• Sep 4, 2009
Honda Crosstour - click image above for high-res gallery

Whoo boy! We would not want to be on the business end of the Honda whip this week. In case your head has been in the sand, Honda put up a Facebook page showing off their new Crosstour. General reaction was, to put it Orwellian terms, ungood. What's the problem with social media marketing if you're a corporation? You give up control of your message. As it turns out, sometimes you even give up internal control, too. Which is exactly what happened when Honda's light truck product planning manager Eddie Okubo posted a defense (or is that a defenestration?) of the much maligned new CUV without divulging the company he works for. Well, he got caught.

In a novel/strange/unprecedented move, Honda has gone and posted a clarification on its Crosstour page – about everything. Here's the short version, all bullet pointy like:
  • The images that everyone thinks are the second coming of the Aztek are actually akin to bad yearbook photos. Put another way, the Crosstour is better looking that it looks.New photos will set you all straight.
  • This isn't the European Accord wagon (as cool as Honda knows the Euro wagon to be) because it's an Americanized version of an American Accord wagon. i.e. bigger.
  • This next part bears copying and pasting, "Many of you don't like the styling: It may not be for everyone." Though, Honda thinks among CUV buyers, the Crosstour will do well.
  • Honda can't give out any more specs – sorry
  • Finally, Eddie's comment wasn't removed because Honda was embarrassed by it. His comment was removed because he violated a policy concerning personal opinions on Facebook.
And there you have it -- the odd state of PR in the Facebook/Twitter age. Our thoughts? Defending a vehicle's design on Facebook isn't smart chess. Meaning that unless the comments are turned all the way off, you're just inviting buckets full of further negative comments. Don't say you know how "cool" a car that you don't sell here is and then not sell it here. If it's so cool, why can't we buy one? It's probably best to provide more than two photographs, especially two that you admit are ungood. Assuming a Crosstour Facebook page could be a good idea, people need more to chew on. Finally, poor Eddie. Full response from Honda after the jump. Thanks to everyone for the tips!



[Source: Honda]

PRESS RELEASE:

Hi, Facebook fans. We're listening, and we want to address a few things you've been talking about over the past few days.

The photos: Arguably, the two studio photos we posted didn't give you enough detail, nor were they the best to showcase the vehicle. There are more photos on the way. Maybe it's like a bad yearbook photo or something, and we think the new photos will clear things up.

It's not the European wagon: We've seen a lot of comments about the desire for a wagon, but this is neither a wagon nor designed for wagon buyers. We think the Euro wagon is a cool vehicle, too, and we appreciate the feedback... but a version of that wasn't our intention here. That's another segment worthy of our consideration, but the Accord Crosstour, built on the larger, Accord platform, is meant to give you the best of two worlds – the versatility of an SUV with the sportiness of a car.

Many of you don't like the styling: It may not be for everyone. Our research suggests that the styling does test well among people shopping for a crossover.

You want further details about the Accord Crosstour: We typically can't give you details so far out from when the vehicle goes on sale for a number of reasons, including competitive intelligence and pure availability. However... we hear your frustrations, and while specs on the vehicle aren't finalized, we're trying to get some stuff together that we hope will satiate some of your curiosity and give you more to think about.

Honda associates participating in the wall comments: We didn't remove comments out of embarrassment. We removed comments that were posted contrary to American Honda's consumer-generated media policy for associates: We must first clearly state that we are Honda employees and that a posting is a personal - not Honda's - opinion. Eddie forgot to add that, so his comments were removed.

Thank you for all of the interest, and we'll be in touch again soon...


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 82 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Seems no one here's ever seen the Honda City? That thing's just as bad, except it's not coming to North America ever so everyone seems to have overlooked IT. But, it appears the Crosstour facebook page has a new image(s).
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Our research suggests that the styling does test well among people shopping for a crossover."

      So did GM's research on the Aztek.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Honda, just because you photograph a turd from a different angle, it'll still be a turd.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Inspired by this post and will be posted on facebook:
        http://img529.imageshack.us/img529/9751/hondacrosstour.jpg

        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah.

        "....the two studio photos we posted didn't give you enough detail, nor were they the best to showcase the vehicle. There are more photos on the way. Maybe it's like a bad yearbook photo or something, and we think the new photos will clear things up."

        These were not spy photos! These where the first OFFICIAL photos. Why would these not be as good as possible? That's crazy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The could've avoided this fiasco with commercials starring Michael J. Fox and Harrison Ford.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZPcZq2K2qQ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAkTmba85Q4

      See? That would have been a much better option than Facebook.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Honda never should have set up a facebook page for the Crosstour. Facebook has a younger user base (I know, not as young as it used to be), and nobody under the age of 45 is going to think that the Crosstour is cool.

      CUVs are for old people who have families.
        • 5 Years Ago
        OHMYGOD now that's funny!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Funny stuff....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Tbh, the new photos have allowed it to transition from hideous to inoffensive. Lower it to a normal height, and I would definitely rock one over the sedan.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wait, I got it! The next photos will be a night shoot with the parking lights on!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe with the lights off would be better?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I thought the parking lights might finally give it some shine ;)
        • 5 Years Ago
        I took the liberty of reducing the light levels on one of the crosstour pics to simulate night. See if it looks any better this way.

        http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/5552/accordcrosstournight.jpg
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ GTI & Jared

        Maybe they will use your dark picture ideas but only burn the fog lights to showcase them as a standard feature.... -_-
        • 5 Years Ago
        I really don't get the comment from Honda about a bad photo shoot...I mean come on, it's a photo shoot. You control the lights, the background, the angles and the images you want to post. If the car is ugly, you do everything to disguise the ugliness in your photo shoot.

        Are they trying to tell us that, in future images, they've added mascara and blush to hide the Crosstour's ugly?
        • 5 Years Ago
        VW GTi is correct -- it would be much better photographed with the parking lot lights off. A black CrossTour. On a night with no moon, an overcast sky, and far out in the country, away from any sources of light.
      Derek
      • 5 Years Ago
      The more I think about it the more amusing this becomes. Somebody at Honda thought that Facebooker's (whose average age has got to be well under 30) would think this crossover vehicle as an attractive purchase. I guess I'm not quite old enough yet (28) because I definitely don't see why anyone would buy that hideous thing, even if you had kids. I'd rather have a minivan (and I don't want a van).

      Reminds me of the Chrysler Pacifica, in so much that is a really strange shape and doesn't know what it wants to be (car/wagon/van/SUV).
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Derek
        I don't think it was stupid for them to jump into Facebook at all. I actually congratulate them for it.

        The problem with Facebook, Twitter, et al is that, as said above, you lose internal control of the message. Therefore, you'd better make damn sure (at least a majority of) people like your product.

        I hope THAT'S the lesson Honda takes from this Crosstour debacle. But, sadly, they'll probably conclude that reaching out to fans via FB/Twitter/etc = bad.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Derek
        Young adults are shifting away from Facebook to Twitter, what you'll more likely see there (FB) are 45's and up.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Derek
        That's not fair. While hard to classify, the Pacifica actually looked pretty good. If you have any doubts just compare pics of it to the Honda. No contest.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hahahahahahaha, this is the biggest epic fail I've ever seen for a car company. Maybe even bigger than GM and Chrysler's bankruptcy combined!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Derek, it already is a trend. Look at how ugly Acura has gotten over the last 18months -- the Accord started to tip into 'uh' territory and will probably slip even further.
        Derek
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nothing even comes close to the FAIL that is GM/Chrysler. Let's just hope this doesn't set a trend for Honda.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Derek, with this awful design, the horrible reviews the Insight is getting, killing the S200 and basically all of Acura lately... the trend in set.

        I hope they can turn themselves around as much as anybody, but there's no question they have failed to impress lately.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's like someone at Honda said "hey let's use the Panamera design theme but without the 70+ years of racing cred and insane performance to back up such ugliness"
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