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TOV Forums > General Talk > > Re: Honda - Not Made Here

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honduh
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Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-10-2018 08:48
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CB77 wrote:

...In a strange way, all comments (pro and con) on this article are legitimate..……However, from a long-time Honda associate point of view, the comments on the article appeared to be focused on the 'technical arrangements' being made by Honda -- whilst from my point of view, the most important piece in the article (and the whole point) was a change in thinking which was completely opposite to the philosophy of Soichiro Honda.
...


So I imagine, towards returning to the kind of decision-making that led to Honda's reputation for innovative thinking, it would be like the in-bed audio system in the new Ridgeline as detailed in the below Wards article.

Granted this maybe from what you consider "an outsider's" perspective, and a far more simple feature than engineering complex powertrain or control systems, etc. But at least it shows while the product designers could have just included a simple audio jack and said they were all done, instead they created design specifications for something unique and useful. Panasonic supplies the drivers.

I personally think they need to be more daring, especially where they cannot afford to anymore. For example, in the premium market where performance is increasingly emphasized and differentiated, they cannot allow models to wither, especially with ancient engine technology. Conversely, I also do not see, by "daring", that they have to be the first to put out questionable technology. It is more about how it genuinely solves a problem. As an example, Apple was not the first to invent the smartphone but they introduced some big firsts in how they made it work better than clunky existing solutions.

https://www.wardsauto.com/technology/honda-built-ridgeline-bed-fun-durability

' “So we of course feel this technology really makes us stand out as the ultimate tailgating vehicle on the market today,” Bill Kruse, Ridgeline assistant larger project leader-Honda R&D, says of the in-bed audio system’s compatibility with pregame parties.

Kruse and his team approached Honda’s audio engineers with an idea to install jacks in the Ridgeline’s bed so owners could plug in their own speakers. But after brainstorming the engineers came up with a better idea: Why not make the bed the speakers?

The trick is accomplished via the use of six Panasonic exciters, two placed under the headboard of the Ridgeline’s bed and two under each side panel.

Functioning as a magnet in a speaker would, the exciter, thanks to a vibrating chip, moves and receives current. The bed, acting like a speaker cone, pushes the sound.'

CB77
Profile for CB77
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-10-2018 11:07
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I was reflecting on this part of a post I made here earlier on this topic. I was struck by how all these major accomplishments for Honda occurred either under his time as president...or Supreme Advisor. To me...and for me...it just shows his importance as a force for the accomplishment of Big Things, by Honda while he was at the helm (listed below).

You certainly cannot create a list like this, since his departure. And no, Nay-sayers, the HondaJet was already underway at the time of his death. When he died, a big part of Honda died with him.

> Designing and marketing the biggest-selling motorized vehicle in the world...the Honda Cub

> Winning the Isle of Mann M/C races repeatedly, against Europe's best

> Entering and then dominating the U.S. M/C market with lightweight motorcycles

> Dominating GP M/C racing for every year he contested it in the '60s

>The CB750 M/C...world's first Super-bike

> The Civic

> The CVCC engine

> The Gold Wing M/C...which created the Touring M/C segment

> The Accord

> First entry from Japan into the U.S. Luxury car market

> Entering F1 racing and then dominating it for years

> The NSX


And in virtually every case, there was a strong chorus of Nay-sayers saying "you will not be able to do this". He took great delight in proving them wrong. So it is pretty easy to see how his confidence could turn into over-confidence. Also, Japan was accused in the '50s and early '60s as being only able to make cheap copies of other designs...which sensitized him to make sure Honda could not be accused of that.

Mr. Honda was a horrible taskmaster, ruling by fear and intimidation. When he was still in charge at Honda and I was working at American Honda, I would sometimes remark to my fellow Japanese workers that I hoped Mr. Honda would be coming to visit American Honda again sometime soon. They would look at me in horror and say "Why??" They wanted to be as far away as possible from him and his volcanic temper. Not a good management style, from today's viewpoint...but you certainly can't argue with the splendid results.

TonyEX
Profile for TonyEX
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-10-2018 18:16
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CB77 wrote:

....
The company's founders officially retired together at the Meeting of Shareholders held in October 1973, on the 25th anniversary of Honda's establishment. With that, they assumed their lifetime positions as Supreme Advisors.





The Honda Civic then hit the USA in 1975 or so... I got one, a station wagon.

My High School friends and acquaintances all thought I was nuts... driving that little japanese car. But, within three years, many of them were driving Honda Civics and their parents Accords.

HMC certainly did not rest when Honda and Fujisawa "retired".

Remember the introduction of the Honda Accord hatchback in 1976? Holy Moly, that car was a little jewel. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING about it was truly thought out (*).

Then, there were the Honda dealers of the time, who really supported the product.

(*) Somewhere I got pictures of a blue MY77 Honda Accord. It was being displayed at the same dealer where we bought our '77 Civic. Not restored, mind you, just in exceptional shape -and extremely low miles- after all these years. Jesus... that brought back memories!!!




owequitit
Profile for owequitit
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-11-2018 03:01
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HondaForever wrote:
Grace141 wrote:
CB77 wrote:
CB77 wrote:
Chris_6MT wrote:
...isn’t the whole point here the incredible hubris and stubbornness that leads Honda to believe that they can do EVERYTHING better than anyone else can? And then they waste years and millions of dollars attempting to prove themselves right, while all along a solution was available on the open market.



Yes...what you are saying has some merit. It is short trip from supreme self-confidence to simple arrogance...and Mr. Honda crossed that line several times. He DID think that ONLY Honda could do certain things, and in the '50s, '60s, '70s and most of the '80s, he was right. As the company performed technical wizardry and innovative new-product development on a regular basis.

I think part of his strong-willed refusal to listen to suggestions to do it the easy way, or the way that others had always done it, came from his early successes with his audacious goals:

> Designing and marketing the biggest-selling motorized vehicle in the world...the Honda Cub

> Winning the Isle of Mann M/C races repeatedly, against Europe's best

> Entering and then dominating the U.S. M/C market with lightweight motorcycles

> Dominating GP M/C racing for every year he contested it in the '60s

>The CB750 M/C...world's first Super-bike

> The Civic

> The CVCC engine

> The Gold Wing M/C...which created the Touring M/C segment

> The Accord

> First entry from Japan into the U.S. Luxury car market

> Entering F1 racing and then dominating it for years

> The NSX


And in virtually every case, there was a strong course of Nay-sayers saying "you will not be able to do this". He took great delight in proving them wrong. So it is pretty easy to see how his confidence could turn into over-confidence. Also, Japan was accused in the '50s and early '60s as being only able to make cheap copies of other designs...which sensitized him to make sure Honda could not be accused of that.

Mr. Honda was a horrible taskmaster, ruling by fear and intimidation. When he was still in charge at Honda and I was working at American Honda, I would sometimes remark to my fellow Japanese workers that I hoped Mr. Honda would be coming to visit American Honda again sometime soon. They would look at me in horror and say "Why??" They wanted to be as far away as possible from him and his volcanic temper. Not a good management style, from today's viewpoint...but you certainly can't argue with the splendid results.

This over-confidence did start causing problems late in his time at Honda, first at the end of his presidency, and then again during his role as "Supreme Advisor" near the end of his life:

> He blew the call on the air-cooled / water-cooled engine debate (finally being overruled by his young engineers)

> And he blew the call on the need for a Honda SUV...leading to the re-badged Isuzus.


Having said all this...I think it is pretty clear that if somehow he could still be alive and in possession of all his faculties, he would be bitterly against the changes at Honda that are outlined in the article I posted. And perhaps it would be a case of him blowing another call.




(I have been in an email dialogue with one of my Honda retiree friends...he had this to say about my post)

I tend to think of this subject somewhat in line with your thinking, and yet a bit different.

1.) To start, the 2 of us have 30+ years of direct hands-on experience working inside Honda. We saw Honda decision-making up close as it was being performed. We have deep knowledge.

Outsiders, like blog-posters and news article writers, only "know" about the surface of the moon from what they have read or heard. And the same goes for Honda decision-making. I think their level of knowledge can be fairly described as thin.

2.) I have a book titled, "Would You Kill the Fat Man?" It concerns The Trolley Problem, a branch of decision-making methodology and right and wrong. This link provides good summary - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem

When I read this book, I frequently return in my mind to hard decisions I had to make and hard decisions that I saw others, like Honda especially, make.

Admittedly, I only participated in one Honda project which concerned new product design. However, I did participate in millions of Honda decisions about process. From what I saw, there is not one standard Honda decision-making method or rule. Like the types of trees and vegetation in the forest, there are hundreds of ways decisions were and are made at Honda. Further, I did not see Honda act in a manner that would establish that "Honda can do everything better anyone else can".


3.) I think Honda frequently operates at the "edge" of engineering. CVCC is an example. That is an extremely risky venture. And Honda may succeed only only 10-15% of the time. So there is a large pool of "missed shots" (like poker hands). Some may call that waste. I do not, as long as the ratio doesn't dip too low, and the grand-slam engineering home runs are hit out of the park and past the parking lot, like CVCC.

I took away from the article an inference that current Honda management was improving its judgment in applying this technique to essential elements of the product (i.e., how its performance is created) and away from non-essentials components.


... If the question is why an automobile manufacturer would build a factory in a flood prone area, that's another matter.


Decisions as to where to build or not build to avoid flooding are usually based on the propensity for that area to flood in 50, 100, perhaps even 1000 years. Such decisions may now appear foolish but one cannot exactly blame those who made them at the time. The old flooding charts now appear to be completely obsolete due to that phenomenon which shall not be mentioned here on TOV.



There are also many areas of Mexico (a tropical country mind you, in the South) where the only areas to build are subject to flooding risk as the rest are mountains or seismically unstable.

Mexico City's new airport is a good example. A lot of people are pissed because it is built at the bottom of a dry lake bed, which is at the bottom of the valley, which is prone to flooding (for obvious reasons). Problem is, it is about the only area to build such a thing.

TonyEX
Profile for TonyEX
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-11-2018 13:01
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honduh wrote:
CB77 wrote:

...In a strange way, all comments (pro and con) on this article are legitimate..……However, from a long-time Honda associate point of view, the comments on the article appeared to be focused on the 'technical arrangements' being made by Honda -- whilst from my point of view, the most important piece in the article (and the whole point) was a change in thinking which was completely opposite to the philosophy of Soichiro Honda.
...


So I imagine, towards returning to the kind of decision-making that led to Honda's reputation for innovative thinking, it would be like the in-bed audio system in the new Ridgeline as detailed in the below Wards article.

Granted this maybe from what you consider "an outsider's" perspective, and a far more simple feature than engineering complex powertrain or control systems, etc. But at least it shows while the product designers could have just included a simple audio jack and said they were all done, instead they created design specifications for something unique and useful. Panasonic supplies the drivers.

I personally think they need to be more daring, especially where they cannot afford to anymore. For example, in the premium market where performance is increasingly emphasized and differentiated, they cannot allow models to wither, especially with ancient engine technology. Conversely, I also do not see, by "daring", that they have to be the first to put out questionable technology. It is more about how it genuinely solves a problem. As an example, Apple was not the first to invent the smartphone but they introduced some big firsts in how they made it work better than clunky existing solutions.

https://www.wardsauto.com/technology/honda-built-ridgeline-bed-fun-durability

' “So we of course feel this technology really makes us stand out as the ultimate tailgating vehicle on the market today,” Bill Kruse, Ridgeline assistant larger project leader-Honda R&D, says of the in-bed audio system’s compatibility with pregame parties.

Kruse and his team approached Honda’s audio engineers with an idea to install jacks in the Ridgeline’s bed so owners could plug in their own speakers. But after brainstorming the engineers came up with a better idea: Why not make the bed the speakers?

The trick is accomplished via the use of six Panasonic exciters, two placed under the headboard of the Ridgeline’s bed and two under each side panel.

Functioning as a magnet in a speaker would, the exciter, thanks to a vibrating chip, moves and receives current. The bed, acting like a speaker cone, pushes the sound.'



And then the lawyers stepped in and fucked it all up, as usual.

You can only use the rear in bed audio when you got the car parked. Why can't I play it when I'm driving? It's be great to shut up those kids with loud stereos... Just crank some Ozzie and see then shut them up.

I think Mr. Honda would have shot the lawyers.


Nick GravesX
Profile for Nick GravesX
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-11-2018 13:55
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With the S2000, it's a case of snipping a wire from the vehicle speed sensor to the roof control module. You can then connect it to your Modifry for speed-dependent volume. And you can operate the roof when moving.

Where there's a will...

CB77
Profile for CB77
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-11-2018 18:03
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TonyEX wrote:
I think Mr. Honda would have shot the lawyers.



Yes...as much as I (and all of Honda) misses him, I really wonder if he would even be able to operate in today's business climate. Probably would be exceedingly frustrating for him...the ashtrays would be flying in his office.




Last edited by JeffX on 08-12-2018 10:40
honduh
Profile for honduh
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-11-2018 21:14
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TonyEX wrote:
honduh wrote:
CB77 wrote:

...In a strange way, all comments (pro and con) on this article are legitimate..……However, from a long-time Honda associate point of view, the comments on the article appeared to be focused on the 'technical arrangements' being made by Honda -- whilst from my point of view, the most important piece in the article (and the whole point) was a change in thinking which was completely opposite to the philosophy of Soichiro Honda.
...


So I imagine, towards returning to the kind of decision-making that led to Honda's reputation for innovative thinking, it would be like the in-bed audio system in the new Ridgeline as detailed in the below Wards article.

Granted this maybe from what you consider "an outsider's" perspective, and a far more simple feature than engineering complex powertrain or control systems, etc. But at least it shows while the product designers could have just included a simple audio jack and said they were all done, instead they created design specifications for something unique and useful. Panasonic supplies the drivers.

I personally think they need to be more daring, especially where they cannot afford to anymore. For example, in the premium market where performance is increasingly emphasized and differentiated, they cannot allow models to wither, especially with ancient engine technology. Conversely, I also do not see, by "daring", that they have to be the first to put out questionable technology. It is more about how it genuinely solves a problem. As an example, Apple was not the first to invent the smartphone but they introduced some big firsts in how they made it work better than clunky existing solutions.

https://www.wardsauto.com/technology/honda-built-ridgeline-bed-fun-durability

' “So we of course feel this technology really makes us stand out as the ultimate tailgating vehicle on the market today,” Bill Kruse, Ridgeline assistant larger project leader-Honda R&D, says of the in-bed audio system’s compatibility with pregame parties.

Kruse and his team approached Honda’s audio engineers with an idea to install jacks in the Ridgeline’s bed so owners could plug in their own speakers. But after brainstorming the engineers came up with a better idea: Why not make the bed the speakers?

The trick is accomplished via the use of six Panasonic exciters, two placed under the headboard of the Ridgeline’s bed and two under each side panel.

Functioning as a magnet in a speaker would, the exciter, thanks to a vibrating chip, moves and receives current. The bed, acting like a speaker cone, pushes the sound.'



And then the lawyers stepped in and fucked it all up, as usual.

You can only use the rear in bed audio when you got the car parked. Why can't I play it when I'm driving? It's be great to shut up those kids with loud stereos... Just crank some Ozzie and see then shut them up.

I think Mr. Honda would have shot the lawyers.


I recommend laying a waterproof liner over the bed. Fill it with water. Pipe in some salsa and merengue, and crank up the bass and volume. You might get enough thumpin’ to have yourself a portable jacuzzi.

TonyEX
Profile for TonyEX
Re: Honda - Not Made Here    (Score: 1, Normal) 08-11-2018 23:16
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honduh wrote:
I recommend laying a waterproof liner over the bed. Fill it with water. Pipe in some salsa and merengue, and crank up the bass and volume. You might get enough thumpin’ to have yourself a portable jacuzzi.


Merengue? No way, I hate Real Madrid... it would have to be a blaugrana liner.

Besides... why merengue? I would only work with salsa music. it would make Wagner a bit too mushy, huh? The Ride of the Valkiries would sound like Tito Fuente and a Cuban Orchestra.



 
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