Although the Element hasn’t set the sales charts on fire, it is drawing a different buyer into Honda showrooms. As such, Honda execs are keen to keep a vehicle like the Element in production. “Our specialty vehicles give a little spice to the brand,” John Mendel, Honda’s executive vice president, told Automotive News. “It’s all about platform usability. And the Element is part of that strategy.”
According to Honda’s findings, Element buyers rarely –if ever – cross-shop the Element with its platform mate, the Honda CR-V. “In the showroom you couldn’t get most Element buyers to even sit in a CR-V,” Mende said. As such, Honda wants to keep a more flexible and youth-oriented vehicle in showrooms, even if the current Element isn’t selling as well as expected.
Honda originally set an internal sales goal of 75,000 Element sales per year, but only managed a high of 67,500 units during its first year on the markets. Sales have been on the slide since then, with only 13,500 Element sales tallied this year. But still, the Element is attracting a different kind of buyer to the Honda showroom.
Mende failed to give any details on the Element replacement, including if the new model would carry the Element nameplate. However, as the Element is now approaching its 7th birthday, we suspect the new model will be available sooner rather than later.