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Discussion Starter #1
Tonight, I saw a TV commercial promoting Honda trucks, SUVs and the Element. It had "not-so-macho" theme, claiming "Honda as the most fuel efficient auto-maker".
Frankly speaking, I was depressed :(

First the Honda Civic Hybrid with manual transmission is eliminated in 2006.
Then the Honda Jazz (offered in Asia and Europe, with >50 mpg FE) is introduced in the US as the overpowered "Honda Fit" with pathetic EPA estimated FE in the mid 30's.
And last but not least, the obsolescence of the Insight in September 2006.

-From a Insight owning marketing professional to the Honda decision makers: Booooo :!: .

For my next auto purchase; 'very seriously considering the "T" word.
 

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low road

Hopefully, Honda will introduce the "Fit" as a hybrid in 2007!

I hope. I hope.

Willie
 

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If they do, I'll be in line to get a Fit Hybrid!

Seriously, though- I don't think honda is taking the low road... Fit is very comparable to the Scion and also the new Yaris, but has far more features (IMHO). I think if Honda can up the Civic Hybrid's MPG, that would be awesome. That said, I know lots of ppl that have the Civic Hybrid and Prius, and I've noticed that in RL, the Civic Hybrid gets about the same gas milegae as the Prius- in fact, I think Prius' EPA MPG are overestimated while the Civic's EPA MPG are reasonable.

Besides, Pruis is going through a major recall...

I do admit I'm fairly biased, though. I've always prefered Honda's handling, styling and performance over Toyota for the most part.

That's just my 2 cents...
 

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Well,

After the "beating" we as a whole as consumers gave them with abysmal Insight sales figures I personally applaud Honda for staying in the fight so long.

A Honda hyper MPG car may be down but apparently not out. See:

Honda mid-year CEO speech
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... php?t=4797

currently 7 posts lower on the list in this forum.
 
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Insightful Trekker said:
After the "beating" we as a whole as consumers gave them with abysmal Insight sales figures I personally applaud Honda for staying in the fight so long.
Your post made me think. I wonder if Honda ever expected to sell Insights like hotcakes or really cares that they didn't. The purpose of the Insight may have been simply to promote Honda's reputation as one of the leaders of automotive technology, while the Civic/Accord/Odyssey/Pilot/CRV are Honda's bread and butter. Certainly when I think of Honda I think of advanced engineering, superb fit and finish, and reliability, so probably this is the image they wish to project.

In the motorcycle arena, Honda has definitely developed and produced many landmark designs that have not sold well and that Honda has not even made available in large numbers: the RC51 V-twin for example, that each dealer got one of (and my dealer kept for himself!). Or among cars the NSX sports car, or for that matter (to some extent) the S2000.
 

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I don't know, I can't figure honda out! they keep saying things about fuel efficiency, and the CEO always sounds great when he talks, but at the same time they took the new HCH engine improvements (which I was really excited about, it is very cool and innovatove) and put all the extra energy into power, not mileage.
 

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mo'sickle said:
Your post made me think. I wonder if Honda ever expected to sell Insights like hotcakes or really cares that they didn't. The purpose of the Insight may have been simply to promote Honda's reputation as one of the leaders of automotive technology...
I'd tend to agree, but the bottom line eventually comes into play. 6 years is a pretty good run. The production capacity and inventory was there in 02, but they didn't sell well then or now. I more than suspect if "we" had produced the demand it would have been met.
 

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kari said:
but at the same time they took the new HCH engine improvements (which I was really excited about, it is very cool and innovatove) and put all the extra energy into power, not mileage.
Isn't "power" the entire reason for hybrids in the first place? If you really want to get good mileage in an Insight, replace the engine with a 200 cc version. It will have enough power to go 60 mph, but will take forever to get going that fast--and will slow back down to 30 on a shallow hill.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It would seem that Honda's advertizing rhetoric doesn't match with the products. :?

Some of us may have heard the cliche that "a good imitation is better than a poor invention".
In the competitive consumer automobile market, there has clearly been a lot of imitation.
The Honda Fit looks a lot like the Matrix/Vibe and/or Areo SX.
The XB(ox) takes the Element concept to the orthogonal extreme.
It would seem to me that the 2006 HCH CVT attempts to capture some of the Prius market share with comparable performance.
And then there are those new Chevrolets that perhaps unintentionally look a lot like a Soviet car from the 60's (my Russian work colleagues agree).
So far, there don't seem to be any Insight imitators. However disappointing this is to Insight Nation; it's apparently good marketing decisions all around.
In the North American world saturated with gas guzzling SUVs, >30mpg is apparently considered "fuel efficient". For those of us in the oppressed/deprived minority, who value fuel efficiency over raw power, there would seem to be a different standard for the "fuel efficient" label.

IMHO, it doesn't seem too unreasonable to expect at least one automaker to offer a <$15,000.00 (non-hybrid) car that gets >50mpg FE. Apparently, this is not reflected in the marketing research? Perhaps more people need to see Al Gore's movie: "An Inconvenient Truth"

Most of us are old enough to remember the pre-1994 Hondas with lean-burn, that had EPA estimated FE around 50mpg. The Civic, Civic del Sol, and the CRX come to mind. They were popular cars. Try to find one now with <200K miles.
5S Insight owners realize that Honda now has the technology to limit NOx emissions from lean-burn engines.

A Honda Fit, with the much more fuel efficient Jazz engine option offered in North America could be a trend-setting differentiator for Honda.

Perhaps we all need to accept the unfortunate demise of the Insight, as every one delivered was figuratively gift wrapped in several million Yen from Honda. But I would challenge Honda to show courage and vision to match the products with the advertizing rhetoric, rather than just replacing fuel efficient cars (like CRX and del Sol) with more powerful ones such as the not-so-popular HAH.
 

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Dougie said:
Isn't "power" the entire reason for hybrids in the first place? If you really want to get good mileage in an Insight, replace the engine with a 200 cc version. It will have enough power to go 60 mph, but will take forever to get going that fast--and will slow back down to 30 on a shallow hill.
you're right - and I may be coming from a funny place to comment because I 1. was driving a 1993 civic on its last legs (aka, not much pick-up), 2. rely heavily on the manual transmission to give me any excess power I need on long hills, entrance ramps, etc. and 3. know in my heart that if I owned a more powerful car I would drive way too fast and get tickets galore.

but I didn't notice that people were really complaining about the pick-up of the HCH I. after the way detroit has been sitting on the internal combustion engine (seriously, where is the innovation?) I was really thrilled to see the changes made in the HCH II engine - but I do think they could have put a lot of that "power" into efficiency without people noticing or complaining.
 
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