It all started with the Pilot. No, I’m not talking about the first episode of a sitcom, I am to address Japanese automotive industry superpower Honda’s recent exterior style change in the past 3 years. Why did it start with the Pilot? 3rd generation models were the first to receive a radical change. Yes, we all are aware - the infamous C-shape rear lights that have gotten the desired market of millennials saying “Wow” and the previous honda owners wondering why all new Hondas look like spaceships. This is what is becoming known as the Honda design DNA of today. As automobiles take this new futuristic approach to aesthetics, more and more cars are speeding up the evolution process.
But why? Why such elaborate, conceptual design? Why not just taking it slow, and enjoying the years when cars looked like… cars?! These questions have been stumping everyone, everyone but a key group of individuals. Known for their seemingly-odd taste in style, millennials hold the key to Honda’s (and many more) marketing strategies. But surely sales could not be affected that much by a bunch of kids. WRONG, sales of the 5th generation CR-V have increased from near 30% of the previous. This particular Mini-SUV has been popular amongst those who are just starting a family. Some have said that the back looks like a disfigured volvo, other say it is the most bang for your buck, when you need something to haul the kids around in.
On the other hand, people who prefer a sportier version of a car who is historically and widely regarded as the dorkiest, cheapest, most fairly-priced, slowest, most fast-looking, best seller of all-time, the famous Honda Civic. With the same 2.0L i4 engine of the CR-V, the much smaller Civic sure is a “sportier” option, but this 10th generation started back in 2016 with a huge (and I mean HUGE) jump from it’s predecessor. Honda added upgraded aerodynamics, C-shaped LED taillights, alloy sharp-angle wheels and a completely redesigned front end and all-digital interior. Sales of the earlier 9th generation begun to drop after the lame, highly anticipated new model was set to “revolutionize” the Civic. But sure enough, this new look had the Class of ‘15 drooling, and sales skyrocketed from 325,000 to 366,000 in 2 years.
We could spend forever reviewing several other models who have been redesigned, those that include the Ridgeline pick-up, Odyssey mini-van, HR-V cross-over, CR-Z hot-hatch, and Clarity fuel-cell. But only one has a revolution yet to come. Honda released back in July that they would be redesigning one of the most charismatic, practical, and iconic commuter cars in history, lastly, the Honda Accord 10th generation.
After the highly successful entrance to the Russian market, the Accord was past-due for a change. Since 2013, the fairly predictable design has been used on 2 facelifts. This lengthy generation is slightly experiencing a drop in sales. The new Accord is supposed to be up-to-date with all of the other Honda models, and to recieve now signature C-shaped tail LEDs, aerodynamics, and a sleek C-pillar that flows straight into the back of the car. Thus, an end of an era has come, and the alienistic shape and look of new cars becomes normalized. While many automotive makers have yet to update their models, Honda, pioneers and stays ahead of the game. But perhaps, has this radical visual change come too soon, and who is to judge this? The market has spoken, and foreshadowed a new light into the hybrid-electrified, digitally displayed future of automobiles.
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"Honda Unveils Redesigned, Sportier Civic". CNN. 3 April 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2017
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