where Honda will, at long last, unveil the US version of its new HR-V subcompact. The Japanese automaker hasn't told us much else, save to say that the HR-V will, of course, slot in below the CR-V in US showrooms. It'll also feature the company's lauded Magic Seat system, "which allows for multiple seating configurations and the ability to fold the second row seat completely flat for added cargo space."
Alongside the HR-V, Honda's luxury division will also be showcasing a revised version of its ILX sedan at the LA show as well. Acura hasn't revealed precise details of what revisions are in store for its smallest sedan - or a more detailed photo than the teaser inset at right - but it is promising "a comprehensive update that include a potent new powertrain, more forceful, sporty exterior styling and a substantially upgraded interior design."

Acura dealer association nabs retiring pitcher Mariano Rivera for New York spot

Thu, 26 Sep 2013 09:59:00 EST

Mariano Rivera, considered one of Major League Baseball's best relief and closing pitchers, bought an Acura when he debuted in the major leagues in 1995, and has owned nothing but Acuras since. So it was only natural for the New York Acura Dealers group to strike up a partnership. The fruits of the deal can be seen in the latest New York Acura commercial, called "Legends," which stars Rivera and Acuras new and old. It's narrated by actor Steve Schirripa, who played Bobby "Bacala" Baccalieri in HBO's The Sopranos.
"The spots are a nod to Acura's history and the years it overlapped with Mariano's career," says Scott Rodgers, chief creative officer at Tier10, the ad agency that developed the campaign's concept. With the "Legends" campaign, Rivera and the New York Acura Dealers continue a partnership that has provided $800,000 to the pitcher's charity, the Mariano Rivera Foundation.
The hardest part of the commercial was was finding the cars to star in it, according to Douglas Sonders, co-founder of 8112 Studios, the production company that shot the commercial. "Social media saved the day for us," he says. "After days of cold calls and e-mails to all of our contacts, we ended up sourcing everything we needed in 24 hours after asking our online contacts for assistance."

J.D. Power study sees new car dependability problems increase for first time since 1998

Wed, 12 Feb 2014 13:31:00 EST

For the first time since 1998, J.D. Power and Associates says its data shows that the average number of problems per 100 cars has increased. The finding is the result of the firm's much-touted annual Vehicle Dependability Study, which charts incidents of problems in new vehicle purchases over three years from 41,000 respondents.
Looking at first-owner cars from the 2011 model year, the study found an average of 133 problems per 100 cars (PP100, for short), up 6 percent from 126 PP100 in last year's study, which covered 2010 model-year vehicles. Disturbingly, the bulk of the increase is being attributed to engine and transmission problems, with a 6 PP100 boost.
Interestingly, JDP notes that "the decline in quality is particularly acute for vehicles with four-cylinder engines, where problem levels increase by nearly 10 PP100." Its findings also noticed that large diesel engines also tended to be more problematic than most five- and six-cylinder engines.