By on April 29, 2010

With all the tie-ups going on between Japanese and mostly European car makers, conventional wisdom had it that Honda would not take part in the nampa with the gaijin. Everybody saw them stay pure and Nipponese. Not so, said Executive Vice President Koichi Kondo yesterday to The Nikkei [sub]. They would very much like a little tete-a-tete with attractive suitors. They were the wallflower, because they were too shy and awkward. Now, Honda is ready to play.

“Honda has its own corporate culture. We have been on our own since the company’s foundation,” Kondo told a press conference. “I think Honda is clumsy at simply enjoying the benefits of M&As.”

Koichi Kondo said that Honda does “not rule out a technological alliance were we likely to benefit from such a tie-up.” He said Honda is not considering such an option at present, but Japanese girls say that all the time. Get the shibari ropes ready.

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16 Comments on “Honda “Clumsy” When Flirting With Foreigners, Wants To Get More Open...”


  • avatar
    FleetofWheel

    If Honda is smart, they’ll try to get as close as possible to Fiat, so they can gain valuable technology and improve Honda build quality.

    (j/k)

  • avatar
    tedj101

    Even better, they might get their hands on some of Chrysler’s trade secrets which should surely put them in a position to conquer the US market… Honda badged Chrysler Sebring anyone ?

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    I fully support a Honda/BMW tie up.

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      I also have looked for BMW and Honda to come together. Their product sets do not compete against each other (as much as Acura claims their FWD based models do). Both make motorcycle, both are known for world class engines, and both are independent (not many auto mfgrs are these days).

      A tie up would gain both significant help with Acura just staying a simple Lexus (RX, i.e. fwd based luxury) competitor. BMW stays in the sport, luxury space with its longitudinal RWD I6/v8 cars. Mini remains the high end sub compact and Honda stays in its FWD / bland market.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      Not a good idea. The two are too similar already: known for being good handler, controversial styling, too much focus on engineering, but not great values any more…

  • avatar
    newfdawg

    How about a tete-a-tete between Honda and Ford? It might be interesting…Honda’s trucks (like the Ridgeline) haven’t exactly set the world on fire and Ford’s attempts at minivans have been basically a total failure. Both companies have strengths that could compliment each other.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    I’m all for an alliance that will reintroduce some soul into the Acura lineup without taking away its excellent quality. One thing Honda needs desperately to do is rethink their hybrid strategy as well. Maybe a European suitor could sell them on an IMA/diesel project.

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    Honda had close ties with Rover for a while , which resulted in certain british-market Hondas being built in a Rover factory , alongside Honda-based Rover models.When it came to the crunch Honda declined to buy a share of Rover. Maybe it was a missed opportunity or maybe it was a lucky escape.I drove a Honda-based Rover once , which was a wonderful car on paper. Honda engineering with Rover styling and interior.Only had two pedals though, and a spike to which the clutch pedal had once been (poorly) welded.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Just as long as Honda fires their styling department.

  • avatar

    When Chrysler was on the rocks last year it was my great hope that they would purchase Jeep.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    i can’t think of any company that would have ‘synergies’ with Honda

    Ford are embroiled with Mazda so that’s a no

    Maybe the Koreans?

    Ahhhh… VW Group??? But they got suzuki

    But VW are so FWD centric it could work. And Audi/Honda have some commonalities…

  • avatar
    niky

    VW doesn’t need Honda.

    Ford doesn’t need Honda, they have Mazda… arguably the synergy of Ford/Mazda chassis engineers are better than the similar at Honda… Ford might have once benefited from Honda input on engines, but the new-generation MZRs seem to be much better than the previous ones in terms of power and economy.

    GM? Dead end. They’ve let go of Subaru after merely using them for a short-lived brand-engineering exercise… are woefully underutilizing Suzuki’s engineering capabilities (and laying all their bets on Daewoo)… while Honda may have dealt with them in the past through Isuzu, I don’t think they’ll be looking that way for the future.

    BMW is an interesting synergy. They’re two makers known for high-technology engines and cars. Honda would give BMW much-needed input on developing those bottom-feeder front-drive models, while BMW might give Honda the extra volume it needs to compete in terms of development dollars.

    A Honda I3 or I4 in a next-generation base-model BMW… high-revving, turbocharged and reliable… how can that not be enticing?

  • avatar
    niky

    VW doesn’t need Honda.

    Ford doesn’t need Honda, they have Mazda… arguably the synergy of Ford/Mazda chassis engineers are better than the similar at Honda… Ford might have once benefited from Honda input on engines, but the new-generation MZRs seem to be much better than the previous ones in terms of power and economy.

    GM? Dead end. They’ve let go of Subaru after merely using them for a short-lived brand-engineering exercise… are woefully underutilizing Suzuki’s engineering capabilities (and laying all their bets on Daewoo)… while Honda may have dealt with them in the past through Isuzu, I don’t think they’ll be looking that way for the future.

    BMW is an interesting synergy. They’re two makers known for high-technology engines and cars. Honda would give BMW much-needed input on developing those bottom-feeder front-drive models, while BMW might give Honda the extra volume it needs to compete in terms of development dollars.

    A Honda I3 or I4 in a next-generation base-model BMW… high-revving, turbocharged and reliable… how can that not be enticing? S&M, anyone?

  • avatar
    thetaII

    Honda’s reputation was built on engineering excellence combined with bullet-proof reliability. Those are still qualities that resonate. Honda needs to get back to what made them great.

  • avatar
    ronin

    Honda sure wasn’t shy about quickly slapping its name on a- what was it anyway, an Isuzu Rodeo?- until it was able to ramp up its own SUV line.

  • avatar
    FromBrazil

    well, don’t want to be rude or anything, but Honda has its nose so deeply up its own a.. that they’ll probably make a terrible partner for anyone.

    plus there’s all the other businesses. So badge engineering galore, amybe, real worthwhile technological advances, hummm, can’t see it.


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