Honda knows they are gambling with the public's perception of the company's "green" image on this issue (coming out swinging against the ecoAuto program).
Miller effectively admits this in the first paragraph of his letter to me.
I'm sure they decided in advance that (personal and fast) responses to individuals would be a priority, as a way to try to mitigate potential backlash from the segment of their customer base that is concerned about environmental/efficiency issues.
I have to admit that his letter has me considering more seriously some of Honda's points about the program.
I just wish they had made those points publicly, rather than throwing a hissy fit and basing the PR campaign around the safety smokescreen rather than the rational arguments they can make.
Sometimes execs 'go around' their own PR departments at the peril of the company's image.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein
Honda Canada is tinkering with two cars to improve fuel efficiency so they can qualify for $1,000 rebates under the federal government's controversial auto rebate program, a senior company official revealed yesterday.
Honda research and development staff in Japan are working to increase fuel efficiency on the Fit subcompact and Civic compact for the 2008 model year, executive vice-president Jim Miller said.
In the month after the budget, Yaris sales jumped 15 per cent compared with April 2006 while Fit business increased slightly. But Fit sales soared 30 per cent in May when Honda introduced its rebate, while Yaris deliveries improved 8 per cent.
Miller said Honda is confident it can achieve the extra gas saving for the 2008 Fit within months but it may be more difficult for the Civic, which is the country's best-selling car.
He could not provide any details on whether Honda is adjusting engines or removing weight in the two models to improve fuel efficiency.
"There are modifications being made," Miller said.
I hope Honda switches from reactive to proactive. It seems obvious that fuel economy will get more important, and considering the long development cycles they should really hedge their bets with a HX-type model. A good number to aim for is 40 mpg in the new tests.
The problem with the whole thing is the way the testing works. You can get a Yaris without the full compliment of airbags, which makes it lighter. When they test the car for fuel economy they don't test them separately if they have certain option packages added, like airbags for example.
So Yaris x has reduced airbags and gets 6.4 L/100 Km, that is the one they test.
Yaris y has the extra equipment added and is heavier and real world probably gets a little less, maybe 6.6 L/100 Km, but it still gets the rebate because it's option less sibling made the cutoff.
In the real world the Yaris and Fit (with the same equipment) probably get the same FE (the Yaris may be slightly ahead, but by how much?), but there is no Fit to compete with the Yaris X, and because of that all Fits loose the rebate while all Yarii get it.
On the other hand it's Honda's own fault, if they had imported the Fit with the 1.3 L engine as an option (and less aggressive gearing) they wouldn't have this problem.
It seems like honda could have made it more efficient if they had wanted to from the start. They have made quite a few super efficient cars, and it would have been easy to implement a few of these innovations into the current car for a small sum. Changing the car will probably be more difficult, but it seems a small gearing change or (easier) a plastic aero panel or tire change could be done.
Is there a Honda economy tranny out there that will "Fit" onto the current US Fit? If yes, then someone could import a Honda Fit tranny with taller gears into the US.
man... talk about a thread jacking. honda is way better than nissan. 26mpg is really really bad for the size and acceleration of the car. the lowest my fit ever got was in the low 30s and that was while it was breaking it. the only advantage the versa has is gear #6, but the honda gets better highway mpg so that really isnt that great...
i didnt mean to shoot you down so harshly, but the thread jacking called for it maybe you shouldve started a new thread?
to address the issue of the gearing: i believe in another thread on this site the gear ratios were posted and gears 1-4 are longer in other countries but gear 5 is shorter in other countries. i thought its was particularly weird...
don't waste your time or time will waste you
I get a laugh out of a Nissan ad I've been hearing lately on the radio. They brag, yes, BRAG, about getting 28 MPG! The disturbing thing is, does the general public think that's worth bragging about, as Nissan apparently does? I hope not.
sorry to thread jack but nissan reliability is ****.
My mom had a new 02 altima and the engine broke down twice. It had to get towed twice.
Next, I had a 99 altima and every couple of months something new broke. My mom got a 06 civic and I got a 99 civic. Problem solved. The only idiotic mistake I made was I bought a car with clutch problems. This is what happens when you don't know anything about cars.