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The Southern California Honda Dealers Association is trying some friendly, if a bit odd, tactics to sell more new cars. Dealers in the group are sending out its employees in blue Honda shirts to carry groceries, pump free gas and hand out complimentary popcorn at theaters. Pasadena drivers were even treated to free parking, when one street's parking meters were covered in blue hoods that said, "It's on us," and "Helpful Honda."
The L.A. Times' story says the helpful Honda employees aren't trying to sell cars and don't even mention their employer or their reasons for helping. Honda hopes those who receive assistance say to themselves, "That was nice of Honda. Now, what has MY car's company done for me lately?"

While the story doesn't cite any numbers to indicate whether the five-month-old campaign is working, the reporter witnessed at least one free gas recipient vow to buy a Honda next time. We've definitely seen crazier things for a free tank.

[Source: The L.A. Times]


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  • 26 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      What a bunch of haters. A lot of you base your assumptions without even test driving one and yet you somehow magically know that they don't have enough torque? My Accord 3.0 V6 6spd has plenty.

      @ David... ever heard of 'Lemon Law'? Obviously you got a Lemon (no car company is perfect) but you didn't exercise your rights. The only idiot in that situation is you.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "@ David... ever heard of .."

        David has owned 99999998 cars so far and always posts how much trouble he had with them. There isn't a Japanese car David hasn't owned and disliked.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Two lemons in a row? You, my friend, lack intelligence to suggest such a thing would happen. ;)

        It's a fucking HONDA, they're RENOWNED to burn oil... his just did it ahead of schedule. :)
      • 7 Years Ago
      I would much rather own a Japanese brand car any day of the week,then a piece of shit dumbestic Ford,Chevy or Dodge same with Germany too but Porsche,BMW are exeptions,Audi is ok but unreliable like BMW and Volkswagen. Hey Matt your Pontiac G6 sucks,i rented one what a piece of shit.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This tactic reminds me of the old mag ads of Honda Motorcycles that claimed You meet the nicest people on a Honda. Many people are not blindly loyal to one product and this friendly service definetely could work.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't need torque to validate my manhood at every stoplight, so I'll stick with the only car company to offer a lifetime warranty on their restraint systems. Not even safety-king Volvo offers that.

      I've owned three Hondas and I don't see them as appliances. They're the Apple of Japanese car companies. Different, but better. It's much more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.

      At least Honda doesn't need to leave thousands of dollars metaphorically sitting on the hoods of their cars to get people to buy them.
        • 7 Years Ago
        A new car will be in my drive way before the powertrain is up on my G6, and I doubt a SEAT BELT would go on a car between it's third and fourth year of life... unless it were a Kia, or maybe a Honda. Maybe that's why they need a warranty. :(
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Ask just about anyone who owns a Honda--they'd be likely to buy another one even without the popcorn."

      That's mainly because Honda buyers are usually people who see cars as appliances for transportation and couldn't be bothered to check elsewhere for competing product. T
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Ask just about anyone who owns a Honda--they'd be likely to buy another one even without the popcorn."

      I wish someone would ask me about the TWO new 2006 Honda Odysseys I've owned recently.

      The first was so poorly constructed I returned it and demanded another one--after FOUR days.

      The second went through two quarts of oil, two power steering pumps, five trips to the shop and way too many gallons of gas before I gave up and sold it--with 5K on the odo.

      No worries though, my new, new, new car is great, and I'm due to pay off my CC debt for the second Honda next month.

      Total loss, about $8K.

      That's a lot of free gas money. Unless, of course, you owned one of the Odysseys mentioned above.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I`m for the American domestic car. But I will say at least Honda deserves customer loyalty. Toyota builds the uglyest vehicles on the road. Honda is better than Toyota. Both makes enjoy the false perception of superority over everything else. People maybe finally opening their eyes and shopping all brands and finding out the status quo isn`t all that.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Free popcorn is not going to change Honda's lineup - still wouldn't even bother test driving one. I'd take the popcorn though. Make some engines with torque, drop the FWD, the 1980s style interior and whatever is going on with the exterior - buy me a steak, maybe I'll drop by - for coffee...
        • 7 Years Ago
        That's funny - I can tell Cobalts are crap when I drive by a dealer and see some used ones with under 10K miles on them that are going for half of what they were going for two years ago when they were new. It'd suck to lose your a$$ on a car so bad in the first two years of ownership if you decide it's not for you.

        Fortunately my Acura is 7 years old and dealer trade-in is worth more than half of what the car cost when it was brand new. I'd like to see that with a Cobalt or a Malibu before I even bother with them. I'd also like to see a Cobalt that will go 120K miles before it's first scheduled maintenance (aside from oil changes) like my RSX has.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You know RV, I say the same more or less the same thing about the big 2 something. Make a car as nice as the average Honda and maybe I'll walk into your showroom. I'm still waiting for them to do so. Fords getting close with their Mazda based platforms. I wish they could think that stuff up themselves though.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I like it! Smart promotion by a company whose products are well-known for their superiority.

      This type of marketing effort is just frosting on the cake to bring both a brand and its service into the foreground.

      Ask just about anyone who owns a Honda--they'd be likely to buy another one even without the popcorn.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Who'd have thought that an article about free popcorn would invite such venom?
      • 7 Years Ago
      "They're the Apple of Japanese car companies."

      i love that he says that like it's a good thing. i guess he means that, just like apple, hondas are overated pieces of crap which melt and aren't compatible with any competing products...
      • 7 Years Ago
      "@ David... ever heard of 'Lemon Law'? Obviously you got a Lemon (no car company is perfect) but you didn't exercise your rights. The only idiot in that situation is you."

      Actually TWO lemons, but other than that you are correct, sir. For darkening the doorway of a Honda dealer...again.

      You see, I'm a former (once again and forever) Honda fan-boy from way back. My previous disenchantment came from being told that my new-ish 1990 Acura's consumption of CV joints (3 sets in 40K) was "normal."

      Sort of like how all the current and future Honda transmission victims will be told it's "normal." (I personally can't wait for the diesel Odyssey, should be good sport) I would rather spend my dough rae me on a vehicle who's major components lifespan's are measured in years, rather than weeks.

      Next time you have a few hundred thousand moments to spare, involve yourself in a "Lemon Law" buyback negotiation.

      You'll find out exactly how friendly the self proclaimed world's most enviromentallly friendly car company really is.

      "Two lemons in a row? You, my friend, lack intelligence to suggest such a thing would happen. ;)"

      Yes, and the substory is that I traded two perfectly good, trouble-free Saturns in for the Odysseys.

      Why, you ax?

      Wife wanted a mini van and we follwed the recommendations of "experts" on some websites too large to mention.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Sounds like Honda has a personal vendetta against you. It probably would be better for you to avoid them for the rest of your life. Personally my and my extended family's experience with them have been much, much better than yours.


        "Next time you have a few hundred thousand moments to spare, involve yourself in a "Lemon Law" buyback negotiation."

        Yes getting a Lemon Law honored takes time but making a few calls to corporate instead of the dealership will almost always do the trick. It's unfortunate that you got two lemons but it was your choice to take the hit instead of fighting it.


        "My previous disenchantment came from being told that my new-ish 1990 Acura's consumption of CV joints (3 sets in 40K) was 'normal.' "

        Dealerships are stealerships. It's difficult to trust any dealership shop no matter what automaker they're associated with.
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