Starting with the 2013 model year, a backup camera will be standard on the redesigned Honda Accord along with the Crosstour, Odyssey, Pilot, Ridgeline, and CR-Z.
That means Honda’s 12-model lineup goes from having just two models with a standard backup camera—the FCX Clarity hydrogen vehicle and the CR-V crossover— to nine models.A backup camera was already standard on the 2012 Honda CR-V and remains that way for the 2013 model year. The 2013 Honda Fit EV also has a standard backup camera.
That’s a drastic change for Honda; previously, backup cameras were an option that had to be coupled with an expensive navigation system. In fact, the update means Honda offers a backup camera on more of its lineup than any other mainstream automaker.
Why the change? The possibility that backup cameras will be mandated for all passenger vehicles by 2014 (though it looks like that rule may be delayed) was probably a motivating factor.“We’ve definitely known about the possibility of legislation down the pike, but we didn’t have to start this early,” Honda spokesman Chris Martin said. Honda’s more immediate considerations for the cameras were financial and design oriented, Martin says.
“Visibility is a key design attribute at Honda,” said Martin, who mentioned how the automaker makes sure to design and maintain a thin A-pillar on its new vehicles to optimize forward visibility. The other motivator to standardize cameras is that most of the building blocks for the rear visibility aid are already in each of these vehicles, Martin said. “What really made the push possible was the infotainment screens found on most of these models.” With the screens already integrated into the console design, the addition of a backup camera doesn’t cost a whole lot more, he added.
The only vehicles not getting backup cameras are Honda’s smaller vehicles. The Honda Insight has a backup camera available only with an optional pricey navigation system. The Honda Fit and Civic have no backup camera options, though that could change for the 2013 model year. The 2013 Civic is getting a significant interior refresh for the model year, which could bring a standard backup camera, for instance.
Small Pickups Get Popular
The thought process was always pretty simple: Younger buyers could purchase smaller, more affordable pickups, and then when they get older and earn more money, they could step up to larger full-size trucks. And that was the template and strategy for decades.
Then full-size trucks prices dropped with strong competition and huge incentives on the hood, with the result being a compact/ midsize truck segment was squeezed to a fraction of what it once was. Now, conventional wisdom may be shifting, as some see a potential need for small trucks again, but this time to a different kind of buyer.
It is reported that Chrysler’s vice president of product planning, JoeVeltri, is convinced that there’s a market for a small, affordable pickup truck, and we agree with him.
Interestingly, Veltri believes the group most likely to want these small pickup trucks will not be young buyers but aging baby boomers looking to downsize in their later stages of life.
Veltri talks quite a bit about the possibility of a unibody chassis for such a vehicle but insists the final decision has not been made. Over the last 10 years, there has been plenty of speculation about what Chrysler would do with the next-generation Dodge Dakota, with concepts like the Dodge M80 and Dodge Rampage garnering a lot of excitement for the brand.
Could this finally be the crack in the door many have been waiting for?
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