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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since it seems clear from the diverse owners present on this forum as well as the streets at large, Honda must be scratching their heads at how they seemingly missed their target audience for the Element.
Penguins and Hellcats don't surf, so there must be an underlying appeal of utility, convenience, and of course, the ecclectic styling.

Can it be too far off that Acura will be offering a derivative that has more steroids under the hood, and leather, wood, and other ammenities inside?

What would you see the Acura division doing to the Element to more cater its appeal to the audience that it seems to have captured?
 

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Ummmmm Penguins do surf :)

Well it has been a few years since I have been out to La Jolla, but I did surf a bit in my youth :) I think if I didn't live in the midwest I would surf, but alas I am land locked, well I do have the ole' Miss.

But back on topic....anything is possible as far as turning over the E to the Acura designers, but my personal opinion is that it would have to be so different as to not be a "sell-out"....because I think if you are going to yuppify the E you may tick a few people off.....and in the process lose the spirit of the E.

Just my 2 cents!
 

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I seriously doubt that Honda is going to do any vastly upgraded version of the E (in either the Acura divison or Honda divsion). If a consumer wants a more cushy, comfy, luxury SUV there are plenty to choose from. The E fills a void and I believe that Honda will continue to improve it's position in this void. It is based on low maintanence, low cost, and pure utility. I cannot see Honda blurring the distinctions between the E and the multitude of more cushy SUVs already in the marketplace.
 

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I think the Element fills a void too. I just don't think it's the void they intended to fill (the low-cost roller for generation Y). At 30, I'm a little older than their target and have to admit, more power, leather and a power back sunroof would only be improvements and ones that I, and a many other gen Xers and babyboomers, would welcome (not all, but many).

If Honda keeps trying to tap the Y gen, then yeah, luxury improvements probably won't come any time soon. If they decide to play to the proven audience so far, they'd be doing themselves a disservice to not explore the possiblitly of offering additional bells and whistles. This older demo has more disposable income for those things.
 

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[quote:0968ec024d="tigernumber6"]I think the Element fills a void too. I just don't think it's the void they intended to fill (the low-cost roller for generation Y). At 30, I'm a little older than their target and have to admit, more power, leather and a power back sunroof would only be improvements and ones that I, and a many other gen Xers and babyboomers, would welcome (not all, but many).

If Honda keeps trying to tap the Y gen, then yeah, luxury improvements probably won't come any time soon. If they decide to play to the proven audience so far, they'd be doing themselves a disservice to not explore the possiblitly of offering additional bells and whistles. This older demo has more disposable income for those things.[/quote:0968ec024d]

I agree that the market Honda is hitting, with the E, might not be the target audience. However, I still think there is a limit to what people will pay for the E with accessories. All I can do is express personal opinons about this. I am 52 years old and bought the E because it is simple, big and cool and cheap. I think that the older ages now buying the E are buying it because some of us are just tired of spending a lot on a car.

I would not have purchased it with leather, seat heaters etc etc etc. Why? The E is a very inexpensive crossover SUV (one of the least expensive on the market!). Why make it more expensive, when the next level in SUV's is very very saturated (even with other Honda models). If I wanted to spend more, the choices are many. If I wanted to spend less, the choices are few.
 

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The reason the Element is attracting an older-than-expected demographic is the same as the reason why an Acura-ized Element is ludicrous. The reason is _utility_, plain and simple.

The situation is well-illustrated by comparison with the VW Microbus (both past and prospective).

VW introduced their revivified Microbus concept at about the same time as Honda previewed the Element on the auto show circuit. As a VW bus veteran, I instantly saw the VW concept had the nostalgic lines but the Honda thingie had the 'concept'. Along with others, I badgered VW to the effect the Microbus wouldn't get off the ground as an upscale-only, highly-tricked-out offering. It seems they haven't (yet) listened to that message and they're still aiming for a glitz-ridden suburban sled. So it comes as no surprise that the new head of VW's Microbus project has admitted they may have to rethink going ahead now that it appears they can't deliver for less than $30,000.

The Element is the closest equivalent to the old VW Microbus / Transporter concept -- basic, economical, roomy, reconfigurable, and generally amenable to most anything you'd want to do on wheels. THIS is why we middle-agers are flocking to it. It's essentially a no-nonsense (OK - low-nonsense) affordable set of wheels that offers practicality. There's nothing SUV-like that offers this level of nuts'n'bolts practicality, just as there were never any minivans configured for such basic functionality.

Bottom Line: The Element is selling because it's _basic_. Attempts to move the vehicle up-market (even with the cachet of an Acura tag) will fail just like VW's glitzed-up Vanagons failed in the 1980's.
 

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I am of the older demograhic and did not buy the Element because it was basic, because it was cheap or because of utility. I bought it because I liked how it looked. So to say "The reason the Element is attracting an older-than-expected demographic is the same as the reason why an Acura-ized Element is ludicrous. The reason is _utility_, plain and simple." may be a little on the ludicrous side itself. The old saying in marketing is if there is one there are more. So I cannot be the only one to feel this way.

You can't look at this from an individual level. You have to look at it from a demographic level. One 50 year-old may be in the market for a cheap ride but others are buying 'vettes and Cadillac Escalades. The Element in its current state is already capturing the older demo with its fexiblitly and funky looks. It's not unreasonable to think that market share could expand to include some of the entry-level luxury SUV buyers as well. And, if you think Honda isn't thinking about that with it's success in the over 30 demo, you're kidding yourself.
 

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[quote:f11aea2584="tigernumber6"]I am of the older demograhic and did not buy the Element because it was basic, because it was cheap or because of utility. I bought it because I liked how it looked. [/quote:f11aea2584]

It is good that there are many reasons why people buy a car. You bought it for the looks. I bought it because it was basic, few frills, and low price for high quality and high utility value. The looks had to grow on me. And we are both of the older demographic side. Ain't marketing grand!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
[quote:12f9d0cdfe="EnolaGaia"]The reason the Element is attracting an older-than-expected demographic is the same as the reason why an Acura-ized Element is ludicrous. The reason is _utility_, plain and simple.

Bottom Line: The Element is selling because it's _basic_. Attempts to move the vehicle up-market (even with the cachet of an Acura tag) will fail just like VW's glitzed-up Vanagons failed in the 1980's.[/quote:12f9d0cdfe]

Good thing you don't work for Lexus...Toyota wouldn't be #1
 

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I forget where I saw it, but Honda DOES have a prototype Acura based on the CR-V platform. It uses the 200 hp version of the K24 in the Element/CRV too. It looks nothing like a CRV or an Element though. It has more of a jacked up, futuristic sports car look to it, I'll try to find a pic...
 

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when i took my car in to the dealership, the service manager and i had a good chuckly about the target demographic. he's a dad with two kids in middle school and i'm 38. we both own Es. we both got the car because it was simply a perfect car, functional and fashionable (in the good sense).

i saw the E in the paper a year ago and immediately had to have it. the "ute" factor: cuteness and utility, is what sold me.

by the way, i surf too. but because of a disabilty with my hands which as flared up, i haven't taken the tonka out yet, but will soon. i did take my bike the the beach. AND I LOVE THAT MY BIKE (A STRAND CRUISER) STANDS UP IN THE BACK! my boyfriend loves that, too. easier for him than dealing with taking off the front wheel (not an easy trick)
 
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