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Unless your current residence is beneath the Earth's crust, you probably know about the beating Toyota has been laying on the domestic automakers. Almost every month, Toyota's sales rise by double-digits while the Detroit-based competition endures losses. It seems there's constant debate over which US location at which Toyota will build its next assembly plant, and the gang from Aichi has a good chance to become the world's largest automotive manufacturer by sales volume in 2007.

Honda, too, has seen a steady climb in US market share with volume rising 50% in the past 10 years. Overall volume in the United States is now at 1.5 million units and Honda doesn't even have full-size trucks and SUVs like the competition. It's looking to expand its offerings with a planned V10 supercar and a new, more powerful Accord coming stateside by year's end. Incentive spending has been right around Toyota's levels also, with total spend at about 1/3 of the competition. Honda is also the technological leader in many non-automotive areas, with 12.7 million motorcycle sales in 2006 in addition to other businesses including robots, power equipment, and aircraft.

The automaker is also scoring high marks for quality. In the Consumer Reports 2007 Top Picks, Honda scored winners with Fit, Civic, and Accord -- a sweep in the volume passenger car categories. Positive results in JD Power initial and long-term quality studies have also helped keep resale values much higher than the domestic competition.

With domestic automakers taking aim at Toyota in a bids to gain back lost ground, they'd be well advised not to forget about Honda as well. Each year, it takes a little more share away from Detroit while flying under the radar asToyota registers as the 800 lb. bogey.

[Source: Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      In Canada Honda is a big hit. Reliability and good on gas brings it ahead of even Toyota. The moment, Honda and Toyota forget why people buy their cars, they will have Hyundai to contend with, as Stéphane Dumas mentioned. Also price plays a very big factor with or without gadgets.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #3 Stephane is right on the mark.

      I was a Honda freak in the 1980's. Hondas were special then, relative to the rest of the market. In the 90's I got turned off to them, they had become dull and mainstream, and I wasn't particularly entralled with my 91 Civic.

      When I got my new 2002 Protege5, I felt it had some of the spirit in it that Hondas had lost, but it was still well built and reliable. I feel the same about my 06 Mazda3.

      I'm a fan of diesels, so it is possible that Honda could win me back if they bring a diesel car like the UK 5-door Civic to the US market, but right now there is nothing in the Honda showroom that remotely appeals to me personally.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I loved Honda back in the early 90s, when they were a niche brand with a small product lineup. Now? They're a Toyota wannabe, and they're constantly approaching Toyota levels of boringness. The only good thing about 2007 Honda is their suspension, and I have to wonder if the Accord's sporty suspension will go away in the near future due to Honda's quest to ape Toyota.

      Subaru is now what Honda was 15 years ago. I still like Subaru.
      • 8 Years Ago

      i have an '04 TL and it runs beautifully. If given the chance again, I would have still chosen it over similar competitors. I am aware there were some problems with 01-03 TL transmissions but if you knew anything about Acuras you'd also know the '04 is a complete redesign. In fact, it has converted my domestics-only boyfriend...and he's one hard-headed guy!
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Sorry, but a TRANSMISSION is a major part of the car and after all these years, Honda still can't build them right. Ask an 04 TL owner how their trans is holding up. Same old same old."

      Ask me. I own a 2000 Acura 1.6 EL with 242,000 km and have experienced no transmission problems whatsoever. Sorry to rain on your anti-import parade.

      • 8 Years Ago
      I have viewed Honda as the "engineers" automobile company. Its engineers seem to have the final say, accounting for some Hondas' quirky styling. They seem to be superior technically to arch rival Toyota's wares and are nicer to drive.

      However, No. 3 is right. With each succeeding Honda model the engineering influence retreats. The deline started with the elimination of the Civic's double wishbone suspension and continues.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Did'nt Saturn post gains in sales of almost 60% in February compared to February of 2006, & GM 3.4%?
      I don't think GM is continuing to endure 'huge losses' with its bout of new and respectable products...
      • 8 Years Ago

      As a Honda/Acura owner who has now owned 4 of these cars and driven several more, I agree with S. Dumas. When I remember my 4th gen Civic and my 5th gen Civic, I can see where Honda moved the refinement target up just a little more with each suceeding model. Having driven a N600, an early '70s Civic, and a few '80s Accords......it's hard to believe the car building part of this company has only been around for about 40 years.

      HOWEVER, as much as I agree with carnut that Honda has problems with their newer automatic transmissions (the one in my Integra has, I believe, 159,000 miles on it and still runs with almost no problems...hey, it's 16 years old!) he very nicely forgets about the problems Chrysler had in the late '80s and '90s with their automatics. Or the many stories reported by AutoBlog about the problems Ford had/has? with automatics in their trucks. Hell, if I remember right, even "mighty" Toyota has had automatic transmission problems.
      • 8 Years Ago

      Honda should look into buying a small specialist manufacturer like TVR or Lotus. It would be great for its image.
      far jr
      • 8 Years Ago
      I ment to state that the Fit sells a little over 2000 per month (2,301 to be exact). Two hundred would put it more into Land Cruiser sales territory!

      Oh and before all of the "liar, redneck, xenophobe" comments, I will list my source for those numbers... Honda's own site.

      • 8 Years Ago
      I just received a safety notice to schedule a "shop half day" for my 2007 Honda Fit Sport Auto. The airbag computer software may make the bags deploy early. Is this a recall? I like my car, the handling, and interior finish and packaging. It is a utilitarian delight as on accessible box with the "magic" seats. On one highway trip it hit a 40mpg average. The negatives are many, however. The engine is raucous, harsh and strained at acceleration, the exhaust is so noisy at idle that I thought a clamp had opened, the tranny makes loud erratic clunking noises shifting between reverse/drive gears, the front visibility just drops off making it impossible to judge the bumper corners, the A-pillar blocks 4 inches of visibility (I almost clipped a jogger on a left turn!), the actual city mileage is a disappointment at 19-23mpg, the ABS applies on dry surfaces early, highway wind noise is loud (the dry blower at the car wash makes the entire roof ripple and pound like a tin roof in a tornado), the car is very stripped in ways, no carpeting, hard plastic door handles and door arm rests, cheap dome light, no center arm rest, no rain drip gutters, no available sunroof, instrument stalks with clumsy multiple functions.
      After owning and driving for 6 months I have to ask is my car better than Suzuki, Aveo, Cobalt, Versa, Kias, G5, etc? I'm not convinced from behind the wheel.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm a multiple Honda owner and big fan, and I too am feeling that Honda is moving away from what made them so special. My next car will probably be a Volvo C30 if they offer the turbo 5 with AWD at some point.

      To me there isn't much more Honda fun than a 91 CRX with a LS/VTEC or GSR swap. Hondas have always aged well until the 7th gen. Civics. I honestly feel they are losing the "magic".

      Oh, and the V10 car will help sales because it draws people to the dealership. The Corvette does more for Chevy by selling Malibus and Cobalts than what they profit from Corvette alone. It's all about getting people to the lot.

      Someone else already said it, but Honda lost part of what made them special when they went away from the double wishbones. The TSX still has them, but that's the last Honda product.

      Steps for Honda redemption:

      1. turbo K series and SH-AWD in the TSX, and make a TSX coupe with the same. in fact, every Acura product should have SH-AWD
      2. bring back the CRX with a base model having a Fit engine, the "sporty" model with the R series from the current Civic, and a hybrid model of course. (be releastic, Honda won't offer a K series in a new CRX)
      3. give the S2000 a Type R variant, even if it's just for the last year of production, and only 1000 units or so in the US. This gem really needs a celebration before it stops production.
      4. next accord HAS to be a LOOKER. the concept doesn't inspire at all, in fact it's a step in the wrong direction.
      5. Give Honda a V8 powered (source the next RL powerplant), mid engine track monster as a Halo car, and give Acura a V10 front engine SH-AWD grand touring car. This car should be out soon too, to benefit from Acura's current LeMans efforts.
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