By on August 25, 2013

hondafleet

TTAC has a long tradition of digging deep into manufacturer sales data, frequently focusing on retail versus fleet sales. It’s become commonly accepted that high fleet percentages are a sign of weakness in product lines, at least as far as retail consumer preference goes. The traditionally low fleet percentages of Japanese brands have been singled out as evidence of those companies’ ability to attract crucial retail dollars, or at least their superiority in matching production to demand. And they were right. For many years, Toyota and Honda in particular could count on strong retail sales of premium-priced products in a way that the Big 3 couldn’t. Changing trends in the American vehicle market are undermining this model, though.

When I wrote about Toyota’s rising vehicle stockpiles, heightened fleet sales, deep discounts, and the resulting collapse of its pricing model, there was plenty of heated discussion. Although I was tarred and feathered by some as a Toyota hater and Detroit homer, they mostly missed the point: it’s no longer valid to think of Toyota as an “exceptional” car company from a business perspective, regardless of your personal opinions about the relative merits of their products. As the Camry debacle shows, the market is no longer willing to reward Toyota simply for the sake of being Toyota. For the sake of fairness, it’s time to ask the same set of questions about the company whose business strategy most nearly matches Toyota’s: archrival Honda. The evidence suggests there are some rather unpleasant fleet skeletons hiding in Honda’s closet, ones that don’t match the traditional image of the company as the retail leader.

On the surface, things look fine. Honda’s incentive spending on the marquee Civic and Accord is significantly lower than rivals. And its much-vaunted strategy of ignoring the fleet market and concentrating on retail sales is usually interpreted as a sign that Honda leads on per-unit profitability and “real” market share. Automotive News puts the Accord at around 1% fleet mix, well behind its rivals. But what if Honda’s position relative to the fleet market isn’t as strong as previously believed?

“Honda is the retail leader” has long been a mantra for that company’s boosters, one that is repeated by a fair number of autojournos. It’s a well-known fact that Honda has no corporate fleet sales department, in contrast to every other mass-market auto company in America. Even so, Honda products have a habit still show up in a variety of fleets. The vehicle-sales sites of several rental car companies have plenty of Hondas for sale. As of this writing, Enterprise Car Sales lists 200 former rental Hondas for purchase. The majority of these are Accords, with Civics not too far behind, and models from the entire rest of the range sprinkled in. For those feeling like something a little fancier, 22 Acuras are also available. Hertz also has hundreds of Hondas available, mostly 2012 Civics and a few Accords. Avis has no Honda products listed; nor does Budget.

It’s also worth noting that there are far fewer Hondas available for sale than, say, Chevrolets, Chryslers, or Fords. However, those makes include substantial numbers of trucks and commercial vans that Honda doesn’t offer. Honda has openly partnered with Zipcar to put hybrids in its fleet. Unfortunately, major fleet vehicle remarketing company Manheim doesn’t provide data on sales to anyone but licensed auto dealers, so I wasn’t able to scan their listed inventory for Hondas. However, salvage-auction company IAAI does provide listings of insurance-totaled Hondas, albeit ones that are difficult to sort and frequently incomplete. Even so, a casual scan through the listings reveals a surprising number of totaled-out Accords and Civics that had titles held by rental car companies or otherwise appear to have been former rentals. So clearly, a decent number of Honda products are winding up in America’s rental fleets. Many of the B&B have offered anecdotes about rental Hondas, but it’s nice to have a few solid numbers to go by. Maybe a reader with Manheim access could help flesh out the data.

civiccng

Besides rentals, governments are another important consumer of fleet cars. Honda’s CNG Civic fleet program is well-known, although these make up a tiny fraction of overall Civic sales. Even so, Honda has been enthusiastic about trying to expand this program, with Honda alternative fuel vehicle manager Eric Rosenberg previously quoted as saying “We’re looking forward to much healthier fleet sales as the economy makes that positive turn.” Civic Hybrids have made their way into government and corporate fleets as well, in far larger quantities. New York State has invested significantly in updating its fleet with hybrids, purchasing large quantities of Civics and the former Accord Hybrid from 2007 onwards.

As municipalities have looked to green their fleets, they’ve turned to Honda hybrids as well. A quick search of industry site Government Fleet turns up hundreds of examples of municipalities and state and local governments acquiring Honda hybrids. Toyota and Ford are also heavily represented in these hybrid fleets, but Honda still makes a strong showing. There’s less evidence that regular-drivetrain Hondas make it into government fleets in any great quantity, although I have personally seen them used by some universities as service vehicles. Many government fleet operators are restricted in their purchases by “Buy American” laws that can exclude foreign-make vehicles, even if they are American-assembled.

civicpremierwraps

Corporate fleet sales are always difficult to estimate, but anyone who’s lived in Central Ohio as long as I have can tell you that Honda products are popular choices for local businesses. The reliability and resale records of the Accord, Civic, and Odyssey no doubt attracts many operators looking to maximize their ROI. And although Honda has no corporate-level program for direct fleet sales, there are plenty Honda dealers who operate their own. Lindsay Honda of Columbus  explains that “With 14 acres of more than 700 Honda’s in inventory, Lindsay Honda can manage your order and pricing cost effectively, thus passing the savings to you.” Similarly, Don Carlton Honda of Tulsa promises customers “the benefit and tremendous value of our Honda Fleet Pricing while making the process of buying a new Honda vehicle simple and stress-free,” with a website specifically dedicated to facilitating fleet purchases.

In fact, it’s difficult to find a high-volume Honda dealer that doesn’t operate some kind of fleet program. And virtually all of these programs tout “preferred fleet pricing” and volume discounts for buyers, a seeming contradiction to Honda’s notorious stinginess with incentives. If you’re looking to buy ten Hondas for your fleet, there’s no shortage of dealers willing to cut you a discount, and take care of your service needs afterwards. But these dealers seem to be ignored or downplayed by Honda corporate, which steadfastly maintains that fleet sales are a vanishing percentage of Honda’s business. A press release from Honda on July 2 about rising sales crowed that “These solid results further showcase Honda’s pure, market-driven momentum achieved by customers choosing Honda vehicles one at a time rather than relying on fleet sales to drive volume.” The mantra about retail sales is clearly a big part of Honda’s marketing schtick. It seems that nobody has thought to ask the dealer body what they think about becoming Honda’s default fleet sales program, a role they may not appreciate. I can’t help but be reminded of an earlier episode in Honda’s corporate history where dealers took it on the chin.

hondataxi

Steve Lynch’s Arrogance and Accords is the definitive history of the early-90’s Honda management scandal. Lynch, a Honda insider, describes in detail a culture of malfeasance amongst American Honda executives that led to incredible acts of extortion against the Honda dealer body. Buoyed by the explosive growth of Honda in the go-go 1980’s, many prospective dealers were willing to enter into silent partnerships, kickback schemes, and other fraudulent behavior to secure valuable Honda franchises and a steady supply of cars from the corruption-riddled allocation system. When the market for new Hondas declined in the early 90’s (and dealers could no longer sell the cars for thousands of dollars above sticker), the whole scheme unraveled. Overproduction and flopped model introductions meant that cars sat on lots. A frustrated and abused dealer body finally ratted out the executives wholesale, leading to their firing and eventual federal prosecution after a failed cover-up attempt. But the dealer body didn’t get much out of the prosecutions; many of them lost millions of dollars, and others alleged that their businesses were ruined because they refused to “play the game” with Honda execs.

Obviously, much has changed since then; I’m not accusing Honda or its executives of engaging in criminal malfeasance. However, I do believe it is worth noting that Honda has a history of treating dealers as if they were replaceable; because for many years, they were. Lynch described a corporate culture that saw dealers as a nuisance and an inconvenience, a culture he alleges was facilitated by averted eyes in Tokyo. Now that the market for Honda products has matured, and the dealer body has been stabilized, perhaps it’s worth questioning whether making dealers solely responsible for the disposal of excess stock is a healthy policy. It’s also worth noting that many of the ex-rentals described above were 2012 Civics and Accords. Production of both of these models was stopped by the 2011 Asian tsunami, and for a long time Civics especially were thin on the ground at dealers. Yet despite these shortages, many newly-redesigned Civics still wound up in rental fleets, supposedly the dumping ground of last resort for unwanted models.

Auto industry watchers know that the redesigned Civic was harshly reviewed, prompting a quick 2013 refresh in response to criticism. Would it be unreasonable to suggest that dealers pushed many 2012s into fleets, knowing they would be a difficult sell if the much-improved version was right around the corner? The 2012 Accord as fleet car is easier to understand- a model at the end of its run is always a hard sell, and a few fleet sales at rock-bottom prices would have relieved the pressure on dealers to move the metal. But in both of these cases, the dealers were acting alone, with few corporate incentives to help cushion the blow.  The marketing department’s retail mantra remains untainted, and the cars move off the lots- but the dealers take the hit. The production recovery after the tsunami is unquestionable, but the sales recovery deserves an asterisk.

Honda Element Car Wraps-resized-600

The strategy of ignoring or underreporting fleet sales enables Honda to claim that its cars are somehow above and beyond the dynamics that the rest of the market faces. Every manufacturer will eventually face problems of excess inventory caused by a botched model launch or overproduction, no matter how sainted said company might be. It’s getting harder and harder for Honda to maintain this self-image after a series of uncompetitive new offerings has left dealers with large numbers of hard-to-move products. Civics are piling up on dealer lots as consumers gravitate towards the compact offerings of other manufacturers.

Toyota, at least, has acknowledged its difficulties with the Camry and has moved to help out its dealer network with a combination of incentive spending and diverting excess production to fleets. Even if it costs Toyota some credibility, it’s a better strategy than simply throwing cars at dealers and hoping a miracle happens. And it’s not as if fleet sales are an inherent evil; they’re a reality of doing business in the United States, one that no mass-market auto maker can evade forever. It’s impossible to put a solid number on the amount of Hondas currently being pushed to fleet by dealers. Even so, in the face of mounting evidence, the 1-2% figure most commonly put forth by Honda is almost surely too low. Given the state of flux and increasingly competitive nature of the American car market, industry watchers and the press corps need to regard that percentage with skepticism.
 

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120 Comments on “The Truth About Honda’s Fleet Sales...”


  • avatar
    doctor olds

    Great review! I would like to know about the apparent 40% drop in Honda sales in Japan reported recently on TTAC. Was it an anomaly or a trend?

  • avatar
    henkdevries

    This is why I come to TTAC. Jack Baruth is cute of course, but it’s the industry insight and analysis that do it for me.

  • avatar
    Carl Kolchak

    About 7 years ago I bought a new Accord at a suburban Honda dealer named Grand Honda. This dealer advertised BIG in the local papers with some really good prices, not your typical “Loss leaders” or MSRP prices. If you were in the Chicagoland area, you could not miss cars with their license plate frames on them. Purchased my car on a Monday and the dealer was packed. Before I went there, I shopped another local dealer who flat out said they could not match Grand Honda’s prices.
    About a year after that, I heard they shut down and the dealer’s name had changed. No more big ads and the ads for the new dealer were for prices in line with everyone else. Always wondered what the deal was with this location and what really happened why they closed.

    • 0 avatar
      chicagoland

      ‘Grand Honda’ didn’t close, they got new owners and are now called ‘Honda on Grand’.

      Prices are competitive, do an online quote and they will come down about 10% off sticker. I did.

      Also, one can say a Kia or Hyundai has ‘more stuff’, but where are the 200,000 mile Kias?

  • avatar
    Monty

    Manheim 2011-2012 Civics – 324 total of which 59 are listed as fleet/rental

    Manheim 2011-2012 Accords – 233 total of which 36 are listed as fleet/rental

    The issue with looking at Honda vehicles is with no central fleet office, you have to scroll through all the dealers and look at each listing to determine if the vehicle was a dealer sold fleet car. I checked 5 listings at random and turned up two more fleet Accords. I’m not foolish enough to extrapolate from the small sample, but the data indicates Honda fleet sales are much higher than the 1-2% figure that Honda uses.

    For comparison, I checked Chrysler 200 fleet sales which showed 161 of 299 were fleet cars, and Chevrolet Impala, which showed 197 of 608 were fleet cars. I’m sure if I checked each dealer listing I would find a few that are fleet as well, but at least Chrysler and GM are relatively forthright about fleet sales, compared to Honda.

    Hope this helps!

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      As Doc Olds has mentioned before about Honda Crosstour being as a truck to skirt CAFE, what else are these foreign owned companies pulling over our eyes?

      Hondas lasts longer in Columbus, Ohio, than compared to just an hour north were the road salt has removed them fom the road.

      • 0 avatar
        TEXN3

        Wow, you’re really digging deep on that comment. They’re up to some tomfoolery, that’s for dang sure!

      • 0 avatar
        cgjeep

        How many Crosstours did Honda sell, 6? Chrysler did the same thing with the PT Cruiser

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          and Chevy with the HHR, I’m pretty sure the Outbacks where all trucks too.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            All the Crossovers are trucks as well. I stumbled on the CrossTour issue when I encountered a disconnect between Accord sales touted by a Honda fan, and Accord sales reported by Automotive News or Wards, can’t recall which. I finally found the handful of extra Accords in under the Truck heading.

            Does anyone know what restricts certifying something as a Truck? Does a manufacturer just have to call it an SUV, as appears to be the case with the CrossTour, I believe.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            You just have to convince the Feds of a station wagon’s SUV capabilities. AWD helps, but so does good ground clearance and a generous cargo area.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      It’s a single data point but that indicates Accord at 18% fleet vs 32% for Impala. Surprised Impala this low, and Honda this high. What about Camry and Fusion?

    • 0 avatar
      J.Emerson

      Thanks Monty. It would be interesting to see how many 2013′s start to hit the auction block as well.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    Many manufacturers have a large customer they use just to keep the shop going. So without a reliable number showing a percentage of cars are fleet then there is a lot of speculation in this article.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Great article and one that makes perfect sense. Honda does not want to risk its brand perception with large discounts of the type they had to use to sell the 2012 Civic. But it has to move inventory somehow and what better way than to stuff its nearly invisible the fleet channel?

  • avatar
    gmichaelj

    Thanks for the article / information.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    It is foolish for a manufacturer to ignore fleet sales. If you product is of good quality then the extra fleet sales should not hurt the reputation or demand for you product.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      People have somewhat been spoiled by fleet sales. Most fleet cars as a whole are fine and usually sell for a fair bit less than a just off-lease model. Really, fleet sales are a business issue more than anything else. If I asked the average buyer what they rented last they probably couldn’t tell me unless it was awful. This digs at Honda’s continued superiority identity.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Great article that makes a lot of sense. Honda does not want to soil its brand image with large dealer discounts like they had to for the 2012 Civic. But they still need to move inventory so what better way than to stuff the nearly invisible fleet channel?

    However, this will only work in the short term as a longer term addiction to fleet sales eventually erode resale values.

  • avatar
    Nicholas Weaver

    Also, as I’ve argued, unprofitable fleet sales don’t cause massive depreciation. Rather, its massive depreciation causes fleet sales to be unprofitable. If you don’t have heavy depreciation (*cough* Toyota *cough*), some level of fleet sales are a surprisingly robust business.

    Thanks to how the tax laws and rental car agencies work, the cost for any buyer who churns his fleet on a regular basis is {Bought price – sold price}. And the fleet buyers who churn their fleet know this. And the fleet buyers who don’t churn their fleet will demand the same price that the churning-buyers get.

    So if the car depreciates heavily, the fleet buyer is going to demand a much lower price than if the car holds its value, since it is the 1-2 year depreciation from the price paid that determines whether car A or car B is more expensive.

    • 0 avatar

      The main problem with massive depreciation is that it starts cutting into retail sales. If you have a bunch of clean, low milage, 2 year old ex-fleet cars coming up for sale for half the price of a new car, lots of people will consider the used car instead. Or if they are looking at a new subcompact, they’ll consider a slightly used compact/mid-size instead, and the company loses a profitable retail sale. Plus dealers will often promote the used cars because they can be more profitable, easier to finance to people with bad credit, ect.

      In the mid-90′s, the big 3 actually started requiring their rental customers to keep cars longer just to avoid cannibalizing new sales.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Exactly. With Toyota flooding the market with Camry appliances at low ATP and heavy incentives, those same flood of models will be swelling used inventories. If the perfect used Camry is now available by the dozens or hundreds in my geography, the market will depress. When fleet sales are used as a dumping gound to drive volume *cough* Impala *cough* the used market will be flooded.

        Toyota’s march to 20% fleet sales is cutting their own throats.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        @madanthony makes the basic point on the risk of being too heavy into daily rental fleet.

        The other point missed is that a hit on resale at the 2-3 year point damages the residual which hurts leasing.

        Chevy coundn’t really lease the last gen Impala due to this…they also had trouble being competitive on leasing the Cobalt due to this issue.

        Leasing is getting close to 25% of the market today and if you can’t offer a competitive lease, you are hurt on the retail side.

        However, it is possible to run 20%-30% fleet mix or even a bit higher and still be able to do both in some segments…you just have to be very careful.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    In the not-so-distant pass, didn’t the Big 3 own some rental car companies? Seems to me sales to Hertz/Avis/Alamo would be guaranteed sales. Or the division to put the not so bright executives. The meme of it’s a rental car, it must be bad is BS. Most rental cars are rented at a price, be they bundle a car with flight or guys like me schlepping luggage on the corporate dime. Oh you can get premium cars from the rental agency, ya just gotta pay. I drove a Mustang GT to my class reunion. Someone asked what i drove every day. I pulled out my Metro-card (subway pass). There’s all sorts of stories about Rick Hendrick and Honda America and the greed (gouging) of the dealers. Pay significantly above MSRP for a Honda? I went to the BMW dealer. Those shenanigans where Honda America’s jumping the shark moment. Besides, Honda hasn’t been the same since Soichiro Honda died.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yes at one point due to favorable depreciation laws they all purchased rental car companies. That allowed them to churn heavily. They would stick a car in the rental fleet for as little as 3 months and take a huge depreciation write off. Then they are “sold” back to the mfg who then shows profit on the car when they sold it to the dealer. They could show good profits for the automaker while the thinly veiled rental car division only broke even.

    • 0 avatar

      For that reason alone I avoid Honda dealerships (and Toyota too) – it is pointless to go there for the test drive – they expect you to buy Honda without test drive. That piece of oversized, bland and numb refrigerator on wheels with no soul? Yawn. I would not take Toyota even for free, but even if I accepted the gift – it would be on eBay the next day.

  • avatar
    Brawndo

    “…a corporate culture that saw dealers as a nuisance and an inconvenience…”

    Honda and I are in complete agreement on that one. Though, to be fair, in my neck of the woods Honda dealers are far more transparent and professional than most of their competitors.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It’s called “Fleetail”…

    The OEM gets to call it and record it as “Retail”.

    The dealer gets to sell multiple or dozens of cars in a single transaction.

    The fleet customer gets the highly discounted new cars and doesn’t care what they’re called.

    So everybody wins, right?

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Here’s the truth about Honda’s rental fleet sales:

    If a rental company goes to a dealership to buy a car, the dealer will sell them one.

    Seriously, that’s all there is to it. There’s no controversy about that.

    However, not the implication: the rental company that buys some Hondas will not be receiving a special manufacturer-sponsored incentives package that would reduce the price. They get to haggle with the dealership fleet manager.

    In the old days, the rental car companies were owned by the automakers, so not surprisingly, they were brand-loyal. But that isn’t the case anymore, and residual values have become more important, which has caused more diversification in the inventory.

    Also, rental car facilities aren’t all corporate-owned. The major metro market airport offices will be corporate-owned, but some of the minor locations will be franchises. Those franchisees buy their own inventory, and will probably worry even more about residuals, since the cars belong to them.

    You’re trying to find a smoking gun, when there isn’t one.

    • 0 avatar
      graham

      Agree 100%…I fail to see the smoking gun here too. These are regular models being sold by a franchised RETAIL dealer. The buyer is irrelevant, unless of course you’re desperate for a blog storyline.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        ALL vehicles, fleet or other wise are sold through a franchised RETAIL dealer. All of them.

        Just because Honda chooses not to publish fleet sales doesn’t mean they don’t have any. There is plenty of anecdotal input about Hondas at big rental companies. They ain’t onesy-twosies.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I’ve been saying this here forever. I’ve been renting cars constantly for work for almost 20 years. It is a different world today than 10-15 years ago in terms of what is on the lots. The days when the Detroit 3 practically gave their excess production away to their captive rental arms is long over.

      I am sure Hertz got a discount on the Maxima I am driving at the moment, but I bet Nissan still made money on it. The rental companies are also keeping their cars a LOT longer – I turned in a Passat with 45K on it Friday. Still a much preferable ride to the Maxi-pad though.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Yup the rental car game has changed significantly, no longer do they sell them at 3 months like those that were owned by the big three did at the time and selling them at 1 year like they did before the economy crashed. The last times I’ve rented cars they have had 30-40K on them and at least one was nearing 3 years of use.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yes but dealers can earn incentives based on how many cars they sell or can get extra allotments of hot models. Other times mfgs will put special incentives on particular models or versions of a model. So they can crank out a bunch of fleet quality vehicles and accompany them with discounts.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        A dealer’s volume incentives aren’t determined by who the buyer is.

        Honda corporate does not provide fleet discounts. If a dealer gets bonus pay for surpassing a volume target, Honda isn’t going to change the payment based upon who the customer is.

        A local or regional fleet manager has just as much of a right to buy a new car at the dealership as you do. There’s no comparison between that and the massive sale-repurchase programs that the Detroit automakers have with the major rental companies.

        The fact remains that the vast majority of rental car inventory comes from Detroit, and only a tiny percentage of it comes from Honda. There is simply no comparison — by no measure is Honda a major player in the American rental fleet business.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          There you go twisting things again. My point was that having a strong fleet business can result in lowering the actual cost of all cars sold so there is an indirect incentive. Just as it is not uncommon for mfgs to tie the availability of a particular model to taking delivery of other less desirable vehicles. they also frequently have incentives tied a very specific model. So those are ways they can provide fleet incentives indirectly while claiming they do not sell to fleets.

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          Pch, I’ve seen too many rental Camrys, Corollas, Altimas, etc. to be sure that the majority of rental cars are from the domestic brands. Wouldn’t be surprised if it’s no longer true. In parallel with increasing number of high-volume Japanese transplant cars in the rental fleet I’ve noticed many more 40k mile rental cars with various dents, scrapes, and stains. My assumption is that there is less incentive to churn the rental fleets and, overall, fewer cars spend a longer part of their life in rental service.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “I’ve seen too many rental Camrys, Corollas, Altimas, etc. to be sure that the majority of rental cars are from the domestic brands”

            Instead of relying on your gut feelings or anecdotes, you could just look at the data. There are professionals in the industry who keep tabs on this sort of thing.

            The data supports my position — my position is derived from industry reports. It doesn’t support your hunches. Look at the numbers, then get back to me.

    • 0 avatar
      J.Emerson

      I wouldn’t really characterize this as a “smoking gun” piece, although I could see how you might interpret it that way. What I’m trying to show is that despite Honda’s insistence that fleet sales are a vanishingly small part of their overall sales, there’s some evidence to suggest that isn’t the case. I’m aware of what you pointed out about rental car programs and how many purchase decisions are made on a franchise only, case-to-case basis. However, that doesn’t really matter to my thesis, one way or another.

      My main point is that the Honda mantra of “we don’t do fleet” is misleading at best. Sure, there’s no corporate fleet sales program, but there are plenty of dealers who will do fleet sales. The dealers essentially are the fleet program. And the number of Hondas sold into fleet is probably significantly higher than the 1-2% figure. You could make the point that without fleet discounts, that doesn’t hurt Honda’s bottom line as much as what the domestics might be doing. But it does put more pressure on dealers, and it has the potential to be corrosive on resale values and owner loyalty. As you pointed out below, there’s no repurchase program for these vehicles either. It can also mislead investors and analysts who assume that the 1-2% figure truly covers all Honda fleet sales.

      You say that residuals are now more important for rental fleet managers, which is true, but purchase price still reigns supreme. Especially for franchisees that are possessed of fewer resources. For that reason, I have a hard time believing those 2012 Civics entered the fleet at significantly higher prices than the Focuses, Corollas, and Cruzes that they compete with.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “What I’m trying to show is that despite Honda’s insistence that fleet sales are a vanishingly small part of their overall sales, there’s some evidence to suggest that isn’t the case.”

        You provided nothing to support that position. Meanwhile, you overlooked some rather basic research that, had you read it, would have caused you to not have written this in the first place.

        Here are some numbers from Fleet Central. Fleet Central gets its numbers from RL Polk, which is publishing registration data. Polk’s policy is to get the data from state DMVs in states that will provide the information, and from dealers in states where DMVs won’t release the data.

        Their last full year of data posted is for CY 2011. Here’s what it shows:

        Total new vehicles registered: 12,662,089
        Number registered by rental fleets: 1,651,758
        Number of Hondas registered by rental fleets: 5,066
        Number of Acuras registered by rental fleets: 315

        Vehicles from American Honda during the year comprised a whopping 0.33% of all newly registered rental vehicles that year. In other words, about 299 out of every 300 rental cars newly registered during the year were from a company other than American Honda.

        If you look at previous years’ data, you will see similar results.

        Again, that data is coming from legitimate third party sources. And that isn’t delivery data, but registrations data, so we have documentation as to who the buyers were.

        Polk is s major consulting firm in the industry. It has no need to participate in some elaborate conspiracy to conceal fleet data from the American public.

        I’m sorry, but your article is inaccurate, and filled with suppositions that I’ve just shown to be incorrect. I know that you earnestly want to believe that you’ve stumbled upon some sort of rental car version of Watergate, but you’ve merely demonstrated that you didn’t do enough reseearch prior to submitting this.

        • 0 avatar
          Monty

          Fleet sales don’t equal rentals. What I found on Manheim were of the fleet variety, not rentals.

          While Honda USA does not have a corporate fleet program, there is evidence of Honda vehicles in fleets, as I showed further up in the thread.

          I assume Honda USA is peripherally aware of fleet sales, and it and the parent company in Tokyo would like to keep it that way, allowing for the 1-2% claim.

          And PCH, you’ve sort of sidestepped the fleet argument by focusing on the rentals. And I’m surprised, as normally you tend to present the big picture as part of your analyses on even the smallest of details.

          I am in part apprehensive, yet curious, to see what response this garners from you. You’re a master debater, and I stand in awe of your intellect for the most part, so I don’t want to draw your ire.

          • 0 avatar
            goldtownpe

            Monty,
            Check out the links in my comments for The Real Truth About Honda’s Fleet Sales. These are data from registration. You’ll see that Honda’s 1-2% claim is basically the truth. It breaks down the data by commercial, government, and rental fleet too.

            http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/the-truth-about-hondas-fleet-sales/#comment-2098183

            http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/the-truth-about-hondas-fleet-sales/#comment-2098198

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “you’ve sort of sidestepped the fleet argument by focusing on the rentals.”

            I was responding to the author’s assertion that rental Hondas were being dumped en masse by Enterprise.

            American Honda’s total fleet sales for CY 2011 equalled 13,037 units. With a total fleet market of over 2.4 million units, Honda’s share of the fleet market was 0.54% — about 199 of every 200 fleet cars came from someone else.

            Goldtownpe provided data from the same source for CY2012. (Automotive Fleet magazine is part of Fleet Central.) That data ultimately comes from Polk, which gets its data from state DMVs when possible. Polk is a go-to source in the auto industry for sales data — there is no reason to doubt the results.

          • 0 avatar
            Monty

            goldtownpe – thanks for the links. Interesting. I’m not sure what that says about my Manheim stuff. The vehicles are clearly indicated as “fleet” in the description provided, and are mostly offered through fleet marketing companies. The problem for me with Manheim is that I can only dig through 45 days, so it’s not a large historical database I can plumb.

            pch101 – you did sort of sidestep originally, as you focused on rental fleets, but I see later in the thread you addressed the “big picture”, so please accept my contrite apology.

        • 0 avatar
          goldtownpe

          Monty,
          I’m not sure why one would look at Manheim for fleet data. They are an auction service company not an industry data tracking company like RL Polk. Sure some fleet vehicles come through their auction service, but it’s a small sample. Why not just look at the actually registration data from RL Polk via Automotive Fleet? They track every single vehicle that was registered during the CY. It’s not just a sample, it’s the whole population of new vehicles registered that year. And no membership needed. If the author would’ve have just taken 2 seconds to do a google search, he would’ve seen that his thesis was completely wrong. Honda’s claim of 1-2% fleet is the truth.

    • 0 avatar
      BTEFan

      Honda’s ‘Fleet’ Program is great! They really don’t have to throw money at it like the Big 3 have done for decades. Someone wants to buy multiple Hondas, they see the Fleet Manager at the dealer, he gives them X dollars off the price, and they get the benefits of owning a Honda. I work at a leasing company and we buy them all the time at a fleet discount. We don’t recieve any fleet support from the manufacturer via the dealer. How the dealer reports the sale is up to them. Most of the time manufacturers require the dealer to report as a retail or fleet sale. Honda, it seems, doesn’t seem to ask that question on the Vehicle Delivery Report. From my experience, the Fleet vs Retail has come out of manufacturers using different production allotments for Fleet and Retail. If a dealer reported a sale as ‘fleet’, it doesn’t get taken out of its retail allotment. Honda, it appears to have adapted a ‘Keep It Simple’ (see what I did there…) strategy – we give you cars, you sell as you see fit. Most dealers prefer that I would think…..

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    Maybe one shuld separate fleet sales to Rental car companies (that sell them after 2 years) and fleet sales to businesses/governments.
    the rental sales may hurt depreciation of relatively new cars (2-4 years). but don’t have impact on long therm depreciation. In addition rental cars likley got mis-treated, so yes they shoudl depreciate more.

    Business/government sales actually are a sign of a good product. I work for a local government and we had bought honda Fit since they came on the market (in 2006 or 07 I believe). since then we added Honda fit as needed and never sold one. they likley don’t get sold for a few years and sure will fetch a good price (low miles, 5K-10K miles a year if at all).

    Advantage to fleet managers isn’t only few repairs and good mileage (almost 35 mpg city-driving). Also downtime for repairs and service is important. One day service every year is acceptable. But if you need more service/repair days you need more cars in total to make up for the in-service cars. You also pay 2 employees to bring and pick up cars from the dealer.

    The small Honda Fit are in much better shape (both interior and also how they drive) than the Ford Taurus/Malibu etc. we have with similar mileage.

    I’m not sure if the ~20 Honda Fit we bought so far count as fleet sales since we buy them through local dealers (they are not on State contract as the Detroit cars we buy)

    I just bought a CRV and I’m impressed with how cheap insurance is comapred to my Mazda 6. If you do the overall math a Honda is pretty cheap for fleets, not even taking into account resale value.

    The superior experience with Honda Fit at work also played part of my decision to by a Honda for myself. If the Fleet manager loves them, they sure don’t cause much trouble.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Is this editorial an audition for a propaganda job with the O***a regime? Pictures of the NGV fleet page and an insurance agent’s Civic that she had wrapped to make it a tax deductible advertising expense? The psychosis behind putting this together is a great source of mirth.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      CJ,

      Be nice. We’re trying to create some balance here on the site and listen to all voices. Don’t worry, Ronnie Schreiber’s still here to write the Zionist stuff :)

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Part of the marketing campaign for the Fusion appears to be that they have a supply issue. They want to create demand by creating the idea that the Fusion is in short supply.

      Of course that’s hype, the Fusion is a fleet queen but they want to make it appear that the car that was supposed to be a great home run isn’t just a base hit.

      Try and rent an Accord or Fusion and see what you’ll get.

  • avatar
    MBella

    As many above have said, if you walk into a dealer, whether as an individual, or representing a corporation, they will sell to you.

    My one question, is how many of those sales to rental outlets are to run the same dealers loaner fleet. We used to get our loaner C-classes from the local Enterprise branch. They would buy them from us at a discount and rent them back to us as needed. They were even stored at our dealership. When Mercedes cracked down, and made every dealer operate their own loaner fleet, Enterprise sold their cars off.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I think we might be putting a little too much importance to this. Even if Honda’s fleet penetration is deeper than they may suggest, they still pale in comparison to the likes of the Big 3 (domestics). I mean when I think rental cars I think domestics and maybe Corollas. Honda still has the power to move metal- their high resales are the real testament to this.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Ford is usually @33% fleet. The most of any company.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        And, you continue to make random statements as if all fleet is bad. You have no clue.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Ford has more fleet exclusive models than any OEM, like class 4 & 5 trucks. And Ford qualifies anyone with a business licence as an official fleet customer. No further proof is need. Then you can buy any Ford they sell, like a Mustang GT or Raptor if you want.

        GM and the rest require proof of a current 15 vehicle fleet and proof you bought 5 new fleet vehicles last year.

        • 0 avatar
          sunridge place

          Wrong.

          GM:

          http://www.gmfleet.com/business-fleet-eligibility-enrollment.html

          Ford:

          https://www.fleet.ford.com/get-started/eligibility-documentation/

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Correct, but for Ford Fleet, it differs for every industry. Body modifiers, limo, taxi, livery and funeral are only required a business licence. Government agencies need 1 purchase last year or 3 current.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            Gee..no kidding.

            Do you really think a funeral operator has to buy 5 new units a year? Do you really think a limo operator needs 5 new units a year?

            It differs that way for any OEM in various areas of fleet.

            When you make general comments like ‘Ford lets anyone get a fleet license as long as you have a Tax ID’ you are full of it.

            Don’t fall back on the exceptions.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            I hit the moderation wall with a bad word.

            So, I’ll add this…there might be another comment above or below.

            You made the statement that Ford just lets anyone with a business license get access to fleet. That is wrong.

            Of course, any OEM serious about being in Funeral, Limo, etc isn’t going to require 5 new purchases a year….come on. Think about it.

            Your statement that Ford lets anyone with a business license get access to any type of fleet is totally incorrect. Please acknowledge that and adjust your way of thinking.

            GM doesn’t require a funeral home to purchase 5 new hearses a year to get access to their programs either.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I meant I was wrong when I said you were correct. Do you want an apology too? I pointed out the ‘licence only’ deals because I know you won’t. But what exactly does GM offer similarly to taxi, limo, government and truck body modifiers?

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            DenverMike

            Your problem is that you make a broad statement like ‘Ford lets anyone with a license access fleet’ which is wrong. They only let license access to a small percent of their fleet…which anyone else does too.

            Just stop making those statements like that and you’re good by me.

            I was pointing out your statement above:

            ‘And Ford qualifies anyone with a business licence as an official fleet customer’

            Then you say that I’m correct…then you add:

            ‘I pointed out the ‘licence only’ deals because I know you won’t. But what exactly does GM offer similarly to taxi, limo, government and truck body modifiers?’

            Jesus, you were the one NOT pointing out the fact that license deals are the only ones that don’t need the volume to qualify.

            You didn’t point out the ‘license only’ deals…you told us all that Ford doesn’t require volume…only a license….good lord.

            Think.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Sunridge – Any statement can be considered “broad” if the story doesn’t end there. Usually it does.

            Just like, for example: “GM requires all ‘fleet buyers’ to prove they own 15 fleet vehicles and bought 5 new fleet vehicles last year”.

            OK, it that’s a “broad” statement, but if it doesn’t end there, what’s the details that proves it wrong?

            I couldn’t find anything that points to my being wrong over all, so which OEMs are more generous an have less requirements for “fleet customer” qualifications than Ford? And which OEMs have more exclusively fleet vehicles in their lineup?

            And your problem is you take things way too personal. What’s your connection with GM?

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            DenverMike

            You originally wrote at 10:36pm on my clock that:

            ‘And Ford qualifies anyone with a business licence as an official fleet customer. No further proof is need. Then you can buy any Ford they sell, like a Mustang GT or Raptor if you want’

            My point was that if I have a business license as a plumber and have bought 1 vehicle in the last year and tell Ford I want to be a fleet customer…I cannot. You seem to not understand what the word ‘anyone’ means.

            You said that Ford qualifies ‘anyone’ for fleet…and you were wrong. I pointed out specifically where Ford and others do waive the # of purchases in other areas of fleet in industries where 5 purchases a year don’t make sense for access to fleet vehicles. However, those are for special areas of the fleet business….not ‘anyone’ with a random license anywhere in the business world.

            BTW…I don’t have a ‘problem’ other than trying, at times, to correct some factual errors by you and others on here when I have time.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Sunridge – Yes I said you are correct and not all potential fleet customers qualify with just a business licence. Alright, you got me on a technicality. But I didn’t say or imply it could be a “random licence from anywhere in the business would”.

            And you still haven’t answered if it’s just as easy to qualify as a potential GM fleet customer. Or which OEMs are as “fleet” accepting as Ford. Or which OEMs have more fleet exclusive, commercial vehicles as Ford.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            DenverMike

            You are not very smart.

            Go to bed.

            Your whole original point was that ‘anyone’ could get access to Ford Fleet with a business license.

            I wasn’t pointing out a technicality but rather the entire point of your original statement that anyone with a business license could get Ford Fleet.

            I have no clue how to qualify as a limo/funeral home etc customer…nor do you apparently.

            All I was doing is pointing out that you were wrong with such a broad, and incorrect, statement that Ford lets anyone with any license access fleet.

            Good night and goodbye.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Note that link is for fleet purchasing directly from Ford and not dealers.

            Ford does or at least used to offer Business Direct pricing which did qualify as a fleet purchase and had to be made from a authorized Ford Fleet dealer. With that you qualified for a $500 discount from Ford for any vehicle they sold. The only qualifications for that program was that you could show a current business license.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Sunridge – Don’t quit while you’re behind… Clearly you’re out of new material when the insults come out. Yes I didn’t clearly state it had to be a “qualifying” business. But even your link states simply “Proof of Business Enterprise, No vehicle registrations needed”.

            With you, it’s all about technicalities and other diversions so we forget the greater point.

            This is still a casual forum so to spell out all the technicalities with every single statement would take up too much space, counselor.

            And you still can’t answer 3 simple questions? My simple questions bring us back on topic. Who cares about who knows what about running a funeral home?

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            Revisited this trainwreck of a conversation.

            Dead thread..but really Scoutdude?

            Do you really think that a company with 5 new registered sales in a year gets access to direct sales from Ford or GM or any OEM?

            You think the links I provided were the way to qualify for DIRECT sales from an OEM bypassing a dealership?

            Just because the url’s were to the OEM?

            Good lord. Okay.

            Then, you use an example of a way to qualify for an extra $500 in a deal as proof?

            Jesus, people can get $500 extra for being a college grad or a member of the military or whatever.

            Scoutdude…show me any company that qualifies for fleet pricing on 5 vehicles that gets to work straight with an OEM and gets to bypass the dealership and I’ll listen.

            They might get access to some fleet programs through a dealership…but Bob’s Plumbing Company isn’t bypassing the dealership and going straigh to the OEM if he qualifies for fleet with 5 purchases in a year.

            DenverMike…just stay away.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Actually, I want to know what you’ve researched and learned about running a funeral home since yesterday? It sounds like a perfect trade for you… Not that GM wouldn’t force you buy a total of 20 hearses for fleet deals. But don’t stop at digging up dead threads!!!

  • avatar
    enzl

    I can’t say it any better than sporty just did.

    As someone with large dealer group experience, the proof is in the marketplace. Any credible lender will loan me more money for a Honda product and it turns faster than average. I would actually take the position that Honda fleet is meaningless and has been miscast as an issue by this site (and others.)

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    This is why I love TTAC. As a frequent business traveler it seems around 07 or 08 the bigs like Avis started offering me Hondas at the counter.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    So here’s a question. Does Honda have “fleet specific trims”?

    For example if you see a Charger SE chances are that it is a fleet car. Not too many dealers are selling anything below an SXT. A W-body Impala with no badges to indicate LS, LT, LTZ? Then it started life as a fleet model. I’ve always thought the problem with rentals is that many manufacturers use them as a way to unload stripped down models, some that they would never even sell to the public. (Example Impala’s without the standard side airbags because it saved the rental company $200 per car.)

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Honda does not have a corporate fleet unit. That means that there are no fleet incentives packages or fleet trim levels.

      Aside from a few oddball exceptions, such as natural gas Civics, the company makes minimal effort to produce for fleets. The author has problems accepting this fact. However, Honda’s business model is a bit different from automakers, for better and for worse.

      • 0 avatar
        J.Emerson

        “The author has problems accepting this fact.”

        You seem to have difficulties understanding the point I was trying to make. I am well aware that Honda is not in the business of producing “fleet trim” models in the same way that GM, Chrysler, or other manufacturers do. (I would point out, though, that “fleet trims” seem to be on the decline, at least as far as rentals are concerned.) That doesn’t mean Honda sells zero cars into fleets. The dealers are Honda’s fleet program. They are the ones who have responsibility for finding and making fleet sales, which I’ve endeavoured to demonstrate are reasonably common. Perhaps that works well for Honda and it’s franchisees, but it undermines the claim that no or very few new Hondas are making it into fleets.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          “That doesn’t mean Honda sells zero cars into fleets.”

          The number is next to zero.

          The data on Honda fleet registrations is available. It’s very obvious that you never bothered to look at it.

          Your position has been pulled of thin air. There’s nothing to support your view, and legitimate data that completely contradicts it.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Probably not. I’d guess rental Civics and Accords are normal LXs–basic commuter-mobile, power everything, A/C, basic stereo, cruise, and Bluetooth.

      Honda used to sell “DX” trims, which were even more basic–dealer-installed A/C, no radio, maybe power locks but crank windows, depending on the car and model year. Maybe those made it into fleets in the past.

      As to the Imp fleet cars, I can relate. No matter how nice the upper trims may be, the 2011 W-Body Imp I had for a week while waiting for delivery of my new Honda this past March was a real piece..the non-OnStar ovoid mirror with integrated map lights last seen in GMs and Toyotas circa mid-2000s was inadequate to see beyond the HUGE back headrests. Car was merely adequate in other facets.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      And Toyota is now playing the game with L trim level for fleet – at least on Camry.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      All the previous gen Impala rentals I’ve had were top LTZ models, not like that is all that well equipped, leather, climate control, Bose and bluetooth that is about it. Only thing you could get beyond that in the civilian version is a sunroof.

      The Charger SE rentals are not bad, the minimal uConnect works great, car has way more equipment than an old Impala. Don’t know how the new Impala rentals are equipped.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Helped my dad buy a white regular cab lonb-bed Siverado with crank up windows and no carpet. As a concession to Texas heat, it had A/C and cloth seats in place of vinyl. It was definitely a fleet vehicle sold from a separate dealer lot with nothing but trucks painted white. My dad wanted it that way to save money, but I think his fleet version continues the aesthetic of the classic American pickup.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    WOW, Honda has hit a nerve!

    Obviously rental car suppliers like Ford are mad at Honda for pointing out the the truth that Ford isn’t in the game when it comes to purchases by individuals.

    It appears that Honda will be the biggest market share winner this year, Ford, not so much.

    Maybe the TTAC can determine the truth about Ford’s apparent inability to meet EPA numbers with its lamentable Ecoboost products – that would be a service to consumers and, in the long term, to Ford itself.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      And it is a good thing to have their name/logo in front of the public.

      My guess is that those who choose Honda, Toyota and Nissan products for their fleets probably did so because they had the domestic brands at one time and don’t want to do that again OR they know from experience to stay clear from the domestic brands based on their own experiences or those of others.

      Also, fleet vehicles eventually make their way back to the used car lots and most are sold to private parties. So there is money to be made all-around here.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    One misleading aspect of this article that deserves to be addressed:

    The “Honda Fleet Sales” graphic that is being used to lead this article came from the website of a Honda dealer in Oklahoma. It isn’t connected with American Honda’s corporate office.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Shouldn’t government fleet purchases be covered by the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act)? A PITA (Pain in the …)to ferret out the data, but possible.

  • avatar
    Power6

    This article has no data to back the points up, this is pure making stuff up on the Internet.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      After the Camry article, did you really think anything would be different?

    • 0 avatar
      goldtownpe

      “Even so, in the face of mounting evidence, the 1-2% figure most commonly put forth by Honda is almost surely too low. Given the state of flux and increasingly competitive nature of the American car market, industry watchers and the press corps need to regard that percentage with skepticism.”

      Evidence? What evidence? Where are your numbers?

      Apparently googling is not a skill that the author possesses. A quick google search turns up some 2012 fleet numbers based on actual registration data and not manufacturer’s data. The data is even broken down by government, commercial, and rental companies.

      http://www.automotive-fleet.com/statistics/statsviewer.aspx?file=http%3a%2f%2fwww.automotive-fleet.com%2ffc_resources%2fstats%2faffb13myreg-manuf.pdf&channel=

      For 2012, Honda was sitting at 2.4% fleet and Acura at 1%. Looks like GM is the rental car queen with 25.6% of the rental market.

      The actual data basically just sunk the author’s thesis. Apparently Honda wasn’t lying when they say that their fleet % is 1-2%.

  • avatar
    c71

    Not saying that Enterprise doesn’t rent Hondas, but saying “Enterprise Car Sales lists 200 former rental Hondas for purchase” is wrong. Like most car dealers, Enterprise sales outlets accept trade-ins, and at least some of the Hondas they have for sale look like re-sales, not former rentals.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    There seems to be a misconception that when cars are sold directly to fleets that the mfg doesn’t make any money or loses money. That is not the case. When a company buys directly from the mfg it cuts out the dealer and their retail mark up off the bat. The mfgs also do not offer the cut rate financing options, rebates or the college grad/military buyer discounts. When the fleet buyer needs the cars shipped around the country they do ship them to dealers who get a few hundred dollars for washing the vehicle and handing off the keys and paper work and maybe another couple hundred for storing it until the shipper takes it back.

    In the case of sales to rental car agencies the mfg often dictates the mix of trim levels and colors, if they want to qualify for the buy back program, that the mfg in turn uses to supply their CPO programs.

    If fleet sales were so unprofitable Mercedes or Nissan would not have been so hot to enter the cargo van market which is almost exclusively sold to fleets. Ditto for Ford extending the life of the Panther not once but three times as they too were almost 100% fleet sales particularly for the 2011 model year as they only made a small batch of retail Grand Marquis and Town Cars and few export Crown Vics.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      The misconception had its origins in the bad old days, when the domestics used rental fleet sales as dumping grounds for models they couldn’t move at retail. The terms of the UAW contracts meant that they lost less money that way, than by shutting down production to balance inventory. Commercial and government fleet sales were almost always profitable.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    Rental companies want to get cars with better resale these days too. Also, customers are asking for overseas makes.

    So no big ‘conspiracy’. Just market forces. Sure, Honda dealers can’t expect sticker, and some appear at airports. But, they got deep pockets and can still make profit selling at discounts. They are not “going out of style” as armchair car analysts claim.

  • avatar
    SteelyMoose

    You mean to say that Honda isn’t God’s Own Car Company?

    ~~BOOM!!!!!~~

    “What was that?”

    “Oh, that was just CJ’s head exploding.”

    • 0 avatar
      WildcatMatt

      Everybody knows that God is a Mopar guy. He drove Adam & Eve out of Eden in his Fury.

      Jesus, however, now he is a Honda guy, he just never speaks of his own Accord.

  • avatar
    wsn

    This is one of the weakest articles on TTAC. Lots of theories, but not a single cold hard data.

  • avatar
    goldtownpe

    Here’s the Real Truth About Automotive Fleet.

    CY 2012 fleet registration data by manufacturer
    http://www.automotive-fleet.com/statistics/statsviewer.aspx?file=http%3a%2f%2fwww.automotive-fleet.com%2ffc_resources%2fstats%2faffb13myreg-manuf.pdf&channel=

    CY 2012 fleet registration data by vehicle/model
    http://www.automotive-fleet.com/statistics/statsviewer.aspx?file=http%3a%2f%2fwww.automotive-fleet.com%2ffc_resources%2fstats%2faffb13car-reg.pdf&channel=

    Why do TTAC allow such weak articles to be published, unless this was an op-ed? But it guess it does drive up comments so that’s something.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Even if Honda supposedly doesn’t dump to fleets, maybe they should start. Cars.com reports 44066 2013 Civics are available for sale. That seems high considering there are less than 20000 2013 Corollas showing. I’m getting annoyed with those stupid Honda days text message ads too, they’re airing constantly and make me feel dumber after I’ve accidentally watched one.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Seriously, well done Mr. Emerson. Given the amount of limited data you were able to draw some interesting conclusions, I shutter to think how well you’d do with more of it.

    • 0 avatar
      goldtownpe

      The data is not limited. He just didn’t bother to look at the data. Google is your friend (or enemy in this case). If he would’ve actually looked at the data, he would have no material to write about and perhaps no paycheck. I can’t believe TTAC would pay someone to write this crap.

  • avatar
    ceipower

    Honda has no problems when it comes to dictating to it’s dealers , or changing whatever rule they choose , whenever they choose. That’s probably just the way it is today ,they are scrambling for the fast buck, just like everybody else. It’s easier to tolerate when everything is going well , but when the worm starts to turn , Honda will be known not as creative innovators , but as just another ho-hum company trying to get rich fast building average to below average automobiles. We’ve been seeing the transformation for a decade or more. Once the Accord/Civic mystique is gone , they’ll be little more than a glorified past to cling to.

  • avatar
    Doh

    Fleet Sales alway amaze me. Unless you want to rent a Shwin at the local Eneterprise, they need vehicles.

    Vehicles come from many Manufactures, and go to various end users. The 3 basic Fleet users are Goverment, Rental, and Commercial. Then they can break down which Manufacture sells what to where.

    What baffles me is why are there any “Goverment” fleet sales to any manufacturer other than GM or Chrysler? Doe’s not both the US and Canadian Goverment own a good part of both of them?

    Sitting in line at the local “Timmy’s” I had to stop for a bit, when an Altima, Goverment car was in line ahead of me. There isn’t even a Nissan plant in Canada.

    Ontario Hydro was privatised a few years ago. They still run Ford’s in thier fleet’s. Technically they are now a Commercial Fleet, running only Ford’s in thier under 13,000 GVWR fleet.

    Why? are they a better product? Bell and Purolator, also a Commercial fleet running only Ford’s in under 13000 GVWR fleet.

    OPP are holding on to there Panther Crown Vic’s well past thier Best Before Date date, because they don’t like the replacement, or there replacements are not made in Ontario or Canada.

    Fleet sales are not a bad sign, sometimes it is because they are the right vehicle for the intended useage. Rental sales on the other hand.
    Are all about filling a void.

    • 0 avatar
      Freddy M

      Is there a mandate in Canadian gov’t agencies to buy “domestic” like in the US? I’m asking, I don’t know. But I have seen “foreign” government vehicles around as you said, but still, far more domestics (Ford, GM mostly)

      I must have seen ONE Taurus OPP cruiser on the 401 once. My god it’s massively ungainly compared to the CVPI. But at least the panda paint scheme draws attention away from the bulk. The Toronto Police Service Taurus on the other hand, with its all white livery makes it a perfect analogue for a donut box on wheels.

  • avatar
    BlackDynamiteOnline

    Translation: The real fleet number is probably more like 8-10%, similar to what Toyota sells (10-12% fleet)

    It may be hard for Honda Motor Sales Inc. to actually put a real number on fleet sales, with each dealer running their own program independently, with little oversight from Honda, and no structured fleet sales network to tie sales together.

    But this is a very well written, researched article. Would be hard for Honda to say 2% is the number after reading through this. They probably don’t know the number themselves, just passing along what fragments of info they do have collected…..
    BD

    • 0 avatar
      goldtownpe

      The registration data proves that Honda was not lying about the 2% Fleet.

      CY 2012 fleet registration data by manufacturer
      http://www.automotive-fleet.com/statistics/statsviewer.aspx?file=http%3a%2f%2fwww.automotive-fleet.com%2ffc_resources%2fstats%2faffb13myreg-manuf.pdf&channel=

      CY 2012 fleet registration data by vehicle/model
      http://www.automotive-fleet.com/statistics/statsviewer.aspx?file=http%3a%2f%2fwww.automotive-fleet.com%2ffc_resources%2fstats%2faffb13car-reg.pdf&channel=

      • 0 avatar
        BlackDynamiteOnline

        I just said Honda reports what they know are fleet sales.

        The article is saying many sales may not be classified as fleet, or are not recognized by Honda as fleet, when reported. Every dealer has their own system for reporting sales and classifying what is what.
        BD

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          This article is horribly inaccurate.

          Polk obtains registrations data to calculate fleet sales. The author of this article apparently doesn’t know that this data exists.

        • 0 avatar
          goldtownpe

          Yes, Honda doesn’t have fleet department so they don’t know direct if a sale is to fleet or retail. But the data I linked is from registration data which is obtain from state DMV’s so they do know if the registered owner is a private citizen or commercial or government agency. I pretty sure Honda is quoting the RL Polk data when they say they have a 2% fleet since they don’t have an internal fleet department.

  • avatar
    Invisible

    TTAC, if you are going to do an article like this, next time provide actual data, not some nebulous guess work.

    For instance, this is actual data from last month.

    Here are fleet sales in January.
    Ford as usual sold the most, 40,900 units giving Ford the highest percentage going to fleet.
    GM next at 40,400
    Chrysler at 27,500
    Nissan at 18,000 and a HUGE jump in fleet sales last month. Plus Nissan increase in incentives
    Hyundai at 14,100 and the HIGHEST jump in fleet sales to offset the poor sales last year
    Toyota at 14,000 and the biggest DROP in fleet
    Honda way down at 1,800 units.


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  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India