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Old 04-10-2009, 04:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Honda going to the dogs

Honda unveils dog-friendly car ...more...



ahh, kidding. Here it is:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Dog-crazy Americans will soon be able to buy a pet-friendly car with a cushioned dog bed in the trunk, fitted with a built-in water bowl and fan and a ramp to help less agile dogs climb in.

With the help of a rescue dog named Sammy, Japanese car maker Honda Motor Co unveiled the pet friendly version of its Element utility vehicle at the New York Auto Show.

It features easy-wash seat covers, a fitted dog bed with restraints to keep Sammy safe in the event of a crash, and a paw logo on the side. Honda said the car would go on sale across the United States from the fall of this year.

Honda spokesman Sage Marie said it was designed with both safety and comfort in mind. "(It's) a car we think is of interest to many of today's dog-crazy consumers," he said.

Senior product planner James Jenkins said Americans spend $41 billion a year on their pets, a figure forecast to rise to $52 billion in two years, indicating a big market for the car.

"Pets have become more like family, more important to households than ever before," Jenkins said.

The current model of the Element starts at a little over $20,000 and Honda has yet to determine how much the pet friendly features will add on to the price tag, Jenkins said.

Sammy's owner, Heather Cammisa of the Humane Society of the United States, said she had borrowed the car for two weeks and found the ramp especially useful.

"Sammy actually needs a ramp. Before I adopted him he ended up at a shelter having been hit by a car and he needs that ramp," she said. "Otherwise I lift him to get into my car."

(Reporting by Claudia Parsons, Editing by Sandra Maler)

Honda unveils dog-friendly car

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Old 04-11-2009, 09:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not terribly suprised at this automotive marketing news, but I sure hope it doesn't get people to go out an buy fuel-inefficient Elements. You could perform the dog-friendly conversion to a Honda Fit for <$1000, or to a 1996 Subaru Legacy for $100 (doesn't matter if the dog makes a mess on the rug; the car's going to the junkyard soon anyway).

Nice find.
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm sure the dogs really want a window seat option, rather than luggage class.

Fire that marketing executive.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I am sure it will be a howling success and Honda will take the lead leaving the other car makers barking mad they had not thought of the idea.

However I am sure research departments will sniff out alternatives and scratch around to dig up other methods to set them apart from the pack.

Pete.
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What's wrong with this?
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueflame View Post
I'm sure the dogs really want a window seat option, rather than luggage class.

Fire that marketing executive.
This is the funny part; I am a marketing major, and even I think this idea is ridiculous. This is almost as silly as when Volkswagen wanted to make the "New Beetle" appeal to female drivers. One of my professors was actually working for VW from an outside marketing firm at the time, and this is what she said the whole room was full of: 22 men, 3 women. The women just said "make the car a car, we are most likely going to buy it anyways, it looks girly enough anyways." The men decided if they come up with these crazy "feminine" features, so it would appeal to female drivers. So what did they do? They installed a freaking flower holder on the dash to the right side of the steering wheel...

There was one idea that I thought was kind of cool, yet seemed odd at the time as well. Volkswagen decided that they were going to give away free guitars with VWs bought during certain months of 2006. So, if you bought a car, you got a guitar and a cable to plug into your car and you could rock out in the parking lot before the Anvil show.Music Thing: A free guitar with every Volkswagen
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Old 04-19-2009, 01:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The flower vase, just like the whole dang new beetle, is all about retro and heritage. The vase was available on old beetles. And, women's preferences in vehicles have been factored into design for many years now; there are actually more than a few female designers and female design managers... so they know the score. I have my doubts about your marketing story.
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Old 04-19-2009, 05:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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What about canine designers?

I've seen some hot *****es driving around here lately.

What do dogs really want in a car?



Mine always wanted to be on my lap.



Personally I'd rather spend the money on quality pet food instead of the **** most people feed their dogs.

Last edited by blueflame; 04-19-2009 at 06:07 AM..
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
The flower vase, just like the whole dang new beetle, is all about retro and heritage. The vase was available on old beetles. And, women's preferences in vehicles have been factored into design for many years now; there are actually more than a few female designers and female design managers... so they know the score. I have my doubts about your marketing story.
never seen or heard of the vase being on the classic beetle; maybe a add on option instead of a stock option?
the whole point of the story was not so much to say that women don't participate in the design/marketing/etc., which we all know is bogus (at least half of my friends parents, and some of my own aunts, work in various divisions in the big 3, even Audi/VW/Porsche has one of their regional offices only 5 miles from my school, hence why my professor was sent there by her firm to sit in and discuss the issue they had). the whole point was to showcase what goofy ideas can be derived when a large company tries to fit a niche in the market that it doesn't even need to fill. even the latter bit i had about the guitar that was available for VWs in 2006. novel idea for the buyer, yes, necessary, highly doubtful.
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Googling "classic vw bud vase" reveals plenty of sources saying bud vases were popular options back in the '50s and '60s.

Is there a certain meaning behind a bud vase in a VW Beetle? - Yahoo! Answers

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