Honda Answers Wake-up Call with Earth Dreams Technology
With the floods in Thailand continuing to hamper its business, Honda stumbled through November with by far the worst sales performance of any mainstream automaker. The Honda division’s sales fell off by 6.2 percent (on a volume basis), while the lowest advance of any of the other top brands was Toyota’s 6.7 percent gain. Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that Nissan seems to be well on its way to establishing itself as the new No. 4 player in the U.S.—behind Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota—as that brand has now outsold Honda in four out of the five last months. And remember, this has occurred despite a string of new-model launches on Honda’s part, so we’re not looking at a situation in which a lineup of stale vehicles is holding down sales. A potential solution to Honda’s troubles, however, made its debut at the recent Tokyo Motor Show, where the automaker introduced its “Earth Dreams” strategy/technology: A comprehensive powertrain initiative that Honda expects to catapult its models to top EPA ratings in every segment within the next three years.