By on December 17, 2008

Autocar [UK] reports that Honda CEO Takeo Fukui slipped this little nugget into his end of year speech: the new NSX is toast. While the fact that Honda has also deep-sixed their plans to introduce the Acura brand to Japan in 2010 (reported by Bertel this morning), the death of the NSX will likely catch the eye of the enthusiast press. It’s something of a climb-down for the HoMoCo CEO, who told Autocar last year that “The new supercar is necessary for Honda.” Of course, that’s so last year, what with Marketwatch reporting that Honda cash flow isn’t. More specifically, Bloomberg tells us “Sales are forecast to drop 13% to 10.4 trillion yen, down from the previous estimate of a 3% drop to 11.6 trillion yen. Operating profit will likely drop 81% to 180 billion yen, worse than the 42% decline to 550 billion yen that had been expected.” In other words, this is Honda’s second revised fiscal outlook in two months. In case you missed that, “The situation is worsening by the day and shows no sign of recovery,” Fukui pronounced at a press conference in Tokyo Wednesday. And this is a business in which we want Uncle Sam to invest?

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24 Comments on “Honda Kills NSX as Net Income Falls 62%...”


  • avatar
    Michael Ayoub

    I can’t say I’m surprised. Hopefully, though, the car will rise again after this Carpocalypse. And, hopefully, the engine will be in the correct place when that does happen.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    Automakers fate should be completely left to the markets. It’s a mature industry with little profit potential.

    Honda should be working on bringing back the Beat, not the NSX, but that is only because I want one.

  • avatar
    Qusus

    Right now I feel like Joe the Plumber: I’m totally upset about something that won’t ever affect me anyways.

  • avatar
    SkiD666

    Honda posted a 1H profit of $3.4 billion, and estimate a 2H loss of $1.4 billion (fiscal year April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009).

    So any bets on whether or not Honda will make a profit in the next fiscal year (April 2009 to March 2010)?

    You also have to wonder how much Toyota’s loss will be.

  • avatar
    WhatTheHel

    Maybe they should cancel bullsh*t projects like their stupid BMW X6 competitor instead.
    NoSlushbox is right… bring us the Beat. Bring us products that made Honda famous in the first place.
    Chop two doors off the Fit & then widen it and lower the seating position & the roofline. Shoehorn in the K20A3 or the Civic engine and call that the CR-X successor not that stupid overpriced CR-Z nonsense.

  • avatar
    26theone

    November sales data shows Honda only sold 2466 S2000′s YTD. I cant imagine there is much market for the NSX.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    “Operating profit will likely drop 81% to 180 billion yen”

    Honda will make only ~$200 million in profit, and they regard it as a reason to panic. If the ever shrinking 3 had thought that way, they might not have gotten into the fix they are in.

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    That sucks I hope it doesn’t completely die and they bring it back when they see profits again.

    You also have to wonder how much Toyota’s loss will be.

    I wonder how much GM’s loss will be. They were losing several billion a year while Toyota and Honda were making big profits. If Toyota and Honda start having billion dollar losses GM will probably have losses of $20-30 billion next year.

  • avatar
    Eric_Stepans

    As previously disclosed, I work for American Honda as an independent contractor.

    We just had a department meeting outlining our responsibilities for the upcoming model year.

    When I had a few minutes to think about, it boiled down to this:

    –We’ll be doing 15% more work than last year (due to new model introductions).

    –We’ll be doing it with 15% less staff than last year.

    –We’ll be trying to get the work done 20% faster than last year.

    Honda is doing what it has to (dropping out of F1, dumping the NSX, etc.) to stay solvent in the global depression.

    @WhatTheHel — If the “X6 competitor” is the vehicle I’ve heard (very little) about, it has not been canceled.

    As for the CR-Z, I think asserting that it’s ‘stupid overpriced nonsense’ is a bit premature.

    You may be confusing the CR-Z with the (probably delayed now) S2000 replacement. My understanding is that the CR-Z will be an entry-level model, much like the CRX. The S2000 replacement will be (if/when it comes to market) a relatively expensive hard-core sports car, and scuttlebutt is that it might be moved into the Acura lineup.

    OTOH, they keep us on a “need-to-know” basis (which can get frustrating when we need to know more than management thinks we do…;-D…), so your information may be better than mine…:-D…

  • avatar
    snabster

    with the ultra-strong yen, I don’t see how the japanese will continue to sell cars to us. 88 yen to the dollar — and it will go higher.

    and yes, i know they make them some of them here but repatriated profits will go down as well thanks to the yen.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    ” … with the ultra-strong yen, I don’t see how the japanese will continue to sell cars to us. 88 yen to the dollar — and it will go higher.”

    They will do it by building them in North America like they already build a majority of their US market vehicles. With the new lower demand level Honda probably has sufficient NA capacity to build everything here.

  • avatar

    While it wasn’t likely that I could afford this any time soon anyway, it does not help the previous models’ value in my case as I was hoping they would go down once these new models came out.

    I still think the original NSX is a beautiful looking car.

  • avatar
    jaje

    Can they sell that engine note simulator on new Civics. That prototype NSX engine sound was heavenly!

  • avatar
    dreamtech

    THE BAD ECONOMIC CLIMATE IS NOT THE REASON FOR THE CANCELLATION!!!! The real reason is that the design sucked! The engineering was done a long time ago, but the Honda couldn`t get the styling right. The had to postpone the car for 2 years to due the styling problems. Insiders at Honda, tell me the design simply is not worthy of the engineering. I feel so sad for all the designers that have been tortured but the retarded Honda management that clearly knows little about emotional supercar styling. The next NSX is a Halo car, it represents the lastest and greatest that Honda can acheive. It would have be a huge advertisement for the Acura Brand.

    Where is the real Honda spirit?? They gave up. If this car was going to launch in 2010, than the car would have surely been almost ready for production by now, with almost all the production feasibility finished. I think Honda still didn`t have an adequate design and is using the economy as an excuse to cancel the project. If the project was on schedule, it would be too late to cancel it; as all the tooling, etc would be already set in motion for production.

    Honda is lame and so are there design managers; and there design by committee style. I wish they could show there design leadership. Who is there Chris Bangle, Bob Lutz, or Shiro Nakamura. I think its there house robot Asimo!

    Well done Honda. F1 and NSX….bye bye

  • avatar
    Pch101

    At this moment, there isn’t much of a need for halo cars. Glamor is out of fashion, and all of the auto companies, save for the exotics, need to go easy on the glitz if they want to avoid alienating the audience.

    When the mood changes, the car will come back. Surely, it was never intended to be profitable, so the projected sales are largely irrelevant, anyway.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    At least Honda is reacting strong and fast. Of course, they went through this scenario in Japan during the careers of the executives in power now.

  • avatar
    compy386

    180 billion yen in operating income is pretty bad. That’s about 2 billion dollars which is what Ford made in Q3 2008. Now Ford has a lot more debt than Honda, but being a little bit better than Ford is good reason to worry. Also Honda may be building a lot of cars in the US but a lot of the cost of vehicles is engineering. If you’re paying engineers in appreciating yen and selling cars in depreciating dollars then that spells trouble.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    I agree that part of the reason for this has to be that they weren’t sure where to take the NSX. The concepts were widely panned. F1 wasn’t any different – easier to cancel something that isn’t working.

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    At least it gives them an out so they don’t have to try to beat the Corvette ZR1 and GT-R on the ‘Ring, cars that were much less expensive than what the NSX was rumored to be priced at.

  • avatar
    jybt

    So it’s being canceled because you want to build more fuel-efficient vehicles? So why did you start trying to build it anyways, if you weren’t going to put it out?

    Anyways, you’re the greenest carmaker in America – it won’t hurt your CAFE total that much.

    Nissan is clearly in more financial trouble than you are, they are less “green”, and yet they still built the GT-R. Why, then, do you see a need to cancel the NSX?

    I thought Honda’s people were dumb before, even though their cars are great…

  • avatar
    200k-min

    No complaints here. A NSX that isn’t mid-engine isn’t an NSX I would ever want to own.

    The original NSX is still a beautiful vehicle and hopefully someday I have one in my garage.

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    It was canceled because halo cars like the NSX almost always lose money, even in a good economy.

  • avatar
    WhatTheHel

    Eric_Stepans,
    I’m basing the CR-Z price on the rumored base price 25,000 euros which is over $40,000 Canadian to me. I realize European prices are not mirrored to ours but I used it as a guesstimate.

    The X6 competitor I mentioned is the rumored Acura CUV that is currently testing. Like Acura needs one of those. How about a G37 competitor?

    As for the S2000 replacement… I won’t even speculate on that. All I can say is it should have been an Acura in the first place. A $50,000 (Canadian) branded Honda seems a bit out of whack.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    SkiD666:
    You also have to wonder how much Toyota’s loss will be.

    What I wonder is why do people keep thinking Toyota is going to post a loss? Toyota makes much more profit than Honda, and even under the current economy Toyota is still expected to post a big profit in 2009.


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