End of an Era

Honda ditches the Fit, Civic Coupe, and manual Accord as company evolves product line

The Honda Fit is leaving the U.S. market.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The Honda Fit, Civic Coupe, and manual transmission variant of the Honda Accord will soon be gone from the company's American lineup. Automotive News first reported the information.

Honda will bid adieu to the Fit after the 2020 model year. When the model was introduced in 2006, customers were still opting for small cars and the Fit served as a flexible entry point for buyers who wanted a fuel-efficient daily driver that didn't look like the typical sedan. Now, that business case has changed with customers preferring SUVs, buying the Honda HR-V and CR-V as their entry points into the brand instead.

2019 Honda Civic Coupe Popularity of the coupe has dwindled in recent years. Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Mfg. Inc.

The Honda Civic Hatchback is also a victim of changing consumer preferences. It too will be gone after the 2020 model year. The Civic hatchback has accounted for 24 percent of Civic sales 2016. During the same period Civic Coupe sales fell from 16 percent of the market to just six percent.

Production has already been shifted, and plans are underway to plan other moves regarding the Civic and Accord. Honda will pause Civic Si production at the company's Alliston, Ontario plant later this year as it transitions to the 11th-generation Civic Si Sedan. The next-gen Civic lineup will focus on the sedan, hatchback, Si, and Type R models.

The six-speed Honda Accord hasn't been produced since December 2019. Honda says that despite the move, they'll have enough models to last them through the year.

Honda isn't just ditching the models as a way to clean up their lineup. They're making room for "a whole lot of interesting in the future" according to a tweet from Matt Sloustcher, senior manager and department head of American Honda Public Relations.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Toyota Mall of Georgia, one of AutoNation's dealerships, has raised money to support the caregivers at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Photo courtesy of AutoNation

You know the pink license plate brackets and the pink-leather jacket clad spokeswoman. All that pink is paying off. AutoNation announced that it has raised $25 million for cancer research and treatment through its Drive Pink (DRV PNK) Initiative. Drive Pink launched in 2015.

In 2020 alone, DRV PNK funds have been invested in seven major research projects through the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), the largest private funder of breast cancer research in the world. BRCF focuses their efforts in six different areas: tumor biology, treatment, survivorship, metastasis, lifestyle and prevention, and heredity and ethnicity.

"AutoNation has played a valuable role in enabling BCRF to be at the vanguard of every major breakthrough in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship," said Mrya Biblowit, BCRF President and CEO.

"Every October, we celebrate all that we have accomplished through DRV PNK" said Mike Jackson, AutoNation's Chairman and CEO. "This year, we've taken our mission to new levels, thanks to the incredible support of our Customers, our Associates and our partners."

As part of its DRV PNK efforts, AutoNation works to raise awareness of breast cancer. The company sponsored NTT Indycar Series drivers Jack Harvey, Alexander Rossi, and Marco Andretti who were behind the wheel of vehicles wearing pink liveries.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and AutoNation will be stepping up its efforts throughout the month. Expect to see ad campaigns reflecting such. The company's annual DRV PNK Across America Day by selecting local cancer treatment facilities to receive care bags for patients battling cancer.

For longtime AutoNation Associate and breast cancer survivor, Lisa Logan, DRV PNK is personal. "Sadly, just about everyone has been touched by cancer. I am so proud to work for a company that not only supported me throughout my journey, but that also supports such an important cause."

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The material Jaguar Land Rover is adding to its vehicle interiors is called Econyl.

Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

As automaker work toward more sustainable business practices, Jaguar Land Rover is working with Econyl nylon to develop high-quality interiors made from ocean and landfill waste. The automaker promises that next-generation Jaguar and Land Rover models will feature floor mats and trims made with Econyl fiber from recycled industrial plastic, fabric offcuts from clothing manufacturers, fishing nets from the farming industry, and those abandoned in the ocean– known as 'ghost nets'.

Econyl nylon was created by Aquafil. It's already been sued in the high-end fashion, sportswear, and luxury watch industries to create handbags, backpacks, swimwear, and watch straps. In one year, the company recycles as much as 40,000 tons of waste, making it in to the nylon. For every 10,000 tonnes of Econyl raw material produced, 70,000 barrels of crude oil are saved and 65,100 tons of carbon emissions equivalent are avoided.

Jaguar Land Rover Econyl interior Jaguar Land Rover has committed to including more sustainable materials in its interiors.Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

Turning to sustainable materials isn't a new idea. For years Ford has been incorporating all manner of materials into its vehicles including tomatoes, soy, and coffee chaff from McDonald's. General Motors recently showcased a breakdown of how recycled materials are used inside their automobiles.

Bentley's facility in Crewe, England is collecting rainwater for use in its office building allowing the company to not have to draw from the local water system.

Each year automakers release their sustainability report, which champions all the ways that the company is moving forward in its resources conservation plans. This year's GM report sets forth numerous goals. Among them, by 2030, 50 percent of the parts used in General Motors vehicles will be made with sustainable materials. Additionally, GM's Spring Hill plant in Tennessee will run solely on solar power by 2022.

FCA made big strides in 2019. Their 2020 sustainability report touted their 40 percent reduction in water use and 27 percent carbon footprint reduction per vehicle.

Jaguar Land Rover Econyl interior Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

This week Polestar announced that its Precept concept vehicle is headed into production. When the Precept debuted a few months ago, the company bragged about its sustainable interior.

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