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  TOV News > Honda Sets All-Time Record for Worldwide Production for the First Half of FY2005 > > Re: Warning signs of a shift

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shisero
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Warning signs of a shift [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2004 02:46
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The USA has traditionally been Honda's best foreign market, maybe even it's best market (I remember a report in the early 90s where Honda considered moving it's overall HQ to was-it-Ohio?).

But now it seems the shift is towards Europe. The increase in exports to Europe is phenomenal (month-on-month Sep +191%!!!, Jazz, Edix, Accord Diesel effect, article sez). While North America reports -ve change. I wish we could see figures for Euro sales too, and whether they tally.

One could blame Honda's ever mysterious marketing & distribution moves, with no Jazz/Fit in US/Canada. In their defense, maybe the big car syndrome is too strong stateside.

And from other figures published here on TOV before, it seems the Acuras are taking away the Civic/Accord US market (which are in decline), but then they compromise the move (in people's minds) by bringing in the second-to-ITR RSX-S!!

Then one could also blame the intn'l economy, with the Euro more powerful than it has ever been, and growing, growing, growing... It was once weaker than the dollar.

And then who knows, the marketing value of the BAR F1 successes in Europe could be part of the +191% (even though the IRL should do the same stateside). Especially since growth seems to crescendo towards the end of the year.

Nick GravesX
Profile for Nick GravesX
Re: Warning signs of a shift [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2004 06:04
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Partly, Honda's recent models have been much more Eurocentric than traditionally.

The Jazz/Fit is their first proper entry in the B segment, a huge sector over here.

The Civic has (sadly IMO) become a much more mainstream C segment Eurobox. I preferred the rather left-of-centre trad sporty Civics.

The Accord is smaller and even known as the EuroAccord in some segments.

They even have diesel engines.

We know the cars are very good, it is no surprise that they sell.

I just hope Honda don't forget their "oddball" (to our eyes) sporting models that appeal to the US and JDM.

danielgr
Profile for danielgr
Re: Warning signs of a shift [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2004 07:37
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(All I am going to say applies to Europe minus the UK).
Just a comment, although the European market is growing, Honda sales figures over here are still ridiculous, and the line-up is by far the smallest of any developped region.
In fact, Honda only sells 6 vehicules to the whole continent (there are countries that have some more) and expect to sell this year around 250.000 cars, compared to around 1.3Million in the US alone.
So it was not difficult to grow watching where they were in the past years.

Also, when considering the exports, don't think only about the Diesel, all European Accords are made in Japan. In fact, the Swindon Plant in the UK manufactures only the Civic and the CR-V. In fact, because there are so little vehicules on sale, Jazz and Accord account for almost half the total sales. That explains why the exports from Japan are so big.

Now, some models are starting to grow in some "nitches" of the population, but that is all. The majority of people don't really know Honda as an automaker. To give an example, I was today in a conference given by a Renault executive, and when analizing the competence on new markets, he spoked about the Honda Accent, putting the Honda badge in a Hyunday car.

And this is not something strange, most people does not make any difference between both automakers, just because the emblems are both an "H".
Nick Graves wrote:
Partly, Honda's recent models have been much more Eurocentric than traditionally.

The Jazz/Fit is their first proper entry in the B segment, a huge sector over here.

The Civic has (sadly IMO) become a much more mainstream C segment Eurobox. I preferred the rather left-of-centre trad sporty Civics.

The Accord is smaller and even known as the EuroAccord in some segments.

They even have diesel engines.

We know the cars are very good, it is no surprise that they sell.

I just hope Honda don't forget their "oddball" (to our eyes) sporting models that appeal to the US and JDM.



shisero
Profile for shisero
Re: Warning signs of a shift [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2004 08:16
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danielgr wrote:
... Honda sales figures over here are still ridiculous, and the line-up is by far the smallest of any developped region ... 250.000 cars, compared to around 1.3Million in the US alone.
So it was not difficult to grow watching where they were in the past years. Now, some models are starting to grow in some "nitches" of the population, but that is all.



You have a point. A small volume change in a small sales category can add up to big percentages (+191%), while an even bigger volume change in a huge sales class (say, Toyota Corolla) can look like a small 3.9%. The next idea is then, can Honda sustain the momentum? For years, not months -- until it is neck-and-neck with other big guys.

How many niches do we have? Honda may be doing this step by step, niche by niche. Supermini. Compact sedan. Big family sedan. Sports luxury. Sports coupe. Opulent sick luxury. I am sure in your mind you have slotted a Honda/Acura into every one of these categories!! OK, maybe there's no competition for the Bentley Turbo / 600SEL.

Anyway, their marketing & distr has been ??? to me.

Ford is closing down Jaguar factory @ Coventry, and GM is laying off 12,000 workers at Opel, Vauxhall, Saab. So Honda is succeeding in an adverse market.


The majority of people don't really know Honda as an automaker. To give an example, I was today in a conference given by a Renault executive, and when analizing the competence on new markets, he spoked about the Honda Accent, putting the Honda badge in a Hyunday car.
And this is not something strange, most people does not make any difference between both automakers, just because the emblems are both an "H".



Honda World MARKETING guys have a lot of work to do to catch up with their engineers. Well, what "H"yundai did -- brand hijacking, my own terminology -- is the lowest business strategy, but is common in business (Microsoft; Merc copycats). Branding is tough because you are dealing with an intangible, but that's their job anyway: create a strong identity.

If I could stop my wife from confusing Hondas and Hyundais, THERE IS HOPE!!!

TonyEX
Profile for TonyEX
Re: Warning signs of a shift [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2004 11:05
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If that ignorance came from a Trabant owner it'd might be somewhat understandable...

For that ignorance to come from a Renault executive... well it just shows how ethnocentric some of the major European manufacturers (not subsidiaires) are and why they are no longer global players. I mean, how many cars do Peugeout/Renault/Citroen/Fiat/Alfa sell outside of Europe? (Lancia is owned by Fiat...)

It's only a matter of time before the ethnocentric Italians and French go out of business or become a pathetic shadow of their own selves... most likely supported by the public dole.. and I'm curious what this will do to the unity of the EU when the German based manufactures: Benz/BMW/VW/Audi, who have successfully gone global, call foul at Luxembourg.

No... with executives like at Renault, it's only a matter of time before Toyota, Nissan, Honda, GM, VW, Ford and DC control the bulk of sales in Europe.
danielgr wrote:
[I.... The majority of people don't really know Honda as an automaker. To give an example, I was today in a conference given by a Renault executive, and when analizing the competence on new markets, he spoked about the Honda Accent, putting the Honda badge in a Hyunday car.
...




RoadRunner
Profile for RoadRunner
Re: Warning signs of a shift [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2004 11:55
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believe me, i would see the stats too, but we just don't have a website like vtec.net:(((
i live in budapest (hungary), and we have infos like NOTHING....
we have a honda hungary ltd, wich imports and sells honda cars, and that's it. nothint else. man, i have to tell you, i would fire the whole crew at the firm.
these guys have ZERO idea, how to build up an image, a fan site, with all the infos, news, stats and so on.
check this: www.honda.hu
it's a shame!!!!!!!!!!

RoadRunner
Profile for RoadRunner
Re: Warning signs of a shift [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2004 11:59
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it's a must here in eurpe for honda to sell more cars!
they sell cars, but that's it. no communication, no marketing.
best cars, best engines, and europeans buy bullshit from france and germany... vw... ughhhhhhh
and then there's toyota...
stupid/dull design, no big deal technology, but hey, they sell cars in volumes of what honda can only dream of....
i mean c'mon honda, wake up!!!!!

RoadRunner
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Re: Warning signs of a shift [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2004 12:04
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this is becouse honda is not taking communication and marketing in europe serious:(((
they know that honda buyers wont buy anything else, but hondas, they don't need communication.... (actually they do need too)
the probelm is, honda buyers were/are and maybe will be only a small % of the market. without communication, this won't change

RoadRunner
Profile for RoadRunner
Re: Warning signs of a shift [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2004 12:10
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european car manufacturers fear honda like hell....
and they better do so.
the european car press, wish you would speak german.. buy some magazines, and read them.. believe me, honda is the black sheep everywhere, at least they try to make people think that.
i've been monitoring the hungarian, austrian, german media for years, i know what i'm talking about.
there's such a huge brainwashing machinery going on from the german and french here you can't even imagine....

Terencemunro
Profile for Terencemunro
Re: Warning signs of a shift [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2004 14:57
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I totally agree with you, i live in Switzerland and i really can't understand the so called "model politic"here. But I think it's a general European Honda problem.

They could sell far more cars over here if they would sell the Acura RSX, TL and MDX for example. There are a few direct imported cars from Canada. Honda should look at Nissan Europe. They start to sell the demanded Murano and in the future they will introduce the brand Infinity in Europe

RoadRunner
Profile for RoadRunner
Re: Warning signs of a shift [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2004 16:00
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i think a lot will depend on the 8gen civic and the crx. we'll get all the 4 civic versions, all will include type r models, and of course the crx. they will have -my guess- 210 horses, the crx type r maybe 220 as the top of the civic line up. the JDM ITR simply wouldn't fit becouse of the civic type r. this is why the us guys get the rsx-s and no ctr.
acura won't come here that's for sure, only as last after infiniti. i can't count the fx45s on the streets here, there are so many of them, and only a couple of MDXs.. (murano is simply ugly, sucks)
i would suggest the the Pilot would be a better choise for europe, and the odyssey too. honda just needs a couple of more diesel engines for europe. bigger and stronger ones. the new ford 2.2 diesel makes 150hp and 400nm, even if it sounds like a vw diesel, the numbers are imrepssive.

danielgr
Profile for danielgr
Re: Warning signs of a shift [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2004 17:45
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TonyE wrote:
If that ignorance came from a Trabant owner it'd might be somewhat understandable...

For that ignorance to come from a Renault executive... well it just shows how ethnocentric some of the major European manufacturers (not subsidiaires) are and why they are no longer global players. I mean, how many cars do Peugeout/Renault/Citroen/Fiat/Alfa sell outside of Europe? (Lancia is owned by Fiat...)

It's only a matter of time before the ethnocentric Italians and French go out of business or become a pathetic shadow of their own selves... most likely supported by the public dole.. and I'm curious what this will do to the unity of the EU when the German based manufactures: Benz/BMW/VW/Audi, who have successfully gone global, call foul at Luxembourg.

No... with executives like at Renault, it's only a matter of time before Toyota, Nissan, Honda, GM, VW, Ford and DC control the bulk of sales in Europe.
danielgr wrote:
[I.... The majority of people don't really know Honda as an automaker. To give an example, I was today in a conference given by a Renault executive, and when analizing the competence on new markets, he spoked about the Honda Accent, putting the Honda badge in a Hyunday car.
...




Well, you may not know it, but currently, German automakers are in difficulties, while French ones are really on a high. In fact, they are all of them growing fast in developping countries and doing it quite well in Europe.

It is quite understandabla why they will never go to the US, they just don't have anything to offer to those markets. French cars are mostly small, with small engines, and they are focused in confort. Handling, torque, driving pleasure... noway.

But for expanding, well, Renault just bought Nissan, and the japanese are really going better after the Renault management took is over them. Now Renault is also extracting a lot of benefits, and they are both growing fast.

So don't understimate this people.

shisero
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Re: Warning signs of a shift [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-28-2004 02:01
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believe me, honda is the black sheep everywhere, at least they try to make people think that.


Honda is a black sheep not only in Europe, but even in Japan! Soichiro - a self-starter - was never accepted by the Japanese automobile "oligopoly."


the european car press, wish you would speak german.. buy some magazines, and read them..


European car mags - even English ones - are so hyped up about European cars that even the mag covers are nauseating! It's such a blatant show of chauvinism. On the other hand, if that's where you're getting you sponsorship, advertisements, seminars, lunches, banquet-launches, then I guess "he who pays the piper calls the tune."


i've been monitoring the hungarian, austrian, german media for years, i know what i'm talking about.
there's such a huge brainwashing machinery going on from the german and french here you can't even imagine....


Thus, It was quite satisfying to see a British survey of car owners for overall satisfaction of any car you have ever owned (any year, even the ancients). Honda took position 1 (Jazz) and 3 (S2000, a sports car in no. 3, can you believe dat? sports cars have always been known as too high tech to be reliable?). The other 3 in top 5 were all Jap: 2: Mazda6, 4: Lexus, 5: Nissan X-Trail.

The commercial mass media have lost any sort of independence and are just billboards for local manufacturers.

The internet provides a good way for consumers to evaluate products. Since it's so cheap/easy to produce a website, and distribution is automatic, we consumers can evaluate products, cutting thru market hype/promotions. Consider the reviews and test sections on tirerack.com. But then again, many people just use the internet for yahoo and hotmail...

dodole
Profile for dodole
Re: Warning signs of a shift [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-28-2004 13:29
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US market right now are very unsure.. ppl not so sure whether they want SUV a normal car or a sport cars.... the brainwashin by domestic car companies about their SUV make every car company try to sell more and more SUV/ truck/minivan.
If u see honda lineup in early 90s and honda lineup in early 2000. so much diff.. more trucks than the cars...
I can see honda is concentrating on market outside US. look at how many new cars introduced in asia and europe compare to US.

BOOMER
Profile for BOOMER
Re: Warning signs of a shift [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-30-2004 12:10
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Renault just bought 46% of Nissan, not a controlling interest. Renault's CEO(Carlos Ghosn) of Nissan is leaving, going back to Europe as the CEO of Renault. The new CEO of Nissan will be Japanese, a move in the right direction, IMO.
wanga
Profile for wanga
Re: Warning signs of a shift [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-31-2004 09:06
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the renault executive knows about Honda.honda civic was a
major headache for Le car" Renault 5"in the 80s.The french
goverment limit the quantity of japonese cars importing yearly.
He was simply trying to misinform the average joe

wanga
Profile for wanga
Re: Warning signs of a shift [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-31-2004 09:32
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Make no mistake ... Europeans know about cars ,they don't
want big trucks and big cars with big engines that produce only 225 hp. Mdx ,Pilot,odyssey are too big .Only the very rich in their mid fourty would show interest.CRVs,2000s,civic,fit by the way Acura TSX is their accord version,they are in love with fast, economical and realiable cars.

Oslec
Profile for Oslec
Re: Warning signs of a shift [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-31-2004 23:15
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Ops. European cars sell pretty well in South America. Actually, they have become market leaders there, FIAT on top.

Oslec
Profile for Oslec
Re: Warning signs of a shift [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-03-2004 10:23
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Competitive problems affecting carmakers in Europe. Recent complaints by the Chief Financial Officer of General Motors about regulation and labor market rules in the EU illustrate the extent of industry frustration over these issues. However, there is more to this than simple inertia in the euro-area economy.
At the Paris Car Show in September, Chief Financial Officer for General Motors (GM), John Devine warned that the European automotive industry could be decimated by over-regulation and labor inflexibility. He said that, should current trends continue, "we won't be in the manufacturing business, not only in autos, but in other businesses as well. We will be importing them from other parts of the world, probably Asia"
Vehicle manufacturers have been in dispute for some time with the European Commission over the competitive disadvantages of producing cars inside the EU. The current debate marks a critical point in the relationship between government and industrial capital in Europe, and in particular whether Europe should seek to emulate the 'American model'. However, there is also a growing rift between the perceptions and strategic prescriptions of those seeking to adhere to the traditional business models within the automotive industry, and those who contend that the industry needs a new strategic direction.
Vehicle manufacturing in Europe. Complaints against regulatory controls and the unwillingness of workers to become 'flexible' are hardly new, although they are now being delivered with more force. Indeed, there is evidence that the case being put forward by GM and other vehicle manufacturers in Europe has some substance:
• In global comparative terms, it is expensive to operate within the EU. Relatively high wages are accentuated by high social costs, while other costs such as land and energy are also comparatively high. Companies operating in Europe face many impediments or requirements that create additional costs including health and safety legislation, environmental requirements, labor laws, corporate tax regimes, and other operational constraints. Vehicle manufacturers in Germany have for some time being lobbying for an end to the 35-hour week, for rationalization of employment, and for greater worker flexibility.
• Imports from low-cost countries are becoming a real possibility - although at the moment such imports are trivial compared with the size of the market. The main concern is not emergent new vehicle manufacturers from countries such as China or India. Rather, it is with the recently-established production operations of the existing world vehicle manufacturers in these locations.
Most of the new capacity is being added outside the traditional manufacturing locations, either in the 'European periphery' or in other regions of the world. Market conditions in Europe as a whole have been weak, and this has undermined the profitability of the European operations of Ford (including Jaguar) and GM (including Saab), as well as that of Fiat, VW Group and, more recently, PSA.
Alternative argument. However, there are several basic flaws with the views being put forward by the European automotive industry, which serve both to undermine their case and to illustrate a failure to create a plausible strategic direction:
• Comparative performance. Not all of the European vehicle manufacturers are suffering from under-utilization of capacity and poor profitability. BMW has recently built a new plant in Germany, while in France Renault has been taking on more workers in order to keep up with demand. Furthermore, Japanese vehicle manufacturers in Europe are manifestly not making the same complaints, and in an industry still dominated by product, it is those vehicle manufacturers who have an attractive and recent product range that prosper rather than those that produce at least cost.
• Automation impact. Decades of automation along with the more recent adoption of lean production practices have meant that there is comparatively little labor cost left to squeeze out of the manufacturing system.
• Competitive advantages. There remain substantial competitive advantages to producing in Europe, most importantly the ability to produce and deliver vehicles to customer order. Continued market fragmentation can only reinforce the importance of this attribute.
• R&D gains. The industry gains many benefits from being in Europe, for example through government-funded R&D projects to assist in the development of new technologies and through access to skilled engineering staff.
• Deregulation solution? The UK probably has the most deregulated workforce in Europe, but has also suffered the most from plant closures. In comparison, for many years Germany has had the highest cost and most regulated workforce, but also the strongest automotive industry. In the United States, GM and Ford are both suffering from the burden of the health care and pension costs of their workforces precisely because there is inadequate social welfare provision.
Traditional measures to resolve the structural problems confronting the automotive industry are also arguably no longer adequate to the task:
• The failure of the BMW-Rover merger and the extended DaimlerChrysler group has left a degree of wariness about mergers and acquisitions.
• Cost reduction through platform consolidation has met with market skepticism and eroded brand identity.
• Suppliers have proven unable to undertake a greater share of the vehicle design and integration burden, and also offer few new opportunities for cost reduction.
• The distribution and retailing system remains unwieldy and expensive, with customers often dissatisfied with service.
In view of these issues, the campaign against labor and regulatory constraints somewhat misplaced. Alternatives have been proposed that seek to break the high risk, high capital cost and low margin character of the industry through radically different approaches to manufacturing and retailing. Many have come from industry 'outsiders' lacking plausibility or resources. Most have combined new car technologies with innovative business models that bypass many of the existing barriers to entry. More recently, the former CEO of Ford Europe joined forces with the consultants A T Kearney to propose the 'IndeGO' concept of localized car manufacturing and retailing units with cars being leased and returned on a continuous three-year cycle.
Conclusion.: There are certainly clear regulatory burdens affecting industry in Europe. However, attempts by the European automotive industry to 'blame' European operating conditions for their problems reveals an industry still unwilling to confront the realities of competition and customer satisfaction.




 
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