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I've often wondered why no manufacturer has a minivan in the luxury class. Acura, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Lincoln, Cadillac, Volvo, etc.

Sure, Acura shared the Odyssey platform for the MDX, and Honda's verison of that SUV will hit the market, too.

Still, I'd think a luxury class minivan would appeal to a lot of buyers who would just like the "name" to go along with all the goodies and conveniences in the top-of-the-line minivans...
 

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Funny thing, huh? For some reason, consumers grabbed onto trucks as The Big Thing To Have To Keep Up With The Joneses and the manufacturers responded. But a luxury minivan? Nah.

I wonder what would happen if Daimler put a Mercedes AWD drivetrain into a very well appointed Chrysler minivan and sold it at Mercedes dealers.

But, you hear it all the time: "I don't WANT to look like some mommy, driving some mom-mobile! That's why I bought this truck, which is less spacious and less suited to the task. Minivans just scream MOM!" Sure. Uh-huh. As if the three little trolls you're dragging with you everywhere don't scream MOMMY!

I've said it for months now: if there was a market for a luxury minivan, my 02 EXL-RES would have come from the Acura dealership.

It's plain to see that Honda didn't put leather and other goodies into the Ody from the beginning because all those goodies are really Acura goodies. And notice how even the EXL models full of RES and NAV and whatnot don't have the real Acura goodies--power seats on both sides, power seats and steering wheel that adjust based on whose remote unlocked the van, etc. In Honda's mind, at least for now, those types of goodies *will not* be put onto Honda-badged vehicles--never mind that there's no analog to that vehicle in the Acura line.

In fact, the Ody is the first time that kind of crossover should have happened but didn't, really. Civic? Cheap, and Honda's the cheap brand, so no crossover--obviously. Accord? Sure. TL and CL. Same platform, same hardpoints. Midrange Honda, midrange Acura. That's an easy one. RL? Sure, it's supposed to be the expensive one--and it's supposed to be an exclusive to Acura, because the Honda nameplate isn't supposed to have anything that expensive.

But now comes the Ody. Again, from the Accord platform. Mid priced. SHOULD have an Acura equivalent, like the Accord does--but it doesn't? Well, what do they do now?

The conservative Japanese just bit their tongues and kept it bare bones. Remember, this is the company that took FIFTEEN YEARS to get into the American minivan market. They don't move quickly. That we got leather is only because they had a track record selling Accords with leather. Trust me, if Honda had made the decision that leather would be Acura-only, the Ody wouldn't have leather to this day--the competition notwithstanding. That's how conservative Honda is.

So Honda keeps the cheap seats, and if there's no other manufacturer in the market segment--well, Honda's not going to be the first. Not ever.

And such is proof that the people who made Honda what it is in the US 25 years ago are long gone and their lessons are being ignore. If the people running Honda today were in charge in 1973, we would never have seen the Civic. There wasn't an existing market for it, after all.
 

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Town and Country is the minivan. Fact is, minivan sales overall are flat, while suv sales continue to grow. In the luxury segment you can make a lot more profit on the cosmetic and convenience add ons that cost a lot less than what the mark up. If the minivan market had grown like the suv market, you can believe you would have seen more luxury.

Re the Civic and its ilk (happy owner of a 95 ex here), the only reason economy cars are manufactured at all is because they keep down the CAFE standards (i.e., average fuel mileage for a company) enabling them to build more gas guzzling but highly profitable gas guzzling luxury cars. I believe Civics and Corollas are in effect loss leaders. The manufacturers make little or no profit out of them.

(I'm not sure if this is directly relevant but it's an interesting factoid: MacDonald's makes no profit on its burgers and fries. All its profits actually come from the soft drinks. Burgers and fries are a loss leader to get folks to buy Cokes--i.e., flavored, sugar water.)
 

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In reference to the Civic, there actually is an Acura version (sold exclusively in Canada) the EL. See the link.

http://english.acuracanada.ca/models/el.asp

Not sure why they decided not to take it to the US (could be capacity as it is built in Alliston, Canada) as this car has a lot of followers in the US. Then again never question Honda (still can't figure out why Canadians can't buy RES in an Odyssey).

Gary
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by caviller:
I've often wondered why no manufacturer has a minivan in the luxury class. Acura, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Lincoln, Cadillac, Volvo, etc.

Sure, Acura shared the Odyssey platform for the MDX, and Honda's verison of that SUV will hit the market, too.

Still, I'd think a luxury class minivan would appeal to a lot of buyers who would just like the "name" to go along with all the goodies and conveniences in the top-of-the-line minivans...
</font>
First luxury van<center>

</center>
 

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Well last I read Ford made over $15k per Lincoln Navigator in profit...I imagine similar HUGE $$$ for upscale SUV's on platforms already long since paid for...including Jeep Grand Cherokee, and lower end products such as the Jeep Wrangler. It seems the next luxury trend will be high end station wagons or 'estate' cars...Lexus started with the IS300, Mercedes E-class, upcoming VW D1, etc. Minivans have a bad association with 'real life needs'/function...rather than emotion. NOW, if Acura took an Ody, added more hp, paddle shifting on the steering wheel, driver adjustable suspension, bolstered seating, AWD....who knows? I think the minivan market is severely lacking a performance product that will help in this crossover for consumers. My 2002 Ody with 240hp is a good start, especially when it surprises unsuspecting drivers everyday on the highways and off-ramps....feedback?

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2002 Silver EX
1996 VW Gti
1999 Pit Bull/Catahoula Leopard dogs
 

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Cool. Do you happen to be in this picture Maugham?


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Maugham:
First luxury van<center>

</font>


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A Porsche soul in a minivan body :)
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2002 White EX
Fog Lights, Splash Guards (looking for interesting mods)
 
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