Honda tells dealers in the U.S. to move “full speed ahead” to sell vehicles

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 25, 2011

Honda will still be pushing special lease and loan rates that differ by region through year end. American Honda's sales chief John Mendel said in a Tuesday memo to the company's dealers in the U.S. in a memo that he wants them to move "full speed ahead" to sell vehicles, even with the cuts to vehicle production due to the flooding in Thailand.

Mendel also said that the company's product availability and arrivals are "good." He added that they will continue to have media presence throughout December. His statements imply that the company's vehicle supply may be improving after it slashed output in North America by around 50 percent this month due to the shortages of components brought about by the flooding in Thailand.

The company's U.S. stock of vehicles stood at 37 days on November 1, an increase from the 33-day supply on October 1, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Industry-wide stock was on 57 days on the average on November 1, an increase from the 50 on October 1, according to the Data Center. Gary Robinson, spokesperson for Honda, confirmed that Mendel sent the memo.

However, Robinson declined to disclose details. He stated that the intention was to encourage Honda's dealers to still be aggressive as the year ends. On November 21, another memo was sent to dealers, informing dealers that Honda expects vehicle production in December to go beyond the December 2010 output.

According to Robinson, their initial position has been "pretty conservative" since the whole Thailand crisis began. However, things have "turned around quicker than we initially thought," Robinson disclosed. In the latest memo sent to the dealers, Mendel said TV spots for the Happy Honda Days advertising campaign will air on cable and network stations through the rest of the year.

The campaign will also be shown during broadcasts of National Football League and National Hockey League games, Mendel said. Endings of the advertisements promote loan and lease deals that differ in each region, Robinson said. Digital marketing will also continue through the rest of the year, Mendel disclosed.

For the 2012 model year, Honda Odyssey lives up to its name by leading its class in the areas of fuel economy and safety ratings and by providing the space, refinement and driving enjoyment expected from this family vehicle. Designed and produced in the United States, the 2012 Honda Odyssey is available in five models: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite -- each offering a distinct blend of features, value, and in-vehicle entertainment technology.

A model of this eight-passenger minivan, the Honda Odyssey Touring, leads its class with an EPA highway fuel economy rating of 28 mpg. Likewise, all models of the Honda Odyssey models were able to gain very high safety ratings: a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Several features from the Odyssey EX-L are now found in the Odyssey EX, including Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, a USB Audio Interface and a 2GB CD Library, as well as the intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) with an eight-inch TFT screen. The exclusive Taffeta White exclusive exterior color offered on the 2011 Odyssey Touring has been replaced with White Diamond Pearl on the 2012 version.

Honda provided the 2012 Odyssey with a body that employs a tapered cabin design, as highlighted by a signature "lightning bolt" character line. This styling cue on the new Honda Odyssey results in a relatively large third-row window that increases the outward vision of third-row occupants. Honda has made sure that the Odyssey is gifted with a highly rigid body that contains 59 percent high-strength steel.

With this mix as well as with Honda’s excellent engineering, the sound-deadening material on the Odyssey is able to better isolate road noise, making the interior quieter than before. Interestingly, the use of high-strength steel allowed the body to be lighter, which contributes to the minivans’ fuel economy, rigidity and agile handling.

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