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Auto blogFri, 09 Aug 2013 17:46:00 EST
Honda has announced a $215 million investment in a pair of its Ohio operations, taking its total tally for North American operations up to $2.7 billion in three years. The announcement was made at the 2013 Center For Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City.
$180 million of the investment is earmarked for Honda's Anna, OH engine plant. The money will allow the facility to increase its aluminum die casting and increase production of Honda's Earth Dreams Technology engines. Think of Earth Dreams as sort of like Mazda's Skyactiv line, only ED is limited to a new line of engines, rather than a full suite of automotive components. Anna will also be getting a new technical center to train engineers, techs, and line workers on powertrain technology.
The remaining $35 million is slated for Honda's main Ohio operations in Marysville. A 160,000-square-foot facility will be constructed near Honda's current properties, which will house another technical training center to focus on automotive manufacturing. The new building will also house Honda's North American Services group, as well as a new heritage center.
There are very few vehicles available today that compare directly with the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ twins. A case could be made for the Mazda MX-5 Miata, and possibly even six-cylinder versions of American coupes like the Ford Mustang. Pretty much everything else is either too expensive or is powered by the wrong set of wheels.
The boys from EverydayDriver on YouTube decided the only fair way to judge the inherent qualities of the Toyobaru twins was to pit them against two standard-bearers of years past: The Honda S2000 and Mazda RX-8. Neither of these cars is an exact matchup, with the Honda boasting a convertible top and the RX-8 offering more practicality via a rear seat and two reverse-opening doors for easier access. What they do offer, however, are similar performance stats and proven reputations for excellent handling.
None of this talk answers the real question, though: Which one wins the comparison test? Scroll down to watch the video, and be prepared for something of a surprise conclusion.
The U.S. News Best Cars for the Money Awards picks winners by looking at the average transaction price, five-year total cost of ownership, the regard a car has from the automotive press, reliability figures from J.D. Power and Associates and safety data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The result, according to the magazine, is "the best combination of critical acclaim and long-term value."
Ford nabbed six of the 21 categories that received awards this year, the Focus, Fusion, Fusion Hybrid, Taurus, Escape and Edge getting trophies. Toyota and its Lexus and Scion sub-brands took another five, the Tacoma and Tundra owning the two categories given to pickup trucks. The other ten awards were split between Honda with three, Buick with two, and one each for Subaru, BMW, Hyundai, Chevrolet and Mazda.
Follow the link to see all the winners and read about why they were chosen.