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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.
We're fresh from a balmy rooftop deck in downtown Detroit, where Honda held a meeting this week to discuss and demonstrate a few upcoming advanced safety features. A clear focus of the mini event was the company's new Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) technology, with a suite of Vehicle-to-Motorcycle (V2M) tech a significant second course.
With spirits still high from announcing the 2014 Odyssey as the first minivan to win the Top Safety Pick+ status from IIHS - and after seeing the application of new high-strength-steel sections of the Acura MDX body structure - Honda shared the fruits of some safety tech that is still in the research phase.
We've been hearing a lot of rumblings this year about a new crossover based on the Honda Fit, and now we finally get to see what this B-segment CUV might look like. Called the Urban SUV Concept, Honda's new small crossover has made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show, but we'll have to wait until 2014 to see the production version on sale in the US. Honda says the production version of this concept, whatever it will be called, will slot below the CR-V in terms of size and price.
In terms of this concept's styling, there is plenty of the new Honda Accord in its face, and it looks like a more rugged version of the Nissan Juke, as well as a more practical alternative to the Hyundai Veloster. With its short overhangs, the concept measures 169.3 inches in length, making it about eight inches longer than a Fit hatchback and nine inches shorter than the CR-V. Honda confirmed that its new crossover will debut a telematics system for Honda, and it will use one of Honda's new Earth Dreams engines; we previously reported that this engine would be a 1.5-liter I4 paired with a continuously variable transmission.
The next-generation Fit is expected to debut before this new crossover model, and both models will be built at Honda's Celaya, Mexico assembly plant, which is scheduled to open early next year. A new sedan is also expected to round out the lineup of Fit-based products. For more information about this new Urban SUV Concept, scroll down for Honda's official press release.