Is there a point in the US auto industry where companies should start considering the welfare of their customers ahead of selling more cars? American Honda Executive Vice President of Sales John Mendel thinks that level exists, and we may be getting very close to it.
Every major automaker has a different way of relating between its various divisions and brands. At Volkswagen, for example, the individual brands seem to operate with a large degree of autonomy. Under the Renault-Nissan Alliance, the two units share a common chief executive, but little else. The relationship between Honda and its luxury division Acura has always been rather close, but that's all about to change.
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In the same Ward's Auto World article that saw American Honda's John Mendel nix the idea of a Honda full-size pickup, he also took some time to discuss the hot-selling Fit subcompact. Released in the US at the perfect time, the Fit and its gaudy fuel economy numbers have won over customers to the tune of 15,922 since its Spring launch, according to Ward's. Unfortunately, the demand for the hatchback is so high that Honda is looking at supply problems that are throttling back total sales.