Honda, whiffing with hybrids, looks aged

A few posts ago, TeslaMondo pointed out that Toyota is unwillingly handing the baton to Tesla as the automotive tech front runner. Toyota pussy-footed around electric cars and autonomous tech while Tesla held its nose, yelled Cowabunga and did a cannonball jump right into the middle of both.

Well, Honda is standing poolside next to Toyota, getting drenched. Today we learn it’s killing the oddball CR-Z hybrid coupe, punctuating the company’s long, awkward affair with hybrids. Just a couple years ago, it put the Insight out of its misery after serving 15 years as the Prius’ punching bag. And let’s not forget the absurd Accord Hybrid of 2005-2007 — available in V6 only. Oy!

Besides the Prius, which is getting long in the tooth, name one “Wow” engineering moment for either company in the last 16 years. Remember when Toyota and Honda represented the crème de la crème of auto tech — variable valve timing an example — and also seemed to know what consumers wanted before the consumers knew? Those world-beating and mind-reading days are over. They’d better hope their fuel cell Hail Mary passes connect in the end zone, because Tesla is starting to make both companies look a bit like Sony, which spent way too much time refining moribund devices instead of inventing new ones.

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2 thoughts on “Honda, whiffing with hybrids, looks aged

  1. Eric says:

    Japanese culture thrives on tradition. “We’ve always done it this way” is very much ingrained in Japanese thinking. Japan is very good in endlessly refining things until they’re beyond perfect. Taking risks and possibly failing is frowned upon, since honour is at stake. So coming up with radically new things is not something that comes naturally. It does happen from time to time, but it’s comparatively rare.

    The Japanese know this. But trying to change it is a bit like rewiring society. Still, they’re trying hard: http://goo.gl/bNL0pX

    Like

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