Illustrating the state of the Japanese auto industry, and especially that of Honda, Honda unveiled its prototype of the NSX yesterday in Tokyo. The Acura sports car had been rumored for two years, and was shown at the Detroit Motor Show. Honda repeated in Tokyo what it had said in Detroit:
The long wait until delivery does not dissuade Honda from investing heavily into Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, and a big media buy for the Super Bowl. We dare not to ask who or what did cost more. The ad tries very hard to turn the wait until 2015 into something positive.
In Tokyo, President Takanobu Ito promised the assembled yawning media that the car “will combine both driving pleasure and environmental performance.”
After the Japanese tsunami and Thai flood, Honda emerged as the hardest hit of the Japanese majors. In 2011, Honda lost 20 percent of its global production, while Toyota lost 8.2 percent. Nissan added 14.3 percent.
The rolling out of new models people can buy becomes more urgent every day. If a car that had been seen before, and that will be delivered in three years, is the topic of a news conference and a multi million dollar media buy, then Honda likely will limp along for a while.
“Alright. Can we talk about something else?”