What Honda Needs to Do To Keep A Strong Position in the US Market

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#1, install reliable automatic transmission in their vehicles and extend the automatic transmission warranty to at least 100,000 miles for all years, all models.
#2, Make good looking vehicles. The Ridgeline is plug ugly. Most other current Honda models are in the barely acceptable category. Honda seems to have no workable design language for it's current US lineup and is loosing sales as a result.
Honda was up 4% in the US last year. Toyota was up 10%. Nissan was up 9%. Hyundai was up 9% on the year and 16% in December. Honda's December sales were down 3%. Toyota December sales were up 9%. Trend wise, Honda is falling off the pace while Toyota and Hyundai are pulling strong. I see Toyota and Hyundai as the real competition for Honda in the US market today. Hyundai has pulled itself up by the bootstraps into the first tier of auto manufacturers in historically record time.
All data is from: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060105/ap_on_bi_ge/auto_sales
Honda management seems to be loosing it's way in recent years on certain quality control issues and on styling. An insular culture and corporate arrogance are what brought GM down in the long haul. Honda had better watch out for the same problem.
John
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Try driving a Oddesey or new Civic hybrid and report back.

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John Horner wrote:

I like almost all of the Honda's looks. Yeah, Ridgeline's kind of ugly. Reminds me of GM's half pickups. Do you include Acuras in the list? Acuras look pretty nice too. The new Civic looks great.
On the other hand, I dislike almost all of Toyota's car looks: Corolla, Camry, Solara, Prius.
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Why they stopped using amber rear turn signals is beyond me....
I was behind a new Accord that had its turn signal flashing -- but I had to look two or three times to be sure that's what was happening. Of course, for those who don't USE turn signals, well.... never mind. ;-)
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Howard Lester wrote:

What are they, white now? I think that's just the trend in the auto industry.
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"Bucky" wrote

No, they're red, and far less visible than they ever were before. *I* need to see what drivers' intentions are. "Foreign" manufacturers were the leader in this important safety issue; apparently some, like Honda, don't give a rat's ass anymore. Besides, design-wise, the new taillights look awful. I know, there's no accounting for taste.
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Howard Lester wrote:

I thought it was funny that Honda redesigned the rear of the Accord for '06. Personally i think that the rear of my '03 is better looking than is the front!
John
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On Thu, 5 Jan 2006 17:29:19 -0700, "Howard Lester"

Hardly a 'leader in an issue' - Amber turn signals are required on all vehicles in europe, and despite what many think, the european car market is bigger than the American one - UK, france, germany spain USa, ireland = canada, then you have portugal, italy, etc.
When cops in the Uk are in a strict mood (say around a 'cruise' they'll get you for fog-lghts, and if you've got red indicators 9or white, when applied) you've evither got the choise of fixing it without moving the vehicle, or towing it, since technically its unroadworthy (UK drivers tend not to look for red turn signals0 and often they'll tear up your MOt certificate, and force you to get another.

Its to do with joe schmoe, and what he thinks is nice. just look at TV, and you'll see just how much taste the average american is deemed to ahve.
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Bucky wrote:

The present Acura line is pretty decent looking. Hondas, however, are all over the place. The new Civic is alright and the Accord is decent, but the Ridgeline, Pilot and Element are all certainly nothing to write home about.
John
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Make a new CRX and a new Prelude,at reasonable prices,with reasonable horsepower. Also,Mazda makes their very popular Miata,and Honda's S2000 is far higher in price.
Honda needs to look at what the "tuners" are doing with older Hondas and other makes of autos;that's what the younger crowd wants to buy.
Instead,their products keep getting bigger and bigger,heavier,more and more "same as everybody else".
--
Jim Yanik
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the new MX5 (aka miata) is even better than the old one. shold be comming stateside in a year or two.

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What I would like is a station wagon the size of a Volvo 240 with performance suspension and drive train.
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Gordon McGrew wrote:

Sign me up for that one! It really ticks me off that there are so few good mid-sized wagon available on the US market. For overall versatility, comfort, performance and economy nothing beats a mid-sized wagon.
John
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On Fri, 06 Jan 2006 01:29:35 GMT, Gordon McGrew

V70?
the T5 and R not 'performance' enough?
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wrote:

Most people who buy station wagons do not want "performance",they want to haul their kids around. Honda used to make a station wagon Accord,and sales were not good enough to keep making them.Same for Toyota.
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Oh, they're still made, just not sold in the Us. Big Difference
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Not sure if its as big as the old Volvo, but anyway I am looking for Japanese reliability.
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On Sat, 07 Jan 2006 08:06:43 GMT, Gordon McGrew

I have had volvos for years, mainly european 340s and 360s.
The V70s are not quite as big as the old 240 estate certainly not the current model, the older one (96-01 iirc) is bigger, but its basically the 760 refined a bit more.
They're reliable if kept maintained (except for some of the XCs) British and european polie ofrces use the V70 as their prefered pursuit car, and those do heavy duty on constant swapped shifts - 130k miles a year is average for them, often in high pursuit (delimited, a t5 will do somewhere in the region of 160mph) only place something else is prefered is for inner-city pursuits, where the imprezta (often worked on by prodrive) rules, which are tweaked to make traffic humps at 70 doable
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Jim Yanik wrote:

Indeed, Honda is a complete non-starter in the sporty coupe market. Even the new Saturn Sky blows away Honda in that category. Who would have thought that Saturn could do a better job than Honda on something ????
John
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And, I will take my 01 Prelude over anything Saturn. BTW local Pontiac dealers are asking close to 30k for 177hp Ecotek Soltice, of which the the Sky is a badge engineered copy
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