• 23
Honda seems to be canceling events left and right amidst the gloomy economic conditions, first announcing it was leaving Formula 1 and following that shocker up by dropping from AMA road racing competition. The latest event chopped from Honda's 2009 calendar is the Honda Hoot, a large motorcycle rally that's normally scheduled to take place late in June. Honda blames the cancellation on "economic uncertainty." Each year, thousands of riders flocked to Knoxville, TN, with last year marking the fifteenth annual running. Obviously, Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam is disappointed that the 16,000 tourists who crashed his town in '08 won't be dropping by next year, but the reality is that both the city and Honda may have expected a smaller turnout next year anyway, and the the motorcycle maker just doesn't have the funds available to put on a good show. The full statement has been pasted after the break.

[Source: Honda]

OFFICIAL STATEMENT:

Honda Hoot 2009 Canceled Due to Economic Uncertainty

12/19/08

Torrance, CA: American Honda announced today that the 2008 Honda Hoot will bring to a close 15 years of what has been one of the most successful motorcycle rallies in history. Over the years, almost a quarter of a million guests attended the Honda Hoot which was born in the hills of Ashville North Carolina and eventually moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. At the first event, a little over 3000 attendees enjoyed what would grow to become one of the largest rallies in North America

The Hoot set new precedence for what a motorcycle rally should be, offering not only a wonderful opportunity to test ride new products but also focusing on family fun and growing the industry from the ground up. Based on the current economic crunch which may have significant impact on our customers during 2009, American Honda will take this time to seek out new and innovative ways to engage with our customers so that we can continue to ride together.

American Honda extends our deepest gratitude to the more than 1,300 volunteers who helped make the Honda Hoot a success and to all our event sponsors, to our two host cities, Knoxville, Tennessee and Asheville, North Carolina, and especially to all the good people who helped make the Hoot such a great event.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Stop whining like little children.

      Instead of taking money out of your pocketbook, Honda is at least ACTIVELY trying to reduce costs so it can stay alive and come back tomorrow and continue to make the reliable, superb products everyone who appreciates them has come to know.

      Compare this to the Big 3...who even until just NOW....still think that building SUVs as their bread and butter is the right thing to do.

      If cutting events and costs for Honda means that they will continue to make new hybrids, do research in alternative energy products, come out with cars like a Honda Fit, then be damned with the stupid events and magazines...these are irrelevant.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Oh please what?

        An S2000 and Civic SI limited in numbers???? LOL...give it a break man. We're not talking about Ferrari F430's ok? The quality of these cars is the same as any other car in the Honda lineup.

        Honda's philosophy has been to make cars that are light, responsive, and nimble. So why would they waste their time putting in a large heavy V8 up front?

        In case you need reminding, usually good handling, performance oriented cars that are appreciated are light, well balanced, and responsive. Just because the Accord isn't so doesn't mean Honda doesn't make cars that fit that bill. The Accord is an American product first and foremost and has slowly turned into every other American oriented sedan....large, heavy, and comfortable. With the exception that they are far more reliable than their American counterparts.

        If you think the average quality of a Honda is no better than what comes out of Detroit, then your scale of judgement is VASTLY different than most. You'd have to be seriously warped to sit in a Ford Focus and then sit in a Civic to not be able to tell the difference.

        Unfortunately I don't have access to other superb European cars such as the Megane or Clio...cars I'd take over anything offered there or here. So we can't really compare such vehicles. But as far as what is offered here, sorry but Honda makes far better quality cars than any comparible car coming from the USA. If there are some cars that are as good quality as their Japanese counterparts, say such as a CTS perhaps, it's been a catchup game and by no means are the US products any cheaper in value.

        So you think pimply highschool kids drive around Hondas huh? So what about those Mustang V8s? What sort of douchebags drive those? Oh yeah...pimply high school kids who ad supercharger belts and NOZ also....geez....what a coincidence.

        Oh yeah...and we know what high quality products those Mustangs are...just top notch.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hey, GM canceled all their Saturn jamborees or whatever the hell they were called a long time ago. Of course that was back when Saturn was making money and it actually had a following or loyal fans who loved those things, but their heart was in the right place right? :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Come on noz,

        Give us all a break, they've been taking tax dollars for years to assit in building assembly plants. They've taken tax dollars from their home nation too. Please tell me what great hybrids are actually on the street now? What Civic? They're not leaders there. Everyone is invested in alternative energy vehicles and most of their competitors will have as good or better alternatives to the Fit by spring (Aveo being the exception) in the form of Fiesta, Yaris, Versa, etc.

        Plus coming from personal experience, a 3 year old Accord is starting to really accrue alot of bills to keep it running (of course it's out of warranty). Their products are, in reality, no better than anyone elses'.

        You'd think a company that relies on the economy being good would not pull a bunch of knee-jerk cancellations of their events, especially something that is of such little cost to them. It shows they really don't care about their enthusiasts or customers if the money isn't coming in by the truckloads.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Oh please,

        You're performance models the Si and S2000 are very limited in their abilites for the price. The S2000 is a good handler but you have to rev the crap out of the thing to get any power, and it's far from cheap for what it is. The Si is a performance vehicle if you compare it to other 4 banger econo cars without forced induction but the new ones aren't very capable at all out of the box at all and are even worse since they went away from SLA suspensions.

        As I said before, my wife has an Accord (as do several of her friends), it's nothing special and has been expensive to maintain and has had several problems at less than 60k miles (she has a friend that blew up the tranny on hers at 40k miles). It's far from a great vehicle and is in no way superior to Fusion or Malibu in either reliability, fit and finish, or material quality.

        Honda had a montra I heard of years ago and that was they were an engine building company that considered the rest of the vehicle a wrapper for their engines. Since they refused to make V8s, they concentrated on 4 and 6 cyl and they were pretty decent at making those. The rest of the vehicle, however, does lack and is no better than anything coming from Detroit (I won't argue if you make Chysler an exemption from that statement).

        They are also nearly as boring as Toyota these days (S2000 and I guess Si excluded) and few people outside of pimply high school kids who want to add NOZ or people who care less about their cars would buy one.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Two Possibilities:

      1. Honda is in a worse situation than it would like to let us know at the moment, thus the non-stop cutbacks and withdrawals.

      2. Honda is being smart and actually "tightening their belts" in this economic downturn by cutting all unnecessary spending.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Choice 1.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yea I'm going with 1, they're taking some drastic actions that don't fit the practice a business should do if the case was actually 2.

        What I mean is, the kind of measures they taking would do more damage if it was only 2 and not 1.

        So 1 is the answer.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You honestly don't have a clue if you think Honda makes boring commuter cars. What...the Chevy Impalas, Malibus, Fusions, and the rest are exciting?

      The whole SI brand is a thrill to drive you can actually drive.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This seems a little ridiculous. These rallys cost the manufacturer very little while bringing massive amounts of business into the host city. If they were coming up short they could easily have asked for help from the various Knoxville tourist and commerce associations that benefit from the event.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Umm, I do know what I'm talking about, I've been putting these together for Harley Davidson for going on 10 years. The manufacturer doesn't buy insurance for anything. They do little more than lend their name.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Um, You have no idea what he's talking about. Event insurance alone is ridiculously expensive.

        US sales on the auto side are what keep Honda afloat (MC included) and they are way off, so cuts are all around. Pretty simple.
      • 6 Years Ago
      whats next?

      motogp?
      7th gen VFR development?
      Acura?
      Next Gen RL?
      Red Rider Magazine?

        • 6 Years Ago
        NSX? Oh, nevermind. I hope this new insight does some amazing sales numbers.
      Carlos
      • 6 Years Ago
      This craziness is why Honda is not begging for money to stave off bankruptcy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Carlos
        you're wrong. they've already received their money from the Japanese Government, just like Toyota, Nissan, and Subaru.

        no need for bankrupcy.

        the canceling of all these events should be an indicator, however, that this financial crisis is affecting all automakers equally. this is a worldwide problem, and does not only affect products made by the Big 3.

        AZMike
        Carlos
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Carlos
        None the less it still costs them money and every little they can save the better.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Carlos
        Companies that are still turning a profit don't need a bailout or bankruptcy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Carlos
        Not really

        1: I'm sure this rally doesn't cost Honda much

        2: I wouldn't be surprised if the Japanese government has given Honda/Toyota/Nissan money before.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Carlos
        You don't know the half of it!I could tell you stories.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's a sign of the times, people.
      • 6 Years Ago
      :sniff: :sniff: What is that I smell? A delay in the new NSX? Say it ain't so! Just like I have been saying for going on two years now, the new NSX will be released just in time to be irrelevant, and then kept around in the same form for ten years past time for a remodel. Honda builds boring commuter cars and if I'm going to spend my hard earned money on something it's going to be fun, even if it's small. With that being said, I do have an Accord right now, but will being going a different route entirely on my next purchase just because they're so f-ing boring.

      As for the store above, that is a real bummer being from Knoxville as it does bring money into town and it's neat seeing thousands of Gold Wings cruising around for a week. The Dragon is nuts that week with all kinds of people putting their Gold Wings into the bushes, and that is a whole lot of fun to watch in itself.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think it's a mix of Options 1 & 2. They are tightening their belts but also finally admitting that today's Honda is more or less Toyota: a company which builds mass-market vehicles that caters aout 97% to the Joe Shmo and the remaining to the NSX/S2000 crowd. They don't bring in much revenue so instead of having racing programs which filter down new handling/performance upgrades, they will simply focus on 35 air-bags, 20 cup-holders and any number of MPG-raising tricks.
    • Load More Comments