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Old 07-07-2009, 09:25 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tjts1 View Post
Honda has to deal with a little something called 'REALITY'.
+1!
The production car has to be for the real world, not for auto shows or niche enthusiasts.

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Old 07-07-2009, 02:22 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Why? There is little real-world use for an SUV, and none at all for those stupid four-door "pickups" with four-foot long beds, yet clever marketing sold millions of them before gas hit $4/gal. The same sort of marketing, by Honda or some other company, could as easily sell the idea of 2-seaters, making the company a chunk of money and increasing their CAFE numbers.
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:44 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Why? There is little real-world use for an SUV, and none at all for those stupid four-door "pickups" with four-foot long beds, yet clever marketing sold millions of them before gas hit $4/gal. The same sort of marketing, by Honda or some other company, could as easily sell the idea of 2-seaters, making the company a chunk of money and increasing their CAFE numbers.
I don't think Shawn was talking about SUVs. I used to own a 2nd gen CRX. As a prime example of utility, I could load a 5 piece drumset in the CRX without removing the passenger seat. The Insight couldn't do that because of the battery pack.

The 1st gen Insight's a stellar MPG machine, I considered getting one. But, I decided against it because the price didn't justify the loss in utility. It just didn't measure up to the CRX.

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Old 07-07-2009, 04:01 PM   #24 (permalink)
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People don't need to be marketed "macho" vehicles—they gravitate towards them naturally to make up for the control deficiencies in their lives, be it lack of personal power, respect, or just fear and the more that buy them, the more join in to feel part of the crowd. Small and efficient says "sissy" to these type of primates and, unfortunately, these primates are the majority.
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:25 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Honda wussed out

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Why do you think that? About the only people who actually need a back seat are families with kids under 18 or less, and that's far from a majority of the population. Even a lot of those already have two (or more) cars, so having one a two-seater is no problem.

Now maybe most people have been convinced that they "need" four or more seats, but that's what marketing is for.
Families with children probably are a majority of new car buying households, so car companies have to make a lot of cars to meet their needs. Plus, cars are big ticket items so people tend to buy what will fulfill their needs in a wide range of situations, not just what they drive 75-80% of the time. Most buyers are aiming for more like 95% of the time. I did say their is a market for two seaters, and that is as second cars. But I don't know if Honda could get the price low enough to satisfy this market. So they probably chose to make the car more useful to more people.

BTW, marketing is more about determining what the customer wants and making it, not convincing the customer to buy your stuff. Japanese car companies have been pretty good at marketing for that reason.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:19 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I almost never use my backseat for hauling people. It's used for "stuff" that I'm too lazy to put in the trunk, or want more secured than in an empty cavern. But when my car does get loaded down, it's nice to have.

Agreed people buy the car for the 95% rule. I do think the Honda Fit exemplifies this rule, since it's a fuel-sipping, fun-to-drive echoing cavern of a car wrapped in a dinky shell. Honda put the emphasis on the front seats, and made the rears to get out of the way. And it works marvelously! Now if only other manufacturers would get the hint we'd see some genuinely novel designs out there.
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:15 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Honda wussed out

Quote:
Originally Posted by 99LeCouch View Post

Agreed people buy the car for the 95% rule. I do think the Honda Fit exemplifies this rule, since it's a fuel-sipping, fun-to-drive echoing cavern of a car wrapped in a dinky shell. Honda put the emphasis on the front seats, and made the rears to get out of the way. And it works marvelously! Now if only other manufacturers would get the hint we'd see some genuinely novel designs out there.
Yup. That also explains the 2+2 sports car design. In most of those, nobody whose older than 10 and not a midget can fit comfortably in the back seat. And another thing on back seats. By recommendation of safety experts and possibly by law, children under a certain age or weight are required to ride in the back seat. So, a 2-seater as a second car is even less useful to a family with young children since you can't take a kid anywhere in it. BTW, I wonder if it would be beneficial to FE to remove the backseat in your car to reduce weight? Even if it didn't work, you'd get more storage room. If you could sell it a low enough price, I always thought it would be cool to make a tandem two seat car, to really reduce frontal area. You'd probably have to stick the wheels out a bit make it stable enough though, and might lose some of the aero advantage that way.
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:06 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I don't think Shawn was talking about SUVs. I used to own a 2nd gen CRX. As a prime example of utility, I could load a 5 piece drumset in the CRX without removing the passenger seat. The Insight couldn't do that because of the battery pack.
OK, but what percentage of the car-buying population ever wants to carry a 5-piece drum set?

Quote:
The 1st gen Insight's a stellar MPG machine, I considered getting one. But, I decided against it because the price didn't justify the loss in utility. It just didn't measure up to the CRX.
Funny you should say that, as I had a CRX for years (untill an unfortunate incident involving water running over a freeway - suddenly going backwards at 65 mph does not do nice things to your engine), and bought the Insight mainly because it was the closest thing I could find. I've had no problems hauling reasonable amounts of stuff - frequently a 110 lb dog, often bikes, computers, skis, backpacking gear for a week...
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:21 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bombloader View Post
BTW, marketing is more about determining what the customer wants and making it, not convincing the customer to buy your stuff.
Sure it is :-) Compare how much is spent on research to find out what customers actually want - possibly nothing, though they may do a bit of research and then ignore the results - versus how much is spent on advertising what they decide to build.

Or just consider the aforementioned Honda CRX. They were, and still are, quite popular, yet Honda stopped production, and hasn't offered anything comparable since(except the limited-production Insight), nor has any other automaker tried to fill its niche.
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:26 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
OK, but what percentage of the car-buying population ever wants to carry a 5-piece drum set?

...
That's why I said a *prime* example. It was a 2-seater with gobs of hauling space for it's size, form follows function and all that. The 1st-gen Insight was obviously a CRX HFFFFF in spirit, but ... just ... not ... enough ... of a ... CRX ... for me.

YMMV,

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