Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid now sold in California only?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Mrmayhem4, Aug 3, 2019.

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  1. Mrmayhem4

    Mrmayhem4 New Member

    Correspondence with dealer below:

    Yes. The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is the Clarity that is no longer sold in this market. That was Honda's decision. The most fuel efficient Honda vehicles in this market are now the hybrids (Accord and Insight). They do not plug in. Again, I'd be happy to show you one of those if you like. Please let me know. Thanks."
    Domenick likes this.
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  3. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    I have no source for this other than my own tracking of Clarity VIN numbers which I have been tracking online for quite a while now. As reported previously no 2019's exist outside of the ZEV states (CA/OR and east coast states). If there are exceptions they are extremely rare. Outside of ZEV states only 2018's have been available, however most of those have now been snapped up due to heavy discounting. Also for some reason apparently Oregon stopped receiving shipments a few months ago even though they are a ZEV state, even more mystifying since Oregon is one of only two states (the other being California) where Honda currently offers a $5,000 dealer incentive for Clarity.

    As it turns out it's not just Oregon, I discovered today looking through VIN numbers on dealer lots that none of the east coast ZEV states have been receiving 2019 shipments for several months. I didn't notice that earlier because unlike Oregon there are many 2019's on the lots in east coast states.

    There was a rumor here a few weeks ago that Honda has stopped producing 2019's, however I still continue to see new VIN numbers appear, although I had noticed that I was seeing them only in California. The latest and highest VIN number that I have found is 004884, which is way below pace compared to 2018, which is no surprise based on the sales figures.

    The discovery that I made today was that all east coast cars that I look at have VIN numbers well below 001000 which means production in December/January, maybe February at the latest. All cars built since then have apparently been going exclusively to California.

    Note that these are my own opinions based on what I have been seeing on dealer lots, and certainly I have no way to verify every single car, however the evidence seems pretty conclusive.

    This could simply be that since production has been slowed for whatever reason (battery supply?) cars for now are only being shipped to California, and sometime in the future either this year or next year they will resume shipments to the other ZEV states. Perhaps that won't happen until the 2020 release, assuming that takes place. However there is also the possibility that the nationwide experiment is over and Clarity will go back to being a California only car, at least for the time being.

    Unlike many I believe that Honda is fully committed to PHEV, the question is how does Clarity now fit into that strategy. Reviews and customer experience have for the most part been very positive, but there is also a strong consensus that Honda misstepped by using the older infotainment system on their flagship tech car, as well as the polarizing styling, and a decision to go with a sedan rather than a hatchback. Software glitches didn't help as they resulted in an unfair (by our opinion) poor quality score by Consumer Reports. And of course lack of marketing which was either caused, or the result of poor sales (sort of a chicken and the egg question). Infotainment, styling, and other quibbles can be relatively easily corrected in a refresh, however I think it's a bit soon for that. So my suspicion is that Clarity will go back to being a California car for now, and a decision will be made later if they want to update it and try it again at the national level.

    I am hoping to be proved wrong, my opinions are based only on what I am seeing at the moment, hopefully things will change.
  4. Evfred

    Evfred Member

    Great analysis, just wanted to add and Canada!

    *drives away in my 2019*
  5. Danks

    Danks Active Member

    FWIW - my 2019 VIN is 971 and was built January 2019.
    chris5168 likes this.
  6. Dan Albrich

    Dan Albrich Well-Known Member

    2002 - good points. I very strongly agree with your assessment RE consumer reports. Lots of folks read it like it's 100% correct all of the time. I also like and read consumer reports, but is always just one data point in my process. I definitely do not always agree with consumer reports.

    Anyway, yeah, if a car gets a poor review via consumer reports, it's bad mojo for sure.

    A very high percentage of those using this Clarity forum love the car. I do fault Honda for allowing the system power issue they later fixed with software. That was a serious miss-step that not all new car buyers will forgive.
    4sallypat likes this.
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  8. RickSE

    RickSE Active Member

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  9. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    Has Clarity been available for sale everywhere in Canada or just BC, Ontario and Quebec?
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  10. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, so 000971 is now the highest east coast VIN that I know of so far.
  11. Danks

    Danks Active Member

    Per there is a 1008 @ IDE Honda in Rochester, NY, 975 & 1037 @ Maguire Honda in Ithaca, NY. 987 @ Miller Auto in Vestal, NY, 996 @ Bernardi Honda in Natick, MA,
    2002 likes this.
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  13. Danks

    Danks Active Member

    1013 @ Saratoga Honda in Saratoga, NY,
  14. victor_2019

    victor_2019 Active Member

    I think it's everywhere. at least when I was looking for mine I could see some available in new brunswick as well (I'm in quebec)
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  15. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    They were available in virtually every U.S. state at one point too, at least the 2018's were. That's why I'm wondering if they have stopped shipping to Canada also or only now ship to certain provinces. Unfortunately Canada dealers don't seem to display VIN numbers on their websites like they do in the U.S. so it's nearly impossible to tell how old the cars are on dealer lots in Canada.

    But at least they are telling you there will be 2020's in Canada, although the limited availability message might be ignoring that there were probably very few 2019's shipped to Canada to begin with.

    Also the message gives the impression that they have stopped shipping 2019's to Canada.

    Canada 2020.png
  16. victor_2019

    victor_2019 Active Member

    well right now I only see them in ontario, BC and quebec.

    However I can only see what dealers decide to put online. Not all dealers list their stock on sites like autotrader or cargurus.

    I bought mine in end of may and my VIN is JHMZC5F10KC800132. I got it from ontario.

    When I bought mine the federal government rebate had just been started on may 1st and all stock was gone. I was told that it would be 6 months to get one after I order so I bought one still available in ontario.

    but I still see them popping up online so I guess new vehicles are coming in still. All 2019 models.

    Also I think dealers need to order the cars for them to be built and shipped so it doesn't make sense for a dealer to order this car if there's no demand in that area. The fact that these cars don't show up elsewhere doesn't mean that honda is restricting sales.

    The east coast of canada is rather poor, and in the western side (alberta and saskatchewan) they tend to buy a lot of trucks, and the charging infrastructure outside quebec/ontario/BC is virtually nonexistent.
  17. 4sallypat

    4sallypat Active Member

    Clarity does not sell well in other states (non ZEV, non CARB, non CAFE, non DFLC) so it's not unusual to see this.

    Try an auto broker who will search outside your area for the Clarity.
  18. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    Your manufacture date is 12/18 correct? (located on door jamb)

    Also can you double check if the last six digits are actually 000132.

    Not sure it works that way, my impression is the manufacturers allocate a certain number of cars for shipment to particular regions, and a dealer can "claim" one of them once the VIN numbers are available. But yes I'm sure some dealers would not order one unless a customer has placed a deposit, but I am not hearing of very many people in U.S. or Canada being able to obtain cars even through ordering. A few get lucky but you also hear of people either being told by dealers that it is not available for order, or they place an order with the dealer but it never comes in and they give up, meaning the dealer didn't actually have a VIN they just took the customer's money hoping that something will become available.

    No way to know without VIN numbers. Unsold cars sometimes are traded to another dealer so it will appear as a new listing.
  19. victor_2019

    victor_2019 Active Member

    but it doesn't make sense for them to remain unsold.

    since the federal government announced the 5000$ rebate and the provincial in quebec has an 8000$ rebate all local stocks in quebec have been depleted and cars sell very quickly. there are waiting lists at every dealer for the cars.

    when I was looking for mine, there was one available 50 km from montreal in the morning. I was too lazy to go look at it and by the afternoon that same day it was sold (I called back after finding out that it was a 6 month wait everywhere in montreal).

    perhaps in ontario they are not selling that fast because the ontario government eliminated their provincial rebate, but those dealers would sell them quickly if they targeted quebec buyers.
  20. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    You are basically describing a similar situation as in the U.S. but most of us are quite convinced that it's because Honda is not shipping cars not because cars are being snatched up by customers before they arrive at the dealer. If that was the case we would be hearing stories about that not stories about repeatedly being told by dealers that they are not available. And we would also see sustained higher sales numbers like existed last year which has now plummeted. Monthly sales numbers for Canada would be helpful to see what is happening there.

    Also in spite of federal and in some cases state tax incentives in the U.S., as far as I know Clarities only sold well when there were also large immediate discounts available. Honda is probably not going to promote a car when it has to drop the price that much to sell cars that we suspect are very expensive to produce. It's really only worth it to them in states where they really need the CARB credits, and that is a complicated situation which is why even some ZEV states seem to get ignored as it depends on what is happening in that particular state.

    Canada is a different Honda marketing division and of course different regulations and tax incentives so things can certainly work different there, and I would like to know more about what Honda is doing (or not doing) in Canada. But unless we at least know mfg dates (which can usually be estimated from VIN numbers) of cars on lots or cars recently purchased by forum members who can tell us when there cars were built, we really have no idea what is going on.
  21. fotomoto

    fotomoto Active Member

    Some thoughts....

    I took a long highway trip this summer and the number of easily identifiable fuel efficient cars (prius, tesla, clarity, volts, etc) I saw were shockingly low here in the southwest. Gas prices have been decreasing for over 6 years straight and have lacked volatile swings in pricing.

    Truck and SUV/CUV sales are king while sedan models are disappearing right and left off manufacture lists.

    Overall sales of HEV, PHEV, and BEV are stagnant (even Tesla USA sales need help through incentives, the waiting list gone, etc) with California doing most of the heavy lifting for the whole country (at one time Ca. was responsible for nearly 2 or every 3 Prius purchased). I think Model 3 sales are sucking most of the air out of the room.

    Just my 2cents.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  22. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Well-Known Member

    Clarity models are a tough sell in cheap oil country. With gas prices hovering near $2/gal, hard to sell a PHEV.
  23. coutinpe

    coutinpe Active Member

    The hybrids? Maybe cheaper to drive indeed on cheap oil country but how in heaven can those be more "fuel efficient" than the Clarity PHEV? You can spend weeks or even months without visiting the pump with the latter if you don't make a long trip. Looks like a bunch of BS being pulled up to justify the discontinuation of the car like GM did with the Volt or Ford with the C-Max. Now I'm indeed suspecting there is a concerted effort to do away with the PHEVs for whatever the reason.

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