Last post on Jul 06, 2012 at 5:27 PM
You are in the Honda Element
What is this discussion about?
Honda Element, Hatchback, SUV
May 03, 2005 (11:35 am)
A writer with a national magazine is writing an article on 8 cars that are under $20K for families on a budget or as a 2nd or 3rd car. He is looking for parents with young children who have recently purchased or are planning to purchase any one of the following vehicles: VW Jetta the new “Value Edition”, Chevy Cobalt (with SAB), Mitsubishi Galant, Toyota Matrix, Pontiac Vibe, Ford Focus Wagon, Honda Element, Kia Sorento or Dodge Caravan. The writer would like to know if they like it, dislike it, what are the family-style features and what kind of deal did you get on the car? If you fit what the writer is looking for, please email your responses to kholguinedmunds.com by May 13, 2005.
#3839 of 4724 Re: mattress for car camping [goofycat1]
May 04, 2005 (1:01 pm)
Try Ikea, they have very good foam mattress in twin ($49) and double $99) sizes, and they roll up pretty tight. They both come with sewn on covers, so they are ready to use. It's foam specifically designed for beds - not too soft or too hard. These will beat a Thermarest for comfort, and because they are relatively thin (in the cheapest version) don't weigh too much. This assumes you won't be backpacking with your mattress!
#3840 of 4724 Re: Cleaning the Roof and Side Panels [wallement]
May 04, 2005 (2:44 pm)
When I bought my CR-V I checked out the parts dept. and they had lots of special products for body care, including products specifically for Element CR-V plastic bumpers and body panels.
#3841 of 4724 My new Element
May 08, 2005 (5:13 pm)
I named it Watson from Sherlock Holmes' "ELEMENTary My Dear Watson". It's an AWD EX, auto. I'll be 60 this August and I really like this vehicle. Please, no snickering but I traded in a 2003 Nissan Murano SL with 9,500 miles on it. I liked the Murano very much, more luxury, etc, but I really like this boxy thing. I have owned three Hondas in my life and they were all pretty much bullet-proof. Hope one built in OH is too.
#3842 of 4724 Re: My new Element [dweiser]
May 09, 2005 (11:04 am)
Snicker? What for? My wife and I just gave up a 2003 Odyssey. I'd do it again in
a heartbeat. We love this Element. The Odyssey was boring. Great for hauling
friends and family for vacation and dinner etc etc. We just love the Element.
I'll be turning 55 next month and this car does make you feel younger!
We have owned several Hondas since 1977. Not one ever had to go to the shop
for anything but oil changes (I did most of them).
Did I say we love our element?
#3843 of 4724 Re: My new Element [believe]
May 09, 2005 (11:31 am)
I really think it's pretty interesting that a company with Honda's knowledge/resources could so misunderstand a target market for its own vehicle.
Clearly they wanted to believe that the young adults such as those in the pictures in the brochure would buy and then progress through the Honda line as they got older. But one would think somewhere in the gazillion focus groups they probably conducted that they would have discovered that they could sell even more of 'em to the young at heart (who BTW also happen to have a bit of disposable $$$). I don't have much doubt that their less than inclusive marketing approach may have denied them more sales than it has gotten them. They really should have tried to "broaden their base" as the politicos say.
#3844 of 4724 Re: My new Element [lumbar]
May 09, 2005 (12:47 pm)
Honda actual target was identified as something like a 22 YO unemployed college student/recent grad. But they knew that those people can't buy new cars.
Now if they directly targeted 55+, empty nesters it wouldn't sell. Today's empty nesters are pretty vain and would never buy anything directly targeted at them. They buy products that make them look and feel young.
IMHO, Honda knew that older folks would buy Elements. Same with Scion - how many college kids buy Xb's?
#3845 of 4724 Re: My new Element [robr2]
May 09, 2005 (1:40 pm)
Well, it's only MO, but I can't give Honda that much credit for reverse psychology in their marketing approach. While I guess Honda could be different, most companies go right at the demographic they want, which (again IMO) is why so much advertising today reeks of pained attempts to be young and hip. Car companies love to develop appealing entry level models to nurture buyers up through their product line, and I think Honda was going for a somewhat similar (not unemployed, but out of school and working) market that VW reached with the Jetta and its ad campaign.
I'd agree that boomers are less amenable to the obvious sell, but I'm questioning Honda's failure to broaden their approach across most demographics, not simply their failure to target 50+ empty nesters, who I think buy the vehicle for its excellent practicality and value (gotta think of retirement), not out of any desire to necessarily act young. When you get right down to it, the only demographic that the car is really unsuitable for is those with a couple of growing kids, who will buy a minivan. I think Subaru does this sort of age-neutral, active lifestyle marketing very well, and you really can't tell who they're aiming at. Sorry to belabor this point, but I Iove what Honda tried to do with the actual Element vehicle, but their marketing--to the extent they pursued it-- has always kind of bugged me.
#3846 of 4724 Re: My new Element [lumbar]
May 09, 2005 (1:54 pm)
IIRC, Honda stated "unemployed".
I didn't mean that Honda directly targeted empty nesters but they probably knew that most of the buyers were not going to be their target market. But the important thing for Honda is that the average buyer of the Element is 36 YO - much younger than Accord buyers.
May 10, 2005 (7:21 am)
Jetta sold primarily to young women.
Scion's demographics are pretty young, at least compared to Toyota.
36 for the Element is not bad, most mid-size cars have median ages in the 40s, so they're succeeding in bringing in younger buyers. Oddly enough it seems to be one extreme or the other, i.e. very young or AARP members. Probably due to the suicide-style doors not appealing to 35-50 year olds with kids.
Subaru uses a lot of niche marketing. They were pretty bold to use Martina in Forester ads, for instance. And they co-market with LL Bean a lot. They seem to have the college professor/bird watcher/fly fisherman demographic.