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#317 of 346 Re: Honda/Acura is Currently Stagnate [smarty666]
May 05, 2010 (8:47 am)
You raise some very good points and observations. But I have to wonder whether Honda will ever be able to have the pricing strength they did a few years back? The market is much more competitive now and the public is realizing that no car is perfect or bullet proof. I think people used to be willing to pay a sizeable price premium on Honda and Toyota because there was a lot of reliability concerns about other makes. Toyota was American car like in its drive and Honda was the sportier alternative. Having said that, I do think Honda will remain a strong company in the car market and expect to see some changes there down the road.
#318 of 346 Re: Honda/Acura is Currently Stagnate [berri]
May 05, 2010 (11:32 am)
All very good points. The market has changed drastically in just the last 5-6 years. Acura is having a difficulty with their pricing and I think they are starting to go a bit crazy in what they think people will pay for a Acura product. They don't have the brand prestige or history that BMW and MB do yet some of their prices are going nuts and they don't offer any of the luxury features that there competitors do at those prices or for even less. I mentioned the Maxima as an example of this when compared to the TL.
The new ZDX is a fortune and so is the RL and both those vehicles do not offer half if not more of the luxury features/innovations that their equivalent Infiniti, BMW, MB, Lexus, or Audi does!
If Acura and Honda too, wants to charge these kinds of prices on their vehicles that is fine, but then they are going to have to really step up to the plate with adding more luxury features and technological/mechanical innovations to warranty paying those kinds of prices!
#319 of 346 there's a lot of Acura talk
May 05, 2010 (12:15 pm)
going on here, but what about Honda? They have, what? A "compact" car that borders on midsize and is about to be quickly overtaken by the competition from Ford and possibly Chevy, and which has already been overtaken by Mazda, ALL of which are or will be lower-priced. A "large" car that doesn't have the moves it once did. And the Fit hatchback, which they produce in such tiny numbers it will never do them much good. CRV and Pilot, both lost in the crowd. Element and Ridgeline, niche products, not especially well regarded. They have NOTHING that stands out, and yet prices are all right at the top of their respective classes.
We should see something abot a redesigned Civic this summer if they are not dragging their feet into a 6th model year for the current generation, but all I can see is it had better blow away the competition while maintaining its current price because nothing from Honda has done that in the last 5 years.
As for Accord, CRV, and Pilot, the rest of the bread-n-butter, all are years away from their next redesign. Honda is going to have to lower prices or something.
And I say all this even as Civic and Accord are perennially in the top 10 vehicles sold in the U.S. (with CRV always hovering just below that threshhold, so doing pretty well sales-wise), which makes me wonder if I am being too harsh? I guess my concern if I were running Honda would be for future resale values and sales success, looking at the next five years. At the rate they are going they will most certainly lose their edge.
And another thing: where is the DI? Someone mentioned this earlier. Every major manufacturer has DI in their luxury brands and on the cusp of entering their non-premium ranks, but not Honda. This, while diesel for the U.S. seems to be dead, and their hybrid powertrain is second-rate compared to Ford and Toyota. Doesn't give one confidence for their future.....
#320 of 346 Re: there's a lot of Acura talk [nippononly]
May 05, 2010 (1:01 pm)
I mean we went off a little bit about Acura but I was addressing my comments for BOTH Honda and Acura. So you can take everything I said earlier today and apply that assestment to Honda as well.
Currently, Honda is getting heavy competition from Hyundai, Nissan, and Ford because they are all offering near the same, or just about the same level of quality and reliability that Honda was known for, but offer many other technological improvements that no Honda still has, such as fuel efficient turbo I4's and CVT vehicles, some features that Honda's still don't offer, like intelligent high-beam controls, cooled seats, rear heated seats, and many others features then these, etc.
As I said, like Acura, Honda is in a period of stagnation and as you pointed out, I don't know what they are going to do in the next 1-2 years to solve it because many of their products are a few years away from redesigns and the competition is passing them by quickly. Honda became to complacent in the last 5-8 years in sales due to their reputation for quality and reliability, which after the Toyota fisaco, is no longer the case and they are not going to be able to solely survive on that anymore. Hyundai, Nissan, and Ford are offering those things that used to be unique to Honda and Toyota only and people are flocking to these other automakers! Part of the reason causing this, is just like Acura, Honda corporate has given no clear straight forward goal/focus/direction as to where they want to take the company, unlike Ford, Nissan, and Hyundai have and it's interesting to note, that those 3 companies have profited the most from Toyota's recent troubles and their market share has increased!
Both Honda and Acura need to come out with a clear vision of what they want to take the companies and stick with it. Thats another problem both of them have had is being very wishywashy or going back on what they say they want to do. They better think of something because they need a big breath of fresh air in both Honda and Acura to get them back on the map!
#321 of 346 Re: there's a lot of Acura talk [nippononly]
May 05, 2010 (4:31 pm)
I believe I read somewhere that the reason we aren't seeing a lot of DI engines from anyone yet is because there are still some teething problems regarding potential engine crude build up that aren't fully resolved.
I've never driven an Acura, but I'm sure they are nice drivers. I have ridden in several. My impression from a passenger POV is that they don't really ride any better than a Camry and are noisier. The leather was nice though.
As for Honda, I think they need to give the CRV a drivetrain upgrade to improve performance. I'm sure DI would help, as would another tranny gear. The Pilot is kind of obsolete looking compared to a lot of current CUV's, but I think people are adapting to the Accord looks. However, the Accord just costs too much comparably equipped to its competitors. A buddy of mine has a new Civic. Its alright, but very noisy and bumpy riding compared to my daughter's Corolla. Personally, our Ody has been a very good vehicle, if a bit loud inside, but our CRV has been only OK - don't think we'll buy another one. Anyway, just my opinions as I know a lot of people like Honda and don't care for Toyota styling and ride.
#322 of 346 I switched to Sonata this time
May 05, 2010 (6:03 pm)
After owning a 79, 83, 95 Accord, a 91 Integra, and a 97 Prelude, I just bought a Sonata. Still have the Prelude, a wonderful car, it has been very reliable and a joy to drive.
I wanted a sedan with more comfort. Drove the 2010 Accord sedan and coupe, and found them to be pretty blah. The styling of the Accords is very stale to me. Hate the bugeye look, and did not find the driving experience very satisfying.
Without any strong optimism, I test drove the Sonata, and decided that I should go ahead. Better styling, stronger engine, equivalent (at least) handling, longer warranty, and a lot more features for about $2K less.
I really wanted a 3G Acura TL (I find the new Acura chevron grin to be hideous), but a decent 3-4 year old with 30K miles was $17K, and the new Sonata was under $21K out the door.
I think Honda is a great company. They have a strong US dealer organization. The problem I see is that they are making their lineup look and feel like Toyotas. The bigger and softer riding Accords do not appeal to me, and somehow their styling has gone weird, especially on the Acura side. Putting that crease down the middle of the car, and making the rear end look like a grille. Just awful. Why did they kill the Integra line? Even the decent TL has been inflated and given the new weird stying notes.
I say tell the design team that Honda buyers want a return to a more athletic car, and no need to hire Cadillac stylists and hang chrome on wider fenders. I want better brakes, quicker steering, and the performance and economy edge that Honda used to have.
So I believe it is still a great company, but in need of a return to their roots.
#323 of 346 Re: there's a lot of Acura talk [berri]
May 05, 2010 (8:54 pm)
I've never driven an Acura, but I'm sure they are nice drivers.
That's just the problem, they aren't. It's better to be a passenger in a 2010 Acura than to be the driver.
#324 of 346 Re: All manufacturers have their pros and cons. Honda is good [smarty666]
May 05, 2010 (9:28 pm)
Acura has fallen as of late. I loved the last TL, the new one not so much.
As with all cars from everyone, they are getting too big, way too heavy, and have too much junk (like tire pressure monitor sensors). These useless features add weight, and maintenance costs.
#325 of 346 Re: All manufacturers have their pros and cons. Honda is good [andres3]
May 06, 2010 (4:12 am)
Well I can't speak for every Acura model, but the only current one that I liked and enjoyed driving, much more than any Honda was the new TSX. But I agree with you about Acura as a whole. You don't know how many times I thank the Lord I got my 08 TL when I did!!!
#326 of 346 Re: Honda/Acura is Currently Stagnate [smarty666]
May 06, 2010 (5:15 am)
Two things kill Acura for me - that grotesque chrome beak for one and the lack of a V-8 in the RL for the other. I like the interiors. Very futuristic and high-tech.