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2011 Honda CR-Z – Click above for high-res image gallery

Honda has hit rough water with sales of its new CR-Z, Accord Crosstour and Insight models According to Automotive News, the three models are underperforming in a big way.

Take the Insight hybrid, which is falling 40,000 units short of even the most conservative estimates inside the company. Outsold 8-to-1 by its Toyota Prius rival, Honda has only managed to shift 19,325 units through November – the company originally targeted sales of 60,000 to 80,000.

Likewise, thus far this year, Honda has sold nearly 20,000 fewer Crosstour models than its biggest competitor – the Toyota Venza, selling just 25,927 units compared to the Toyota's 43,325. Need we remind you, Honda's original sales goal for the Crosstour was 40,000 units per year, a number we were deeply skeptical of after first driving the vehicle at its launch last November.

Although it hasn't been on the market that long, early sales for Honda's new CR-Z hybrid coupe aren't any more encouraging. Automotive News reports that Honda had conservatively intended to sell around 15,000 of the two-seat hybrids per year, but so far, only 4,373 have made their way off of dealer lots and another 3,000 are currently sitting in inventory. Thankfully, there is one bright spot in the Honda stable – the 2011 Odyssey. The minivan bowed in September, and it's performing well against a minivan segment that has heated up with a range of new competitors.

Automotive News suggests that the problem boils down to a change in Honda's image from a company with compelling products to one that plays it safe. Throw in styling that isn't for everyone and aging (but still selling) models like the CR-V and Accord, and you've got a recipe for decreased market share.

Honda, meanwhile, says that it doesn't focus on market share because that leads to bad habits (read: incentives), instead opting to focus on percentage-increases in vehicles sold. That's a fair strategy, but slow sales of key new models suggest that Honda needs to do some soul-searching. Might we suggest getting back to its roots as an engineering-driven car company?



Photos copyright ©2010 Steven Ewing / AOL.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


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  • 152 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Crosstour is not bad. Good looks, roomy interior, nice engine. Put in a 6 auto and it'll get at least 19 city 28 highway and it'll be a winner!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wow your bar is very very red. That's impressive.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Wow your bar is very very red. That's impressive."

        That bar is designed for children. Noone else would care less.

      • 4 Years Ago
      I get some of the gripes but I dont understand the complaints about the CRZ. For the price of a compact economy car with a few options you can get a fun to drive, well optioned hybrid car that gets awesome gas mileage.
      People shouldnt be asking why would anyone buy the CRZ. They should be asking who on earth would buy a high trim Corolla, Elantra, Cruze, or Focus if they dont use the back seat?
      • 4 Years Ago
      -> I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!!! Honda's ignorance toward its mediocre (and pointless) new car line-up aka. the Triple-Troubles are taking its toll as I predicted 2 years ago...

      -> As Honda tries to be a wanna-be Toyota Hybrids, each model introduction are begining to be more pointless by the year...

      Crosstour - Pointless, the Venza is more refined while the Outback is more rugged, abeit more affordable.

      Insight - Pointless, a wannabe Prius with 99 cent quality, plus the Fit is way more logical.

      CR-Z - Pointless, a false hope to the CR-X, a car with no distinct identity, a poor excuse of a sports car, I hope the Veloster kills this crap...

      Element - Will be gone, for what it is its a shame that Honda pulled the plug on this one...

      Ridgeline - Soon to be gone, a perfect suburb's-type pickup, too bad Honda designed it the wrong way...

      Civic Si - Soon to be gone, as Honda will make this the last true performance-oriented VTEC car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      How about their propensity of late for poor customer relations, arrogant sales force and poor service. This is what happens when a car company becomes too big for their britches and forgets their customer. And bad design, too.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Dear Honda,

      If I am to live with my car for the next 4 to 10 years, I want it to look great, have enough power (for both fun and saftey reasons), be reliable and is priced competitively (including original warranty) with a dealer/regional sales/service network that I can depend on. Currently, you have 1 out of 4 of these key points right; you should go back and rework the other 3 points in order to continue to be an automotive brand people should consider.

      If you can't figure out which of the points you have correct and which ones need to be reworked, then perhpas your automotive sales future will spell it out for you - albeit a bit too late.

      Signed,
      A U.S. Consumer
      John S
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yep, Honda's definitely lost it. I was looking for an economical 4 door car and went to check out the Honda Fit. For the sport package the dealer wanted $22k and said that they can only go down 800 dollars. This is before taxes by the way. I said no thanks. I walked across the street to see what Toyota had for around $18k and ended up buying a brand new Corolla S for $18k with tax included! I couldn't believe that the larger more powerful Corolla cost less than that goofy Fit. No wonder Honda is loosing market share. Even Honda's S2000 was way over priced at about $36k. For that money, you can buy a Subaru STI or Mitsubishi EVO X which are both much better performers than the S2000. The new CR-Z? Just get the old CRX. It gets better mileage and is faster than the CR-Z
      • 4 Years Ago
      Definitely agree that Honda has lost its way. Its making boring misguided vehicles:
      The Accord Crosstour - simply ungainly AND expensive
      The Accord - has turned into a boring appliance
      The Civic - boring bland design year after year
      The CR-V - another appliance but at least its roomy and very practical
      The new CR Z - Ummm Honda a reminder that "boy racer" types buy CRX's to tweak, tune,race and show off. You can't do much with a hyrbid engine period so you lost that market completely and that's the market that buys them - duh!!!!!
      The Fit - excellent interior and great handling but again another uninspired design
      The new Odyssey - the rear design looks like an after thought and suffers from the "bloated rear syndrome" of the Crosstour.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Honda it one time was leader in engineering and made fun to drive, class leading products that receive accolades from almost everyone (ie NSX, S2000, earlier generations civics and accords). That is all in the past as the recent products from Honda are poorly executed and performing products like the CR-Zzzzz and Insight, Crosstour. And while its competitors are introducing (OR HAVE HAD) cars with direct injection, turbocharging, dual clutch transmissions, 6-9 speed automobiles--Honda can only offer dated 5 speed transmission, no dual clutch autos, no new engine technology. Yes, Honda has finally started to offer a 6 speed auto but its only availabe on 2 or 3 of its models (it really show how behind Honda engineering is). To make matters worse with the exception of the Accord and Civic Coupes---Honda styling is at best bland and many cases just ugly (ie. the Acura have to some of the ugliest cars on the market today). Honda need to hire new design studios as soon as possible especially for its Acura division as I detest Acura's styling.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Japaneese car industry is like a bully with a glass jaw. The American companies are now making state of the art , exciting cars that don't look like a freakin bowl of jellybeans and the Japs seem to have lost their edge. The last time that I went to the auto show at the Javits center in the NYC I had to look at the wall to see what marque that I was looking at. The American displays however showed incredible creativity. We , as Americans need to hold our auto industry accountable to us and at the same time invest in it. We owe a debt to the japs because they woke us up to the crap that the American industry was making in the seventies. I now believe that the Japs have lost their edge and we should send them packing. They should especially take their freakin boring defective Toyotas and get the hell out of our country!
      • 4 Years Ago
      They've lost the fine edge they once had and becoming close to the most boring car company out there. Look at design mess they've made of Acura. Sucks to build quality garbage, doesn't it?
      • 4 Years Ago
      sad company when your most exciting vehicle is a civic si....
        • 4 Years Ago
        At first I was mad, "what's wrong with the civic Si?" I wondered.

        And then I realized, what does it say about Honda if their funest car is the Civic Si?
        It's fun, but if it's their funest, something is wrong.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Honda is getting what it deserves for abandoning the customers that got it there. Their cars are dog ugly, slow and on top of it, Honda displays ZERO respect for people's negative opinion of their cars.

      Honda = New Toyota.
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