Back in December, Matthew Guy penned an interesting QOTD post soliciting your picks for the most outrageous new car introduction. In the case of the new-for-1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Bob Lutz drove Chrysler’s new (and important) SUV up a set of stairs at Cobo Hall and through a plate glass window. History revealed the hype to be justified: the Grand Cherokee became an instant success, finding its way into suburban middle-class driveways across America.
Sometimes, though, the new product doesn’t live up to the manufacturer’s hype before introduction. Let’s talk disappointment.
I’m starting the process of finding a used car for my daughter who turns 16 in September and will (hopefully) get her license afterwards.
She’s 5’3″ and about 90 pounds, so a B- or C-segment car would be right in terms of size. She’s also listened to me go on about how great it is to drive a manual transmission since she was born, and believes this to be a fundamental need of any car purchase. Our budget is upwards of $10,000 with driver safety the other primary criteria. Fuel economy and reliability aren’t negatives. While I should probably zero in on finding a nice Corolla, I’m looking for an out-of-the-box choice with some car-guy (and girl) cred. Golf? Mini? Mazda3?
So, Honda’s two-seater hybrid sports car is officially belly-up in North America. There won’t be a well-attended service or procession, just a solemn trickle of old models off of dealer lots.
After TTAC confirmed that the CR-Z was done in Canada, and after a ‘Final Label’ edition bowed in Japan, word comes that the model has shuffled off into history everywhere else. Honda representatives confirmed to Car and Driver that the automaker has pulled the plug on the CR-Z in North America.
2016 will be the final model year for the extraordinarily slow-selling Honda CR-Z in Canada. Honda Canada spokesperson Maki Inoue confirmed that the CR-Z is done, indirectly supplanted in Honda Canada’s lineup by the reborn Honda Accord Hybrid.
“As Honda aligns its product portfolio to best take advantage of growth opportunities in the marketplace, it will add a new Accord Hybrid, and discontinue CR-Z this year,” Inoue told GoodCarBadCar earlier this afternoon.
Of course, we knew the CR-Z was done for. Separate articles on TTAC earlier today made mention of an American Honda spokesperson’s impression that the CR-Z was already dead and the glut of CR-Z inventory of which Honda dealers must now rid themselves.
We’re as certain as can be that the Honda CR-Z is dead. Defunct. Discontinued. Done for. Any other applicable d word you can think of.
Not only was the CR-Z long since discontinued in Europe and Australia, Honda is now offering a Final Label edition of the CR-Z in Japan, the company’s home market and the location of CR-Z assembly. Moreover, American Honda’s PR department already indicated to TTAC that they thought everybody knew the CR-Z was deceased, down the drain, discarded.
Dead, yes. But not yet departed. Honda’s U.S. dealers have plenty of CR-Z inventory. Don’t all storm the gates at once now. Tamp down that excitement. Let’s all remain calm.
You know the situation is bad when a person supposedly representing a vehicle already thinks their company announced said vehicle’s death months ago.
During a phone call with TTAC, a Honda rep let slip that the automaker “already announced” the death of the long-in-the-tooth CR-Z.
The problem: Honda’s made no such announcement for North America. Uh-oh.
Honda’s hybrid sport hatch, the lackluster CR-Z, may have mastered the art of invisibility in the marketplace, but it couldn’t hide from company executives.
The model looks to be on its way out in Japan, according to Carscoops, with Honda now offering a ‘Final Label’ edition of the slow-selling vehicle.
September 2014 was American Honda’s lowest-volume CR-Z sales month since December 2012.
248 CR-Zs were sold last month even as Honda dealers sat on sufficient inventory, at least by the standard of the CR-Z’s low desirability quotient, to sell more. According to Automotive News, Honda had a 79-day supply of CR-Zs at the beginning of the month, and of the 963 new CR-Zs Cars.com is currently showing in its database, the vast majority were in stock during the month of September.
Through the first eight months of 2014, Honda was selling 337 CR-Zs per month. Honda sold 4550 CR-Zs in 2013, equal to 379 per month. Monthly volume peaked at 1819 units in April 2011. After 5249 CR-Zs were sold in the final five months of 2010, annual sales reached 11,330 units in 2011 and then plunged to 63% to 4192 units in 2012. 2013’s recovery, at less than 9%, was moderate.
This was supposed to turn out differently; not this CR-X, my week and this post that is. I was going to bookend the week that started out with my rant about the ugly new CR-Z with a CC featuring a pristine gen1 CR-X I had in the can. Poof! That whole folder is gone, along with ten other cars. Ouch. But I had this silver spray-painted CR-X art-car in the making as an Outtake. But you know what? It’s impossible to uglify a CRX that easily. These kids are going to have to work a lot harder before they can obliterate the clean, slick lines of one of the most iconic and loved Hondas ever. So I’m going to spend my afternoon getting a new computer set up and transferring files, and try to remember where I last saw that unblemished CR-X.
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