Drive Type: RWD
Trim: Base Convertible 2-Door
Hinsdale, Illinois, United States
Honda has announced that it has made an initial investment of $470 million to build a brand new transmission plant in Ceyala, Mexico. For those keeping track, this is the same city that will also house Honda's new automobile manufacturing facility, which will begin production of the Fit compact beginning in the spring of 2014.
This new transmission plant is expected to come online in the second half of 2015, with an annual production capacity of 350,000 units, though that number is expected to double in the years following the plant's opening. With a 700,000-unit production capacity, Honda says a full 1,500 new associates will be hired at the Mexican plant.
Honda will specifically use this new transmission plant for the production of CVTs for automobiles built in Mexico, as well as for cars produced in facilities around the world. It stands to reason, then, that since the next-generation Honda Fit will be built right around the corner from these new CVTs, the small hatchback - which is expected to grow into a full family of vehicles - could be fitted with continuously variable units in the future.
Toyota is on track for record profits, and in return, its Japanese workers are receiving their first increase in base wages since 2008, plus higher pay based on seniority and a larger bonus for 2014. The Japanese automaker predicts the average laborer will net a 2.9 percent income gain.
The average Toyota employee will earn 2,700 yen ($26.28) more each month, a 0.8 percent increase from last year. Workers will also receive about 7,300 yen ($71.09) more monthly based on seniority and promotions. Finally, the company's union pushed through a median bonus of 2.44 million yen ($23,768) for 2014, the highest in 6 years.
The pay boost comes as Toyota forecasts a record 1.9-trillion yen ($18.5 billion) profit for the fiscal year ending on March 31, according to Bloomberg. It has been helped by the Japanese government's efforts to weaken the yen on international markets and expand inflation. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been asking businesses to increase compensation to end years of deflation and offset upcoming higher sales taxes. Honda and Nissan have also raised their wages there in recent months.
The 2003 Cog commercial from Honda may have been named one of the best car commercials of all time, but an all-new spot called Hands looks to be even more entertaining even if it's digitally enhanced. The two-minute video - which starts and ends with a nod to Cog - highlights just about all facets of Honda's universe of products from passenger cars to racecars, the HondaJet to leaf blowers, motorcycles, ATVs and even Asimo.
Celebrating 65 years of innovation, the advertisement is as informative as it is amusing, and it even injects a little humor, too, like a glass of water being squeezed from the FCX Clarity. We just hope that the 1:10 mark of the video isn't hinting at a CR-V Convertible. We're not sure when Hands will air or if we'll see it on television here in the US, but the video is posted below; as an added bonus, we've also included the video for Cog.