Losing it: What’s up at Honda?
Too much focus on tomorrow?
The hybrid for all of us. That was the promise of the Honda Insight. Instead, it’s been the hybrid for very few of us. Despite the fact that Honda beat Toyota to the hybrid game, Honda still has yet to show real leadership on hybrid cars.
But it isn’t just hybrid leadership, or the lack thereof, that has many wondering if Honda has lost its engineering mojo.
The new Civic, for example, was recently delayed, and many believe that the new Civic simply wasn’t up to the challenges of increasing competition in this space. In fact, many believe Honda’s newest vehicles are “sloppily designed, not very good to drive and even worse to look at.”
Moreover, for the past few car show seasons, the most interesting Honda vehicles have been fuel cell vehicles, Honda’s holy grail, but a technology that is still many years away from the mainstream. Nonetheless, for years Honda has remained bearish on hybrids, although the company has softened that stance to some extent recently, and Honda continues to be anti-plug.
Based on current rates of adoption and many long term adoption projections, Honda’s stance against hybrid and plug-in vehicles might be somewhat logical, but not for a company that is supposed to offer the best engineering in the auto industry. A truly great hybrid, plug-in hybrid or EV shouldn’t be an option for Honda, it should be mandatory.