So it is official, Honda has launched Accord in Thailand as of last week. So why do I keep mum for all of these time? The self proclaimed rabid Honda fan boy? Well… It’s because I didn’t like it. To speak without restrain, Honda has done stupid things in the past, but with the launch of Accord in Thailand, they have done the most stupid thing in history as far as I know. When Takeo Fukui made his speech at Tokyo Motor Show, he said specifically that Accord will be a global model, meaning that around the world there will only be one Accord. Is this a good thing? Well, read on…
America Honda Motor a couple months ago has released Accord in the states with mixed comments from the industry. The V6 coupe has garnered many many fans while the sedan received a welcome pat on the back. It is Honda Accord after all, winner of Car and Driver magazine family sedan of the year ever since 1985, so no surprise there. But when I look at it… Damn, the car looked too bland, too “safe”, and too vanilla-ey. I guess Honda wants to play safe and gives the north American Accord the mild styling, they’ve done so in the past with the north American Civic.
The reception for this “safe” design approach was accepted by the Americans, well, their stereotype does involve simplicity over style. The Civic with the simple head light line and Honda City 2nd generation simple rear lights was a hit. Compared to the Asian/rest of the world Civic (sans Civic Euro), the north American Civic is very bland. The Asian Civic even got integrated into the Canada Acura product line as the CSX, just for styling alone.
Now here’s what I have for the global model announcement. By being a global model, a Honda car will basically have the same look anywhere it is sold in this world although there is the possibility of a minor cosmetic change. The Fit for example, it’s a global model, and from Europe to Asia to America and beyond, the Fit shape will be similar no matter what. So what does this bode for the Accord as it’s becoming a global model… One thing for sure, the shape of American Accord will be the same around the world
When the announcement was available, I immediately voiced my concerned on many internet message boards, one being Temple Of VTEC. I specifically criticize the bland styling of American Accord that will be globalizes. The world is not America (even though American government wants it that way), therefore what being sold / attractive there doesn’t necessarily means it will be the same anywhere else. Sure Accord is America Honda Motor bread and butter product, but will it be successful outside of America with the same styling?
Toyota had done their homework very well, creating a higher scale (cosmetically) Camry outside of America. Compared to Asian Camry, the American Camry looks bland, just what the Americans like. The Asian Camry however looks down right expensive and upscale. 7th generation Accord one up last generation Camry by having a full chrome around the side windows (the last gen Asian Camry has only chrome on the bottom side of the side windows. Now, Camry one up 8th generation Accord by having full chrome around the side windows and chrome lining around the fog lamps and more aggressive looking bumper… How about Asian Accord? Well, it is the same with American Accord, bland.
The rear American Accord was like a huge void of sheet metal with a big fat H logo on the center of the trunk. Thankfully, the Asian Accord received an ornamental thin red stripe extended from the rear lamps towards the center of the trunk, just like current generation Honda Odyssey.
The interior is also a shameful excuse for a Honda badge… It’s basically the 7th generation Accord interior with small changes… What the hell… I know the saying if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, but come on, it looks almost the same with the last generation if I don’t look hard enough.
Thankfully, my father is taking CEO position in his office and doesn’t align himself directly with Honda anymore. If he does still work with Honda, he has to buy the new Accord.
Why does a rabid self proclaimed Honda fan boy said all of this things? Because I want Honda to step up and show some balls. Because Accord is the most popular car in the states doesn’t mean it will sell everywhere else around the world.
However, the engine of the new Asian Accord is quite good though. 180ps, the most powerful 2.4L engine in its class, I think the Camry has a 160-166ps 2.4L engine. A fast ugly expensive sedan will still be faster than a slow upscale pretty expensive sedan.
Here’s some links to Asian and American Honda resources.
Oh, almost forgot to add, the Thailand Accord will be the base for Asian Accord including Australia. Although many applaud its driving dynamics, the drivetrain, the improved interior space, the everything… It is just ugly, bar none. Oh well, I can already imagine what they are going to do with the mid life cycle upgrades, but why won’t they do it in the first place?