While not as exciting as Bob Lutz, Takeo Fukui - the soon-to-be-former president and CEO of Honda Motor Company - has provided us with a few attention-getting quotes over the years. With the news late last night that Fukui (pictured) will be stepping down in June, to be replaced by the current Senior Managing Director, Takanobu Ito, we thought it'd be good to look back at some of Fukui's more dramatic claims. For example:
A lot has changed for automakers in the last year, not the least of which would be General Motors. Just last year, GM CEO Rick Wagoner managed to grab the top spot on Motor Trend's list of most powerful people in the automotive world. As you might imagine, it's tough at the top and a bankruptcy that was barely avoided thanks to a set of last-minute, low-interest loans from the Feds has, not surprisingly, prompted MT to move Wagoner down from his perch as numero uno. In fact, Wagoner has fallen c
Honda president Takeo Fukui has been known to downplay the future role of plug-in cars in the automotive marketplace even as his company plays up the fuel cell technology that he claims will be available for the masses by 2018 (even if it will be somewhat expensive). In a recent interview to Chinese website auto.163.com, he said that EV tech is still "immature" with the main problem being the batteries. He thinks that current electric cars can only achieve a 100 km (62 mile) range and that makes
Honda is one of the few automakers that's demonstrated studied restraint during the recent SUV boom. There is the Pilot, which is a big ol' thing, but it's also as efficient as something that size can be, with unit-body construction, and an engine that shuts off three of its six cylinders whenever possible. The company also has a long history of making small cars that aren't penalty boxes, and amazingly clever engineering. It should be little surprise, then, that the man at the helm is an engine
While other manufacturers, notably Ford and General Motors, have been canceling programs to develop new V8 engines, Honda may be yet again be hearing the beat of a different drummer. Automotive News is reporting that Honda's Takeo Fukui has confirmed that the next-generation Acura RL will be powered by the company's first production V8 engine. Even in with high fuel prices, Acura and its dealers apparently feel that that a V8 is necessary to compete with other German and Japanese luxury brands.
By now we've all seen the spy shots showing Acura's NSX revival bombing around the Nürburgring in Germany. There's a reason those drivers are pushing their prototype hard enough to get air through the turns. Inside Line is reporting the Honda CEO Takeo Fukui wants his NSX to toast both the Nissan GT-R and the Lexus LF-A around the Green Hell. Considering that the GT-R has posted lap times on the 'Ring that utterly defy what it should be able to do on paper, and that the LF-A is still a movi
While many other car-makers (with the notable exception of Toyota) are jumping on the lithium ion bandwagon for new hybrid models, Honda will stick with nickel metal hydride for now. Honda President Takeo Fukui told Automotive News that lithium ion batteries are not yet reliable or durable enough for high volume applications. When Honda debuts a new dedicated hybrid model early next year to take on the Prius, it will continue to use nickel metal hydride batteries.
Man, what's with everyone harshing on the Chevy Volt? First it was Toyota, which took a shot at Chevy's series hybrid on its Open Road blog and then attempted to defend its comments in a future posting. Now Honda has jumped into the fray, swinging wildly away at the Great Hybrid Hope from the bow tie brand. This past Tuesday, Honda's chief exec Takeo Fukui told journalists that "so-called" plug-in hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles didn't do enough for the environment, so his company isn't going
We mentioned this on AutoblogGreen over the holidays, but I came across another aspect of the claim by Honda President Takeo Fukui's statement that he expects hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to be widely available in 2018 that bears thinking about. As Sam mentioned in his original post, Fukui believes that within a decade after the FCX is released, fuel cell cars will be available if the cost of these cars comes down to about a tenth of what they are now.
In a recent interview, Honda President Takeo Fukui said that he fully expects to offer a fuel-cell Honda by 2018. Nissan has already gone on record as saying they plan to have a fuel-cell vehicle on the road by the early 2010s. So that might seem like a long way off, especially considering the FCX Concept that AB Green drove will be doing real world testing by 2008, but production and storage of hydrogen are still huge obstacles to making fuel-cell vehicles practical. The Kyodo News agency also
Honda has already announced their plans to make a production version of the fuel cell powered FCX concept available to the public in limited quantities starting in 2008. Now in an interview with Kyodo News in Japan, Honda President Takeo Fukui has stated that he expects that fuel cell cars will be widely available on the market within ten years after the launch of the FCX. In order to make the fuel cells widely available at an affordable price, Fukui says that they still need to reduce the amoun
Honda president Takeo Fukui has denied newspaper reports that Honda hybrids will be built a new Indiana factory that opens in 2008. Sources say the Civic will be built there, but all Fukui said was that Honda will build small vehicles with 4-cylinder engines. Honda currently makes the Civic Hybrid but has announced it will build a smaller hybrid vehicle in 2009. The automaker will also introduce diesel engines to American consumers. In other Honda news, Fukui said the company's engineers will fo
Recently Honda announced plans to create new ultra clean diesel engines for their vehicles to meet all the latest emission standards. Their design would differ from the Mercedes BlueTec technology because the new catalytic converter would produce ammonia on board to use for treating the nitrogen oxide. This would be a zero maintenance design that requires no periodic replenishment of the urea supply. Initial indications were that a 2.2L four cylinder diesel would be built for use in various pass
Here's a short, interesting opinion piece by Matt Timion, owner and operator of GasSavers.org. He first acknowledges that since Honda's entry into the U.S. automotive market in 1971, the automaker has been "more concerned with fuel economy and emissions than any other manufacturer." As partial evidence, he points to Honda's continual offering of at least one super mileage vehicle starting with their CVCC technology moving on to the CRX HF, the Civic VX and the Insight.
On a recent trip to Honda's research and development center in Utsunomia, Japan, Popular Science got an opportunity to conduct a 10-minute interview with Takeo Fukui, Honda's president and CEO, as well as take the FCX fuel cell concept car out for a spin.
One fact is fairly straightforward: Honda is working on a new diesel engine for the U.S. market in 2009 that will meet stringent U.S. and California emissions standards while using 30 percent less gasoline, according to this article from Bloomberg out today.
In his mid-year speech yesterday, Honda CEO Takeo Fukui said Honda would focus on three core areas to increase the company's profits and brand in the coming years. According to Honda's synopsis of the speech, the three areas are: