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DETROIT -- Honda plans to sell in the United States a variation of the front-drive subcompact Honda Fit, which is sold in Japan and Europe.

Honda executives have said the company will bring a car smaller than the Civic to this country but until now have not identified it.

"It will be a variation of the Fit, and it will be here not too far in the future," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co. Inc., at the Detroit auto show.

"Toyota has done a good job with the Scion," he said. "So that's where we're looking, to bring back the youth we've lost. With the current cars we have, that segment has shrunk."

No separate brand

But unlike Scion, Honda will not establish a separate brand for the new small car, Colliver said.

Also, the small car will not be shipped bare like the Scion and accessorized according to dealer and customer orders.

"We had conversations on whether to bring it in slashed down but decided against it," he said. "We plan to load it up. It's better to build it the way they want it. We also looked at establishing a separate brand for the new car but decided against it."

He declined to provide any other details about the car.

Michael Robinet, vice president for global forecast services at CSM Worldwide in Farmington Hills, Mich., said the U.S. Fit will arrive early in 2006 as a 2007 model. He said it will be powered by a 1.5-liter engine equipped with dual overhead camshafts and direct fuel injection.

Some dealers believe the sticker price will be about $12,000. The base price of the 2005 Civic is $13,675 including a $515 destination charge.

Civic sales, aided by cut-rate loans, rose 3.2 percent to 309,196 last year.

Factory equipped

Robinet said although Scion has done a good job attracting customers who want to accessorize their cars, he believes Honda will do well equipping its vehicles at the factory.

"Honda does a lot of production here, so they can more accurately predict what the customers want," Robinet said. "Honda would rather make sure it has the Honda quality through and through and their warranty on it. There is less room for error."

Toyota introduced its Scion youth brand nationally last year. It posted sales of sales of 99,259 in 2004 vs. 10,898 in 2003 when the vehicle was sold in limited markets. Scion has three models.

"We're all hoping Honda brings in a new product line with a more affordable car that our younger and less-affluent buyers can purchase," said Larry Mallory, chairman of the Honda dealer council in a recent interview.

Mallory, owner of Honda of Kirkland in Kirkland, Wash., also said the dealers did not want a separate franchise for the small car: "The two-channel system they currently have, Honda and Acura, is enough to accommodate any and all new products coming out."

autoweek
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Dang!! Im teaching a web design/ marketing class and today I just gave the assignment of making up a scion-like fictitious company for honda.

DM-119 Marketing Campaign for a Car Company Jan 2005
Company executives from Honda Motor Corporation come to your group with a proposal for a marketing campaign. They want to sell hybrid-electric cars under a new brand identity, similar to Toyota’s Scion line.

Toyota has always made quality long lasting vehicles that get good gas mileage, but suffers from an image problem. Although the Camry and Corolla are sales leaders, they are perceived as boring and “common”. Their average buyers are getting older and some are graduating to the Lexus line, but their younger buyers (and future customer base) are looking for something more “hip”. Hence the Scion line. Honda also builds quality efficient cars and is in a similar situation with their image. Honda has one particular advantage: the Civic. The young sport compact scene is a recent phenomenon that has adopted the Civic as its iconic vehicle of choice. Thousands of these tough little cars have been modified with aftermarket part to express their owner’s individuality.

Honda wants to cash in on this trend, by offering a hip low cost youth oriented line of cars with dealer installed options, similar to the Scion line. They also have an ulterior motive of pushing environmentalism and promoting their hybrid-electric cars to a new generation of buyers.
This new product line will be opposite from the upscale Acura line, in that it will focus on two or three lower cost vehicles that appeals to a younger crowd that wants value, practicality, reliability, environmental consciousness, and they also want to express style and individuality. The performance aspect, or lack thereof will not be touted. Although they want a whole new brand, they still want the buyer to know it’s a Honda, with all the great attributes that a Honda possesses. This company is not aimed specifically at the fast and furious sport compact crowd or the tree hugging hippies, but at a little of both crowds and every young driver in between. Your job is to come up with a company name, logo, and entire marketing campaign that appeals to the college bound “save the planet” mindset and the individualistic techno urban hip look of the sport compact crowd.

Please research the ad campaigns for the Scion line, Mini Cooper, Volkswagen New Beetle Toyota Prius, Apple’s ipod and the target market (demographics) they are aimed at. Note: The Honda element was aimed at the same market as the Scion xA and xB. Which campaign worked? And why.

Currently Honda hybrids include: the Insight, civic, and the Accord. In actuality hybrid-electric vehicles cost a few thousand dollars more than comparable non-hybrid vehicles. But for this class we will assume they are the same price. You are also not required to specifically use pictures of Honda vehicles. Any low cost vehicle will do, as long as it is believable and consistent. Suggestion: there are many small quirky vehicles sold only in Europe and Japan that might be candidates. The original Scion vehicles are re-badged Japanese only vehicles.

You are to come up with a fictitious company name and logo, as an offshoot of Honda Motor Co. and design a website with at least 5 main pages. Please research the “look” of other car sites, (especially the ones aimed at the gen Y demographics) and design your site accordingly. Remember to use only a few good color and font combinations, “white space”, and block quotes.
This site will be all HTML with animated gif banners, but if you feel strong in flash, feel free to ad a few shockwave files. Please make sure all materials use the company logo and are consistent in overall look. This project will be an ongoing assignment throughout this class and we will built upon the site as the school quarter progresses.
 

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that seems like a long assignment....lolz...i read only the first paragraph and :sleep already...
back to the topic, i wonder when will be the near future? next yr or 5 more yrs or exactly when...i've heard of this rumor for a really long time already...
 

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so its gonna be smaller than the civic? Why do they keep making cars smaller. At least keep em the same size as the civic, cause thats a good small.
 

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AlTrOnX said:
so its gonna be smaller than the civic? Why do they keep making cars smaller. At least keep em the same size as the civic, cause thats a good small.
the civic use to be alot smaller :hehe
 

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that sounds like a fun assignment.... i almost wanna do that myself.... but im not gonna.

as for honda making a youth brand... im glad they dont want to go that route. i honestly dont thing the "younger crowd" would go for a cheaper honda. most likely there would be a million little fits rollin around... if i remember correctly, the front of the fit looks like ass.
 

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Did anyone see the Fit on the cover of Honda Tuninig a couple of months ago? I forget who did it. Spoon or someone like that. Pretty sweet looking. I think you will see the car in in 06 as an 07 model.


Oh wait i think it was 5Zigen.
 
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