Re: Honda in Crisis [part 1]: Fading DNA of Honda
(Score: 1, Normal)
superchg2 wrote: A quick question for HondaFan1990, and not trying to be smart.
Is 1990 your birth year?
I bought my first Honda, a Civic S in 1984 and back then you were put on a waiting list. I think it took a couple of months before my new Civic showed up at the dealer!
Yup, November 1990 is my birth year. :)
Well, that quiet sound right there is a few folks feeling old right now. I have at least one pair of shoes older than HF90. My local Honda dealer could only get a few of the '84 Civics each month and those they did get in stock received a $1500 market charge. You could choose any color for your 3-door as long as it was blue or silver. That was when a CRX stickered at $7500. I ended up buying a Dat/San.
First, Honda has never outperformed any brand in the US market place in the strictest sense of performance. The concept actually alluded to here is simply that of engineering. A friend had both a '78 Civic wagon and an '83 Civic wagon which reminded me of sewing machines because of the precision of the craftwork performed on the engines and the feel of the manual shifters. Good engineering which goes into automobiles doesn't necessarily produce the most powerful, best handling cars but rather cars that perform properly for their intended tasks. Think about what exactly a modern Civic is designed to do for its owner.
Secondly, Hondas were never low priced automobiles in the US. An '85 Civic 3dr stickered for almost $6000 which went a long way toward buying most any small GM, Ford or Chrysler product, and a comparably equipped Escort was $1000 cheaper. A '90 Civic Si was in the ballpark of $11,000 when you could buy a 5.0 Mustang for a bit over $13,000.
I wonder where the strong enthusiasm for older Honda products comes from. I've always found Honda products interesting because of the engineering expertise employed in their development. My first Integra was no BMW and, heck, no one today really cares at all about a 1990 BMW anymore anyway. I think Honda had their act together best during the early 1990s though before they felt the need to build market share in the US by becoming an Americanized car company. The first surprise for me was, having driven a few '90-'93 Accords, finding how soft and un-sporty the '94 Accord sedan was. I think many of us formed our opinions about Honda from what we knew of the Honda cars from the '80s and early '90s. I also think that had Honda stuck to its guns with expertly crafted small, sporty economy cars they would have gone bankrupt ten years ago. Without the V6 engine famiiles, the CRV and Pilot, the Odyssey, and the Acuras such as the 2nd and 3rd gen TL Honda would have been swallowed up by a sea of SUVs, HP numbers, leather seats, Bluetooth, power options, etc. Much of what passes for a car today has little foundation in engineering practicality. No surprise then that a company run by engineers might struggle with understanding what the public wants to buy.
I remember reading an article somewhere stating that Honda shifted from a Japanese company that builds cars in American to an "American" car company that just so happens to be from Japan and based there. I can see what you're saying. I can see where you're coming from. Say Honda did stay with just the Accord, Civic and Prelude formula they had for a long time and the Integra, Vigor and Legend lineup on the Acura side, they probably would've been gone a long time ago. They had to shift in order to stay alive. They were only gonna make but so much money on 3 product lines. And they are a company after all so profits come first. No profits, no cars. Mazda, now, has always kept their "soul", but look at the position they're in. They're in financial trouble. I wouldn't want Honda to be in that predicament....everyone has had to adapt and change or they fade away...