In a bid to get back quality control back on track, Honda is dropping its global forecast of six million vehicles for 2017. Last year, the company was plagued by the huge Takata airbag recall in the US and several problems in Japan.
Honda's chief executive officer, Takanobu Ito, has told a small group of reporters at a test-drive event outside of Tokyo that, actually, there is sufficient demand for battery-powered vehicles and the automaker can no longer shun the technology as impractical or unrealistic. Ito's words run counter to those of former Honda CEO Takeo Fukui, who strongly supported fuel-cell vehicles and showed virtually Eric Loveday
Things could hardly have played out worse for Honda. It has poured what surely amounted to billions of dollars for years into its Formula One team with little effect. Then it brought in Ross Brawn, only to withdrew its support from the squad, then it sold the entire operation to Brawn while paying out big bucks to avoid an even bigger severance bill. And only then did Brawn turn the F1 team into a winner. That'd be enough to send some automakers scurrying to get back in the game, but not Honda.
Honda and Toyota may not be joining their colleagues at Nissan, Mitsubishi and Suzuki in canceling their participation in this year's Detroit Auto Show, but they still won't be laying on the glitz and glamor that have become the mainstay of past events.