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[et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text"]This month's snapshot of industry news includes highlights from Toyota, Honda, Mazda, and Nissan. We hope you find the information useful.

The Automotive Landscape

The movie industry's plan to stop distributing 35-millimeter films by the end of this year threatens to shut down the roughly 300 drive-in movie theaters still operating in the U.S. The U.S. sales arm of Honda wants to help preserve some of those theaters by supplying at least five drive-ins with digital projectors in an effort to maintain that link between cars and the movies.

Honda Motor Co. (7267)'s Civic won the top grade in a new crash test of small cars while Nissan Motor Co.'s Sentra and two Kia Motors Corp. (000270) models received "poor" ratings, according to an insurance industry group.

Mazda Tries to Connect with Customers at Restaurants

Mazda kicked off a program called Take6 Ride & Drive with the goal of engaging consumers at restaurants around the country and promoting the 2014 Mazda6 model.

Toyota Parks Corolla Hybrid in Key Market Space

Toyota Motor Corp. said its best-selling Corolla will now be available as a hybrid in Japan, where demand is growing for a wider variety of vehicles that run on both gasoline and electricity.

Nissan Ends Altima Coupe as Young Buyers Look Elsewhere

 Nissan says that as coupe buyers move to other segments, it will drop the Altima coupe.

Mazda Plans $120 Million Engine Plant in Mexico 

Mazda Motor Corp. will invest about $120 million in a new engine manufacturing plant in Mexico. It will be onsite at the Mazda vehicle assembly plant under construction in Salamanca, Mexico, and will be capable of producing about 230,000 engines annually, Mazda said in a statement.

Japan's Big Brands Aim for Tech Sizzle

Small cars are next on the new-product agenda for Toyota, Honda, and Nissan. The redesigned Toyota Corolla and the new Nissan Versa Note arrive in showrooms this year while the Honda Fit successor is due next summer.

New Fit Platform Key to Honda's Growth

Honda Division is entering a somewhat fallow period for new products, since its four big-volume vehicles -- the Civic, Accord, CR-V and Odyssey -- have recently been redesigned.