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TOV Forums > General Talk > > Re: Option Picking

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LQH
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Option Picking    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-04-2004 04:55
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I would kinda like to see what everyone thinks about Honda's "all or nothing" way of picking options. I mean the way they offer trim levels and a certain amount of features with each trim. Personally, I like the "buffet line" way of picking options that other car companies offer. Because sometimes you want ABS, but not the sunroof, (as in the CIvics, where ABS is only available with the EX level).
Grebu
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Re: Option Picking    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-04-2004 05:38
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You have to realise that Honda auto's are sold to a dealer who then sells that auto to the consumer. And since most new car sales are impulse buys it's really up to what the dealer has in stock. For this reason Honda builds cars with the options that most consumers would want at the price range they can afford.

You could have all the options you want and the ones you don't want but then you'd either have to pay the dealer to do installations (raising the price) or have it shipped from a factory or other large distributor (thereby paying a delivery charge).

So now you see the reason why options like trim and others are geared toward what will sell cars. And I think you'll find that it's not just Honda that is shortchanging you. that's why you should shop around and compare models.

Hawkstrike
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Re: Option Picking    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-04-2004 07:55
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I prefer the Honda method, personally. It's simpler, and usually easier to find the vehicle with options I want that via the a la carte method. It seems to work out cheaper, too -- like manufacturers intentionally use a lower base price without options to draw you in, but then to get a comparable vehicle, you have to add a whole bunch of expensive options (Toyota, BMW). Then there are the manufacturers who have strange package combinations that drive the price up -- like the Mazda6, where to get the security package with alarm and airbags you have to buy the Bose radio package (or something like that).

Give me Honda's simple method any day.

anysia
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Re: Option Picking    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-04-2004 13:08
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I think honda's trim levels are actually very well done. you have the bare bones model for the person who wants the car, but maybe can;t afford much mroe or maybe just doesn't want much more. you have the middle ground, where they've added in most of the things that make driving the car more comfortable. then you have the top line trim where you add in all of the goodies. and you can still add *most* options into any of the trim levels. there are some limitations (like you noted, the abs, keyless entry, leather, xm radio), but most of those kind of define one trim level from another and i don't see a problem with them only being available on certain trims.

(and personally i prefer regular breaks without abs! kind of disappointed that the accord isn't available without them! i like the steering control that plain old brakes allow you compared to abs!)

anyway, the problem comes in when people not the slightest bit educated in how honda's are set up try to go in and add a bunch of features into a base model thinking it will be cheaper than moving up one trim level ro even two levels. you may leave out a few things that come in the next trim level, but then you've also added a few that don't and suddenly the base model costs more than the top trim model! that's how honda gets a bad rep for options.

my cousin's girlfriend recently fell for that when she looked at an 04 accord dx sedan and started adding everything in. she ended up buying a hyundai sonata (with it's puny v6 engine) as a result of thinking that a dx accord with the options she wanted was going to cost over 20k!! heck, my accord EX coupe was UNDER 20k!!!! needless to say she was bit ticked once she found out how much mine cost that noone suggested that maybe she should try the lx or ex model instead!) she's paying $290 per month for 66 mos on her sonata. she was also mad to find out i'm only paying $350 per month for 60 mos on my accord!

cobalt
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Re: Option Picking    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-04-2004 13:33
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The "a la carte" method doesn't work.

Case in point: we were cross shopping a Civic with a Nissan Sentra a couple years back. Nissan offered ABS as an a la carte option on the Sentra, which was great (I thought) because I wouldn't let my wife drive a car without it, and I didn't need all the other ridiculous options packages to get it. The reality was that a Sentra with ABS did not exist. They claimed it was available, but no dealer in a 30 mile radius had one.

But the Civic was easy. Get the EX, and it comes with ABS. Every dealer had one. You didn't have to search all the dealers to find the right combination of options packages, because there were really only three.

OHV
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Re: Option Picking    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-04-2004 15:41
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personally i believe the reason is for quality.

If the line workers are efficient at installing certain combos then the car will be overall higher quality then if they had to install only certain ones at random.

thunderbird1100
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Re: Option Picking    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-04-2004 19:37
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Go buy a Chevy then.
OHV
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Re: Option Picking    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-04-2004 20:33
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thunderbird1100 wrote:
Go buy a Chevy then.


too bad that era is coming to an end :(

BOOMER
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Re: Option Picking    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-04-2004 20:36
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Ordinarily, I prefer the all options included way. The one problem I had with Honda was the standard moonroof; it prevented me from buying a 97 Prelude SH. I was too tall for it with the moonroof, it took 2"s of headroom I had to have and you couldn't even special order one w/o it.

On the other hand, it was a breath of fresh air to buy both my 03 350Z and the TL loaded. I ordered a spoiler, side airbags, trunk and floor mats for my Z. I didn't order a thing extra for the TL, none of the accessories appealed to me or my wife and we still feel that way. If I had been alert, I would have changed the tires on both cars before I took delivery. An expensive lesson I won't repeat.

thunderbird1100
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Re: Option Picking    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-04-2004 21:40
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The only gripe I have with almost every new upscale car is that a sunroof is STANDARD. Do they NOT know probably half the people DONT want one...including us TALL GUYS!
TonyEX
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Re: Option Picking    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-08-2004 10:42
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I like it because:

(1) The "options" included in the trim levels turn out to be CHEAPER because of volume.

(2) The options are WELL THOUGHT OUT and give a lot of thought to the primacy of driving. For example, ABS is given precedence over leather seats. Something that other car companies, (GM anyone?) intent on adding sizzle instead of steak, don't do.

(3) Buying the car is SIMPLER. Just add floormats and you're set to go. In some models, even the floormats are standard.

(4) If you want some doodahs, you can always get some dealer installed ACCESORIES. Just make sure they're OEM from AHM. For example: the towing package and fog lights in our Odyssey.

LQH wrote:
I would kinda like to see what everyone thinks about Honda's "all or nothing" way of picking options. I mean the way they offer trim levels and a certain amount of features with each trim. Personally, I like the "buffet line" way of picking options that other car companies offer. Because sometimes you want ABS, but not the sunroof, (as in the CIvics, where ABS is only available with the EX level).


constructicon
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Re: Option Picking - good points Tony    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-08-2004 11:45
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I never really looked at it that way, but you've opened my eyes. I have an EX Civic, but it's not really what I wanted. To me, power locks/windows and the moonroof are just two more electric doodads to break. Of course, I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have them now - it'd be weird.

While it'd be great to get the features you want a la carte (or, I guess like Scion), it's impractical for most manufacturers, and would be expensive.

Thanks, Tony, now I don't feel so strange about having bunch of options I didn't really want.

poweredByHonda
Profile for poweredByHonda
Re: Option Picking    (Score: 1, Normal) 07-08-2004 12:40
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I agree.. I much enjoy shopping for my cars when I know what trim level has what, rather than trying to select individual items.

The 'Honda' method of defining 'distinct' levels of trim, creates a 'win-win' type situation, for both the manufacturer and the majority of the consumers. ( I know the standard moonroof can cause grief to some consumers...).

The assembly line workers become accustomed to knowing what trim level has what feature. You don't get cases of 'forgetting' to install a feature. Imagine an assembly line full of cars, all with different options, and all selected individually (rather than by trim level). The assembly workers would be spending time 'reading' what each car would need at each assembly station. This is time wasted, when instead the assembly worker can actually be installing the feature based on a set trim level assembly for the shift. It may seem to take a few seconds to read a assembly work order, but add all those 'few' seconds for assembly line for all the cars being manufactured, and it adds up to lost productivity. ..and added cost.. therefore, a more expensive car to buy....

The manufacturer wins here, because the assembly process is more robust, cheaper and less prone to error. The consumer wins because of the lower price of the car, assembled with less errors, which in turn improves the quality of the car itself.

Unfortunately, this does create situations where you can't get a certain feature unless you buy a certain trim level... but if you are like me, a consumer looking for a very reliabile, fun car to drive, there are not too many manufacturers out there, that meet this simple criteria....


 
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