CivicB18 wrote: ...was the point where Honda finally admitted to itself that the competition is seriously not going anywhere and that they needed to do something NOW! I've been asking myself that for a few weeks now especially after all the EarthDreams/Accord/RLX buzz thats actually sparked a lot of positive feedback here on TOV.
Then we read that excellent interview with Erik Berkman who seems to be the light at the end of the tunnel for Honda here in the states. It's a good feeling however I for one never imagined Honda would have become so arrogant, stale and stagnant.
Based on product development cycles, I would say they probably realized it about the time Ito took over, or there abouts.
Perhaps the warring factions within Honda (beancounters vs the engineers/enthusiasts) finally came to a head, and upper management was finally able to realize that they didn't have enough product emphasis vs financial emphasis.
I think the Civic reception simply served to cement the problem and transfer of power because it was very clear that Honda's DNA had atrophied to the point where the core of their product was affected. They could blame a lot of stuff on a lot of factors, but when your #2 revenue maker tanks in terms of perception and reception (even among hardcore Honda buyers) then you can really no longer deny the existence of a problem.
I don't know that there is light at the end of the tunnel yet, but putting Erik Berkman in a lead position that is essentially #2 in the Honda's world shows a lot of progress, and I can sure say that the CR-V is a great product overall, and the Accord is starting to get my hopes up again. The early redo of the Civic is also a clear indication that they are working to fix their issues, because traditionally Honda would not have done such a thing unless they felt they had to. With any luck the trend will continue, and we will see the return of the old core values that made a Honda a Honda.
At least it appears that Honda wasn't allowed to go to the brink like GM and Ford, which shows that somewhere there is some intelligent management.