Sunday, May 29, 2011

Return to normal production in the near future ?

Recently here in Asia, there have been many reports of impending shortages of units from Honda dealers. In Malaysia, it is now difficult to find a dealer who is daring enough to take a booking for the Honda Insight for e.g. My own dealer is not committing on availability or delivery times for models like City and CR-V bookings made now. In fact, feedback I got from readers is that almost all dealers are preparing for the worst - lack of units to sell and deliver to customers and that trade in values have dropped and offers or discounts have disappeared as they prepare for tough times in the coming months. Their first priority is to ensure sales people can survive the period with greatly reduced sales. Certainly there is a danger of the best sales people running off to work for competitors, those continental makes who have not really been affected. The shortage is reportedly coming soon. So clearly the situation is now clearly a seller's market.

Questions to Honda Malaysia have received a more careful response. Production and delivery of cars will continue as normal until situation changes (which presumably would be when availability of critical parts get affected). But when ? That is not known at the moment. Delivery of the Insight for e.g. has been as per originally planned. However the Insight is a CBU from Japan (i.e. fully imported from Japan) from the Suzuka factory which as is known, definitely has been affected by the great earthquake. And Honda has officially reported a reduction of production capacity. So it is unrealistic to expect this situation to continue, meaning Insight delivery should logically be impacted in the coming months.

In our main site (Temple Of VTEC, catering for U.S. and Canada) however, there is good news. We have received and published a statement by AHM (American Honda Motors) that they expect to return to 100% production levels for most of the models by August of this year.

From my point of view, this is indicative of the situation for Asia as well and that the reported shortages above will hopefully be resolved in the very near future. For asia, our personal expectation is the situation to return to normal by the 4th quarter of this year, at the minimum for locally assembled (CKD) models. It may even be earlier as I know Honda has been working hard to locate alternate sources for critical parts for asia.

This is of course only a guess on our part. So if you are planning to buy a Honda now and are facing a lack of interest from dealers, it might be wise to hold off the purchase for later this year. When delivery returns to normal, dealers would be rushing to try to make up for lost sales and to try to meet their annual target as much as possible. Then it would become literally a buyers market.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spy photo of 4th Generation CR-V

U.S. car magazine CAR & DRIVER has published a photo of the new (4th Gen) CR-V on their website. The photo was apparently taken by one of their readers and submitted to C&D. The link to the photo and its accompanying article (which does not say much actually) is below. The photo above was taken from the website (it has been re-sized, for the original photo, please visit the C&D website).

The CR-V is one of Honda's global models and unlike models like the Civic and Accord, it is marketed worldwide in a single unified design. So expect the new Asian CR-Vs to have a similar design. So far there have been absolutely NO information about the new 4G CR-V. As for asia, expect the 4G CR-V to only debut at least 6months, if not later, then the U.S. launch which is apparently around the end of this year.