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 automotive sector.
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 audience—seamlessly 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.