Honda Accelerates Sweeping Light Truck Makeover With New Ridgeline Pickup Set For Global Debut At The 2016 North American International Auto Show

Honda will challenge conventional thinking in the midsize pickup segment with the return of the Honda Ridgeline truck, set to make its world debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday, January 11 at 1:15 p.m. EST. Designed, developed and manufactured in America, the all-new Ridgeline is the fourth new or significantly refreshed light truck model introduced by Honda in the past 18 months and will hit roads nationwide in the first half of next year.

“We developed this new Honda Ridgeline to offer something new and fundamentally better suited to the way many buyers use their truck,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division. “Ridgeline will deliver everything you’d expect in a Honda from incredible packaging and fuel-efficiency to top safety technologies and innovative, segment-first features. We’re honored to once again debut the Ridgeline in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show.”

Honda began the complete remake of its light-truck lineup in the fall of 2014 with the freshened 2015 Honda CR-V, America’s best selling SUV. Earlier this year, Honda launched the all-new HR-V crossover, gateway to the Honda truck lineup, and the third generation of its popular Pilot three-row SUV. In 2016, Honda will continue the strengthening of its light-truck family of vehicles with the new Ridgeline and a fully redesigned Odyssey minivan.

Calendar year 2015 sales of Honda light trucks are up 11.8 percent to 599,507 vehicles through the end of November and are on track to set a new all-time sales record for the brand, beating the previous best of 602,123 units in 2006.

Like the first generation Ridgeline, which also debuted at NAIAS in 2005, the all-new Ridgeline was designed and developed by Honda R&D Americas, Inc., in its Torrance, California design studio and Raymond, Ohio, research and development center. The Ridgeline and its engine will be produced[i] by Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, Inc., in Lincoln, Alabama.

About Honda

Honda offers a complete lineup of Honda cars, trucks and service with a network of more than 1,000 Honda dealerships within the United States. Eight Honda auto plants in North America, including four in the U.S., have the capacity to produce 1.92 million automobiles each year. In 2014, more than 97 percent of the Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were produced in North America using domestic and globally sourced parts.

[i] Using domestic and globally sourced parts

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KBB.com Video Wins Prestigious 2015 Dean Batchelor Award For Excellence In Automotive Journalism

Motor Press Guild Praises Kelley Blue Book Editorial’s ‘Polaris Slingshot Review’ with Industry’s Top Honor; KBB.com Video Also Wins Award for ‘MPG Best of the Year Video Review’

KBB.com won the prestigious 2015 Dean Batchelor Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism, judged and sponsored by the Los Angeles-based Motor Press Guild (MPG), announces Kelley Blue Book kbb.com, the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. In addition, KBB.com took home honors for ‘MPG Best of the Year Video Review.’

The award-winning video ‘Polaris Slingshot Review’ was published on both KBB.com and YouTube and is available for viewing on both sites. In the review, Kelley Blue Book’s Managing Editor of Video, Micah Muzio, takes viewers on an informative and entertaining journey with the unique three-wheel Polaris Slingshot, providing expert insights laced with quirky humor. The highly visual video was produced in partnership with COTU Media.

“Winning the 2015 Dean Batchelor Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism is a gratifying recognition that our Kelley Blue Book videos deliver the information and entertainment consumers need and want,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com. “We at KBB.com are blessed to have an extremely talented video team, headed by Managing Editor Micah Muzio and Senior Associate Editor Zach Vlasuk, and to me, their dedication to help others better understand individual vehicles is a key reason for this high honor.”

Established in 1995 and awarded annually, MPG presents the Dean Batchelor Award to the journalist judged to have produced the single piece of work that best represents the professional standards and excellence demanded by Dean Batchelor during his life as an editor, writer and chronicler of the automotive industry. The 2015 Dean Batchelor Awards were presented during the annual MPG awards banquet on December 15 at The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

While this is the first year bringing home the highest honor of the Dean Batchelor Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism, Kelley Blue Book has been honored with several important awards at the Motor Press Guild’s annual ceremony in recent years. In 2014, KBB.com won “Best of the Year Video” honors for its ‘KBB Attends Stunt Driving School’ video. In addition, KBB.com was honored with a 2012 award for ‘Best Audio-Visual’ for its ‘KBB Races a Mazda Miata – Part 1: Skip Barber Race School’ video, and a 2010 award for ‘Best Audio-Visual’ for its ‘Ford F-150 Raptor Video – On Land, Through Water, In the Air’ video.

To view the library of feature and vehicle review videos from Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com, visit youtube.com/kbb. To subscribe to an RSS feed of the latest videos and news stories from the expert editors of Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com, visit rss.kbb.com/kbb-car-news.

To discuss this topic, or any other automotive-related information, with a Kelley Blue Book analyst on-camera via the company’s on-site studio, please contact a member of the Public Relations team to book an interview.

About Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com)

Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website KBB.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new and used cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies, and governmental agencies. Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com ranked highest in its category for brand equity by the 2015 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study and has been named Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year for four consecutive years. Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. is a Cox Automotive company.

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Ally To Finance Vehicles Purchased Through Online Auto Marketplace Beepi

Survey finds a notable number of consumers would consider purchasing a vehicle online

Ally Financial today announced that it will offer consumer auto financing products for vehicles purchased on Beepi, a new way to buy and sell cars online. Beepi, which launched in 2014, uses technology to make the car buying process simple, trustworthy and even fun for its customers, who are able to conduct transactions online or via smartphone. Ally auto financing products will be available to Beepi customers on nearly all makes and models.

The addition of Ally auto financing products to Beepi’s marketplace comes as the mindset of American consumers is shifting around online vehicle purchases. Recently released results from a survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Ally found that more than one in four Americans (27 percent) said they have purchased or would consider purchasing a car online, and almost half (47 percent) think that purchasing cars online will become mainstream in the future. Additionally, respondents noted that the following aspects of purchasing a car would be more appealing to do online: comparing prices of different vehicles (70 percent), browsing a large selection of vehicles (63 percent), and applying for and securing financing (32 percent).

“At Ally, we realize the way consumers are shopping for and purchasing vehicles is evolving and we’re able to leverage our inherent digital capabilities to support this shift,” said Tim Russi, president of auto finance at Ally. “As a leader in the industry, Ally is well-positioned to provide a range of financial products to auto consumers, whether they purchase a vehicle at a traditional auto dealership, or through an online marketplace like Beepi.”

Through Beepi, qualified customers across the credit spectrum are presented a finance option from Ally. Upon acceptance, the consumer finalizes the transaction with Beepi and completes their purchase.

“We are pleased to be working with Ally, a leader in the auto finance industry, to bring the Beepi promise of transparency and value to more consumers,” said Beepi chief executive officer, Ale Resnik. “Beepi has never been business as usual. We’ve changed the ways cars are bought and sold. Now we’re changing the way cars are financed.”

Ally and Beepi are also exploring other opportunities to expand their relationship. Ally offers a full spectrum of financial products and services, such as leasing, insurance, remarketing, and used vehicle inventory.

Beepi is now fully operational in 15 major metropolitan areas across the U.S. Only 18 months after the company’s launch, nearly 40 percent of Americans can buy or sell Beepi cars. To learn more about Beepi, please visit Beepi.com.

About Ally Financial Inc.

Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) is a leading automotive financial services company powered by a top direct banking franchise. Ally’s automotive services business offers a full spectrum of financial products and services, including new and used vehicle inventory and consumer financing, leasing, vehicle service contracts, commercial loans and vehicle remarketing services, as well as a variety of insurance offerings, including inventory insurance, insurance consultative services for dealers and other ancillary products. Ally Bank, the company’s direct banking subsidiary and member FDIC, offers an array of deposit products, including certificates of deposit, savings accounts, money market accounts, IRA deposit products and interest checking. Ally’s Corporate Finance unit provides financing to middle-market companies across a broad range of industries.

With approximately $156.1 billion in assets as of Sept. 30, 2015, Ally operates as a financial holding company.

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Holiday Travel With Your Pet Is Not As Safe As You Think

Subaru-Center for Pet Safety Crash Study Fails the Test

As many people finalize holiday travel plans that include their pets, a new “whitepaper” report from IsMyPetSafe.com warns of the dangers posed by driving with unrestrained pets in the car – to both pets and people.

“Driving with an unrestrained pet in the car is not only distracting, but a serious safety concern for both passengers and pets,” said Michael Miskulin, Editor at IsMyPetSafe.com. “A 65lb dog traveling close to 35 MPH can become a deadly projectile having a kinetic energy equivalent to a 750 lbs. weight falling on your foot from a height of 3.5 feet. If a pet strikes an occupant during a crash the results could be devastating.”

The whitepapers also exposes serious design errors in highly publicized crash-testing results from the Virginia-based Center for Pet Safety (CPS) sponsored by automaker Subaru. According to Miskulin, the design flaws render the Subaru-CPS test results unusable and the recommendations should not be trusted by consumers.

“While the number one concern is still the need for all pets to be in auto crash-tested crates or harness restraints, it’s very disturbing that the only easy-to-find crash-testing information for consumers floating around the Internet and on television is linked to recommendations that are unreliable and potentially dangerous,” said Miskulin.

Miskulin hopes his whitepaper can bridge the gap by offering consumers the information they need to find safe pet travel products until more rigorous and reliable crash-test data can be made available to consumers.

“I intend to continue to follow this issue on IsMyPetSafe.com as well as alert pet parents to a number of other important safety issues so they can better protect their pets from dangerous products, practices and health risks,” said Miskulin.

About IsMyPetSafe.com

IsMyPetSafe.com provides unbiased, rational evaluations across the spectrum of products and services available for pets and their owners. Whitepapers and other reports are based on review of competing facts and a weighing of pros and cons under typical usage scenarios to provide consumers with information that challenges the myths and marketing hype that currently fills the Internet.

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New Vehicle Registrations Top 17 Million For First Time Since 2006

Experian Automotive today announced that new vehicle registration volumes for light-duty vehicles reached the highest point in the past nine years. During the rolling year from Nov. 1, 2014, through Oct. 31, 2015, there were more than 17 million new vehicles registered within the United States — a metric that hasn’t been achieved since 2006.

The highest number of new registration volumes on record was 17.4 million1 in 2006, and the lowest point was during the Great Recession, when volumes hit 10.2 million in 2009.2

“It’s encouraging to see new registrations return to prerecession levels, with lower interest and higher employment rates driving vehicle demand,” said Brad Smith, Experian’s director of automotive market statistics. “While I’m sure the auto industry would like to continue this growth annually, it is important to continually monitor data trends and economic indicators to identify shifts in demand and adjust business strategies accordingly.”

Further insight from the data showed that, while there is now a near-identical volume of vehicles registered, consumer buying habits have changed over the past nine years. For example, crossover utility vehicles account for nearly 24 percent of the market in 2015, up more than 100 percent from 2006.

experian registration rpt1

“The crossover utility vehicle segment, with popular entries like the Ford Escape, the Honda CR-V, the Chevrolet Equinox and the Toyota RAV4, provides consumers with a nice balance between utilitarian need and fuel economy,” continued Smith. “All-wheel drive versions and roof racks provide the recreational sportsman with the fit and function needed for weekend getaways, while the rear hatch makes these vehicles a viable grocery-getter as well.”

The data also showed that Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Honda and Nissan held the top five spots in market share in 2015, making up 54 percent of the 17 million new vehicle registrations. Additional insights include:

experian registration rpt

About Experian Automotive

Experian Automotive provides information services and market intelligence that enables results-driven professionals to gain the fullest possible understanding of the market, the vehicles and the people who buy them. Its North American Vehicle DatabaseSM houses data on nearly 700 million vehicles and, when combined with Experian’s credit, consumer and business information, provides an integrated perspective into the automotive marketplace. Experian Automotive’s AutoCheck® vehicle history reports provide dealers and consumers with in-depth information, allowing them to confidently understand, compare and select the right vehicles.

About Experian

We are the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to our clients around the world. We help businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making.

We also help people to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft. In 2015, we were named by Forbes magazine as one of the “World’s Most Innovative Companies.”

We employ approximately 17,000 people in 38 countries and our corporate headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended March 31, 2015, was US$4.8 billion.

Experian and the Experian marks used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

1Based on a rolling year average from March 1, 2005, through Feb. 28, 2006

2Based on a rolling year average from Dec.1, 2008, through Nov. 30, 2009

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As Used Vehicle Depreciation Slows In November, Price Index Rises

Latest NADA Used Car Guide report analyzes vehicle marketplace data.

According to NADA Used Car Guide analysis, the month of November saw used vehicle prices firm up from October levels. Findings in their latest Guidelines report note wholesale prices of vehicles up to eight years in age depreciated slowly during the month, falling by 1.9 percent versus October’s 2.7 percent decline. Conversely, the automotive industry’s leading provider of vehicle valuation products saw the used vehicle price index climb 1 percent during the same period, to 123.8.

Jonathan Banks, executive analyst for NADA Used Car Guide said, “It’s normal for used vehicle depreciation to slow during the end of the year. That said, while the slow is normal for the month, it was steeper than last November’s 1% slide.”

Larry Dixon, senior analyst for NADA Used Car Guide added, “The decline was in line with losses we saw from 2011 to 2013. It was much better than the historical average for November.”

In addition to insights provided about the used vehicle market, the December Guidelines report provides analysis of the new vehicle market. New vehicle sales rose for the third consecutive month as the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) climbed 1.7 percent, reaching 18.12-million units. Compared to Nov. 2014, manufacturer incentive spending grew again, with average spending per unit reaching $3,082 (6.6 percent).

The report also includes a special vehicle price analysis of how Volkswagen-branded models have sold since the Environmental Protection Agency’s September notice of violation regarding emission standards. In the VW-focused section, analysts report pricing of affected VW Passat and Jetta diesel models ran 9- to 12-percentage points worse within their vehicle segments.

DOWNLOAD: Get your free copy of the Dec. 2015 Guidelines report: img03.en25.com/Web/NADAUCG/%7B6b2177dc-86cd-416d-9c72-bbddf3744254%7D_Guidelines_UCG_201512.pdf

About NADA Used Car Guide

Since 1933, NADA Used Car Guide® has earned its reputation as the leading provider of vehicle valuation products, services and information to businesses throughout the U.S. and worldwide. Its editorial team collects and analyzes over 1 million combined automotive and truck wholesale and retail transactions per month. Its guidebooks, auction data, analysis and data solutions offer automotive/truck, finance, insurance and government professionals the timely information and reliable solutions they need to make better business decisions. NADA Used Car Guide® and its logo are registered trademarks of National Automobile Dealers Association, used under license by J.D. Power and Associates.

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2016 Subaru WRX 2.0-Litre Turbocharged Boxer Engine Named as Wards 10 Best Engines for 2016

Subaru’s 2.0-litre turbocharged Subaru BOXER engine found in the WRX scores spot on Wards’ list for the second consecutive year.

Subaru Canada, Inc. (SCI) is proud to announce that the 2.0-litre turbocharged SUBARU BOXER engine, found in the 2016 Subaru WRX, secures a coveted spot on Wards 10 Best Engines for 2016. This is the second consecutive year that this engine is being recognized by WardsAuto.

The 2016 Subaru WRX is equipped with a high-performance 2.0-litre direct-injection turbocharged BOXER engine. Producing 268 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 258 lb. ft. of torque from 2,000 to 5,200 rpm, the 2016 Subaru WRX has an extremely linear power supply while keeping an eye on efficiency. The 2016 Subaru WRX is capable of achieving fuel economy scores of 11.3 L/100 km in city driving conditions, and 8.4 L/100 km in highway driving.

“Recognized for the second straight year, the 2016 Subaru WRX 2.0-litre turbocharged engine continues to impress and surpasses even the newest technology on the market,”
said Shiro Ohta, chairman, president and CEO of Subaru Canada, Inc. “Not only does the 2016 Subaru WRX have a performance-driven and efficient engine, but it’s also a practical offering, with a starting price at $29,995 and availability with either a 6-speed manual transmission or optional Sport Lineartronic CVT.”

The Subaru WRX / STI model line has witnessed impressive growth in Canada throughout 2015. Year to date, the model has grown sales by 17 percent with a total of 2,904 vehicle sales.

Each year WardsAuto editors set out to compare the ten winners from the previous year with the all-new or significantly improved offerings on the market. The editors score each engine after a test drive, basing their results on horsepower, torque, comparative specifications, noise attenuation, fuel economy and the application of new technology. To be considered, the vehicle entered must also have a base price below $61,000.

About Subaru Canada, Inc.

Subaru Canada, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of 90 authorized dealers across Canada.

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