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John Mendel: Honda Won’t Do Stupid Things

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John Mendel

John Mendel: Honda will not do “stupid things…that damage the [consumer].”

American Honda’s market share in the first seven months of the year have slipped from 9.7 percent to 9.1 percent, but John Mendel isn’t worried. Mendel, the executive vice president of sales for American Honda, says that the company will not resort to rash decisions in order to reclaim however much of the U.S. auto pie they’ve lost, assuring Automotive News that Honda will not do “stupid things in the short-term that damage the person who bought yesterday.”

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Mendel told Auto News (subscription required) that extended loan terms and other tactics that incentivize new car purchases for customers who might not be able to afford them in the long term are ultimately going to end up hurting profitability and customer loyalty.

Mendel also added that the auto market is “near the top” of its potential, and that too much pushing against the roof could spur an all-too-familiar bursting of the bubble.

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John Mendel

2014 Honda CR-V

Despite the loss of market share, Honda currently offers the best-selling car (Accord), compact-car (Civic), minivan (Odyssey), and utility vehicle (CR-V), at least according to their interpretation of Polk new-vehicle registration data. Once fleet sales come into the picture, only the CR-V leads its segment. This, according to Mendel, stems from Honda’s commitment to pleasing individual customers and focusing on the long-term goals the company holds for itself.

“Our strategy is working,” Mendel said. “We’re doing what we need to do. We’re delivering great value to the customer.”

Despite a 27 percent year-to-date increase in incentives, Honda is in the bottom third of all automakers when it comes to total incentives offered on new vehicles.

Source: Automotive News