• Aug 26th 2006 at 2:39PM
  • 13
Though Honda did have an embargo on the release of the CR-V until September 1st, some have made the valid point that Motor Trend technically broke the embargo first when copies of its October 2006 issue featuring an article on the 2007 Honda CR-V hit mailboxes this past week. At that point, AutoWeek needed only to "bend the rules" in order to justify publishing photos and information on the web that had already reached the eyes of readers thanks to Motor Trend.
Motor Trend, however, didn't intentionally release its October issue early to get the scoop on the rest of us. The magazine likely has had Honda's press material in hand for weeks and weeks. It produced the October issue, which technically is supposed to be released on September 1st, and sent it out. Having worked for a print mag, I can tell you that once your issue has been sent out you have no control over when it arrives. Would Motor Trend have sent out its October issue early just to be the first with news of the new CR-V? Doubtful. We're sure the CR-V's nice and all, but it didn't even get a mention on MT's cover so why would the magazine advance its production schedule for it?

Also, MT didn't publish any material on the 2007 Acura MD-X, nor did any other outlet of which we're aware, yet AutoWeek published material on that vehicle, too. We're assuming that the MD-X was, indeed, part of Honda's embargo along with the new CR-V and Civic Si sedan. If so, while AutoWeek might be able to argue it wasn't the first (nor the third) to publish embargoed material on the new CR-V, it can't make the same argument for the new MDX. So what justification did AutoWeek have for breaking the embargo on the MD-X if it hadn't yet appeared anywhere else first?

We think there are two likely answers. I mentioned in our post on the new CR-V that I would find it hard to believe AutoWeek published the embargoed material without permission directly from Honda, and that's the first answer. Is it really so hard to believe that Honda gave the go-ahead to AutoWeek to open the floodgates? Automakers are getting so good at controlling the buzz surrounding their upcoming products that it just wouldn't surprise us that much.

The second answer is that AutoWeek believes it can get away with breaking Honda's embargo by nearly a week. It's broken embargos before, most recently with GM's new GMT900 pickups. AutoWeek released material on the new trucks a full day before the official launch was webcast by GM. AutoWeek is considered by many to be an institution of an automotive journalism, so perhaps it is the case that it can play by its own rules without fearing punishment from the automakers.

What remains a mystery is how Honda feels about all this. Is the automaker upset with AutoWeek? If so, is AutoWeek so big that it's above reprisal? Or will Honda keep quiet about the embargo bust because that's what it had planned all along?

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      Who cares about the Hondas?
      The Motortrend magazine on shelves now has the 2007 G35 vs BMW 330i comparo.
      Honda Schmonda, that's some addendum in the back of the magazine.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Monthly print publications have much longer lead times than websites. Without embargos, these print publications would not be able to compete.

      Manufacturers have a specific time they want info released. Without embargos, they'd simply schedule preview drives, press materials, and such closer to the launch. So the public wouldn't get this info any sooner. They just wouldn't get it in a timely fashion from the big print players.

      In other words, not going to happen. If this were a major product that sells magazines, like a new Corvette or Camaro, there'd be a major uproad.
      • 9 Years Ago
      If Acura discontinued the RSX because it wanted to move the name more "upmarket" then why to they release a "CR-V" in their lineup?

      I mean, the CR-V has alwyas been the "civic" level SUV. Basically if you introduce this into Acura what would it have hurt to also have the civic based RSX stay in the lineup.

      Basically, it just seems this just seems like a step backwards if Acura wants to move upmarket.
      Greg A.
      • 9 Years Ago
      It doesn't make sense to me to say a given SUV is in the same bracket with a certain car.

      If I'm not mistaken, the new Civic Si overtook the RSX in power and price, so the RSX is being discontinued. The CR-V lacks a turbocharger, so it won't cannibalize many sales of the RDX.
      • 9 Years Ago
      @9: The RDX is definitely not in the same bracket as the RSX. Its in a slightly bracket than the TSX while the '07 MDX moved a bit more upmarket; the top-end MDX will probably overlap with the RL once the decontented RL arrives. Honda can probably sell more upscale SUVs than sedans (the RL) since they have a good reputation/image with the MDX.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Who buys these anyway? How many women actually participate in the Autoblog?
      • 9 Years Ago
      I don't read M/T, but Car and Driver has an initial road test in the October issue which was on the newstands, here anyway, a few days ago. And yeah, the CR-V has that dorky sidewindow "treatment" that everyone hates, but to me it was balanced out by the tail lights being slightly reduced in size. I didn't read any of the technical details as I was short on time and cash...I bought the October issues of Sport Compact Car and Grassroots Motorsports, instead.

      I can understand why the manufacturers insist on news embargoes...when they can. They probably don't want potential customers clamoring to see the "all-new" Belchfire 10 when it has only just been unloaded from the car transporter. When I was a kid, NO dealer was allowed to show a customer a car before the official introduction date. I think the Ford Mustang did a lot to blow up that idea with it's mid year intro. But even still, as I understand it, Ford dealers were strictly forbidden from unveilling the Mustang until at least 1201 a.m. on the day the Mustang was first sold.
      • 9 Years Ago
      To answer one of the questions, yes women are in auto blog. I read the blogs to get info on a vehicle I may be interested in buying.

      I have a 2002 CR-V and love the dependability of it. When I needed new tires, I upgraded the tires a bit and that fixed the highway road noise problem. I do not like my 2002 CR-V interior though, it is a bit bland but this is my practical vehicle. I have another vehicle for FUN.

      I test drove an 2007 Acura RD-X and I loved it. I am waiting for the 2007 CR-V because the RD-X uses premium gas. The photos I saw of the 2007 CR-V interior has me interested. The new interior could make this girly girl happy.

      A 2007 CR-V FULLY loaded will be under 30K and a nicely appointed base CR-V about 22K. I will have to compare the base RD-X and the CR-V EXL to see if the 4K-6K for the RD-X is worth it.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The embargos are specifically for print magazines as stated above. The websites sit on it as long as they can. I always tried to wait for the embargo to pass simply because I could pre-post everything for midnight and be done with it.
      Autoweek is different though. They don't have to put it on their site just because its shown up in print anywhere. They just do to get traffic mainly because places like AB and Jalopnik are killing their sales.
      I don't think Autoweek helps sell any hondas or acuras outside of performance models actually. And print advertising dollars are sparse. Its a pretty tricky business and I wouldn't be trying to piss any manufacturers off if my print life depended on them to survive. I'm not saying that's right but this isn't even an issue if they said it was a POS or not. They just ran info against the grain.weird. Anyway the new CRV is pretty nice. but I can't say anything else til Friday ;)
      • 9 Years Ago
      Motortrend has been Honda's bitch ever since they gave the new Civic COTY last year. Broke embargo, my ass. This was a planned leak.

      • 9 Years Ago
      Who cares???????
      • 9 Years Ago
      Um, that should be "uproar."

      To put it more succinctly, embargos are there for the magazines, not the manufacturers. But the magazines can't be expected to police themselves, even when it's for their own good.

      As for Motor Trend, I cannot recall ever receiving a magazine this early before.
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