The sky may seem to be falling at Honda headquarters. Their 8.3 percent drop in January and February of 2005 is more than Ford's 7.4 percent decline. Luckily it was still less than GM's 9.9 percent loss. This Detroit Free Press article rightly points to product being the reason for Honda's recent malaise. We'll healthily agree. The company took too long to revamp the Civic and during that time the entry level car strayed from its key markets. Then the Accord came out with so-so styling, good power but also one thing that will hurt any car company, quality issues. But to me it is the product problem.

The CR-V, Pilot, Element trio of trucks are either aging or unappealing. Judgement is still out on the Ridgeline until real sales start to come in. For me it will all hinge on the new Civic and how long it takes to come to market. If the new coupe, non Si, comes out at the same or lower price than the Scion tC, Honda could be ridign high again. Honda needs to get their new models to the market faster. They?re lagging behind the curve of Toyota/Scion. And many buyers don?t see a difference between a Hyundai and a Honda, and I don?t mean the H on the hood. The lone bright spot for Hybrid may be their Hybrid models.

At least Acura is making gains. They just need to redesign the RSX and dump the NSX and they?ll be leaner and meaner. And can we get a new MDX already?


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