Following the resignation CEO
Takanobu Ito, and
amid a difficult year, newly appointed CEO Takahiro Hachigo has promised to pursue the development of products unique
to the brand, and Honda has continued to innovate in and outside of the
In 2015, the company launched the Honda Jet—a business jet 30 years in the making—as well as the Honda Walk Assist, a device for supporting human movement. As for automotive
innovations, Honda is launching an all-new MY 16 Civic and Accord that form the
bedrock of its U.S. business.
However, Honda’s HR-V has seen exceptional movement. This new crossover SUV
sold 14,141 units in a matter of weeks, triple what any other automaker has
managed in the first month with a new model in the segment. And the HR-V did
not cannibalize its larger sibling—in fact, sales of the CR-V, the longtime best-selling SUV
in America, rose 3 percent in the same period. James Jenkins, manager of light truck product planning at Honda North
America, promised that the HR-V will eventually lead the small SUV segment.
On the marketing side, Honda launched
a campaign known as “The Endless Road,” which features a remarkably creative “never-ending”
YouTube video that is bespoke to its
personalized using real-time location data. From launch, the video runs
constantly, visually representing the time of day and weather of the user’s particular location.
Honda is employing new products and
novel marketing efforts to demonstrate innovation and progress.