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Old 10 Jan 2012, 03:00 pm
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Default Accord: 2013 Accord Concept Introduction Press Conference Remarks by John Mendel, Executive Vice Pre

Good morning and thank you all for joining us here today.**
It's been an exciting Show already,*
and we hope to add to that this morning.


special way to the reason we're*
here today
which is the coming launch
of an all-new,
9th-generation Honda Accord.**
The production version of the
all-new 2013 Accordwill be hitting*
the market around the same time as*
we celebrate an important milestone*
in the history of Honda and the Accord
**
the 30th anniversary of the start of*
automobile production in the U.S.*


Think about this number
since it was introduced in 1976,
we have sold more than 11 million*
Accords in America


and more than 8 million of them*
have been built in America as well.


As you might have noticed,
we've got the very first of the species
U.S.-made Accord VIN number 001
on display here today.*


And I want to say thank you
to the folks from*
The Henry Ford in Dearborn.


It's on permanent loan there
so we thank them for letting us*
borrow it back for a few days.


The star of our show today is an
Accord concept model
but before we get to that,
let me speak to the
positive momentum leading
to the launch of this new model.


To say that the past year has been*
one of incredible challenge
is a gross understatement.*


2011 was a year that saw
our company weather two*
devastating natural disasters
that severely disrupted
our global supply chain.


Some automakers have pointed to
our reduced sales last year*
...including lower Accord sales...
as if it were some kind of
sales trend...


...When the reality is...
we had to cut more than
200-thousand units from
our production schedule.
*
And we still topped one million*
units in sales for the year.*


Many of our competitors
were enjoying a race with Honda*
running at half-throttle
and they temporarily picked up
a lap or two in the process...*
...while we were in the pits.


But we have returned
to full production with a*
strengthening product lineup*
including....
? the all-new
CR-V and Civic,
? a freshened and more
fuel-efficient Pilot,


? a benchmark Odyssey minivan,
? a new 4-cylinder version of*
Crosstour that debuts this month*
and later this year...
? an all-new Accord.*


And with all of this backed up
by the industry's best quality ratings
we're here to serve notice
to the competition
that Honda is firing
on all cylinders again.*


We're back to full power
and we're again racing
with a vengeance.


Of course,
being the first U.S.-made car
from a Japanese automaker
is nowhere near Accord's
only claim to fame.


For 30 years and through
eight generations,
Accord has consistently set the*
benchmark for...
? fuel-efficiency,
? low emissions,
? safety
...and...
? the best overall balance
of comfort, features, packaging
and fun-to-drive performance
in the mid-size segment.*


It's the reason why
despite year after year of*
competitors taking aim
Accordhas earned an*
unprecedented 26
Car and Driver ten-best awards.**
That's a crazy good record
no other brand can claim.


This new 9th generation Accord*
will raise the bar again
in part through a tour de force
of new Honda powertrain
and safety technologies ******


... all geared to ensure
that Honda and Accord
continue to be leaders
in fuel economy, safety and
fun-to-drive performance.


Arriving this fall,
Accordwill be the first
U.S. vehicle to apply
our new Earth Dreams
powertrain technology.


This is the series of new engines*
and transmissions we debuted
at the Tokyo Motor Show
late last year
that will ultimately replace every*
powertrain in our lineup.


These new engines completely
re-envision the structure
of Honda'slegendary
VTEC technology for more*
efficient combustion
and reduced friction.*


The bottom line is engines that*
achieve both outstanding fuel*
efficiency and high output for clean*
and fun driving performance.


... Fuel economy, up
performance, up
Fun, up.


And with this new
Earth Dreams technology,
we're aiming to achieve
best-in-class fuel economy
in every segment in which
we compete within the
next three years
starting with Accord.


The all-new Accord will boast* *
three new powertrains
including the first application
in the U.S. of our new
2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine
with direct injection
that you see to my right*
... delivering a significant boost
in performance including additional* *
horsepower and an increase
in midrange torque.*


And the 4-cylinder Accord
will also get a 6 speed manual*
and an all-new continuously
variable transmission
CVT that will be the best system*
in the marketplace in terms of efficiency,
performance
and sporty driving feel.**
None of the "rubber band" feeling*
most CVTs are known for and
coupled with the new engine
it will help achieve class leading
fuel economy.


Meanwhile, the V6 Accord Sedan*
and Coupe will increase*
horsepower and torque
while being paired with a new
6-speed automatic transmission
or a 6-speed manual version.*


And with the 6-speed automatic,
both the sedan and coupe models*
are estimated to achieve
class leading fuel economy.


Further, Accord will become
the 5th Honda model with
the Eco-Assist function
and ECO button
to help our customers
with a practical approach
to improve their own fuel efficient*
driving habits.*


But that's not the end of the*
powertrain technology story.*


The 2013 Accord lineup will see*
the introduction of Honda's
first Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle
utilizing our all-new
two-motor hybrid system
which continuously moves*
through three different modes
to maximize driving efficiency...
? all-electric,
? gasoline-electric
...and ...
? a direct-drive mode.*


The Plug-In Hybrid Accord
will travel up to 15 miles on electric*
power alone,
with the driver able to control when*
the vehicle operates in
all-electric mode.*


If your commute starts
on the highway,
for example,
the driver can decide not to switch*
to all-electric power
until entering city traffic,
where the technology has the*
greatest benefit to fuel economy.*


And fully recharging the battery will*
take less than one and a half hours*
using a 240-volt charger.


With the Accord Plug-In we will*
continue to grow our diverse lineup*
of advanced alternative-fuel*
vehicles, which includes:
? the Civic Natural Gas
? the CR-Z,
? Insight and Civic hybrids,
? the Plug-in Hybrid Accord,
? the Fit EV
and...
?* the FCX Clarity fuel
cell electric car.


There's so much more we have to*
tell you about this new Accord,*
which heralds our strategy
for further advancing the
Clean, Safe and Fun values
of Honda.*


But maybe it's time we showed you*
what we're talking about.


So here it is
the cleaner, safer
and unquestionably more fun****
2013 Accord Coupe Concept.


With its athletic styling including...
? the 4-sided honeycomb grille,*
? rear taillights that sweep* a
ggressively into the body
.. and...
? large exhaust finishers integrated* into the bumper
the 2013 Accord Coupe* Concept gives you a strong glimpse* of the direction
for the all-new Accord lineup* coming this fall.


The Accord has been
consistently rated
as the most fun-to-drive
mid-size car
and this all-new model
will take that bar
and raise it higher.*


New packaging that delivers on the*
Man Maximum, Machine Minimum*
philosophy of Honda design
will give the 2013 Accord Sedan
? a shortened overall length...*
? a significant reduction in
weight
...and ...
? lower vehicle height
to achieve a new level of efficiency,*
more nimble handling and improved*
driving dynamics.


Believe me;
the new Accord
will live up to our mission
to deliver new products that are*
unquestionably fun-to-own
and fun-to-drive.*


And even with the more compact*
exterior design and lower roofline
Accord will boast the same*
sizable interior space
as the current Accord.


Of course, the new Accord is built*
upon the foundation of the best*
quality reputation in the industry.*


In 2011, Honda posted*
the most dominant performance
in the history of the
J.D. Power Initial Quality Study


with Honda finishing as the
top mainstream brand
in the industry
supported by seven of
11 segment-leading products,
including Accord.
*
According to the same study,
four of the top five assembly lines in*
the Americas were at Honda plants*
including both lines at the*
Marysville, Ohio plant that builds Accord.


But the advanced technology*
coming to the all-new Accord line
is not limited to powertrain.*


With the new Accord,
we will introduce a wave of new*
technologies aimed at enhancing*
driver visibility and
industry-leading safety of
Honda vehicles.*


Our approach to styling Accord*
has always included a focus on*
substantial Greenhouse visibilty,
something customers have*
continuously told us they love about*
Accord's styling.


In spite of the bold and aggressive styling,
we haven't compromised on this principle.


In fact, we are expanding it.


For instance,
we'll be making the expanded-view*
driver's mirror that we debuted on*
our new CR-V last month...*
....as standard equipment on every*
new model in our lineup in the coming years.*


Also, you'll see the application of*
rear view back-up cameras
which are already standard*
on our trucks...
expanded to all of our products in*
the future
starting with the new Accord.*


And all NAVI-equipped models
will be getting the multi-angle back*
up camera that we debuted on the new CR-V.


In addition,
the 2013 Accord will get a new,
Honda-exclusive blind spot display*
we will call "Honda Lane Watch."*


With a camera mounted in the*
passenger side-view mirror,
... the driver can use the display
to identify vehicles in their blind*
spot through real-time video
without the risk of false warnings*
found in some other systems.


And Accord will be the only*
vehicle in its class to make this*
feature available.*


And, finally, let's talk about safety.*


Last month,
the IIHS gave a 'Top Safety Pick'*
rating to ten additional models from*
American Honda, giving us a total of
12 with top-class IIHS safety ratings.*


Of course,
the current Accord is on the list *
as one of the first vehicles in the*
industry to earn this distinction.*


But we aren't stopping there.


In the area of collision avoidance,
we will be deploying two additional*
ew technologies
? forward collision warning
...and...
? lane departure warning
that will be applied across
every model in our lineup
in the years to come
...starting as an available*
technology on the new Accord.*


Both systems use a digital camera*
mounted behind the windshield to*
monitor the roadway in front of the driver ...
....and warnthe driver of changing*
traffic conditions in front of them
or to alert the driver if the car
is moving out of its intended lane.


And again starting this fall with*
the new Accord
we'll begin applying new*
ejection mitigation airbag*
technology with a wider*
deployment profile of the side*
curtain airbag.**


We are doing this a full two years in*
advance of new safety regulations*
going into effect in 2015.


So
we're serious about our*
commitment to continue to deliver*
products that are
cleaner, safer
....and
even more fun than ever before.*


And we're doing it with
leading-edge technologies applied*
broadly to our product lineup.


As you can see
along with a compelling safety,
fuel economy,
and value story


Honda's fundamental commitment*
to performance is alive and well.


And our number one priority going*
forward is to make products that*
our customers want to drive
products that measure up to the*
very high standards and*
expectations that they have
for Honda.


It's going to be an exciting year*
and a very competitive race.*


And we're happy to be re-joining*
that race at full strength.*


So stay tuned.*


Thanks for your time and attention*
this morning.*


And now I invite you to join me on*
stage for a closer look at the
all-new 2013 Accord Coupe Concept.


Have a great final day at the show!

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