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Old 02-14-2015, 04:38 AM   #1
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Honda ?

Has Honda conceded the maxi market in the US

With the new Tmax, BMW, Kymco has Team Red just said "let them have it". The Silverwing was a fine scoot but now is very long in the tooth and Honda doesn't seem in a hurry to replace it here.

What says you .

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Old 02-14-2015, 04:59 AM   #2
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The Silverwing was a great scoot but they never revised it. At least in North America. There was a 600GT version (also a 400GT) that was released a couple of years ago in some markets.

I am not even sure if that is still being produced anymore.

I think they want the Integra to be their product in the category since it shares most of its parts with 4 of 5 other bikes and keeps production costs down. The problem is it does not have some core features that make scooters great. Like storage and lack of a chain. I think it is too much of a compromise to be really excellent at being a scooter.
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:06 AM   #3
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I am also Afraid that North America has become an afterthought for scooters. We just don't buy enough of them to justify the cost to produce something just for us.

Europe and especially Asia are where the big sales are. I believe they will concentrate their engineering money on scooters for those markets. If American Honda sees a product that they like then they may decide to import it but I don't think it will be developed just for us.
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbolling View Post
I am also Afraid that North America has become an afterthought for scooters. We just don't buy enough of them to justify the cost to produce something just for us.

Europe and especially Asia are where the big sales are. I believe they will concentrate their engineering money on scooters for those markets. If American Honda sees a product that they like then they may decide to import it but I don't think it will be developed just for us.
No question about the US sales but lest face it they have other offerings that just don't get here, like the Integra. Hell the boats going to sail anyway throw on a few....lol

When I look at the 300 class people love the Kymco gt300i, BV and other big wheel scoots in the US yet Honda chose to bring the Forza instead of the SH300. They kill overseas but seem to be a step behind here once we get past the ruckus and PCX.

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Old 02-14-2015, 05:54 AM   #5
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I'm sure some of their bean counters have done the math on it, i.e. whether they feel it's worth offering a 500cc+ scooter here in the States. A company the size of Honda probably does strategic projections on stuff like this all the time.

Ultimately, they probably look at what kind of product would sell here, what it would cost them to be a player in the market niche, and what the return on that investment would be. Then they decide do we spend resources on project "X" or not.

Kymco is a little different. Scooters are a core product for them in the USA, so their range is probably going to be more extensive. For Honda, probably a small niche overall, so a backwater, so to speak. Kawasaki is an even better example. They are a pretty big name in the USA, and are very established here, but they choose to ignore scooters. They surely have the resources both engineering and financial to offer a scooter lineup here if they felt like it made business sense for them. Apparently they don't.
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Old 02-14-2015, 06:01 AM   #6
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They could offer the Integra. Homologation costs would be minimal since we already have the NC700.
I would consider the Integra over all other maxi scooters.

The tri color looks nice

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Old 02-14-2015, 06:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by syncro87 View Post
I'm sure some of their bean counters have done the math on it, i.e. whether they feel it's worth offering a 500cc+ scooter here in the States. A company the size of Honda probably does strategic projections on stuff like this all the time.

Ultimately, they probably look at what kind of product would sell here, what it would cost them to be a player in the market niche, and what the return on that investment would be. Then they decide do we spend resources on project "X" or not.

Kymco is a little different. Scooters are a core product for them in the USA, so their range is probably going to be more extensive. For Honda, probably a small niche overall, so a backwater, so to speak. Kawasaki is an even better example. They are a pretty big name in the USA, and are very established here, but they choose to ignore scooters. They surely have the resources both engineering and financial to offer a scooter lineup here if they felt like it made business sense for them. Apparently they don't.
I agree on everything you say but sometimes you need a play no matter the cost. Particularly when others, Kymco aside, are all in BMW, Suzuki and now Yamaha have decided to have a presence in the small market segment.

A company like Honda normally doesn't sit idle as others advance their share.
Particularly when they have product already is in their lineup that could compete.

It's a small market but to abandon it is a poor marketing move IMO.

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Old 02-14-2015, 06:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMAC1680 View Post
I agree on everything you say but sometimes you need a play no matter the cost. Particularly when others, Kymco aside, are all in BMW, Suzuki and now Yamaha have decided to have a presence in the small market segment.

A company like Honda normally doesn't sit idle as others advance their share.
Particularly when they have product already is in their lineup that could compete.

It's a small market but to abandon it is a poor marketing move IMO.

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I don't disagree that if I ran Honda, there might be an entry in the big scoot segment.

That Integra is interesting and I agree with you, the tri color looks good. I think chain drive would hurt the appeal here in the US. Part of the appeal of a scooter to many, I believe, is the low maintenance, sealed CVT drive aspect. It's probably years of owning a BMW coloring my opinion here, but chains are kind of a PITA to me. I've owned chain drive bikes, but prefer belt or shaft. Less goop getting thrown on my wheel, less worring about lube, etc. Others probably don't worry about it as much. Frankly, I'm surprised more companies haven't gone a route like Harley with an external belt.

I think it's stranger that Kawasaki has zero scooter presence in the USA than it is that Honda doesn't play in the maxi scooter arena. I am somewhat surprised that Honda has let Suzuki take over the big scoot market with the Burgmans and hasn't challenged them...

...however, Yamaha went after them a little bit with the Majesty and I think they actually had a pretty mediocre level of success there, so maybe Honda watched that and said, do we really think the maxi scooter market in the USA is big enough to steal enough Burgman riders to make it worth it?

From what I can tell, Suzuki got in and seized enough of the large end of the American scoot market to where the returns for other players became less appealing. Basically a coup on Suzuki's part.

I think 2008-2009 and the economic downturn around that time probably didn't help the large scooter market grow in America, either. We're coming out of that a bit now, but I think that time period forced the message home to m/c manufacturers that for most people, cycles are a luxury item, not primary transport. In Europe and Asia, more people see cycles as primary.

I don't know, I'm no expert. I agree with you that it's odd that Honda doesn't have a large scoot here. One could also say it's odd that Triumph too so long to put out a big touring bike to rival BMW (old Trophy was chain drive for a long time which killed them). Here is another odd thought--why doesn't Suzuki have a big tourer like Honda has the Wing and Yamaha the FJ? The touring bike market is probably larger than the maxi scooter market (usa). (total guess which may be incorrect)
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Old 02-14-2015, 06:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMAC1680 View Post
No question about the US sales but lest face it they have other offerings that just don't get here, like the Integra. Hell the boats going to sail anyway throw on a few....lol

When I look at the 300 class people love the Kymco gt300i, BV and other big wheel scoots in the US yet Honda chose to bring the Forza instead of the SH300. They kill overseas but seem to be a step behind here once we get past the ruckus and PCX.

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If I remember correctly, the SH150 and SH300 are produced in Italy. Exchange rate and production costs just did not work in Honda's favor for bringing them to the US at a decent price.

The Forza is cheaper to produce.
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Old 02-14-2015, 07:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syncro87 View Post
Honda could do a lot of things, they certainly have the resources, but they choose not to play in many niche sandboxes for whatever reason.

For instance, full size pickup trucks is a massive market in the USA. They have no entry. Volkswagen sells plenty of diesel passenger cars in the USA every year but Honda chooses to ignore this niche despite having diesel cars for sale around the globe. Mazda is famous for the Miata but Honda chooses to have no sporty small roadster in America. Subaru sells lots of AWD sedans, i.e. Impreza and Legacy. Honda has no equivalent.

This is automotive vs. cycle, but it's the same thing. Lots of niches out there, Honda big enough to play in any of them if they chose to, but they don't for some reason.
There's a difference between not playing in a market segment and essentially withdrawing. Worst yet is leaving and aged scooter in the lineup.

Just my .02

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Old 02-14-2015, 08:06 PM   #11
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Honda more then likely only sells 7 to 10 000 scooter in canada / usa per year . You look around and you find 2 year old rides still sitting in dealerships . We a cash cow market for high price bikes . Sadly we ll never see the sh300 or 150 again. Nor any of the stuff that coming out of india over the next 5 year ether. Europe only. Hero honda is going to be bring to market some neat high MPG scooter that do hwy speed . Almost all the players will not risk losing cash to bring in new scooters. You ve got at least 1 million plus use one to compete with .
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Old 02-14-2015, 11:32 PM   #12
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Another thing is any scooters they bring here have to meet EPA and CARB standards so that can run up the costs before they even sell one.
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:13 AM   #13
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That pic of the Integra above - doesn't fit my definition of a scooter. If you need a scooter because you can no longer throw a leg over - that one is off the list!
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:27 AM   #14
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Being a bit of a Honda fanboy, it took me years to get over their reluctance to bring the sh300 over.
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Old 02-15-2015, 08:06 AM   #15
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Let's be honest; Honda doesn't exactly win the award for knowing the mind of the North American two wheeled consumer. Remember the Fury? How about the CTX700?

The SH300i could have competed against the Vespa, pulling in those that love Honda or desire to have a wide dealer network. Not sure if they assume people won't pay for high quality in a small package, or it was an exchange rate issue.

I guess we should be content to have as many scooters available as we do. I don't know why Honda hasn't upgraded the Silverwing or designed a worthy replacement. I have no doubt that it comes down to their interpretation of the NA market and what they can sell here. I think Piaggio has done a better job in that regard, but have to note that the BV350 is the biggest scooter they now sell here. Maybe the large scooter market is saturated with BMW, suzuki and others in the game?
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