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!


Related Gallery2010 Honda Accord Crosstour

[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...