Honda: More cars, fewer minivans and SUVs

Honda Motor Co. is planning to boost U.S. production of its Honda Accord while cutting production of its Odyssey minivans and Pilot SUVs, the Detroit Free Press recently reported. Honda said it is transferring most of its V-6 Accord assembly from its plant in Marysville, Ohio, to its plant in Lincoln, Ala., where the automaker has cut minivan and SUV production by 10,000 units this year. The production shifts won't actually result in an increase in availability of the Accord in the United States - Honda will import fewer from Japan - but does mean that Honda will make a higher percentage of Accords in the United States. Along these lines, Honda also announced plans earlier this year to transfer production of its Ridgeline truck to Alabama from Canada in early 2009.

Mark your calendars...already?

Yes, it's early, but the dates for next year's local auto show have already been announced. So, get out your 2009 calendars and mark accordingly. The Greater St. Paul & Minneapolis International Auto Show is set for March 21 to 29, 2009 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The annual event is sponsored and coordinated by the GMADA, the Greater Metropolitan Automobile Dealers Association of Minnesota.

Several car profiles this weekend

Check the Cars sections of the newspaper all weekend for profiles of several models. Saturday's section features the 2009 Saturn Aura and the 2009 Honda Fit. On Sunday, look for the 2009 Honda Pilot, the 2009 Nissan Sentra and a feature on a preowned vehicle, the 2006 Ford Ranger.