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Honda Boosts Accord Four-Cylinder Production

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2009 Honda Accord

2009 Honda Accord

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Ouch, this brutal economy. Even relatively stable companies like Honda are adjusting to the fuel-saving, penny-pinching times by trimming capacity and shifting production in favor of four-cylinders.

The Detroit News reports Honda will change its game plan for Accord, Odyssey, Pilot, and Ridgeline, shifting production of its V-6 and four-cylinder engines and those vehicles around to match market conditions.

Honda's Alabama plant will start producing V-6 Accords on one of its assembly lines in order to free up capacity at its Marysville, Ohio, plant, which will then begin producing even more of the company's most popular model, the Accord four-cylinder. The engine for that model comes from its Anna, Ohio, engine plant, which will also boost output to handle the increased Accord four-cylinder volume.

Elsewhere, the company will be reducing production of both V-6 engines and V-6-powered vehicles, whose sales have softened in the face of economic woes. According to Autodata Corp., Odyssey sales are down 14 percent, Pilot sales are down 17 percent, and Accord sales are up 5 percent in comparison with the first nine months of 2007.

Notably, these changes will increase the percentage of Accords that are American made and cut imports of Accords from Honda's factory in Saitama, Japan. As of September, according to Honda, more than 80 percent of Accords sold were American made. This is good news for American autoworkers, who elsewhere face bad news, such as the closing of GM's Moraine, Ohio, plant (Chevy TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Saab 9-7X) on December 23.--Colin Mathews
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Comments (8)
  1. The move makes a whole lot of sense, and it is NO Sacrifice for anybody.
    Today's Honda 4s make 160ish HP and Torque, and are only a couple hundred lbs heavier than my 125 2.2 lt 4 5-speed 1990 LX coupe I recently donated to charity.
    With the 5 or 6 speed manual, the 4 has the best of both worlds, decent acceleration AND great fuel economy for such a (now EPA classed LARGE) car!
     
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  2. No Sacrifice Ed? While I don't disagree that the 4cyl is an adequate powerplant for the vehicle, the 4cyl can not match the NVH characteristics of the V6, nor the torque or HP output. The car needs that added output from the 4cyl since the car has gained about 400lbs since 1990. An accord 4cyl makes very adequate transportation and with a manual trans can even be considered a little fun. It would be on my short list if I needed a competent family vehicle.
     
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  3. Trading down from Honda's silky smooth, barnstorming V-6 does represent a sacrifice...but one that I think many cash-strapped Americans would be more than happy to make right now. And due to the wonders of variable valve timing, the torque curve of the 2.4-liter Honda four doesn't strain or struggle moving the increasing curb weights of Accords, CR-Vs, and Elements. Nonetheless, I hope we see two things from Honda in the near future: direct injection for better power and efficiency, and a program such as Mazda is undertaking to aggressively reduce curb weight across its lineup. With these two strategies, four cylinders might represent even less of a sacrifice for the typical American driver. I personally miss my 1988 CRX, which occasionally edged close to 40mpg on the highway despite its old-tech single port fuel injection (one injector shooting mist into the throttle body).
     
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  4. as i TRIED to explain here, a modern 4 cyl Accord with 160 HP and a 5 or 6 speed MANUAL Transmission involves LITTLE, IF ANY, Sacrifice than a V6 Accord with an AUTO transmission.
    I KNOW that 90%-05% of lil' old ladies and lazy bums and assorted auto illiterates in the US prefer Automatics, BUT $4 gas will change this, just like far lower gas prices (but still much higher than previously) made millions buy EFFICIENT and AGILE Stickshifts in the early 80s.
    MEanwhile, the Detroit one time big 3 and losers of home games to the imports 30 years in a row, do not even offer sticks as an OPTION on most of their pathetic offerings.
     
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  5. At least Honda have the forethought to have designs that can be adjusted to meet changes in the market rather than Detroit's all or nothing (usualy piece of crap) stupidity.
     
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  6. Hey Ed - how long 'til Honda/Toyota offer a DSG gearbox, do you think? All of the convenience of an automatic, all of the economy of a manual. Not to mention lightning-quick gear changes. I was against DSG boxes in concept, being a fan of a true stickshift. And then I drove Audi/VW's DSG...wow. FYI, Chrysler and Getrag are involved in a big lawsuit at present, they were going in together on a DSG plant but it got scuttled by financing details. Then again, would a DSG really make the Dodge Stratus suddenly competitive? I think not :-(
     
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  7. There are SOME models by a few makers where the Automatics are tuned for economy and have better MPG than the manuals, which focus more on performance.
    Two such examples is the current Civic, and some BMW 3-series models, and they way they do it is with the gear ratios, esp. the one for the 5th and 6th(if any) gear.
    I am not familiar with the DSGs. I drove stickshifts all my life until I bought the used 7 series in 05 (no 7 series has been offered with a manual since 95, I believe, while they still offer them in Europe)
     
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  8. Ed - go out promptly and drive an Audi, VW, or Porsche with a twin-clutch automated manual (aka DSG). Audi/VW call it DSG, Porsche calls it PDK (PorscheDoppelKuplung, I believe, 'scuse my German). BMW's twin-clutch box is in development and should come to market soon, and Chrysler/Getrag just got in a huge fight, lawsuits and countersuits pending, so no Chrysler DSGs for the foreseeable future. You have to drive a DSG to believe it - simply fantastic. Far more refined than BMW's outgoing SMG, a very similar concept but with only one clutch. I loved SMG because I love manuals, but automatic drivers hated because it lurched and was very obvious in its operation. I thought I wouldn't like DSG because - yawn - automatics, but I came away grinning. Best of both worlds.
     
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