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In his first news conference as Honda's CEO, Takahiro Hachigo made it known that he wants to guarantee his engineers have enough time to fully develop strong products based on advanced technology.

Tasked with restoring the companies reputation for quality and technology, Hachigo-san has been with Honda since 1982, holding several key executive and R&D positions, even spearheading development of the original Odyssey.

Honda had been labouring under their grandiose volume targets, in the effort to reach six-million annual vehicle sales by 2017 quality lapses began to show as engineers found themselves overworked to meet increasingly accelerated deadlines.

"I want to prioritize the development of Honda-like products rather than expanding sales volume,” said Hachigo-san at Honda’s headquarters in Tokyo on Monday. “The team that’s involved in on-the-ground development needs to spend time to develop better products, and I want to support them by making sure that time is secured.”

Product became unrepresentative of Honda proper, it culminated with the Takata debacle but the signs were visible early. The emergency redesign of the 9th gen Civic sent alarm bells ringing and questions abound, had Honda lost their way?

Moving past that Hachigo-san also waxed poetic on the importance of teamwork and communication at a multinational corporation. He has vowed to nurture an environment that encourages and adopts ideas from people actually involved in projects at the ground level.

Critically Honda will return to content focused development, the volume will follow. The strategy will take time before the fruit is tasted but critically the man in charge brings passion above all. "I love Honda, and I grew up in Honda," Hachigo-san said with purpose. "I want to give back to Honda."
 

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Glad to hear this. I think its strange that companies would even think that volume is more important than the quality, performance and style of their vehicles.

Kinda like when McDonalds started advertising that their chicken nuggets were now made with all real chicken meat. That's great, but why weren't you doing that already?
 

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Glad to hear this. I think its strange that companies would even think that volume is more important than the quality, performance and style of their vehicles.

Kinda like when McDonalds started advertising that their chicken nuggets were now made with all real chicken meat. That's great, but why weren't you doing that already?
its not that Honda thought volume was more important than quality, its that they thought they could ramp up volume and accelerate lead times without any effect on quality.

It was never either or.
 

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Too bad there wasn't any insight provided on what "better products" to him translates into, hearing from him what exactly that means would help.
 

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This seems like it should always have been the company mantra:

Critically Honda will return to content focused development, the volume will follow.
It's all about making a great product. As they say, "if you build it, they will come."
 

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They're still approaching it with a volume mindset although they've established a following to ensure enough eyes are on them. Basically they're not going to keep up this streak of boring cars, BUT of course they don't want to put it like that, has to be worded as it was.
 

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They're still approaching it with a volume mindset although they've established a following to ensure enough eyes are on them. Basically they're not going to keep up this streak of boring cars, BUT of course they don't want to put it like that, has to be worded as it was.
Yea, they had to come up with some nicer language than just being like, "we are making boring cars and have decided to stop."
 

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Yea, they had to come up with some nicer language than just being like, "we are making boring cars and have decided to stop."
shedding a bland image is a daring enterprise. Consider the fact that most people like bland, are bland and do not read car blogs...
 

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shedding a bland image is a daring enterprise. Consider the fact that most people like bland, are bland and do not read car blogs...
That's why I always believed they should go with sporty design but not make the whole vehicle live up to it, just too much effort when they already seem to have a good 'recipe'.
 

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I think they should have a base model that appeals to all and then make the coupe and performance models more interesting. It's about have options for everyone.
 

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careful, one size fits all usually fits none
While i understand the sentiment. That's not as relevant for cars. I think what was meant was. Offer a civic (sedan and hatch variants) in trims that directly relate to the largest demographic of buyers (LX,EX,EXL). Utility, comfort, etc. But at the same time differentiate other models/trims to appeal to the lower demographics. The coupe/Si/SE(Sport) models and trims could be differentiated enough from the sedan and hatch base models to appeal to some of the enthusiast crowd.

The coupe has always had stiffer suspension setup and such than the sedan. I don't see them changing that fact for the new civic, but i think they could tweak it even a bit more as most people who would buy the coupe buy it for the sportier appearance and driving characteristic. They could make the coupe sporty across the line from base to Si. Then offer an SE or Sport trim on sedan and Hatch for those that want the best of both (just like the accord sport) and all it would be is using the Coupe suspension setup on those cars.
 

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Those enthusiast models are what they keep to keep running and it couldn't slot in at a better time than now when the NSX is out and a mini-nsx is apparently in the pipeline. All eyes on Honda/Acura.
 
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