2013 Accord Concept Introduction Press Conference Remarks by John Mendel, Executive Vice President, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

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...

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 
• 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
• 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,
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
•  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
...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... 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
• 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.

we're serious about our 
commitment to continue to deliver 
products that are
cleaner, safer
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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