In 2001, Honda expanded its extensive U.S. manufacturing footprint by opening a new plant in Lincoln, Ala. Dedicated to building V6-powered products, Honda Manufacturing Alabama (HMA) wasted no time in getting up to speed, and the millionth vehicle rolled of the line there just five years later. Flash forward another five years and guess what? It’s another million Hondas in the books for HMA, as a 2011 Pilot EXL Touring, in Taffeta White, took honors as the 2 millionth vehicle put together at the plant.
It’s a fitting coincidence, since the Pilot has seen sales soar to new heights in the first eight months of the year. Sales were up 13.1 percent in August alone, contributing to a 21.4 percent increase in Pilot customers through last month. That’s a solid testament to the ongoing appeal of Honda’s big crossover, which continues to garner a strong following by offering a strong combination of features, fuel efficiency, and room for both people and cargo.
“The Honda Pilot excels at providing the capabilities that people desire most from a family-oriented SUV,” said Vicki Poponi, assistant vice president of product planning for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “The Pilot emphasizes safety, versatile cargo areas and comfortable space for adults and children, while also providing a smart balance between all-weather capabilities, refined driving dynamics and overall fuel efficiency.”
According to Honda Pilot Denver, the Pilot can hold up to eight occupants or, with its second and third rows of seats folded down, deliver a whopping 87 cubic feet of cargo room. Plus, with a robust V6 under the hood and Honda’s advanced variable torque management all-wheel-drive system distributing that engine’s power, the Honda hauler can also tow up to 4,500 lbs. and handle a wide variety of extreme low-traction conditions. But along with that capability comes a smooth-handling four-wheel independent suspension and the automaker’s advanced variable cylinder management (VCM) technology.
Honda Alexandria said VCM allows the Pilot’s engine to run using three, four or six cylinders, depending on driving conditions, to provide the optimum mix of power and fuel efficiency at all times.
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