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Auto blogWed, 19 Nov 2014 15:45:00 EST
Honda's extended tease for the 2016 HR-V compact crossover is finally over. The CUV debuted in Japan late, last year, and the company has trotted various versions to shows around the world since then. The time has finally come for all of the details about the US version to be revealed at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show.
Honda has been keeping the HR-V's powertrain a closely guarded secret - until now. All of them get a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that makes 138 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque with the choice of either a six-speed manual or CVT. Either front- or all-wheel drive is available, but the six-speed is only available on front-driving models.
Based on the same platform as the Fit, the HR-V actually doesn't seem to share much with its smaller sibling in terms of looks and instead borrows more cues from its big brother - the latest 2015 CR-V. Bits of Honda's larger crossover peek out in the grille and roof shape, but the HR-V reinterprets the design in its own funky way. Hiding the rear door handles near the rear pillar is an especially clever touch. The compact's wheelbase is 102.8 inches, just 0.3 inches shorter than its larger sibling. However, overall length for the new model is 169.1 inches, about 10 inches shorter than the CR-V.
Don't look for a tremendous shifts in automotive market share over the next three years because it might not be coming. That's at least according to the annual Car Wars report by John Murphy, from Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research.
In the report's analysis of automakers' market share from 2013 to 2017, it predicts only small changes among the major companies. Ford and Honda see the biggest positive effect with an estimated 0.5 percent increase in their shares over the next three years; to 16.2 percent and 10.3 percent respectively. On the flip side, European automakers and Nissan are expected to lose 0.2 percent each to fall to 8.3 percent and 7.8 percent each respectively. The rest of the industry is predicted to hold steady as it is now.
The biggest loser in that prediction might be Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles. The report certainly throws a wet blanket on its plan for significant gains in market share. Murphy told The Detroit News that the company's goal was "almost unattainable."
Over the last decade or so, many foreign automakers have challenged the idea of what defines an "American car," but Honda took things a step further last year by exporting more cars out of the US than it imported in. Reuters is reporting that in 2013, a total of 108,705 Honda and Acura models were exported from the US with only 88,357 being shipped in. This gives Honda a net exporter status here, and makes it the first of such among the major Japanese automakers.
Honda's US imports have been dropping over the last five years while its exports have been steadily increasing. In 2008, the report indicates that Honda shipped 187,000 vehicles to the US and exported only 20,000, and even by 2012 Honda still favored imports with 136,000 imports and 74,000 exports. The article says that US-made Honda and Acura vehicles were exported to 50 countries with most ending up in Mexico, but the big news is that the Honda's US production set a record in 2013 with 1.3 million units built.