I might have been too harsh for my preview of the 2008 Honda Accord Asia version. The thing is that, Toyota as Honda main competitor tried very hard to differentiate products where different aesthetic taste is appreciated. Western stereotypes and Eastern stereotypes are very different like cats and dogs, especially when appreciating something visually. Simple and utilitarian are a perfect combination for Westerners while Easterners prefers “the blings”.
Toyota decided to change the face of Camry for American and Eastern market, creating an almost altogether different car (visually). You guys can check it out with the image below…
Can you guess which Accord is for Asian and American market? (hint:you can’t, it’s the same)
Can you guess which Accord is for Asian and American market? (hint:you can, now it’s a bit different)
Now let’s take a look at US and Asian Toyota Camry…
Asian Camry (above) and US Camry (below)
As you guys can see, how starkingly different the US and Asian Camry are, while the Accord is just that… The same. As US market is utilitarian, they mostly didn’t care about the exclusion of projector headlight on the Accord, while the US Camry has them. This is once again, only a cosmetic as it is the bulb that is more important than the shape of the headlight. However, Asian market whores about silly cosmetics, and Accord doesn’t have it.
Management wise, Honda did the right thing. It’s cost saving measure to the highest degree, after all, what we need is basic transportation right? Wrong… Marketing wise it’s not the right thing to do. In marketing we have what we call customer focus, where one shaped a product based on what is the market demand. However, Honda has this penchant notion that Honda users are glad being shoved on what they need not what they want.
Truth be told, even though I’m rambling how the Accord looks, magazines and people love the new Accord. In America, the new Accord gains first place in many mid sedan comparisons (cars.com, edmunds.com, wheels.ca). Even though one publication rates the Accord third, at least three other publication rates the Accord at first.
So there you go, visually I loathe at the new Accord, but my friends told me… When you are sitting/driving in the new Accord you won’t see what’s on the outside, you drive the car, you enjoy the seating, you feel the raw power of the engine and bathe in the luxurious and cozy interior. They might be right… I am to cynical about how it looks, I forgot what makes a Honda a Honda… A sensible car. Because in the end, I guess it’s not how you look, but it’s what you have inside, that makes you as a person, that also applied to a car I guess.
(I’m watching 12 days of Christmas eve at Hallmark, and I guess it softens this bitter heart a bit)
Images are taken from Temple Of Vtec, Toyota Indonesia website, Honda Thailand website, and Edmunds.com, cropped to fit.