Friday, January 16, 2009

Honda sure knows their market

Honda introduced a car called the Honda Element in 2003. They marketed it as for the "youth market". Their advertising showed young people putting surf-boards and stuff in it. So of course, next thing I hear is that my 60+ year old cat lady mother has traded in her old Honda Civic for a Honda Element to have more room for her brood of kitties plus her husband (taking the kitties to the vet's office is a major production for her, because they won't all peaceably coexist in the same crate, so she has to haul several crates with her).

So fast forward six years. My Mom's Element has hundreds of thousands of miles on it because she's been traveling all around the country after retirement visiting all our far-flung clan. Honda introduces a new car called the Honda Fit aimed at young people. It has five doors and an interesting lay-down fold-sideways seat layout and you can put a lot of camping gear and maybe a surfboard in it but you can also put a whole lot of cat crates in the thing, but it gets 30+mpg instead of barely 22mpg like the Element.

Guess what my mom just bought?

Yep, Honda sure knows their market: Grey-haired 60+ year old cat ladies.

-- Badtux the Amused Penguin


  1. The marketing seems to be generated out of the US. And you wondered what all the fresh-faced Young Republicans fer Jesus did besides not enlist. They are selling to that coveted 18-25 MTV niche...just like Pastor/perfessor Bob tole them at Libeety Bible Kollege.

    The Element was a truck for the rest of the world and the Fit is a well-known compact car for families. Nearly every review has been positive so it's a testament to engineering over hype and poor marketing.


  2. Well, your mother has good taste in vehicles no doubt. I love Hondas, I used to have a White '93 Honda Accord until my brother bashed it into a cop car on accident. I miss that car and look forward to buying a newer model of the Accord soon as I get some more money.

  3. My Octogenarian Mother wanted a Fit, but had to settle for a Civic because they weren't available.

    The cars are fine, but the dealers suck.

    I would buy a new truck in flash if I could get one the same size as my '87 Toyota, but they don't make them anymore - everything is bigger.

    My neighbor still drives the '87 to work every day and still gets 30mpg.

  4. Brian, the Civic wasn't doing it for my mother because she could not fit three cat crates into the back seat. (She needs three crates for her cats due to various disagreements between kitties). She couldn't put the third crate into the front passenger seat because her husband rides there and she can't leave her favorite pet behind (I'm sometimes mildly amused by the fact that she tends to treat my stepdad as just another one of her cats, luckily he's a very laid-back person and deals with it good-humoredly). She needed a hatchback.

    Mold: And to top it all off, it was the *SPORT* model, the one with the 5 speed transmission and paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Woot! Sporty white haired cat lady! Hilarious. I think Honda's notion was that the only people who buy small 5-door hatchbacks are young people, so they would market to young people. LOL!

    - Badtux the Easily Amused Penguin

  5. If I may, the Fit/jazz has been in Europe for years and many drivers prefer the space and utility...not just kids. Hot hatches are featured in their autofan press and gas prices keep cars small.


  6. i will say marketing works -- i have owned 4 cars in my life - 3 hondas


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