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TOV Forums > General Talk > > Re: Honda - Not Made Here

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TonyEX
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Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-06-2018 23:57
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HondaForever wrote:
TonyEX wrote:
Should Honda make its own bolts, as the British Thread Ring Gages of yore?


Tony, your question reminded me of an old "story" I first came across when I started working all the eons ago.

It called "The fable of the Inspector and the bolts", in a small way quite relevant to the subject of outsourcing...

The whole article is worth reading if you haven't come across it before, but the conclusion captures the potential problems with outsourcing:

"And when all these things had come to pass it was the evening of the nineteenth day and he (the inspector) made out a release note and inscribed therein all the necessary details. And he signed it and put his stamp upon it and upon the bolts also. then he spake unto the bolt maker saying: "I do declare this batch of bolts to be pretty damn good. Dispatch them unto the Turbine Factory, and if they bounce, then I shall catch them without salt."
But Lo it came to pass, that they were rejected. They had been fashioned to an obsolete issue of the drawing. And the grief of the Inspector was terrible to behold."



http://www.etinews.com/tip_mnth_inspector.html





Yes, I have read that. Pretty funny.

Back in the mid 80s I was working in a design team and we had our electronics and hardware components made by a group of "Ladies in the Tower"... they worked in a 3rd floor office down in the old Fullerton campus. We kept sending them drawings upon drawings with changes upon changes... We kept them very busy.

Anyhow, that Christmas the teams exchanged group gifts. The Ladies in the Tower" gave us a plaque we put in our lobby:

"There comes a time to shoot the engineers and start production"






TonyEX
Profile for TonyEX
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-07-2018 00:04
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RolledaNsx wrote:
Honda is going to use GM's new Lithium Battery because GM already makes the cheapest Lithium Battery(LG makes the cells,GM the pack) in the business today.

The battery that Honda will use is a GM design but the cells will be made by somebody else(Chinese or/and Korean company).It is expect in 2021 and will replace Cobalt with Nickel(lowering cell price about 30%). Goal is 80-100 dollars per KWH.



A Tesla 90 Kwh would then need a $9000 battery? The current Clarity BEV ha a 25.5 KwH battery.. that would then run about 2500... or if AHM is smart, they'll up the battery capacity to 80 KwH and a range of 300 miles.

I doubt it will be built by the Chinese with the current -and foreseeable- politics. I would not be surprised if they get built in the US even if the price is 20% higher. This could be construed as a National Security issue and letting GM out sourced it to China will be next to treason.

RolledaNsx
Profile for RolledaNsx
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-07-2018 00:40
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TonyEX wrote:
RolledaNsx wrote:
Honda is going to use GM's new Lithium Battery because GM already makes the cheapest Lithium Battery(LG makes the cells,GM the pack) in the business today.

The battery that Honda will use is a GM design but the cells will be made by somebody else(Chinese or/and Korean company).It is expect in 2021 and will replace Cobalt with Nickel(lowering cell price about 30%). Goal is 80-100 dollars per KWH.



A Tesla 90 Kwh would then need a $9000 battery? The current Clarity BEV ha a 25.5 KwH battery.. that would then run about 2500... or if AHM is smart, they'll up the battery capacity to 80 KwH and a range of 300 miles.

I doubt it will be built by the Chinese with the current -and foreseeable- politics. I would not be surprised if they get built in the US even if the price is 20% higher. This could be construed as a National Security issue and letting GM out sourced it to China will be next to treason.



GM is building a plant in China to make it but most likely for that market only.For NA Market I'm thinking they will stay with LG(cells) because nobody at the moment can compete with LG production costs(Tesla/Panasonic doesn't come close).The modular pack and assembly will be in USA(Mi?).


honduh
Profile for honduh
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-07-2018 08:55
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CB77 wrote:
...
Mr. Ito sought to rein in the independence of Honda’s powerful research and development arm in an effort to trim spending on projects with no obvious commercial benefit—a past project had researchers studying the cockroach nervous system, according to former engineers and executives. The group still operates with its own parallel management structure, but research projects need the approval of headquarters, one of the former executives said.
...
Honda’s eventual self-driving system will likely have only a fraction of its software written by Honda engineers, said Yuji Yasui, chief engineer for autonomous vehicles.

Cockroaches? Good thing they discontinued that research before the software got too buggy. =P

Anyway, I see some of the concerns, and only hope some more "Honda"-ness makes it through. A real simple example for me is LaneWatch. Honda likely did not make the camera (probably a Sony CCD part, etc.). But that's a genius solution in our CR-V that I don't see used elsewhere.

The article focused a lot on the autonomous tech. Personally I think it is forced on the market by folks who do not like driving or don't understand the complexities and focus on some theoretical benefit. Honda-DNA, at least during Soichiro's time, was defined through attributes like practicality, and especially fun-to-drive. Autonomous tech is the anti-thesis of that, so I'd rather see Honda-DNA continue to be imprinted on driver focused applications, wherever technology takes us. Otherwise, then yes the danger is Honda becomes a manufacturer of soul-less appliances. Even their cross-town rival (Toyota) which had long sold its soul for volume and profit has recognized the dangers of that approach.

NealX
Profile for NealX
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-07-2018 09:21
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TonyEX wrote:
NealX wrote:
TonyEX wrote:
NealX wrote:
HondaForever wrote:
...
So what's my point here? Honda, along with almost all other car manufacturers, has always outsourced a lot of their components and other items used to make their cars so I am not exactly sure where this concern about outsourcing is coming from.
...
What I am counting on for them to preserve is their expertise in integrating all these items seamlessly, in overall design, packaging, ergonomics and quality and hopefully a reputation for not screwing their customers when something goes wrong down the line. Beyond these, I couldn't care a hoot if the Collision Mitigation and Braking System was designed by Bosch or Honeywell or whoever, so long as it functions well when I need it.








Sure! But none of those are imbued with the essence of Honda so they don't really matter...



My La Black Mamba (*) and Elle est Noir (**) are imbued with the essence of Honda but you don't like them.

You just can't win with some people. ;-)

(*) Ridgeline SE
(**) Clarity FCEV, which BTW has a Honda Fuel Cell.



You're batting .500, slugger.



A-Rod!

Without steroids....


Yes, a rod.

CarPhreakD
Profile for CarPhreakD
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-07-2018 10:15
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Chris_6MT wrote:
Working for a tier one supplier that designs and develops its on parts might warp my viewpoint, but - isn’t the whole point here the incredible hubris and stubbornness that leads Honda to believe that they can do EVERYTHING better than anyone else can? And then they waste years and millions of dollars attempting to prove themselves right, while all along a solution was available on the open market.

Suppliers spend a lot of money and time developing new technologies within their range of expertise. This cost is amortized across many different customers and a substantially higher volume - that’s how suppliers can often offer better products at lower pricing than the OE can. Why would Honda possibly try to develop something that already existed, unless they had some ideas on how to make it completely different or better? Hubris.

Only a complete moron (or ideologue, same thing) would rather have a Honda designed sensing unit than a Bosch one that’s been in service X number of years with an X% failure rate/accuracy, UNLESS Honda truly believed they could do better for legitimate reasons. I see no evidence of that here - just a go it alone, we’re better than everyone else mentality.



This point needs to be made.

There are certain parts where Honda has essentially given a supplier the design and said "here, make this", but that hasn't always been the case particularly for more expensive to develop items.

The J-series would not have been possible without the help of two very specific powertrain consulting companies, and design iterations for that engine was given through feedback by at least 2 suppliers that I know of. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a similar story for the K-series.

In fact for the K20C the cylinder head covers wouldn't have been made possible without two specific pieces of technology from one supplier either (one for making it thin and lightweight, the other for leading edge PCV).

Non-powertrain related, I recall that Honda's newly rediscovered love for thin and light A-pillars was enabled by hot-stamping, a process they never used before and was introduced to via their American associates and a partnership with Gestamp and ArcelorMittal. It's used all over the frame now.

I thought that was the entire point for associating closely with suppliers, treating them as "partners" rather than competitive bidders.

Although, at least in the case of the Honda Fit i-DCD fiasco, a lot of it had to do with Honda outsourcing the integration of the transmission to three separate suppliers (software interface, actuators, PCMs... like what the hell) and not understanding how to integrate it all. So there are risks associated. What is clear however, is that with cars evolving so rapidly nowadays, Honda doesn't have the resources to do all themselves.

superchg2
Profile for superchg2
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-07-2018 10:30
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CarPhreakD wrote:
Chris_6MT wrote:
Working for a tier one supplier that designs and develops its on parts might warp my viewpoint, but - isn’t the whole point here the incredible hubris and stubbornness that leads Honda to believe that they can do EVERYTHING better than anyone else can? And then they waste years and millions of dollars attempting to prove themselves right, while all along a solution was available on the open market.

Suppliers spend a lot of money and time developing new technologies within their range of expertise. This cost is amortized across many different customers and a substantially higher volume - that’s how suppliers can often offer better products at lower pricing than the OE can. Why would Honda possibly try to develop something that already existed, unless they had some ideas on how to make it completely different or better? Hubris.

Only a complete moron (or ideologue, same thing) would rather have a Honda designed sensing unit than a Bosch one that’s been in service X number of years with an X% failure rate/accuracy, UNLESS Honda truly believed they could do better for legitimate reasons. I see no evidence of that here - just a go it alone, we’re better than everyone else mentality.



This point needs to be made.

There are certain parts where Honda has essentially given a supplier the design and said "here, make this", but that hasn't always been the case particularly for more expensive to develop items.

The J-series would not have been possible without the help of two very specific powertrain consulting companies, and design iterations for that engine was given through feedback by at least 2 suppliers that I know of. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a similar story for the K-series.

In fact for the K20C the cylinder head covers wouldn't have been made possible without two specific pieces of technology from one supplier either (one for making it thin and lightweight, the other for leading edge PCV).

Non-powertrain related, I recall that Honda's newly rediscovered love for thin and light A-pillars was enabled by hot-stamping, a process they never used before and was introduced to via their American associates and a partnership with Gestamp and ArcelorMittal. It's used all over the frame now.

I thought that was the entire point for associating closely with suppliers, treating them as "partners" rather than competitive bidders.

Although, at least in the case of the Honda Fit i-DCD fiasco, a lot of it had to do with Honda outsourcing the integration of the transmission to three separate suppliers (software interface, actuators, PCMs... like what the hell) and not understanding how to integrate it all. So there are risks associated. What is clear however, is that with cars evolving so rapidly nowadays, Honda doesn't have the resources to do all themselves.


Always nice to read your insights into Honda design and car design in general CarPhreakD!

TonyEX
Profile for TonyEX
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-07-2018 13:10
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NealX wrote:
TonyEX wrote:
NealX wrote:
TonyEX wrote:
NealX wrote:
HondaForever wrote:
...
So what's my point here? Honda, along with almost all other car manufacturers, has always outsourced a lot of their components and other items used to make their cars so I am not exactly sure where this concern about outsourcing is coming from.
...
What I am counting on for them to preserve is their expertise in integrating all these items seamlessly, in overall design, packaging, ergonomics and quality and hopefully a reputation for not screwing their customers when something goes wrong down the line. Beyond these, I couldn't care a hoot if the Collision Mitigation and Braking System was designed by Bosch or Honeywell or whoever, so long as it functions well when I need it.








Sure! But none of those are imbued with the essence of Honda so they don't really matter...



My La Black Mamba (*) and Elle est Noir (**) are imbued with the essence of Honda but you don't like them.

You just can't win with some people. ;-)

(*) Ridgeline SE
(**) Clarity FCEV, which BTW has a Honda Fuel Cell.



You're batting .500, slugger.



A-Rod!

Without steroids....


Yes, a rod.



You make a "rod" sound so awful.... It's OK, I go for the Angels. Mike Trout, Tim Salmon...

CB77
Profile for CB77
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-07-2018 13:37
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Chris_6MT wrote:
...isn’t the whole point here the incredible hubris and stubbornness that leads Honda to believe that they can do EVERYTHING better than anyone else can? And then they waste years and millions of dollars attempting to prove themselves right, while all along a solution was available on the open market.



Yes...what you are saying has some merit. It is short trip from supreme self-confidence to simple arrogance...and Mr. Honda crossed that line several times. He DID think that ONLY Honda could do certain things, and in the '50s, '60s, '70s and most of the '80s, he was right. As the company performed technical wizardry and innovative new-product development on a regular basis.

I think part of his strong-willed refusal to listen to suggestions to do it the easy way, or the way that others had always done it, came from his early successes with his audacious goals:

> Designing and marketing the biggest-selling motorized vehicle in the world...the Honda Cub

> Winning the Isle of Mann M/C races repeatedly, against Europe's best

> Entering and then dominating the U.S. M/C market with lightweight motorcycles

> Dominating GP M/C racing for every year he contested it in the '60s

>The CB750 M/C...world's first Super-bike

> The Civic

> The CVCC engine

> The Gold Wing M/C...which created the Touring M/C segment

> The Accord

> First entry from Japan into the U.S. Luxury car market

> Entering F1 racing and then dominating it for years

> The NSX


And in virtually every case, there was a strong course of Nay-sayers saying "you will not be able to do this". He took great delight in proving them wrong. So it is pretty easy to see how his confidence could turn into over-confidence. Also, Japan was accused in the '50s and early '60s as being only able to make cheap copies of other designs...which sensitized him to make sure Honda could not be accused of that.

Mr. Honda was a horrible taskmaster, ruling by fear and intimidation. When he was still in charge at Honda and I was working at American Honda, I would sometimes remark to my fellow Japanese workers that I hoped Mr. Honda would be coming to visit American Honda again sometime soon. They would look at me in horror and say "Why??" They wanted to be as far away as possible from him and his volcanic temper. Not a good management style, from today's viewpoint...but you certainly can't argue with the splendid results.

This over-confidence did start causing problems late in his time at Honda, first at the end of his presidency, and then again during his role as "Supreme Advisor" near the end of his life:

> He blew the call on the air-cooled / water-cooled engine debate (finally being overruled by his young engineers)

> And he blew the call on the need for a Honda SUV...leading to the re-badged Isuzus.


Having said all this...I think it is pretty clear that if somehow he could still be alive and in possession of all his faculties, he would be bitterly against the changes at Honda that are outlined in the article I posted. And perhaps it would be a case of him blowing another call.




TonyEX
Profile for TonyEX
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-07-2018 14:50
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honduh wrote:
CB77 wrote:
...
Mr. Ito sought to rein in the independence of Honda’s powerful research and development arm in an effort to trim spending on projects with no obvious commercial benefit—a past project had researchers studying the cockroach nervous system, according to former engineers and executives. The group still operates with its own parallel management structure, but research projects need the approval of headquarters, one of the former executives said.
...
Honda’s eventual self-driving system will likely have only a fraction of its software written by Honda engineers, said Yuji Yasui, chief engineer for autonomous vehicles.

Cockroaches? Good thing they discontinued that research before the software got too buggy. =P

Anyway, I see some of the concerns, and only hope some more "Honda"-ness makes it through. A real simple example for me is LaneWatch. Honda likely did not make the camera (probably a Sony CCD part, etc.). But that's a genius solution in our CR-V that I don't see used elsewhere.

The article focused a lot on the autonomous tech. Personally I think it is forced on the market by folks who do not like driving or don't understand the complexities and focus on some theoretical benefit. Honda-DNA, at least during Soichiro's time, was defined through attributes like practicality, and especially fun-to-drive. Autonomous tech is the anti-thesis of that, so I'd rather see Honda-DNA continue to be imprinted on driver focused applications, wherever technology takes us. Otherwise, then yes the danger is Honda becomes a manufacturer of soul-less appliances. Even their cross-town rival (Toyota) which had long sold its soul for volume and profit has recognized the dangers of that approach.



I guess I might want those "driving aids" if they could elevate my style to a Fangio/Zanardi/Senna level... you know, I point the car to the curb and the computer modulates the gas, taps the breaks, downshifts as I go to the apex, steer the back end, transfers torque as needed, taps the steering wheel like Senna to "bend around the turn" and then shifts at WOT as I sling shot from the apex into the open road....

... and then it downshifts, shifts hard as it approaches the next turn or senses a cop.

Otherwise, the only driving aid I might like would be a four wheel steer/drive system that can compensate for traction and cross winds on a long drive... Mind you, I think my old TLX with its SH-AWD was very close to it already.

Perhaps something that effectively detects black ice too.






TonyEX
Profile for TonyEX
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-07-2018 15:06
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And yet, today, he is revered.

You got to admire a person who sticks to his guns and yet admits when he has made mistakes ( the man did seem to learn from his mistakes ) and is willing to change. Even if you had to drag him to the water.

I figure he would have approved of the SUVs and the Odyssey, but he would have nixed the '12 Civic Si and the overlapping of the Legend/RL with the TL/TLX.

I wonder what he would think of the Ridgeline? It is a superb truck for 80% of all truck users.


honduh
Profile for honduh
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-07-2018 16:04
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TonyEX wrote:
honduh wrote:
CB77 wrote:
...
Mr. Ito sought to rein in the independence of Honda’s powerful research and development arm in an effort to trim spending on projects with no obvious commercial benefit—a past project had researchers studying the cockroach nervous system, according to former engineers and executives. The group still operates with its own parallel management structure, but research projects need the approval of headquarters, one of the former executives said.
...
Honda’s eventual self-driving system will likely have only a fraction of its software written by Honda engineers, said Yuji Yasui, chief engineer for autonomous vehicles.

Cockroaches? Good thing they discontinued that research before the software got too buggy. =P

Anyway, I see some of the concerns, and only hope some more "Honda"-ness makes it through. A real simple example for me is LaneWatch. Honda likely did not make the camera (probably a Sony CCD part, etc.). But that's a genius solution in our CR-V that I don't see used elsewhere.

The article focused a lot on the autonomous tech. Personally I think it is forced on the market by folks who do not like driving or don't understand the complexities and focus on some theoretical benefit. Honda-DNA, at least during Soichiro's time, was defined through attributes like practicality, and especially fun-to-drive. Autonomous tech is the anti-thesis of that, so I'd rather see Honda-DNA continue to be imprinted on driver focused applications, wherever technology takes us. Otherwise, then yes the danger is Honda becomes a manufacturer of soul-less appliances. Even their cross-town rival (Toyota) which had long sold its soul for volume and profit has recognized the dangers of that approach.



I guess I might want those "driving aids" if they could elevate my style to a Fangio/Zanardi/Senna level... you know, I point the car to the curb and the computer modulates the gas, taps the breaks, downshifts as I go to the apex, steer the back end, transfers torque as needed, taps the steering wheel like Senna to "bend around the turn" and then shifts at WOT as I sling shot from the apex into the open road....

... and then it downshifts, shifts hard as it approaches the next turn or senses a cop.

Otherwise, the only driving aid I might like would be a four wheel steer/drive system that can compensate for traction and cross winds on a long drive... Mind you, I think my old TLX with its SH-AWD was very close to it already.

Perhaps something that effectively detects black ice too.






Hmm...to me that all sounds too much like a script for Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit.

CB77
Profile for CB77
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-07-2018 18:44
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CB77 wrote:
Chris_6MT wrote:
...isn’t the whole point here the incredible hubris and stubbornness that leads Honda to believe that they can do EVERYTHING better than anyone else can? And then they waste years and millions of dollars attempting to prove themselves right, while all along a solution was available on the open market.



Yes...what you are saying has some merit. It is short trip from supreme self-confidence to simple arrogance...and Mr. Honda crossed that line several times. He DID think that ONLY Honda could do certain things, and in the '50s, '60s, '70s and most of the '80s, he was right. As the company performed technical wizardry and innovative new-product development on a regular basis.

I think part of his strong-willed refusal to listen to suggestions to do it the easy way, or the way that others had always done it, came from his early successes with his audacious goals:

> Designing and marketing the biggest-selling motorized vehicle in the world...the Honda Cub

> Winning the Isle of Mann M/C races repeatedly, against Europe's best

> Entering and then dominating the U.S. M/C market with lightweight motorcycles

> Dominating GP M/C racing for every year he contested it in the '60s

>The CB750 M/C...world's first Super-bike

> The Civic

> The CVCC engine

> The Gold Wing M/C...which created the Touring M/C segment

> The Accord

> First entry from Japan into the U.S. Luxury car market

> Entering F1 racing and then dominating it for years

> The NSX


And in virtually every case, there was a strong course of Nay-sayers saying "you will not be able to do this". He took great delight in proving them wrong. So it is pretty easy to see how his confidence could turn into over-confidence. Also, Japan was accused in the '50s and early '60s as being only able to make cheap copies of other designs...which sensitized him to make sure Honda could not be accused of that.

Mr. Honda was a horrible taskmaster, ruling by fear and intimidation. When he was still in charge at Honda and I was working at American Honda, I would sometimes remark to my fellow Japanese workers that I hoped Mr. Honda would be coming to visit American Honda again sometime soon. They would look at me in horror and say "Why??" They wanted to be as far away as possible from him and his volcanic temper. Not a good management style, from today's viewpoint...but you certainly can't argue with the splendid results.

This over-confidence did start causing problems late in his time at Honda, first at the end of his presidency, and then again during his role as "Supreme Advisor" near the end of his life:

> He blew the call on the air-cooled / water-cooled engine debate (finally being overruled by his young engineers)

> And he blew the call on the need for a Honda SUV...leading to the re-badged Isuzus.


Having said all this...I think it is pretty clear that if somehow he could still be alive and in possession of all his faculties, he would be bitterly against the changes at Honda that are outlined in the article I posted. And perhaps it would be a case of him blowing another call.




(I have been in an email dialogue with one of my Honda retiree friends...he had this to say about my post)

I tend to think of this subject somewhat in line with your thinking, and yet a bit different.

1.) To start, the 2 of us have 30+ years of direct hands-on experience working inside Honda. We saw Honda decision-making up close as it was being performed. We have deep knowledge.

Outsiders, like blog-posters and news article writers, only "know" about the surface of the moon from what they have read or heard. And the same goes for Honda decision-making. I think their level of knowledge can be fairly described as thin.

2.) I have a book titled, "Would You Kill the Fat Man?" It concerns The Trolley Problem, a branch of decision-making methodology and right and wrong. This link provides good summary - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem

When I read this book, I frequently return in my mind to hard decisions I had to make and hard decisions that I saw others, like Honda especially, make.

Admittedly, I only participated in one Honda project which concerned new product design. However, I did participate in millions of Honda decisions about process. From what I saw, there is not one standard Honda decision-making method or rule. Like the types of trees and vegetation in the forest, there are hundreds of ways decisions were and are made at Honda. Further, I did not see Honda act in a manner that would establish that "Honda can do everything better anyone else can".


3.) I think Honda frequently operates at the "edge" of engineering. CVCC is an example. That is an extremely risky venture. And Honda may succeed only only 10-15% of the time. So there is a large pool of "missed shots" (like poker hands). Some may call that waste. I do not, as long as the ratio doesn't dip too low, and the grand-slam engineering home runs are hit out of the park and past the parking lot, like CVCC.

I took away from the article an inference that current Honda management was improving its judgment in applying this technique to essential elements of the product (i.e., how its performance is created) and away from non-essentials components.



Grace141
Profile for Grace141
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-07-2018 19:44
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CB77 wrote:
CB77 wrote:
Chris_6MT wrote:
...isn’t the whole point here the incredible hubris and stubbornness that leads Honda to believe that they can do EVERYTHING better than anyone else can? And then they waste years and millions of dollars attempting to prove themselves right, while all along a solution was available on the open market.



Yes...what you are saying has some merit. It is short trip from supreme self-confidence to simple arrogance...and Mr. Honda crossed that line several times. He DID think that ONLY Honda could do certain things, and in the '50s, '60s, '70s and most of the '80s, he was right. As the company performed technical wizardry and innovative new-product development on a regular basis.

I think part of his strong-willed refusal to listen to suggestions to do it the easy way, or the way that others had always done it, came from his early successes with his audacious goals:

> Designing and marketing the biggest-selling motorized vehicle in the world...the Honda Cub

> Winning the Isle of Mann M/C races repeatedly, against Europe's best

> Entering and then dominating the U.S. M/C market with lightweight motorcycles

> Dominating GP M/C racing for every year he contested it in the '60s

>The CB750 M/C...world's first Super-bike

> The Civic

> The CVCC engine

> The Gold Wing M/C...which created the Touring M/C segment

> The Accord

> First entry from Japan into the U.S. Luxury car market

> Entering F1 racing and then dominating it for years

> The NSX


And in virtually every case, there was a strong course of Nay-sayers saying "you will not be able to do this". He took great delight in proving them wrong. So it is pretty easy to see how his confidence could turn into over-confidence. Also, Japan was accused in the '50s and early '60s as being only able to make cheap copies of other designs...which sensitized him to make sure Honda could not be accused of that.

Mr. Honda was a horrible taskmaster, ruling by fear and intimidation. When he was still in charge at Honda and I was working at American Honda, I would sometimes remark to my fellow Japanese workers that I hoped Mr. Honda would be coming to visit American Honda again sometime soon. They would look at me in horror and say "Why??" They wanted to be as far away as possible from him and his volcanic temper. Not a good management style, from today's viewpoint...but you certainly can't argue with the splendid results.

This over-confidence did start causing problems late in his time at Honda, first at the end of his presidency, and then again during his role as "Supreme Advisor" near the end of his life:

> He blew the call on the air-cooled / water-cooled engine debate (finally being overruled by his young engineers)

> And he blew the call on the need for a Honda SUV...leading to the re-badged Isuzus.


Having said all this...I think it is pretty clear that if somehow he could still be alive and in possession of all his faculties, he would be bitterly against the changes at Honda that are outlined in the article I posted. And perhaps it would be a case of him blowing another call.




(I have been in an email dialogue with one of my Honda retiree friends...he had this to say about my post)

I tend to think of this subject somewhat in line with your thinking, and yet a bit different.

1.) To start, the 2 of us have 30+ years of direct hands-on experience working inside Honda. We saw Honda decision-making up close as it was being performed. We have deep knowledge.

Outsiders, like blog-posters and news article writers, only "know" about the surface of the moon from what they have read or heard. And the same goes for Honda decision-making. I think their level of knowledge can be fairly described as thin.

2.) I have a book titled, "Would You Kill the Fat Man?" It concerns The Trolley Problem, a branch of decision-making methodology and right and wrong. This link provides good summary - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem

When I read this book, I frequently return in my mind to hard decisions I had to make and hard decisions that I saw others, like Honda especially, make.

Admittedly, I only participated in one Honda project which concerned new product design. However, I did participate in millions of Honda decisions about process. From what I saw, there is not one standard Honda decision-making method or rule. Like the types of trees and vegetation in the forest, there are hundreds of ways decisions were and are made at Honda. Further, I did not see Honda act in a manner that would establish that "Honda can do everything better anyone else can".


3.) I think Honda frequently operates at the "edge" of engineering. CVCC is an example. That is an extremely risky venture. And Honda may succeed only only 10-15% of the time. So there is a large pool of "missed shots" (like poker hands). Some may call that waste. I do not, as long as the ratio doesn't dip too low, and the grand-slam engineering home runs are hit out of the park and past the parking lot, like CVCC.

I took away from the article an inference that current Honda management was improving its judgment in applying this technique to essential elements of the product (i.e., how its performance is created) and away from non-essentials components.


OK, this is sounding a little more like what I refer to as the managerment skill of allowing Einstein to be Einstein. Cold, calculated business decisions are always built on a foundation of faith.

As for the moral implications built into a decision making process, it's a good question as a thought process but "all things being equal" never happens. The trolley is never allowed to go out of control and there is never a fat man standing conveniently on a bridge. If the question is why an automobile manufacturer would build a factory in a flood prone area, that's another matter.

HondaForever
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Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-08-2018 09:07
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Grace141 wrote:
CB77 wrote:
CB77 wrote:
Chris_6MT wrote:
...isn’t the whole point here the incredible hubris and stubbornness that leads Honda to believe that they can do EVERYTHING better than anyone else can? And then they waste years and millions of dollars attempting to prove themselves right, while all along a solution was available on the open market.



Yes...what you are saying has some merit. It is short trip from supreme self-confidence to simple arrogance...and Mr. Honda crossed that line several times. He DID think that ONLY Honda could do certain things, and in the '50s, '60s, '70s and most of the '80s, he was right. As the company performed technical wizardry and innovative new-product development on a regular basis.

I think part of his strong-willed refusal to listen to suggestions to do it the easy way, or the way that others had always done it, came from his early successes with his audacious goals:

> Designing and marketing the biggest-selling motorized vehicle in the world...the Honda Cub

> Winning the Isle of Mann M/C races repeatedly, against Europe's best

> Entering and then dominating the U.S. M/C market with lightweight motorcycles

> Dominating GP M/C racing for every year he contested it in the '60s

>The CB750 M/C...world's first Super-bike

> The Civic

> The CVCC engine

> The Gold Wing M/C...which created the Touring M/C segment

> The Accord

> First entry from Japan into the U.S. Luxury car market

> Entering F1 racing and then dominating it for years

> The NSX


And in virtually every case, there was a strong course of Nay-sayers saying "you will not be able to do this". He took great delight in proving them wrong. So it is pretty easy to see how his confidence could turn into over-confidence. Also, Japan was accused in the '50s and early '60s as being only able to make cheap copies of other designs...which sensitized him to make sure Honda could not be accused of that.

Mr. Honda was a horrible taskmaster, ruling by fear and intimidation. When he was still in charge at Honda and I was working at American Honda, I would sometimes remark to my fellow Japanese workers that I hoped Mr. Honda would be coming to visit American Honda again sometime soon. They would look at me in horror and say "Why??" They wanted to be as far away as possible from him and his volcanic temper. Not a good management style, from today's viewpoint...but you certainly can't argue with the splendid results.

This over-confidence did start causing problems late in his time at Honda, first at the end of his presidency, and then again during his role as "Supreme Advisor" near the end of his life:

> He blew the call on the air-cooled / water-cooled engine debate (finally being overruled by his young engineers)

> And he blew the call on the need for a Honda SUV...leading to the re-badged Isuzus.


Having said all this...I think it is pretty clear that if somehow he could still be alive and in possession of all his faculties, he would be bitterly against the changes at Honda that are outlined in the article I posted. And perhaps it would be a case of him blowing another call.




(I have been in an email dialogue with one of my Honda retiree friends...he had this to say about my post)

I tend to think of this subject somewhat in line with your thinking, and yet a bit different.

1.) To start, the 2 of us have 30+ years of direct hands-on experience working inside Honda. We saw Honda decision-making up close as it was being performed. We have deep knowledge.

Outsiders, like blog-posters and news article writers, only "know" about the surface of the moon from what they have read or heard. And the same goes for Honda decision-making. I think their level of knowledge can be fairly described as thin.

2.) I have a book titled, "Would You Kill the Fat Man?" It concerns The Trolley Problem, a branch of decision-making methodology and right and wrong. This link provides good summary - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem

When I read this book, I frequently return in my mind to hard decisions I had to make and hard decisions that I saw others, like Honda especially, make.

Admittedly, I only participated in one Honda project which concerned new product design. However, I did participate in millions of Honda decisions about process. From what I saw, there is not one standard Honda decision-making method or rule. Like the types of trees and vegetation in the forest, there are hundreds of ways decisions were and are made at Honda. Further, I did not see Honda act in a manner that would establish that "Honda can do everything better anyone else can".


3.) I think Honda frequently operates at the "edge" of engineering. CVCC is an example. That is an extremely risky venture. And Honda may succeed only only 10-15% of the time. So there is a large pool of "missed shots" (like poker hands). Some may call that waste. I do not, as long as the ratio doesn't dip too low, and the grand-slam engineering home runs are hit out of the park and past the parking lot, like CVCC.

I took away from the article an inference that current Honda management was improving its judgment in applying this technique to essential elements of the product (i.e., how its performance is created) and away from non-essentials components.


... If the question is why an automobile manufacturer would build a factory in a flood prone area, that's another matter.


Decisions as to where to build or not build to avoid flooding are usually based on the propensity for that area to flood in 50, 100, perhaps even 1000 years. Such decisions may now appear foolish but one cannot exactly blame those who made them at the time. The old flooding charts now appear to be completely obsolete due to that phenomenon which shall not be mentioned here on TOV.

CB77
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Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-08-2018 10:06
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(Another observation from one of my fellow Honda retirees)

Hmmm, interesting debate. There is a bit more to it than "incredible" hubris.. The old man's great difficulty in the manufacture of the simple piston ring during WWII may have set the stage for his "stubbornness" in fac ut fungatur, AKA making it work. He learned to engage the help of great talent in the names of Fujisawa for business and Kawashima for engineering, the other two founders of the Honda Motor Company.

Another talent was Yoshio Nakamura who led the design of many powerplants for the Grand Prix circuits, including the F1 car that won the Mexican Grand Prix as well as the motorcycle events. Not long after the Mexican Grand Prix Nakamura was exiled to London for several years because of his stubbornness about the need to use liquid cooling in auto engines against the old man's stubbornness to use air cooling.

This all came to a head with the development of the N1300 Sedan, the air cooled car with the cooling passages cast into the major architecture of the engine. Following the N1300 debacle the very good liquid cooled Civic 1200cc engine followed and Nakamura was back in the good graces of Mister Honda. The old man had submitted and the company survived.

Honda invested a great deal (600~800 engineers and technicians) in the development of the CVCC combustion system, which was in production for a short time to be superseded by electronic fuel injection and catalytic converter which was a much simpler and less expensive way to go. The CVCC did prove a point and it also gave Honda a great deal of good press and prestige. By the way, the CVCC concept was first proposed by Harry Ricardo in 1922 and Honda was the first company to put it into practice at great cost. The electronic fuel injection demonstrated the need to engage outside talents from other companies to meet the rules mandated by governments.


Chris_6MT
Profile for Chris_6MT
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-08-2018 12:18
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This is a very interesting discussion and I appreciate all of the input from the long-time Honda associates, it certainly paints a much clearer and more accurate picture.

I still go back to the self confidence vs arrogance point. Remember that there is always a finite pool of talent and funding. I think that there is a huge difference between spending resources on new technology that may or may not work, and choosing to divert those funds into systems that already exist on the open market.

CVCC and all the other examples provided demonstrate when Honda took a chance and succeeded with a new idea or venture. For every one CVCC or VTEC or SH AWD etc there are probably 10 like the oval piston engine or air cooled sedan that failed miserably. There are lots of great stories about Honda’s successful and failed developments on the Honda global r&d website. Mr. Honda was a great leader in that he pushed his people to continue working on things that he believed in. It was his company, and he had enough positive reinforcement over the years to be sure of himself.

But here is the crux of the original article - what of trying to develop a technology or system that already exists instead of just buying it from the marketplace? Did Honda have an idea of how to make it better, or were they simply just trying to make their own for the sake of making their own? If the answer is the latter, that to me is arrogance and hubris which diverts valuable research resources away from potentially beneficial projects. A company should always play within its expertise and knowledge and let suppliers handle the rest, unless there are truly some ground breaking ideas. There is nothing wrong and no shame with using the same proven and effective system that Toyota or GM uses. Honda is a relatively small company and cannot survive long-term without relying on the expertise and technology of specialized suppliers.

NealX
Profile for NealX
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-08-2018 13:01
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Chris_6MT wrote:
Honda is a relatively small company and cannot survive long-term without relying on the expertise and technology of specialized suppliers.

Start saving money right now and cut Acura loose.

And sells more NSXs by simply replacing the badge.

HondaForever
Profile for HondaForever
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-08-2018 13:43
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Chris_6MT wrote:
...But here is the crux of the original article - what of trying to develop a technology or system that already exists instead of just buying it from the marketplace? Did Honda have an idea of how to make it better, or were they simply just trying to make their own for the sake of making their own? If the answer is the latter, that to me is arrogance and hubris which diverts valuable research resources away from potentially beneficial projects. A company should always play within its expertise and knowledge and let suppliers handle the rest, unless there are truly some ground breaking ideas. There is nothing wrong and no shame with using the same proven and effective system that Toyota or GM uses. Honda is a relatively small company and cannot survive long-term without relying on the expertise and technology of specialized suppliers.

I understand where you are coming from, but I think it's perhaps a little bit more complicated than simply buying technology from the outside because it already exists there.

Again, I am sure I am not telling you something you don't already know, but I think this is worth repeating here for completeness: The decision as to what you should make internally or outsource is not simply a question of does it already exist. I think it goes to what you consider your core technology and reason for being. Airbus could probably have bought their airplane wings from Boeing, but they decided, obviously to make them themselves (assuming Boeing would've sold them a wings in the first place).

The problem with outsourcing is you risk not having any control over researching and developing new versions of this this item. You have no control over your costs and your competitors can buy same from the same vendor as you, removing any competitive advantage in this area, so it's important to constantly be evaluating what you can SUCCESSFULLY bring in-house and what needs to be kept with outside vendors.

And, of course, the outside vendor may, at some point decide not to supply you with the part any longer (recall the fact that we are constantly embargoing some items going to some foreign countries) or in other cases, they may go into business to compete with you as the Chinese have been known to do!

Does it mean you should make every part yourself? Of course not. But it's a fairly complicated dance trying to decide what to do in-house and what to outsource. I am not sure it is simply a matter of buying the part outside simply because it is available outside.

I suspect that is not what you meant to imply, but I thought this clarification was important.








TonyEX
Profile for TonyEX
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-08-2018 14:17
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In my experience watching "Hondaness", I see that they are willing to think out of the box.

Like, for example, looking at those empty fields around the Marysville campus and deciding it would be a great place to grow world class soy beans that could be shipped to Japan.

World class Honda soybeans. World class Honda tofu (Meiji Tofu in Gardena).

So, my Hondacars are Powered by Honda Tofu.... you can't say that about GM, Toyota, Subaru.

They do take risks. Perhaps this is why their behavior post Quake and Credit Krunch were so alarming. They suddenly went "conservative" on us.

Yet, they didn't stop working on iMMD, iDCD, FCEV, PHEV, Honda Jet, Electric Cub, etc...

IMHO, your concerns are understable. There IS a difference between the old timers and the new ones. I know this for a fact in the little part of Honda I know. (*) The Old Timers are Car People. They LOVE cars, they love the company for which they have worked for so long (**), the new ones seem to be interchangeable... AHM today, TMS tomorrow.

(*) Plus of course meeting my wife's old friend-acquaintances at the Classic Japanese Car Show in SoCal. Wanna see classic Hondas maintained better than new? There was an N360 with a sticker on the back: "Real Size"... it was so tiny! And, BTW, you ought to come down and check out the Honda motorcycles (check out the turbos) and then those Non Honda triples,

(**) One of the best times in my life was when my Better Half got this job. She showed up in her brand new Red '89 CRX Si ( my birthday gift for her) for the interview. Obviously, she got the job -met all the requirements/expectations and she was driving a stick shift Honda sport coupe while wearing 4 inch dress pumps!!! They noted that. We already had had Hondas for a while so it was awesome. She still loves cars (***). When we met, we shared the same tire/wheel size in our Datsuns -eventually the same mechanic/shop too.

(***) Funny, she's been driving the Ridgeline this last month. Hmm.. sounds like she's figured out how to use that torque vectoring AWD.. in the freeway. Did you know the "secret" high speed chicanes on the 405? You know, those interchanges/exits that parallel the freeway and go in and out? Like the Southbound 405/710... WAIT!!! No! That's a secret!




Power Of Dreams
Profile for Power Of Dreams
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-08-2018 14:17
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Just me speaking out of my butt, but this gigantic bet from Ford and friends on how all cars will be autonomous in the near, and I emphasize, near future is baloney.

I hope that every Honda I buy in the future will at least have a Honda-designed ICE, chassis and preferably the transmission. May that POS ZF9HP debacle (in real life testing, the three extra gears over the Honda 6AT didn't make a measurable MPG difference) never happen again. If I wanted a German transmission, I'd buy a German car.

As for locks and electronics and the rest, meh.

Power Of Dreams
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Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-08-2018 14:30
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By the way, we need to remember that Honda and BMW are the two last true independents amongst major global automakers.

I'm sure both companies are scared of ending up like Jaguar Land Rover, where a surprising amount of the car's engineering is outsourced to ZF, Continental and Bosch...

When I was reading about how Kawamoto and Yoshino were trying to guide Honda away from a takeover in the late '90s, early 2000's, especially since Juergen Schrempp at DaimlerChrysler and Jac Nasser at Ford had their knives out, it made me understand why Honda had to transform away from the wonderful esoterica of counter-clockwise engines and double-wishbone everything.

TonyEX
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Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-08-2018 14:47
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HondaForever wrote:
Chris_6MT wrote:
...But here is the crux of the original article - what of trying to develop a technology or system that already exists instead of just buying it from the marketplace? Did Honda have an idea of how to make it better, or were they simply just trying to make their own for the sake of making their own? If the answer is the latter, that to me is arrogance and hubris which diverts valuable research resources away from potentially beneficial projects. A company should always play within its expertise and knowledge and let suppliers handle the rest, unless there are truly some ground breaking ideas. There is nothing wrong and no shame with using the same proven and effective system that Toyota or GM uses. Honda is a relatively small company and cannot survive long-term without relying on the expertise and technology of specialized suppliers.

I understand where you are coming from, but I think it's perhaps a little bit more complicated than simply buying technology from the outside because it already exists there.

Again, I am sure I am not telling you something you don't already know, but I think this is worth repeating here for completeness: The decision as to what you should make internally or outsource is not simply a question of does it already exist. I think it goes to what you consider your core technology and reason for being. Airbus could probably have bought their airplane wings from Boeing, but they decided, obviously to make them themselves (assuming Boeing would've sold them a wings in the first place).

The problem with outsourcing is you risk not having any control over researching and developing new versions of this this item. You have no control over your costs and your competitors can buy same from the same vendor as you, removing any competitive advantage in this area, so it's important to constantly be evaluating what you can SUCCESSFULLY bring in-house and what needs to be kept with outside vendors.

And, of course, the outside vendor may, at some point decide not to supply you with the part any longer (recall the fact that we are constantly embargoing some items going to some foreign countries) or in other cases, they may go into business to compete with you as the Chinese have been known to do!

Does it mean you should make every part yourself? Of course not. But it's a fairly complicated dance trying to decide what to do in-house and what to outsource. I am not sure it is simply a matter of buying the part outside simply because it is available outside.




IMHO, using the wing is a terrible example, since the wing IS the airplane. Like Toyota buying Subaru and BMW engines.. worse than Honda badging an Isuzu as a Passport.

I think that Honda is sticking to their core competencies. And the failures we see are from outsourced parts from their Tier One suppliers. The NAVI, for example, is one of the biggest issues with Hondacars, but it is not a Honda part, it's manufactured by someone else. IMHO, AHM needs to exercise more control in the specification process and perhaps pay a little bit more for the R&D costs.

In powertrains, AHM seems to do fine. And in the case where they decided to outsource the 9AT they got hosed ( or many chose the wrong transmission ).

Overall, I think the R&D and manufacturing throughout HMC is fine.

Now, if they'd fix their marketing and tone down their car designs...

I'd like to see HMC go back to being a company run by engineers... that worked fine when the global run rate was under 600K cars (*). I don't know if it would work today, they might need help from marketing.. but not so much.


(*) Remember the years when the US Accord started to sell 400K per year?

The year that the Accord outsold the Camry for the first time? Man, my wife used to get cake at work all the time.. specially in the Glory days of CART. The years that AHM sold the Accord, Civic, CRX, Prelude, Integra, Vigor, Legend and NSX.... those were heady days.

IMHO, Scott Goodyear at the '95 Indy 500 epitomized everything that was -and is- good about HMC. Damn the convention, stick to your guns! And yes, the win was stolen, yet Honda eventually came back, after the IRL-CART split, and won it.


HondaForever
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Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-08-2018 15:08
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TonyEX wrote:
HondaForever wrote:
Chris_6MT wrote:
...But here is the crux of the original article - what of trying to develop a technology or system that already exists instead of just buying it from the marketplace? Did Honda have an idea of how to make it better, or were they simply just trying to make their own for the sake of making their own? If the answer is the latter, that to me is arrogance and hubris which diverts valuable research resources away from potentially beneficial projects. A company should always play within its expertise and knowledge and let suppliers handle the rest, unless there are truly some ground breaking ideas. There is nothing wrong and no shame with using the same proven and effective system that Toyota or GM uses. Honda is a relatively small company and cannot survive long-term without relying on the expertise and technology of specialized suppliers.

I understand where you are coming from, but I think it's perhaps a little bit more complicated than simply buying technology from the outside because it already exists there.

Again, I am sure I am not telling you something you don't already know, but I think this is worth repeating here for completeness: The decision as to what you should make internally or outsource is not simply a question of does it already exist. I think it goes to what you consider your core technology and reason for being. Airbus could probably have bought their airplane wings from Boeing, but they decided, obviously to make them themselves (assuming Boeing would've sold them a wings in the first place).

The problem with outsourcing is you risk not having any control over researching and developing new versions of this this item. You have no control over your costs and your competitors can buy same from the same vendor as you, removing any competitive advantage in this area, so it's important to constantly be evaluating what you can SUCCESSFULLY bring in-house and what needs to be kept with outside vendors.

And, of course, the outside vendor may, at some point decide not to supply you with the part any longer (recall the fact that we are constantly embargoing some items going to some foreign countries) or in other cases, they may go into business to compete with you as the Chinese have been known to do!

Does it mean you should make every part yourself? Of course not. But it's a fairly complicated dance trying to decide what to do in-house and what to outsource. I am not sure it is simply a matter of buying the part outside simply because it is available outside.




IMHO, using the wing is a terrible example, since the wing IS the airplane. Like Toyota buying Subaru and BMW engines.. worse than Honda badging an Isuzu as a Passport.



Agreed completely, Tony. Terrible example to drive home the point that simply because others can supply the part (after all Boeing has been doing this, for what, 100 years?) does not mean that Airbus should outsource it to them. Sometimes, it is best to develop your own with all the pain that goes with it, as this particular example demonstrates.

Which is why there is no one decision making process that leads to "outsource ..do not outsource." In fact what may make sense for Toyota might be the height of stupidity for Honda.


Chris_6MT
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Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-08-2018 18:43
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HondaForever wrote:
Chris_6MT wrote:
...But here is the crux of the original article - what of trying to develop a technology or system that already exists instead of just buying it from the marketplace? Did Honda have an idea of how to make it better, or were they simply just trying to make their own for the sake of making their own? If the answer is the latter, that to me is arrogance and hubris which diverts valuable research resources away from potentially beneficial projects. A company should always play within its expertise and knowledge and let suppliers handle the rest, unless there are truly some ground breaking ideas. There is nothing wrong and no shame with using the same proven and effective system that Toyota or GM uses. Honda is a relatively small company and cannot survive long-term without relying on the expertise and technology of specialized suppliers.

I understand where you are coming from, but I think it's perhaps a little bit more complicated than simply buying technology from the outside because it already exists there.

Again, I am sure I am not telling you something you don't already know, but I think this is worth repeating here for completeness: The decision as to what you should make internally or outsource is not simply a question of does it already exist. I think it goes to what you consider your core technology and reason for being. Airbus could probably have bought their airplane wings from Boeing, but they decided, obviously to make them themselves (assuming Boeing would've sold them a wings in the first place).

The problem with outsourcing is you risk not having any control over researching and developing new versions of this this item. You have no control over your costs and your competitors can buy same from the same vendor as you, removing any competitive advantage in this area, so it's important to constantly be evaluating what you can SUCCESSFULLY bring in-house and what needs to be kept with outside vendors.

And, of course, the outside vendor may, at some point decide not to supply you with the part any longer (recall the fact that we are constantly embargoing some items going to some foreign countries) or in other cases, they may go into business to compete with you as the Chinese have been known to do!

Does it mean you should make every part yourself? Of course not. But it's a fairly complicated dance trying to decide what to do in-house and what to outsource. I am not sure it is simply a matter of buying the part outside simply because it is available outside.

I suspect that is not what you meant to imply, but I thought this clarification was important.










I agree 100% with your points. I was referring to readily made off the shelf components, or suppliers who have much greater expertise in an area that the OE does not.

Working as a supplier may jade me, as I said initially. Especially trying to supply parts to Honda, only to have them “borrow” important design details and make it themselves or source them to keiretsu suppliers.

CarPhreakD
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Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-09-2018 01:36
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Well being a supplier of any type is already pretty punishing (and I would personally try to never do it again); but if Honda dumped you, it's probably because of your quality department's interaction with them, or delays in program timing (essentially the same reasons the big 3 would dump you, except the biggest component for them is cost and Honda seems to be more about 'service' and new technology). I also have not seen an instance of IP being taken and moved to another supplier, at least for mature products- I'd be interested in seeing an example of this.

Let me put it this way: After 5+ recalls, Honda hadn't dumped any of the suppliers involved with the Fit i-DCD fiasco. In fact those same suppliers ended up working on the NSX.


Chris_6MT
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Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-09-2018 09:26
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CarPhreakD wrote:
Well being a supplier of any type is already pretty punishing (and I would personally try to never do it again); but if Honda dumped you, it's probably because of your quality department's interaction with them, or delays in program timing (essentially the same reasons the big 3 would dump you, except the biggest component for them is cost and Honda seems to be more about 'service' and new technology). I also have not seen an instance of IP being taken and moved to another supplier, at least for mature products- I'd be interested in seeing an example of this.

Let me put it this way: After 5+ recalls, Honda hadn't dumped any of the suppliers involved with the Fit i-DCD fiasco. In fact those same suppliers ended up working on the NSX.




None of the above. Honda strongly favors existing suppliers, for the reasons you outlined, right or wrong. I am not knocking the company, they do not do bad or dishonest business.

Toyota is the worst. My former employer got to the point where they refused to make any detailed. design proposals to them as they were a deep, dark pit of wasted resources and IP theft.

CB77
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Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-09-2018 11:06
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(Another observation from another of my Honda retiree friends)


In a strange way, all comments (pro and con) on this article are legitimate..……However, from a long-time Honda associate point of view, the comments on the article appeared to be focused on the 'technical arrangements' being made by Honda -- whilst from my point of view, the most important piece in the article (and the whole point) was a change in thinking which was completely opposite to the philosophy of Soichiro Honda.

“...Takanobu Ito sought to rein in the independence of Honda’s powerful research and development arm in an effort to trim spending on projects with no obvious commercial benefit…”

This is why Ito didn't last very long, thanks to the 'old boys club' represented by Kawamoto-san who, according to reports, explained to Ito how to not let the door hit him in the rear, on the way out of Aoyama. It appears that Ito was more interested in the proverbial bottom-line, than he was about the customer.

Reining in the R&D groups creativity would certainly cause Mr. Honda to turn in his grave at a speed with which he was all too familiar - around 23,000 RPM...…and R&D Tsuru-san would obviously agree with him.

“...Honda is changing things that Honda should not change,” said Hideaki Tsuru, who worked in Honda’s R&D arm for 20 years until retiring in 2016. He said making unique products is “Honda’s soul...”


Obviously, Tsuru-san is just like most of the other long-time Honda enthusiasts and employees. It is all about the 'Dream'.



RolledaNsx
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Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-09-2018 12:36
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CB77 wrote:

(Another observation from another of my Honda retiree friends)


In a strange way, all comments (pro and con) on this article are legitimate..……However, from a long-time Honda associate point of view, the comments on the article appeared to be focused on the 'technical arrangements' being made by Honda -- whilst from my point of view, the most important piece in the article (and the whole point) was a change in thinking which was completely opposite to the philosophy of Soichiro Honda.

“...Takanobu Ito sought to rein in the independence of Honda’s powerful research and development arm in an effort to trim spending on projects with no obvious commercial benefit…”

This is why Ito didn't last very long, thanks to the 'old boys club' represented by Kawamoto-san who, according to reports, explained to Ito how to not let the door hit him in the rear, on the way out of Aoyama. It appears that Ito was more interested in the proverbial bottom-line, than he was about the customer.

Reining in the R&D groups creativity would certainly cause Mr. Honda to turn in his grave at a speed with which he was all too familiar - around 23,000 RPM...…and R&D Tsuru-san would obviously agree with him.

“...Honda is changing things that Honda should not change,” said Hideaki Tsuru, who worked in Honda’s R&D arm for 20 years until retiring in 2016. He said making unique products is “Honda’s soul...”


Obviously, Tsuru-san is just like most of the other long-time Honda enthusiasts and employees. It is all about the 'Dream'.





Ito became a dictator in his push to become GM/Toyota.

The new CEO is working on fixing the last two CEO's power grab.He's giving the power back to each R&D group(he signs off on it rather than making all the decisions like Ito did).

CB77
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Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-09-2018 14:08
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Some thoughts on Mr. Honda's retirement...


It was late summer of 1973. Ford and Chrysler had both bought the rights to CVCC. The stock market had taken notice of this and the stock took off. I didn't have a lot of money to invest back then, but I scraped together all I could and bought Honda stock at about 55 or 60 (it had been at 28 before the CVCC was announced). I was just certain that once GM bought the rights to CVCC, the stock would skyrocket even further. But as summer turned into Fall and then Winter, and GM continued to resist buying CVCC, the stock started falling from its lofty perch of $120/share. Like an idiot, I kept waiting for GM to buy the rights to CVCC...which kept not happening. Finally, as the stock approached what I had paid for it, I bailed out...profiting nothing, whereas I could have doubled my money if I had bailed at $120.

Here is an article with the details of Mr. Honda's retirement:



"Retreating in Manly Fashion"

"I will leave the company at the end of the fiscal term," Fujisawa told Nishida in March 1973, thus ordering Nishida to "tell President Honda that" on his behalf. At the time, however, Honda was away in China on business, meaning that Fujisawa's decision had not resulted from a proper conversation with Honda. Therefore, all Nishida could do was wait for Honda's return to Haneda Airport, and pass on Fujisawa's message concerning his wish to retire. Honda, though, had not been expecting it. He thought about it for a moment, and then told Nishida, "I can't be the president without Takeo Fujisawa. If the executive vice-president is quitting, then I'll quit with him."

When Fujisawa learned of Honda's words, he felt he had made the first big mistake in his long relationship with Honda. He had done it in the belief that Honda would need additional time in order to think things through. He regretted not having spoken to Soichiro earlier about his wish to retire.

Recalled Kawashima, "When I was about to take over the post of president, all Mr. Honda said to me was, 'So, we'll resign, now. I'll leave the president's job to you.' I think he was somewhat prepared for that moment, what with the 'air-cooled versus water-cooled engine debate' and his retirement from the presidency of Honda R&D. And when he heard that Mr. Fujisawa was quitting, he immediately thought of his own timing to quit. He knew he couldn't stay by himself and simply let Mr. Fujisawa, his founding partner, quit. That's how thoughtful Honda was."

Thus ended the collaboration between Soichiro Honda and Takeo Fujisawa in which they founded a hugely successful company by uniting behind the fulfillment of a single vision. The joint retirement of the company's two top leaders created a sensation among the public. Not only were the two young enough by social standards to provide many more years of useful service (Honda was 65 and Fujisawa was 61), but Kawashima, who was informally designated as the next president, was also unusually young, at 45. Moreover, the new president was not related to either of the two founders. This turn of events proved conclusively to the people of Japan that Honda was not a typical, family-owned company.

The company itself showed remarkably little confusion about the transition, owing to the fact that Kawashima had already played the role of leader among Honda's four senior managing directors, promoting NHP throughout the organization. It also was reassuring that the remaining directors were continuing in support of his leadership. Therefore, after the retirement decision had become final, Fujisawa spoke to Mr. Honda. Fujisawa looked back on that meeting in the following passage from his August 1973 "Words at Retirement":

(Mr. Honda) signaled me with his eyes to come over, so I went along with him.
"It was all right," he said to me.
"Yes, it was all right," I responded.
"We've had a happy life," he said.
"Yes, I've had a really happy life, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart," I said.
"I thank you, too," he said. "It has been a great life."

That was the end of our discussion on retirement.

The company's founders officially retired together at the Meeting of Shareholders held in October 1973, on the 25th anniversary of Honda's establishment. With that, they assumed their lifetime positions as Supreme Advisors.




 
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