To further accelerate efforts toward carbon neutrality and zero traffic-accident fatalities, it will be essential to strengthen environmental and electrification technologies as well as software development. The two companies have reached the understanding based on the belief that it is necessary to combine their strengths and explore the possibility of future collaboration.

The scope of the feasibility study includes automotive software platforms, core components related to EVs, and complementary products.

Makoto Uchida, president and CEO, said: “It is important to prepare for the increasing pace of transformation in mobility in the mid-to-long-term, and it is significant that we have reached this agreement based on a mutual understanding that Honda and Nissan face common challenges. We look forward to further discussions and aim to find win-wins for sustainable growth.”

Toshihiro Mibe, Honda director, president and representative executive officer, said: “In this period of once-in-a-century transformation in the automotive industry, we will examine the potential for partnership between Nissan and Honda. Our study criteria will be whether the synergy of the technologies and knowledge that our companies have cultivated will enable us to become industry leaders by creating new value for the automotive industry.”

Copyright ©2024 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Japan Corporate News Network.

Japan – Honda: Ricky Brabec Claims Second Victory at Dakar Rally 2024

Monster Energy Honda Team rider Ricky Brabec (U.S.A., age 32), riding the CRF450 RALLY factory bike, won the overall motorcycle category for the second time since 2020 in the Dakar Rally 2024, opening round of the FIM* World Rally-Raid Championship held in Saudi Arabia, which concluded with Stage 12 on Friday, January 19. This is the first time since 2021 that Honda has won the Dakar Rally.

Ricky Brabec rode his first Dakar Rally in 2016 with Team HRC (current Monster Energy Honda Team). After taking the overall lead in Stage 6 in this year’s edition, Brabec defended his position with solid riding in the subsequent stages to take the victory by a margin of 10 min 53 s for his second Dakar win.Adrien Van Beveren (France, age 33) was 3rd, and Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Chile, age 29) was 6th, giving Monster Energy Honda Team 3 top-ten finishes.

The Dakar Rally, known as “the most dangerous sporting event in the world,” was first held in 1979, making this year its 46th edition. Honda first competed in the third Paris-Dakar Rally in 1981. Its first victory came in 1986 on an NXR750, which was followed by three consecutive wins up to 1989. Honda left the Dakar the following year, and in 2013, decided to race once again in the Dakar Rally, then held in South America, with its new CRF450 RALLY factory bike. The race venue was moved from South America to Saudi Arabia in 2020, which Honda won. Honda also won the following year.

Ricky Brabec | Monster Energy Honda Team

“It’s a nice way to start the year with a victory. It wasn’t easy as the course was really tough and so was the competition. Ross [Hero] and my own team kept me on my toes, but not just me, I think we were keeping everyone on each other’s toes. It was definitely a fight to the end for everyone. I’m really happy we’re all here and all safe and we can go home. This time was a little bit different as I feel like this one was more earned as it was a lot tougher. In 2020, we had a big gap from the get-go. Here, I think me and Ross spent three days with a couple of seconds difference. It was a tight race for all of us. Ten minutes is not a big gap here on the rally. I had two good days, two opportunities to make a good push, but also stage 11 was a scare factor for me because I knew Ross was starting behind me, 18 minutes behind, and if he caught me it would be over. Stage 11 was hard but I stayed focused, got to the finishing line and didn’t lose too much time, so I’m really happy with this and I’m really happy for the team. I’m happy for all of us, we did an excellent job all of the two weeks. I think number 9 will be my lucky number from now on.”

Koji Watanabe, President of Honda Racing Corporation

“Congratulations to Ricky Brabec for the win. Thanks also to Adrien Van Beveren, Jose Ignacio Cornejo and all the Monster Energy Honda Team for completing a tough rally and finishing in the top 10. I know that the past three years have been very frustrating. I believe that the fact that we were able to turn that frustration into strength and take back the championship will be a great source of inspiration for Honda and HRC in the future. This is good news to kick off 2024 with. We hope to keep this momentum to win titles in many categories for both motorcycles and automobiles this season. Finally, I would like to thank all of our fans for their support and all of our sponsors for supporting our activities.”

About Ricky Brabec

Birth date: April 21, 1991 (32 years old)Birthplace: U.S.A.

Career Highlights:
2016 Dakar Rally 2016: 9th
2017 Dakar Rally 2017: Participated (One stage win)
2018 Dakar Rally 2018: Participated
2019 Dakar Rally 2019: Participated (One stage win)
2020 Dakar Rally 2020: Winner (Two stage wins)
2021 Dakar Rally 2021: 2nd (Four stage wins)
2022 Dakar Rally 2022: 7th
2023 Dakar Rally 2023: Participated (One stage win)
2024 Dakar Rally 2024: Winner (One stage win)

*FIM: Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme

Copyright ©2024 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Japan Corporate News Network.

While maintaining the direction of the organizational changes the company implemented over the past few years with an eye toward the realization of carbon neutrality by 2050, Honda will make additional changes to further accelerate its electrification business and to create new value by leveraging its broad and expanding range of mobility products and services by fully utilizing the company’s global resources. 

Key points of the organizational changes effective April 1, 2024

1) Creation of Automobile Production Operations
2) Creation of Supply Chain & Purchasing Operations
3) Creation of Quality Innovation Operations

Details of the organizational changes

1) Creation of Automobile Production Operations:

Automobile Production Operations will be newly created to further strengthen product quality and establish high standards for the production system while deepening coordination and collaboration with each of the business and regional operations as well as functional operations.

The Production Unit and Production Engineering Units, currently under Automobile Operations, will be consolidated into this new Automobile Production Operations to enhance global coordination and collaboration and fully utilize global resources toward electrification and the realization of carbon neutrality.

2) Creation of Supply Chain & Purchasing Operations:

The Supply Chain & Purchasing Unit, currently under the Automobile Operations, will be elevated to the Operations level and become Supply Chain & Purchasing Operations, which will be in charge of realizing enhanced QCD in the electrified era by executing various measures including the strengthening of purchasing planning functions and the establishment of optimal purchasing operations for each parts category suitable for the next-generation SDV architecture.

3) Creation of Quality Innovation Operations:

The Quality Innovation Unit, the Quality & Compliance Audit Division and the Certification & Regulation Compliance Division will be consolidated into the new Quality Innovation Operations to further strengthen company-wide quality governance, including the areas of quality assurance and cyber security, from the perspective of digitalization.

By further accelerating the series of initiatives Honda has been taking to transform itself through electrification and new value creation, Honda strives to remain and become even more recognized as “a company society wants to exist” in the electrified era. 


Topic: Press release summary

Japan – Honda 2024 Motorsports Program Overview

Honda announced its motorsports participation plans for the 2024 season.

Motorcycle activities

Despite winning the third round of the 2023 FIM*1 MotoGP World Championship MotoGP class at the Americas GP, the overall season was very disappointing for Honda. 2024 will see Luca Marini join the Repsol Honda Team, and Johann Zarco join the CASTROL Honda LCR team. Honda aims to enhance competitiveness of its racing bikes and regain the MotoGP title.

In the FIM Trial World Championship TrialGP class, Toni Bou won the 2023 championship achieving his 17th consecutive title, and combined with his 17th title victory in the X-Trial World Championship has won 34 consecutive titles. Bou will take on the challenge to break his own unprecedented record in 2024.

Honda aims to achieve carbon neutrality in all of its motorcycle products in the 2040s, and is working on the electrification of motorcycles as the mainstay of its future environmental strategy, while continuing to work on the evolution of internal combustion engines (ICEs). Carbon-neutral fuel is being incorporated in motorsports, as well. In 2023, Honda supported the introduction of carbon-neutral fuel in the JSB1000 class of the MFJ*2 All Japan Road Race Championship (JRR) and will do so in MotoGP and FIM Superbike World Championship (WSBK) in 2024. Last year, Honda made a spot entry in the All Japan Motocross Championship (JMX) with CR ELECTRIC PROTO, and is continuing consideration of entering new electric motorcycle categories.

Automobile Motorsports Activities

In the 2023 FIA*3 Formula One World Championship (F1) season, Honda provided technical and marketing support to Oracle Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri as a team partner. As technical support, Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) manufactured components apart from the power unit (PU) ESS*4 which it supplied to Red Bull Powertrains*5 and supported PU operations throughout the season. This partnership helped Oracle Red Bull Racing win the Constructors’ and Drivers’ titles with an overwhelming 21 wins out of 22 races. Honda will continue the same partnership with both teams in 2024, its 60th anniversary*6 of F1 activities, aiming for even greater heights. Honda will also continue to support the activities of Yuki Tsunoda, who is entering his fourth year in F1.

In Japan, Honda aims to regain the SUPER GT series*7 GT500 class for the first time since 2020 by introducing the new CIVIC TYPE R-GT based on the CIVIC TYPE R, and recruiting talented young drivers.

In addition, Ayumu Iwasa, a Honda-trained driver who achieved good results in the FIA Formula Two Championship (F2) last year, will move up to the All-Japan Super Formula Championship (SF) with a view to F1 participation in the future. Honda will support this move and position the Japanese SF as a category that leads to world-class formula races such as F1, and like the SUPER GT series, will actively promote young drivers and encourage their participation in the series.

In North America, Honda Performance Development (HPD), which has been responsible for Honda’s racing activities in the region, has been renamed to Honda Racing Corporation USA (HRC-US) in January 2024, and will aim to enhance Honda’s automobile motorsports development on a global scale. In 2024, HPD will supply five teams competing in the IndyCar Series with engines through HRC-US. In addition, two Acura-branded ARX-06 cars supplied by HRC-US will compete in the IMSA*8 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the new HRC logo. HRC in Japan and HRC-US will work together to further enhance Honda’s racing activities on a global scale.

(1) FIM: Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme
(2) MFJ: Motorcycle Federation of Japan
(3) FIA: Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile
(4) ESS: Energy Storage System, a battery system that stores recovered electrical energy
(5) Red Bull Powertrains, a Red Bull Group company manufactures F1 PUs, and manufactures and operates ESS’ for current model PUs.
(6) Counting from Honda’s first participation in F1 at the German Grand Prix in August 1964
(7) SUPER GT series is organized and operated by GTA Co., Ltd.
(8) IMSA: International Motor Sports Association

For more information, visit https://global.honda/en/newsroom/news/2024/c240119eng.html.

Copyright ©2024 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Japan Corporate News Network.

Japan – Honda Begins Production of All-new BF350 Large-size Outboard Motor Equipped with V8 350-Horsepower Engine

Honda Begins Production of All-new BF350 Large-size Outboard Motor Equipped with V8 350-Horsepower Engine

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has begun production of the all-new BF350 outboard motor with a maximum output of 350 horsepower. The BF350 is the most powerful model in the BF Series, the Honda 4-stroke outboard motor series that has been popular for its high dynamic performance and outstanding cost-effectiveness. 

All-new BF350 large-size outboard motor[Aquamarine Silver (left) and Grand Prix White (right)]

Equipped with a newly developed dedicated V8 engine with displacement of 4,952 cm3 (302 in3), the BF350 is the flagship model of Honda marine outboards, providing powerful propulsion with maximum output of 350 horsepower. In addition to high performance and seaworthiness achieved by the abundant torque, the BF350 realizes a high level of quiet operation and low vibration through the adoption of a newly designed crankshaft. Moreover, the BF350 was developed with the goal to offer an environmentally-responsible and cost-effective outboard, realizing top-level fuel economy in its class(1).

The BF350 also features enhanced support features to ensure a smoother and more comfortable boating experience for customers, including the cruise control function which makes it possible to cruise at a set boat speed or engine speed (rpm), as well as the trim support function, a new function to automatically control the outboard motor to maintain a pre-set trim angle(2).

Furthermore, the BF350 features a new automatic tilt function, which enables customers to fully tilt(3) the BF350 up or down automatically, improving the customer convenience even when the boat is docked or stored.

Moreover, including the high-power tilt motor that prevents a decline in the tilt speed in cold weather and the antifreeze drainage structure, the BF350 features a number of ingenious features that enable customers to use the BF350 with peace of mind even in harsh environments. Furthermore, to reduce the customer burden and ensure that customers can enjoy a fun boating experience with the BF350 for a long time, the ease of maintenance was enhanced.

As for styling, a “Noble Motion Form” design was adopted to express a sense of luxury appropriate for a flagship model. While inheriting a sense of unity with nature as well as a simple and clean image, which Honda has been expressing with all of its outboards, BF350 styling was perfected with a form that conveys a sense of high quality. The DBW remote controller(4) was newly designed in pursuit of functional beauty while enhancing functionality and operability, enabling the users to feel the “Noble Motion Form” while operating their boat.

All-new BF350 (2-motor installation shown)

Key features of the BF350

High-power and fuel-efficient engine developed exclusively for the BF350

– A V8 engine with displacement of 4,952 cm3 and maximum output of 350 horsepower was newly designed exclusively for the BF350, which features both high power achieved by abundant torque generated by its dedicated engine and low-vibration/low-noise operation realized by the adoption of a newly-designed crankshaft. The newly-designed crankshaft eliminated the need for a balancer to reduce vibration, realizing a simple outboard structure with enhanced durability and reliability.  
– The BF350 adopts VTEC, which has long been a popular feature of Honda automobiles and outboard motors as well, realizing both high power and excellent environmental performance. Moreover, fuel economy was further improved through the application of air-fuel ratio feedback control using an O2 sensor and optimization of the shape of the gear case. Through these measures, the BF350 realizes top-level fuel economy in its class despite the fact that it is an outboard powered by regular gasoline.

Enhanced support functions for boat operation

– Trim support function (a first for Honda outboards)With customer operation of buttons on the remote control, the system automatically controls the outboard based on the engine rpm and boat speed to maintain a pre-set trim angle (boat attitude), enabling easier and more comfortable boat operation.

– Cruise control functionWith customer operation of buttons on the remote control, the system maintains a constant engine rpm or boat speed while cruising. Compared to other BF Series models, the cruise control function of the BF350 controls engine speed for a broader range, supporting customer operation of the board with greater comfort and in a more relaxed manner.

– Automatic tilt functionThis function to automatically tilt up/down the FB350 while the engine is off automates operations when the boat is docked or stored and is expected to significantly reduce the customer burden. 

Adoption of a large-capacity alternator 

By adopting a large-capacity (12V-93A) alternator, battery charging power of 70A was secured. This reduces the risk and concern for running out of battery power, even for boats without an auxiliary generator.

In addition, the BF350 features an adjustable idling-charge system that automatically raises, even at idle speeds, the engine rpm to the maximum of 43A to enhance charging performance when the electric load on the BF350 increases.

Enhanced ease of maintenance 

Ease of maintenance was further enhanced with various measures including the addition of an anode to prevent corrosion, the adoption of an engine cover with a new structure that makes attaching/detaching easier and a change in the installation angle of the oil filter to prevent from oil spilling when changing the oil filter.

Design concept 

While inheriting the simple, clean styling of the BF series that creates a sense of unity with people and nature and matches the design of any boat, the BF350 adopted a “Noble Motion Form” design appropriate for a flagship model. With the use of three-dimensional logos and chrome-plated parts, styling with a sense of high quality was perfected. 

(1) Based on Honda internal research as of January 2024.
(2) The angle of the outboard motor can be adjusted while boating to adjust boat trim (boat attitude).
(3) Operation to lift the outboard motor from the water surface or tilt it to the angle at which the boat can be operable.
(4) Electronic remote-control system.

Copyright ©2024 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Japan Corporate News Network.