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  TOV News > Summary of 2006 Mid-Year Speech by CEO Takeo Fukui > > Re: Final point on what "dedicated" means, and why it makes sense

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shingles
Profile for shingles
The dedicated family hybrid that's cheaper than civic [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-17-2006 10:33
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Could that be the Fit hybrid that he is referring to? If so, looks like the date for the Fit Hybrid is 2009. This does make sense, to hybrid the next generation of the Fit.
danielgr
Profile for danielgr
Re: The dedicated family hybrid that's cheaper than civic [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-17-2006 11:30
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shingles wrote:
Could that be the Fit hybrid that he is referring to? If so, looks like the date for the Fit Hybrid is 2009. This does make sense, to hybrid the next generation of the Fit.

No it does not make sens. First of all because you are missing the point of "dedicated". Dedicated means that it's not going to be an hybrid version of an existing platform (manelly Fit/Civic/Accord/CR-V, etc.), it's going to be a dedicated hybrid, which means that the vehicle will be developped exclusivelly to acomodate the Hybrid system, just like the Insight was, and like the Prius is.

On the other hand, Fit hybrid should be in the market way earlier if the rumours happen to be true. And there is no reason why Honda would wait two years to put some IMA engine in the Fit if they really plan to do it.

shingles
Profile for shingles
Re: The dedicated family hybrid that's cheaper than civic [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-17-2006 11:44
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Actually, I have thought about what "dedicated" meant already. Then it occured to me that it makes little business sense to have: 1) civic hybrid, 2) Fit hybrid, and 3) "dedicated" hybrid which costs less than Civic hybrid. See #3 would almost be in direct competition to #2. So either that means we won't get the Fit hybrid, or it IS the Fit hybrid he is referring to. From what I've seen, the above situation would be VERY un Honda like... they love to share platforms.

Also - it is often hard to translate Japanese or Chinese to English "properly". Your assumption is that his "dedicated" means a seperate platform, like the Prius. This might not be the case. It could be that the key point to the sentense is that it's going to be cheaper than the civic.

What if he is talking about a hybrid based on the Fit chassis but not styled as the Fit?

98EX4cyl
Profile for 98EX4cyl
Re: The dedicated family hybrid that's cheaper than civic [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-17-2006 11:50
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I think Shingles may be right, it could be a translation issue. 3 cheap hybrids sounds like overkill unless it replaces the Insight as is a 2 or 3 door only model. That way Honda would have the 3 door Insight, 4 door Civic and 5 door Fit hybrids?
Just my 2 cents

Varmint
Profile for Varmint
Re: The dedicated family hybrid that's cheaper than civic [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-17-2006 13:11
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shingles wrote:
Actually, I have thought about what "dedicated" meant already. Then it occured to me that it makes little business sense to have: 1) civic hybrid, 2) Fit hybrid, and 3) "dedicated" hybrid which costs less than Civic hybrid. See #3 would almost be in direct competition to #2. So either that means we won't get the Fit hybrid, or it IS the Fit hybrid he is referring to. From what I've seen, the above situation would be VERY un Honda like... they love to share platforms.

...

What if he is talking about a hybrid based on the Fit chassis but not styled as the Fit?


That was exactly what I was thinking. I think all the rumors about a HFH were started because Honda was developing a hybrid based on the Fit platform. It is not meant to be a Fit. It will simply share the platform.

Based on this, I think the HFH is not going to happen. Quite possibly the HCH will also go away. Honda plans to produce 100,000 of these dedicated units. That's unrealistic if they are also going to have a Civic and Fit.

Nick GravesX
Profile for Nick GravesX
Re: The dedicated family hybrid that's cheaper than civic [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-17-2006 13:13
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Remember, they're hoping to get fuel cell vehicles into production "within three years."

Current hybrid petrols are quite ridiculously useless contraptions, except as a stepping stone to fuel cells. A good Diesel laughs at them.

Expect the dedicated hybrid to give Honda the basis from which to move to a production FCX.

Honda Fan
Profile for Honda Fan
Re: The dedicated family hybrid that's cheaper than civic [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-17-2006 13:33
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Dedicated platform similar to Prius.
It does not make sense in terms of development cost but it is about image. Prius is the best selling hybrid by far. Every one knows that it is a hybrid. Whereas Civic, Accord, Camry, Highlader, etc. is distinquished by the name tag and small cosmetic changes. Some people buys it for the image.

You can not always think in terms of "cost". The amount of free press, movie/tv plugs, and publicity from Prius, is more than enough to offset the developement cost. Almost all news segment or article relating to hybrid and fuel cost refer at some point to Prius.

There is also the engineering concern. Compromises are made with sharing platforms. Honda can optimize fuel efficiency with a dedicated platform.

Note: the new hybrid with sales target of 200,000 world wide and 100,000 in US. The volume is significantly more than other dedicated platforms (insight, S2000).

the insider
Profile for the insider
Re: The dedicated family hybrid that's cheaper than civic [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-17-2006 14:20
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I got a message from Richard Colliver this AM. His statement is that this "dedicated Hybrid" would cost substantially less than the current civic hybrid. The point being that they are working at bringing the cost of hybrid technology down significantly.

"On a global basis, Honda will introduce an all-new, more affordable, dedicated hybrid car to be launched in North America in 2009. This new hybrid vehicle, to be produced at Honda’s Suzuka plant in Japan, will have an annual North American sales volume target of 100,000 units (200,000 units worldwide) and a target price significantly lower than the current Civic Hybrid."---this was copied directly from his message


Smoke_Jaguar4
Profile for Smoke_Jaguar4
Re: The dedicated family hybrid that's cheaper than civic [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-17-2006 14:46
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Keeping the hybrid production at Suzuka makes sense. That is where the current Civic, Fit, and Insight are all built. I believe the 2Gen Fit will integrate a hybrid engine (another interpretation of "dedicated") as well as non-hybrid designs. Other rumors state the Fit will get a hybrid "based on the Civic's". Unless it's updated with new technology, the Insight will cease production.

The new US plant (location TBD) will probably build trucks to compete against the new Toyota plant in Texas building Tundras. This would also pair up nicely with the new diesel production.

It's amazing watching a company like Honda expand production, show voluntary dedication to the environment, and build quality products in the US. In contrast, companies like GM continue to play a losing chess game with the Grim Reaper, shedding production capacity and people while building mediocre products.

RayChuang
Profile for RayChuang
Re: The dedicated family hybrid that's cheaper than civic [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-17-2006 14:58
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shingles wrote:
Could that be the Fit hybrid that he is referring to? If so, looks like the date for the Fit Hybrid is 2009. This does make sense, to hybrid the next generation of the Fit.


I think the second-generation Fit (probably due Spring 2007) will have a hybrid model, probably using initially the 1.1-liter version of the special SOHC i-VTEC engine found on the current Civic Hybrid in a new, improved IMA powertrain that has more power from the electric motor and a new, far lighter battery pack that uses the latest lithium-ion battery technology to drastically reduce the weight of the battery pack. Expect overall fuel efficiency around 52 mpg in daily driving. Once the technology is ready, Honda will replace that 1.1-liter engine with a similar-displacement engine that uses the revolutionary Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI), technology, which will increase overall fuel efficiency to 67 mpg in daily driving with no loss of power.

shingles
Profile for shingles
Re: The dedicated family hybrid that's cheaper than civic [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-17-2006 15:51
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Not if the car gets 60mpg, costs $15-17k, can seat 4 adults, rides in comfort, has good storage, it wouldn't be "useless"...

shingles
Profile for shingles
Re: The dedicated family hybrid that's cheaper than civic [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-17-2006 15:54
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Could it be that the next gen Fit sold in the US would be hybrid only?

honestly, i don't care what they call it, if it's a hybrid, costs $16k, is sized like the fit/civic, can get 60mpg, I'll buy one.

Nick GravesX
Profile for Nick GravesX
Re: The dedicated family hybrid that's cheaper than civic [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-17-2006 15:58
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shingles wrote:
Not if the car gets 60mpg, costs $15-17k, can seat 4 adults, rides in comfort, has good storage, it wouldn't be "useless"...



Sounds like a more advanced Civic 2.2 diesel spec to me!

Wizard
Profile for Wizard
Re: The dedicated family hybrid that's cheaper than civic [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-17-2006 16:56
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Nick Graves wrote:
shingles wrote:
Not if the car gets 60mpg, costs $15-17k, can seat 4 adults, rides in comfort, has good storage, it wouldn't be "useless"...


Sounds like a more advanced Civic 2.2 diesel spec to me!


Diesel engines aren't "inexpensive" either. A Civic diesel might end up retailing for at least $20K, or more. And it won't deliver 60 mpg... low-mid 40s on highway, probably. In city, it won't.


_Alex_
Profile for _Alex_
Re: The dedicated family hybrid that's cheaper than civic [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-17-2006 17:07
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http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060517/FREE/60517001/1041/TOC01ARCHIVE

Colliver said Honda is developing a new hybrid that will be smaller than the current Civic. But the new model will not appear until 2009.

The vehicle will be "suitable for family use" and will be priced below the current Civic Hybrid, says Honda CEO Takeo Fukui.

Must be Fit hybrid then



98EX4cyl
Profile for 98EX4cyl
Re: The dedicated family hybrid that's cheaper than civic [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-17-2006 18:15
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_Alex_ wrote:
http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060517/FREE/60517001/1041/TOC01ARCHIVE

Colliver said Honda is developing a new hybrid that will be smaller than the current Civic. But the new model will not appear until 2009.

The vehicle will be "suitable for family use" and will be priced below the current Civic Hybrid, says Honda CEO Takeo Fukui.

Must be Fit hybrid then






You believe them? Here is the link to Honda's webpage for the announcement and a quote.
On a global basis, Honda will introduce an all-new, more affordable, dedicated hybrid car to be launched in North America in 2009. This new hybrid vehicle, to be produced at Honda's Suzuka plant in Japan, will have an annual North American sales volume target of 100,000 units (200,000 units worldwide) and a target price significantly lower than the current Civic Hybrid.

http://corporate.honda.com/press/article.aspx?id=2006051677694

danielgr
Profile for danielgr
Re: Final point on what "dedicated" means, and why it makes sense [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-18-2006 00:12
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shingles wrote:
Actually, I have thought about what "dedicated" meant already. Then it occured to me that it makes little business sense to have: 1) civic hybrid, 2) Fit hybrid, and 3) "dedicated" hybrid which costs less than Civic hybrid. See #3 would almost be in direct competition to #2. So either that means we won't get the Fit hybrid, or it IS the Fit hybrid he is referring to. From what I've seen, the above situation would be VERY un Honda like... they love to share platforms.

Also - it is often hard to translate Japanese or Chinese to English "properly". Your assumption is that his "dedicated" means a seperate platform, like the Prius. This might not be the case. It could be that the key point to the sentense is that it's going to be cheaper than the civic.

What if he is talking about a hybrid based on the Fit chassis but not styled as the Fit?


There is not much use in arguing, but we'll see in two - three years time...

On the other side, I can tell you that the people that do the translations for this kind of speech that's taken as a reference for so many news and things are not amateurs.


WHY THERE IS NO PROBLEM WITH THE FIT HYBRID NEWS

Also, I understand your concerns about having both the Fit and that supposed dedicated Hybrid together, BUT:

1st) There is nothing official saying that there will be a Fit Hybrid.

2nd) Both cars could be developped on the same platform, but be different. Fit platform is extremelly flexible, and Honda has developped cars from all kinds of sizes using it, that goes from the Fit, to small 7seaters minivans, wagons, the new EuroCivic 5D, etc. Non of them, appart the Fit, are able to reach global sales of 200.000

Honda could very well develop a new vehicle based on that Fit platform but specifically arranged and optimized to carry a newly developped IMA system.

3rd) If the two vehicles are different enough, I don't see a big problem having them with similar price and size. You wouldn't believe how many cars are sold in Japan from the same manufacturers and with the same price/size/power... Is like having a CR-V and an Element... Both same platform, both SUV's, both same size, engine, etc.etc., and Honda sells both of them on the same market. Just because they appeal to different audiences, and they offer significant enough differenciation in both the exterior and interior of the car.


WHY THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH A TRULLY DEDICATED HYBRID

To me, as others have pointed out, Honda might be concerned about the Prius and from a marketing point of view (for me it was the right thing to do), they have to acknowledge that they made a mistake when considering Hybrid development. The mistake was to believe that there were lots of people ready to pay for having a green car. And Toyota has proved that what people is ready to pay for, is to tell other people that they are driving such a car. A car that anybody would identify as "hey look, that's a Honda hybrid", and not "hey look, that's a Civic (Hybrid)".

Also, one of the major strenghts of the Honda IMA system is that it can be fit in any car of their line-up without much problems. But that's only an advantage for Honda and for those seeking for a normal car with better fuel efficency.

At the end of the day, they have both a problem with the press and a problem with the buyers.

With the press, because they don't compare the Honda Civic Hybrid to a petrol Toyota Corolla, they compare Hybrid to Hybrid regardless of anything else. That's another mistake that puts Honda as a looser no matter how many reviews one can read. And many of this disadvantages come from the fact that while the Prius is optimized to host Toyota's Hybrid system, in Honda is the Hybrid system that's optimized to fit "anywhere".
As a package, when thinking about a single product, Toyota has that advantage.

A problem with the buyers. Because whenever they think about buying a Civic IMA, they have a vehicle (petrol Honda Civic) that offers exactly the same car with all its vertues, but with more power, cheaper price, and added functionnality (fold down back seats). So it's all that versus a better fuel efficency, obviously most people choose the petrol Civic, also because in the US it's considered to be already quite a fuel efficient car.

By bringing their second dedicated hybrid to the market, Honda may regain a hybrid lead that the press have taken from them since Toyota launched their second-gen Prius (although some of us don't share that view).

And you can see that's someting pretty special when you see the sales target. How could Honda sell 100.000 Fit Hybrid (in the US) when they are planing to sell less than 50.000 petrol Fits this year... ?? Of course, that figure may rise, but I doubt that the Fit can outsell the Civic, and I doubt that half of the buyers would choose an hybrid version vs. a petrol one of exactly the same car.

Now, bring a new car, something where the Hybrid powertrain is not an option, where the system it's at the core of a great car developped around that technology. Things will be different.

And about price? Well, that's not necessarilly more expensive to produce, and it's not necessarilly more expensive to develop than any other car, not as long as you don't start from zero on the platform (and I already said before how that could be done).
Specially because whenever you do a Civic Hybrid, Accord Hybrid, Fit Hybrid, you still have to build a Civic, an Accord, or a Fit, and then add the Hybrid stuff. No matter how much they reduce the costs of the IMA, it's always going to be an "add-on", and people will still have to decide between the same car with or without the hybrid option.
If you produce a car that's hybrid, and with nothing else to compare to, you can still make it cheaper than a Civic, because the "hybrid system" is not an option any more.


WHY HONDA HAS NOT DONE IT BEFORE?

Well, maybe because they did not thought that the market was mature enough to justify a dedicated hybrid product development. But when you fix sales targets of 200.000 globally, that means that they think the market is ready for hybrids now. Honda has lots of cars selling globally with lower sales numbers, so there is nothing wrong or special about it, it's not additional costs, is a new Honda on the line-up, just like the Ridgeline was past year for example.

Also, maybe Honda did not feel that their technology was ready to be produced and marketed in large scale. When introducing such new things, you have to be carefull not to make mistakes, because no matter how good the idea is, if you fail at the begining, people will censure it and from a marketing point of view you'll be dead. That's maybe also the reason why Hybrid powertrains are still manufactured in very special factory in Japan. For this new techonolgy to grow on people, the zero-defects policy is essential. Limited sales also mean higher quality control. Now Honda's technolgy and production means for Hybrids may have matured enough so that they believe they can step up their game to the large scale.


DID I SAY MISTAKES?

Actually, this late thoughts made me reconsider my first remarks about "mistakes". Maybe Honda did not make any mistake, maybe they knew exactly what they were doing, and that's the reason why they have never expected huge hybrid sales on their line-up. Maybe the only ones especting more and more were TOV readers and magazin guys.

Maybe they (Honda) were just trying to show people that the technology was completelly transparent and that it could fit in their daily people's mover without notice. While at the same time, further developping their IMA system, and testing it in thousands of daily drivers for years, without having to spend lots of money in dedicated products that might not be justified in terms of sales numbers at that time.
Now, they think that both their technology and the public are ready for the next stage, and they go for it.


To me it all makes sens. Is just about smooth introduction of breakthrough technology in people's everyday life.



Nick GravesX
Profile for Nick GravesX
Re: The dedicated family hybrid that's cheaper than civic [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-18-2006 05:19
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Wizard wrote:
Nick Graves wrote:
shingles wrote:
Not if the car gets 60mpg, costs $15-17k, can seat 4 adults, rides in comfort, has good storage, it wouldn't be "useless"...


Sounds like a more advanced Civic 2.2 diesel spec to me!


Diesel engines aren't "inexpensive" either. A Civic diesel might end up retailing for at least $20K, or more. And it won't deliver 60 mpg... low-mid 40s on highway, probably. In city, it won't.




There is some interesting politics there - over here a Civic Diesel is about the same price as an IMA. About £ for $, sadly.

Economical drivers can easily get 50mpg in a Diesel - I'm sure you would on your interstates.

As I've said, I can see WHY Honda are doing IMAs. But it's not the best solution for the poor Joe parting with his hard-earned.

As for a bespoke, please note our Civic bas a nasty torsion-beam rear end, whereas you get rear suspension.

Our Civic (FK) gets a huge box under the boot/trunk floor. Ideal for batteries/fuel cells/controllers?

It is also 'smaller' than the RoW Civic (hatchback!).

Could be used as a basis.

JeffX
Profile for JeffX
Re: The dedicated family hybrid that's cheaper than civic [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-18-2006 07:40
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Nick Graves wrote:
Wizard wrote:
Nick Graves wrote:
shingles wrote:
Not if the car gets 60mpg, costs $15-17k, can seat 4 adults, rides in comfort, has good storage, it wouldn't be "useless"...


Sounds like a more advanced Civic 2.2 diesel spec to me!


Diesel engines aren't "inexpensive" either. A Civic diesel might end up retailing for at least $20K, or more. And it won't deliver 60 mpg... low-mid 40s on highway, probably. In city, it won't.




There is some interesting politics there - over here a Civic Diesel is about the same price as an IMA. About £ for $, sadly.

Economical drivers can easily get 50mpg in a Diesel - I'm sure you would on your interstates.

As I've said, I can see WHY Honda are doing IMAs. But it's not the best solution for the poor Joe parting with his hard-earned.

As for a bespoke, please note our Civic bas a nasty torsion-beam rear end, whereas you get rear suspension.

Our Civic (FK) gets a huge box under the boot/trunk floor. Ideal for batteries/fuel cells/controllers?

It is also 'smaller' than the RoW Civic (hatchback!).

Could be used as a basis.


are you referring to imperial gallons in your calculations? that's a 20% bonus... so 50mpg imperial=~40mpg US.

Nick GravesX
Profile for Nick GravesX
Re: The dedicated family hybrid that's cheaper than civic [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-18-2006 08:09
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I'd completely overlooked that! Oops!

70 to the US Gallon would be very impressive, if it wasn't for the limited lifespan of costly Li Ion batteries.

Mind you, I can still empty the tank & Ni-mH battery of an existing Civic IMA on our wonky roads in record time. And they're sooo slow!

shingles
Profile for shingles
Re: Final point on what "dedicated" means, and why it makes sense [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-18-2006 09:41
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You are right, there's no need to "debate" the issue... just a few points:

1) I never said or implied that those doing the translations are somehow amateurs. BUT, as I do speak Mandarin and English fluently, I can tell you that no matter how much of a pro, there are things that are hard to translate. It's a fact.

2) We are talking about in 2009. Honda does not have the capacity to sell more than 50k fit, but what's to say they can't in 2009? After all, they are bringing up new plants as we speak.

3) Yes, in japan there are many cars of almost the exact same porportions just different styles. BUT, this is the US we are talking about... The RSX and Civic coupe couldn't exist together, what makes you think two fit like vehical can from the same brand? Now one thing that I realized is that there could be a fit hybrid and a something else hybrid just like the fit, but I am going to say that they might not offer that in the US.

4) Honda's problem isn't that the HCH is "just a civic hybrid".. it's marketing. They most certainly could have made the HCH look more different and market the virtues of behing "stealthy". But they don't. HECK, they don't even advertise the hybrids that much.

IMO, IMA should be an engine option, not a trim level, or a special car. I posted about that in another topic. As you said, the technology is such that it can be applied most places relatively "easily"... Charge $1500 for a IMA option in the Fit or Civic and $2000 in the Accord. (numbers are made up here, but is a guestimate) Honda could advertise that anyone can have a hybrid for a small price in the package they want. They don't have to drive a funky shaped car to get it. Those that want "image" will always buy those image driven cars (think Prius and BMW). Those that want hybrid for what it was meant to be (being green, saving gas, etc) will not care about image.

I am not sure I like the idea of a deciated hybrid car... but then again, this country is image driven, so if that's what it takes, I hope the math ($$) behind it addes up.


 
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