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Honda to Trim US Minivan and SUV Production

Nikkei. Honda Motor said Tuesday that it intends to reduce production from April to December at its minivan and sport utility vehicle factory in Alabama due to falling demand caused by rising gasoline prices.

The plant, which manufactures the Odyssey minivan and Pilot SUV has an output capacity of 300,000 units. Honda will trim production by 27,000, or 9%.

Beginning in April, daily output on the first assembly line, which currently assembles the Odyssey minivan, will be cut to 500 from 650. The total number of vehicles produced can be flexibly adjusted because the same model can be made on multiple lines.

There will be no work force reductions, according to the automaker.

Honda is not reducing its 2006 sales target of 1.51 million new vehicles in the US, up 3% on the year.



Honda should offer a DIESEL option in the Pilot and Odyssey and sanction running B20 fuel -- this would help sales and the adoption of biodiesel and would light a fire under VAG to get TDIs into Audis and a VW mini-van.

Bio-Diesel BS

Why do so called bio-diesel proponents always look to some mininmal blend like B2, B5, or B20?

The answer is because diesel requires 25% more oil per gallon produced than gasoline. So a gallon of B20, has a similar amount of oil in it as a gallon of gasoline.

Some diesels get theoretically better EPA mileage, but some do not. We all know the EPA numbers are BS as well and will be changed dramatically when the EPA introduces their new methodology due out for the 2008 model year. For instance, Consumer Reports found that the Jeep Liberty with an EPA listed 22 mpg really got 11 mpg in their real world testing.

If you really want to promote bio-diesel...then push for B100. It's the only way that consumers are offered the choice to pursue energy independence. Anything less and folks are just kidding themselves that they are making a difference.

Further more...aqueous phase reforming of corn can produce hydrogen twice as efficiently as corn can be turned into ethanol. Since a fuel cell vehicle will get 2-3 times the mileage of a ethanol vehicle...this means you get a 6 fold improvement in energy efficiency out of your biomass. If you don't want to wait for fuel cells though...that's fine too. Hydrogen ICE can operate about 50% more efficient than an ethanol vehicle. Since aqueous phase reforming is twice as efficient at turning biomass into fuel as biomass can be turned into ethanol...this still gives you a 2.5 fold improvement in energy efficient...and it's available today. Many companies are retro-fitting existing cars with hydrogen...and big auto is even starting to come out with hydrogen ICE. Mazda is bringing out a duel fueled hydrogen/gasoline version of the RX-8 in limited quantities this year followed by a dual fueled hydrogen/gasoline Premacy mini-van in 2008.

To see an example of how hydrogen can operate more efficiently than ethanol in an internal combustion engine...just check out the figures on the tri-fuel Ford V10 Super Chief. Details here:


I agree. Honda needs to offer diesel as an option. They have diesel Accords in Europe and England. When I called Honda USA customer service about diesels in the US, they claimed to have no knowledge of Honda making any diesels anywhere.
I'm just gonna keep driving my 20 year old car till someone makes a car I'm want to buy. The current line-up of cars available in the US is not too good if you are looking for great fuel mileage.


Wow....this same guy is trying to post on every story with incorrect facts about diesel!

Seriously, are all of the sources that state the well-to-wheel efficiencies of both gasoline and diesel ICEs too difficult for you to understand?

It seems you are basing your entire argument on one test of a diesel (the Jeep Liberty in Consumer Reports) that is not even close to being at the forefront of diesel technology. I do not have a subscription to CR to check all of your information. However, what I could find out about CR's testing of the Liberty shows an 18 mpg overall result. Less than advertised, as you pointed out. However, the V6 Liberty only got 15 mpg. That STILL is a 20% improvement!

Popular Mechanics is known to be a reputable source, and they came up with entirely different results for that same Jeep Liberty CRD. Over 22mpg city and over 31mpg highway.

Why not B100? Lack of supply right now, for one. Also, there are issues of lubricity and cold weather performance that blending with petroleum diesel solves. Would you rather have a small percentage running on B100 or a very large percentage of vehicles running on B20?

Robert Schwartz

The previous version of the Odessy (95-98) was on the same chasis that the CRV and Civic use, was a good deal smaller and lighter than the current version. OTOH, the current ones get much better milage than Suburbans.


"diesel requires 25% more oil per gallon produced than gasoline"
I wonder where he got that information...
Unless I see a refrence to creditable study(article written by IhateDiesel from page is not creditable source) stating that assumption this post is meaningless or provocation.
Here is one of many creditable studies that makes this statment untrue.
I could probably find few more papers but what's the point.

Originally Posted by xfiles (on
The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?


What the original story forgot to mention is the factory also produces the Acura MDX and Honda highlander besides the minivan and pilot. All 4 vehicles can be produced one after another on the same line one after another. That is the kind of flexibility GM and Ford can only dream of. If one model fails they can quickly switch volume to another. The highlander has been a flop.


Dude, Highlander is made by TOYOTA on the Camry platform (unibody) it's a CUV and I don't think it was/is a sales flop.


Dude, Highlander is made by TOYOTA on the Camry platform (unibody) it's a CUV and I don't think it was/is a sales flop. They are making a gas hybrid now.

Bob Carpenter

Diesel fuel does require 25% more oil to produce than gasoline. Both gasoline and diesel come from the same crude oil run through the oil refinery. However, gasoline's density is 0.665 Kg/L,while diesel's density is ).830 Kg/L - 25% higer. Take it for the truth from a chemical engineer with extensive oil refinery experience. If not, simply prove it to yourself by Googling gasoline density and diesel fuel density. One minor caveat - gasoline requires more severe refining processing (catalytic cracking, alkylation, reforming) that slightly off-sets the 25% bogey for diesel.


When comparing Gas and Diesel the discussion is always limited to MPG efficiency. What about Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases ? Is Diesel really an option ?
A hybrid in a few years could have a more efficient battery and a plug-in option... maybe solar panels at home to charge the car :) What is the future of a diesel engine ?

Harvey D.

Reducing production of older technology vehicles is a very wise decision.


test 25 aug 07

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