By on June 20, 2008

0092225-lg.jpgSeveral readers sent us a link to "Honda: Extreme Meets Mainstream" (a.k.a. "Sipping Gas and Taking Names; How Honda is Going to Own Toyota"). It's a love letter straight from the ad department heart. To wit: "When times are tough and gasoline prices rise, people come home to Honda," Paul Lienert gushes. "There's something unique about this company that seems to speak to Americans." In his campaign for Honda's deification, Lienert mentions a couple of flops (Ridgeline, Accord Hybrid) and mentions styling and performance-oriented probs. But they are but speed bumps on the road to immortality. "It all comes from a willingness to think outside the box. Sometimes it wins and sometimes it loses, yet Honda is always willing to embrace things that are new and different… The payoff has been unswerving customer loyalty… If Honda seems suddenly clairvoyant, the foundation for its most recent triumphs has been carefully and consistently laid over four decades." While no one begrudges Honda their success, Edmunds gets enough press releases without having to pay for one. 

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23 Comments on “Edmunds Hearts Honda...”


  • avatar

    What can I say. I (heart) Honda too. I’m on my 5th Civic and slavishly loyal to that product. They just build a damn fine automobile.

  • avatar
    hitman1970

    He forgot to add that Honda is just another blood-sucking profit seeking corporation like everyone else. Duh.

  • avatar
    jaje

    Compared to the D2.8 the Japanese Big 3 do not over pay their executives and they produce results or are pushed out of the way – the culture of engineers who run the company creates this (not good ole boys, bean counters, and slick willy sales people).

    For the past 15 years Honda has been criticized for not upsizing quickly enough for and going SUV / truck crazy. They took their time while D2.8 abandoned small cars to Korean rebadgings or slapping lipstick on 10 year old pig platforms. Honda is head and shoulders above b/c their lineup is still fuel misery and their reputation of quality and efficiency is what is now in demand (not so much 4 years ago when they plateaued in sales).

    Honda’s not perfect but they are no blood sucking profit corporation b/c almost all profits are not shot out as dividends to shareholders but reinvested back into the company (like it should be – done right). Think if D2.8 makes profit that means huge bonuses on top of their laughable huge salaries even if the company does not meet goals – in addition most of the profit goes into dividends funds so they can still pay out when they are losing money (like GM – still paying Dividends but haven’t turned a fiscal profit in years and they’ve lost $10B in cash even with selling off assets).

    No Honda’s not perfect but they are smart and wise as they know gas prices can fluctuate wildly and they are well prepared for this with flexible manufacturing so that they can change product mixes between cars/trucks/suvs relatively quickly – they have maintained their stable of fuel sippers and have an envious reputation (Even Wagoneer had a rare moment of clairvoyance commenting that Honda was smart and is now reaping the benefits from the industries fascination with bigger is better).

  • avatar
    Michael Ayoub

    I’m really looking forward to the CRZ hybrid. It might be my next car.

  • avatar

    Cue the “Hah! Honda will suffer when the market once again wants large cars. Their focus is too narrow!” comments.

    Honda is being very smart.

  • avatar
    John R

    The article does go on to mention that Honda is and has been sucking wind in the performance segment, to which I agree.

    Namely the glaring lack of RWD Acura offerings and the fondly remembered Prelude (they don’t mention the Integra for some reason), NSX and “slow selling” S2000. Which I believe isn’t such the sales failure that Edmunds makes it out to be, its my understanding that Honda never expected the S2000 to last this long.

    The problem to me seems that Honda will knock the ball out of the park (NSX, S2000, Acura cars in general), round the bases, leave the stadium and then go home…and its only the 1st inning. They’ll leave their products withering on the vine as far as development is concerned and for some reason be satisfied when the competition passes them by (Lexus, Infiniti).

    Yeah, its a blatant puff piece, but its not a total BJ. I guess it was slow news day at Insideline.

  • avatar

    The only Hondas that lead in fuel efficiency are the small ones. The trucks and Accord–not so much.

    The new Acura TSX suggests that engineers aren’t exactly running the show at this point. In stark contrast to Hondas past, the instrument panel towers over the driver. Steering feel has taken a hit. And many people consider the styling overdone. Much like the interior of the current Civic. This and other recent designs also have overly complicated controls–from the company that used to “keep it simple.”

    Much like BMW (which it seems to emulate), Honda no longer has the clear focus it once had.

  • avatar
    Michael Ayoub

    Man, for as slow as the S2000 sells (?) I sure see a /ton/ of them around here. I just recently sold mine…

  • avatar
    jaje

    The new TSX is a mild complete redesign however the diesel engine is less than a year away and is the big upgrade for the model.

    Honda’s steering feel has lost some of its feel I believe due to electronic system (no longer hydraulic) – but BMW is also having this issue too. Same thing with drive by wire throttles nowadays.

    Doesn’t the 2wd Pilot get highest in class mileage for midsize / large SUVs?

  • avatar
    marc

    There were a couple of critiques, but overall the piece read like a press release. I was kinda disappointed in Edmunds for that one.

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    Honda is one of the few auto companies that get it business-wise. The styling on some of their models leave little to be desired however (eg. TSX) but performance is right up there. No one makes a sweet manual like they do, their 4 cylinder engines are smooth and rev happy (the only two things right with the TSX) and the handling of even the Accord verges on being sporty for such a large car.

    The Detroit 2.8 (2.7?) would do well to look at Honda’s business model and take a few lessons instead of pocketing every red cent they make.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    I agree that Honda may be veering off track lately with cars like the new Accord and TSX, but IMO the Fit, Civic and CRV are true to company’s core values. I always enjoy driving my wife’s 2001.5 Accord EX with the 5-speed manual – it seems to have been engineered with a purpose and focus I’ve not seen in any other car I’ve owned, including my current Nissan.

  • avatar
    Ronin317

    I think the TSX takes an unfair bashing…but who am I to comment, as I own an ’06. I still smile everytime I get into the thing and drive.

    The new one handles slightly more sluggish than the model it replaces. And by that, I mean it’s marginal. It accelerates faster, due to a bit more lower-end torque, and I think the styling is understated, but classy. It’s a great entry-level lux sedan, because it’s good across all the categories, including efficiency. Just enough toys, just enough handling, just enough style, just enough power, and great reliability, warranty, and price. But not the leader in any category – in fact, it reflects Honda as a whole.

    However, the new Acura grille has to go. And quickly, too.

  • avatar
    ronin

    The Accord’s fuel consumption rate is on a par with its competition; nothing fantastic. The Pilot’s MPG is not that great. The Element’s AWD MPG is embarassingly poor. And notice I did not use the 2008 cliche of the year phrase, “not so much.”

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    Don’t really see any particular issue with the article myself. They have a positive view of Honda and decided to express it based on Honda’s current and upcomming lineup. So if they bashed GM for having a crappy lineup that would be OK?

    I read far to many blogs and auto websites and Edmunds seems to be the least biased of them all.

  • avatar
    Samir

    I have to agree with Karesh. Somewhere a long the way, Honda went from CRX to CRV. So yeah, the cars are fuel efficient relative, to, say, a Ford Expedition. But then, they’re nowhere near as fuel efficient as Honda could make them. The Civic has followed the 3-series over the years, growing to the point where it is bigger than the car above it used to be (Accord, 5-series respectively).

  • avatar
    RedStapler

    Yes, but Honda actually offered a new “Civic” with the Fit when the Civic and Accord grew and moved up a class.

    Now between the upcoming CRX hybrid, Fit Hybrid and the “Prius Killer” they will likely have the best car lineup in the NADM.

    Samir:

    The Civic has followed the 3-series over the years, growing to the point where it is bigger than the car above it used to be (Accord, 5-series respectively).

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    Toyota will own this silly auto-cycle-boating-mower-company with its dedicated Prius brand and Lexus hybrid vehicles. Sorry to burst your bubble!

  • avatar
    jaje

    romanjetfighter: Amazing amount of insight ignorance you have. Will you guarantee that or is this just a bone headed statement not supported by anything but your opinion? When will this happen – I’ll set my clock.

    Read up on this history of these two companies before you speak such ignorance. Toyota’s tried to quash Honda for over 50 years – stop them from incorporating and has tried ever so hard to put them out of business with no success. All that time Honda has grown to the #2 car manufacturer in Japan a pathetic #1 in global motorcycle sales in the world, and will soon have their own passenger jet.

    Honda’s gone even further – instead of just selling motors they’ve invested info 100s of other smart practices like shipping back parts containers to Japan with US grown soybeans (most others ship back containers empty) or Honda upgraded their train car delivery systems rail access in and out of the plants to be able to stack 3 cars high rather than two cars.

    Sorry to burst your bubble!

  • avatar
    carveman

    Everyone knows that Honda is the worst cars in the world and their quality sucks. They lose value like black diamonds at the Brighton ski mountain. They have never won a NASCAR race ever. As far as their so called motorcycles go they are no match for a Harley Davidson with its thundering V twin.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Toyota will own this silly auto-cycle-boating-mower-company with its dedicated Prius brand and Lexus hybrid vehicles. Sorry to burst your bubble!…

    This made me think of that other diversified Japanese company, Yamaha. I always loved Yamaha products. I have Yamaha stereo equipment and a piano. I used to have a Taurus SHO with the Yammie V6. If I looked in the attic I’m sure I would find my first pair of skis – Yamaha’s of course. Too bad they don’t make cars…I guess this is how some of you feel about Hondas.

  • avatar
    FromBrazil

    Honda has much love in America!!! Good for them.

    DOwm here my main impression is: Buy a Honda, immediately get 10 yrs older!!

    Yeah that’s right and there’s a reason for it. Their products are so f…ing expensive only succesful over 45 executiv types can buy them. Would you believe that dowm here a Fit is like a mommy-mobile (think minivan though down here, not uncool yet), a Civic is an upwordly mobile executive car (think 3 series) and an Accord is supposed to be a luxury car (though they don’t get a free pass on this particular positioning as most people don’t buy it)?

    That’s Honda down here, over-pretensious and almost terminally boring.

  • avatar
    jimmy2x

    Drifter:

    He forgot to add that Honda is just another blood-sucking profit seeking corporation like everyone else.

    Unike GM which hasn’t been seeking profits for sometime now…

    The best laughs always come from a line with more than a grain of truth. My hat is off to you.

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