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Element will die; what's next?

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Element will die; what's next?

Honda’s Element will die after 2011, thanks to several years of poor sales.

Mark Rechtin

Automotive News -- December 6, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

LOS ANGELES -- American Honda Motor Co. is expected to look for new derivatives to build on its CR-V platform, after killing its slow-selling Element crossover.

The CR-V is scheduled for a redesign next summer. Honda executives have said the automaker enjoys the flexibility of the CR-V platform and what it can provide in terms of spinoffs.

Honda's decision, confirmed last week, to kill the Element after the 2011 model year comes after seven straight years of declining U.S. sales. The quirky, boxy crossover was designed to attract young buyers, but didn't.

The Element, based on the CR-V crossover, went on sale in late 2002. It carried such features as washable floors and neoprene seats intended to appeal to buyers with active, outdoor lifestyles. The Element soon became popular with active, empty-nest baby boomers and retirees, whose average age wasn't far off buyers of Honda's other products.

Annual U.S. sales peaked at 67,478 in 2003, the Element's first full year on the market. From 2004-06, the Element sold in the mid-50,000 unit range. Last year sales dropped to 14,884, and this year's sales through November are down 4 percent.

A dog-friendly version, with grippy, bone-patterned floor mats and a cargo area set up for a dog carrier, was released for the 2010 model year.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20101206/RETAIL03/312069959/1424#ixzz17L9DI7MJ

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Honda to Terminate Element Crossover Next Year, No Direct Successor Planned



The quirky-looking Honda Element will soon cease to be as the Japanese automaker has decided to retire the boxy crossover model with the funky rear suicide-style doors after the 2011MY, due to declining sales. There's no direct successor planned, though Honda may develop a new derivative of the CR-V to fill the gap in the near future.

First introduced in concept form as the Honda Model X at the 2001 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Element made its production debut at the end of 2002. Providing a multi-functional cargo area, versatile seating and a dirt-friendly interior with washable floors, the Element received several upgrades though the years, the most recent being a subtle facelift in late 2008.

"The Element proved that ultimate functionality can often come from thinking inside the box," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda. "It made boxy vehicle designs cool, and Element owners continue to enjoy its unique styling and unmatched versatility."

Sales of the Element peaked in its first full year of production in 2003 when Honda sold close to 70,000 units, but dropped to under 15,000 last year. Overall, more than 325,000 Elements have been sold in the United States since its introduction in December 2002.



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The new nose that came with the mid-cycle refresh made it a lot less ugly but it is still an awkward, ugly duckling.

When they first came out I called it a FUGLY walk-in freezer on wheels, I stand by that opinion but I will admit

that for what it was it was quite versatile & at least brought something interesting to the marketplace, unlike the

entire Scion line which was neither innovative or utilitarian.

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