Critics have accused Honda Motor Co. of losing its essential goodness — a design and engineering intelligence that traditionally has placed Honda above most other manufacturers of mass-market automobiles.
The critics are wrong. They are confusing overall change in the global automobile industry with alleged corporate slacking.
Over the past several months I’ve been going through Honda’s 2013 models, including those of its Acura luxury division. My conclusion: Honda remains Honda — a car manufacturer of impeccable quality, outstanding safety and common sense. If Honda now seems less able than its once highly acclaimed self, it is only because its rivals have greatly improved their game.
That, of course, means Honda must work even harder to maintain a high level of consumer esteem — a task at which the company has seemed to flounder in the last four years, especially in 2011, when its efforts were hampered by an earthquake and tsunami in Japan.