Honda plans to adopt new design and make its vehicles lighter

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 26, 2011

Honda Motor Co. aims to make its vehicles lighter and to do that, it will use new approach in its design and assembly, according to a report from the Nikkei business daily. It stated that Honda is implementing new manufacturing methods that include welding outer panels to the frame instead of assembling the ceiling, side and other panels to lessen the use of bolts and reinforcing materials.

The Nikkei said that for the overhaul of production lines in Japan and abroad, it will cost Honda tens of billions of yen. Initially, new methods will be used on small vehicles. After a few years, all its models will use these methods. Honda has started on the steps to lessen the output of the materials, parts and processing required to make the N Box minivehicle, which had its launching last Friday.

Nikkei said that Honda had revised one of the two assembly lines at its Suzuka plant in Mie Prefecture that roll out the N Box. This approach will lead to the 10% weight reduction for the N Box. The costs for manufacturing would also be lower. Honda hopes that by producing vehicles that are cheaper and lighter, it will be able to hasten its advance into growing markets, which are among its top priorities.

Honda developed the N BOX by lumping together the advantages and the attractiveness of a minivan into one mini vehicle. This “mini minivan” features an innovative platform, ample space, economic efficiency, and comfort, all of which surpass the concept of a mini-vehicle.

The N BOX boasts a larger cabin space compared to most other mini-vehicles available in the market, thanks to a new platform, its center-tank layout, its low-floor design, and its new powertrain. This new platform conveys Honda’s “man maximum, machine minimum” concept, which is the company’s basic car design approach that maximizes the space available for passengers and at the same time minimizes the space needed for the vehicle’s mechanical parts.

Meanwhile, the center-tank layout is the company’s unique packaging technology, which was first adopted for the Honda Fit series and which had paved the way for the innovation of the small vehicle concept. This center-tank layout also lends a versatile and east-to-operate seating configuration for the N BOX. Moreover, because of this layout, the car can accommodate a low-floor design and a large opening, and, in turn, it has a tailgate that makes loading luggage very convenient.

Dynamic driving and high fuel economy are both realized through the N BOX’s newly developed transmission and engine. The mini vehicle also adopted the idle stop mechanism that is employed by hybrid vehicles, so it achieved the top level when it comes to fuel efficiency in its segment.

You can choose from several types of N BOX as well as from different packages that cater to your own preferences. Aside from the base grade that provides ample space as well as a sense of security befitting a family with kids, N BOX Custom also offers you a strong sense of presence and a strong individuality.

Topics: honda, design

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