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

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

  1. RickSE

    RickSE Active Member

    Nice save from Honda. Having my A01 service this week and will see what my Massachusetts dealer has to say. Too nice of a car to give up on Honda!
  2. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

  3. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    “Even with generous incentives, Honda was unable to move enough Clarity PHEVs in the Northeast to make it worthwhile to sell the cars there.”

    This particular quote from that article speaks volumes to me. I’ve said it all along...Honda Clarity simply misses the mark on what the average American wants in a vehicle. Another article recently called the Clarity “wildly unpopular” and several here seemed offended by that statement. Kinda hard to refute that statement when even steep discounting fails to bring in enough buyers to satisfy Honda’s business plan.

    But Honda finally figured out the car is flopping, and is now rethinking their business plan, deciding it’s a car that only a Californian can love, along with a smattering of weirdos like myself from other parts of the country who apparently still have the opportunity to buy one at a big price from a dealer that is largely unfamiliar with the car. So true enthusiasts can still get one nationwide if they want one. I did. Few others will.

    It will be interesting to see what this does for the value of my used Clarity. Hope it doesn’t tank. I suppose lack of supply could increase value, but the obvious nationwide lack of demand decreases value...which will win out? Supply or demand?

    I shall wait and see...

    Guess I embrace the odd ducks. Heck one of my last cars was a 2004 Pontiac GTO. Quirky styling Hated by many, few heard of it, non drivetrain parts had to come from Holden of Australia, zero aftermarket part support, low production numbers, and only ran for 3 years. Sound familiar? But values have held up VERY well on those. But that GTO is a tire smoking, gas gulping, manual transmission, rear wheel drive, loud Corvette V8 drivetrain muscle car. In other words, now desired by many Americans!! Clarity is none of those things. So my gut tells me that short of another 1974 type of gas crisis, Clarity is not gonna hold value like the GTO wallet hopes I am proven wrong.

    Maybe I can trade in my Clarity for a Mazda 3 with the new Skyactiv X dieseling gasoline powered engine that is the first of its kind and has been running great in Europe now providing incredible fuel economy and torque...not available on this side of the pond yet...but I suspect soon. Performance, handling, great economy, and another odd duck. I think I’d like that. Have always respected Mazda.

    I’m always looking for the next new thing!!
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  4. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I’m happy to count myself as one of @craze1cars’s weirdos that love the Clarity, but be forewarned that I will be arguing that I am crazier. Some people march to a different drummer but I march to the music that few can even hear. And I gleefully embrace quirkiness and the odd ball as long as it fits my needs which the Clarity does 99.99% of the time. If it didn’t have the obtrusive center console, had a better infotainment system, electronics and options, and could cook...I’d marry it. The fact that it’s not selling outside of California speaks volumes about Honda’s poor marketing/support and the average American’s dismal engineering and financial IQ.
    Monir and craze1cars like this.
  5. Lowell_Greenberg

    Lowell_Greenberg Active Member

  6. I think this misses a huge factor: what the “average American wants in a vehicle” is highly dependent on advertising. The lack of popularity for the Clarity seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy on Honda’s part.

    We see multiple Honda ads on local TV here in E TN. Never once a mention of the Clarity. Most folks I encounter have never heard of the Clarity. Imagine if Honda had thrown dollars at an advertising campaign. Maybe one asking Clarity owners when they last bought gas! Or to borrow from the old Certs ads, maybe “Honda Clarity - Two Cars In One!” and mentioning the low lease rates available and/or the tax savings possible.

    Anyway, I can’t help but come to the conclusion that Honda is actively discouraging Clarity sales, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it’s working.
    RickSE likes this.
  7. Generous incentives? Can I get one of those?
  8. Same thing as the Chevy Volt.
  9. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Nope not anymore. You obviously missed them. But many here took advantage of them when they were around a few months back...$6k off as I recall? I dunno...I didn’t get it either because I bought too early. But they’re over now.
  10. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Regarding lack of advertising comment...maybe regional? But not true here at all.

    For a period of about 6 months, approx a year ago, I recall seeing Honda Clarity Tv commercial hundreds of times here in Indianapolis. Darn near had it memorized. And I don’t even watch that much TV! I even remembering it sparking a couple conversations between me and friends which I didn’t instigate...they didn’t know I was considering the car or already owned one. And the commercial was well done in my opinion. To the point. And well timed for large audiences...during home team televised NFL games, prime time popular shows, etc. Despite this, Clarities languished in lots for many months and I have seen one other besides mine. I made a local dealer get one from 150 miles away so I could get a build date that wasn’t 6 months old.

    Agree dealers were clueless. But they were fairly well stocked with each of the 5 Indy Honda dealers having 5 to 9 in inventory to choose from. I went to 3 of them when I was shopping and it was kinda surreal how ignorant the sales staff was. Then again why would any smart commissioned salesperson waste time learning about a product that nobody ever asks about or buys? But Honda corporate indeed advertised the heck out of it here where I live. But still nobody here wanted it. People just shrugged and bought something else.

    Advertising doesn’t create widespread demand. A product that fills the desires of many creates demand. Clarity obviously fills the desires of only a few.

    Come to think of it....I’ve never seen a Tesla advertisement....

    This is the Honda ad that ran here in Indy incessantly for a while:
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  11. I had no idea. I’ve never seen a Clarity ad in either N GA or E TN.

    I guess they had some sort of regional focus. But if that came up short, there goes my theory!
  12. sniwallof

    sniwallof Active Member

    Same in NY, that add ran so often last year, it was actually getting annoying. Yet, dealerships here were also relatively clueless about Clarity, with the possible exception of Garber in Rochester, NY. There did not seem to be any effort on Honda's part to educate dealership sales persons. Which brings us full circle back to the question of whether Clarity was really just a compliance car to meet California requirements? Still a lucky model model at a great price, for those of us who enjoy it so much.

    Seems like American families want CUVs and SUVs, so if Honda is really serious about mass market sales of PHEVs, I would think relatively low cost plug-in CRVs, or the next equivalent model, would be far more likely to sell in higher numbers, especially with remaining EV incentives, if the federal incentive survives.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  13. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    I guess what they felt was inaccurate was the idea that Clarity is no longer sold outside of California, when technically it is still available for sale but only by ordering.

    What I am trying to figure out though is whether this effectively ends sales outside of California, or if there will still be at least some sales, just at a greatly reduced number. From some of the reports here in the past few months there were people who wanted to buy a Clarity but couldn't find one anywhere around them, and did not seem to be aware that they could order one. Or else they were given the impression from dealers that ordering one would be uncertain and at best might take several months, or in some cases were told flat out that the car is unavailable. That could be the result of dealers who were uninformed.

    As word gets out that Clarity is available you just have to order one, will sales resume at least at some level in cities that have not had Clarity on the lots for several months and people were apparently erroneously being told that they weren't available. Keeping in mind that as far as we know Honda's first public statement about this did not occur until August 6th, one day after InsideEVs broke the story, based in part on my post two days earlier reporting my discovery through looking at VIN numbers that cars had only been shipping to California for the past several months. By not making this information available previously Honda created a confusing situation for potential buyers in other states.

    I am hoping that as this forum has in the past helped many people (including myself) with knowledge and advice about purchasing a Clarity, that as we learn over the coming weeks exactly what this new situation means that we will be able to pass this information on and help many more people who want a Clarity to obtain one. Hopefully we will begin to hear reports of people ordering and receiving their Clarity, and find out how long it took, and what price they paid. Hopefully people will still be able to get at least some discount from MSRP by going to more than one dealer, although certainly we won't see the huge discounts that were available when dealers were trying to clear cars off of their lots.

    I am interested in Oregon, they have not had any cars on dealer lots for quite a while now, and yet there is a $5,000 dealer incentive that started July 9th and runs through September 3rd. Can someone in Oregon at least in theory find a dealer who is willing to order a car and pass at least some of that discount on to the buyer? Or is the incentive effectively moot since the car would likely not arrive before September 3rd? Maybe someone will find an Oregon dealer who is willing to bring in a car from California, after all the $5,000 dealer incentive would certainly more than pay the shipping costs. Dealers will always try and sell you what is on their lot, but if someone is persistent and tells the dealer this is the car that I want can you get it for me at a good price, maybe they can make it happen.

    Also what about the Costco discount, is that only for cars in inventory and not for orders? This is the type of information that we need to find out so that we can pass it along to people who are looking to purchase a Clarity.
  14. David Towle

    David Towle Active Member

    I just read through most of this thread, thought I'd check for myself even though I have my Clarity. When I check in Edmunds there are 2019 Clarities available at dealers all around me, using a 50 mile radius I find 16 available. So maybe Honda has a good reason for pulling back to CA if the cars don't sell?
  15. Nemesis

    Nemesis Member

    You know, I was reading this thread and was disappointed the 2019 Clarity inventory appears to be going to California. I own and love my 2018 Clarity Touring, now with 23,000+ miles and honestly want to buy another one. So what do I do, I go back my dealer in Massachusetts, Herb Chambers Honda to see what's what. They have I believe seven 2019 Honda Clarity vehicles between Base and Touring on their lots. I think Herb Chambers owns 2 Honda dealerships. Sales guy said they will always sell Claritys as long as Honda makes them. Cheers...
    AlanSqB likes this.
  16. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    If you want to buy one off a dealer lot they still exist in some areas, but that won't last forever since Honda has confirmed that they are no longer shipping inventory outside of California. Once the cars currently on lots are gone you will only be able to order one.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  17. David Towle

    David Towle Active Member

    Buy them up now before they are gone!
  18. RickSE

    RickSE Active Member

    Actually you see Tesla advertising constantly since Elon Musk is a 24x7 marketing machine. Not all advertising is represented by tv ads. Maybe if the chairman of Honda had gone on tv and smoked a joint like Elon did they could have sold a few more Clarities!

    I live in Boston and have never seen an add for a Clarity. I saw one car in a dealer showroom and another dealer had one with a “save $10,000 ask me how” banner for the federal tax credit and the (now expired) state rebate. Then I did a few test drives and was sold.

    No offense, but neither Indianapolis nor upstate New York is exactly a target market for phevs. A few dealership banners at $100 a pop in a commuting city could have gone a long way.
  19. stockae92

    stockae92 New Member

    I thought the $6k was Honda factory incentives? Not gov incentives? They are no more?
  20. sniwallof

    sniwallof Active Member

    Most of my TV watching the last couple of years has been Directv, not sure how much if at all they present different ads to different audiences. I got the sense that the Clarity ad barrage was national, I think early 2018.

    Also, Rochester, NY and Albany, NY (definitely upstate, NY) are hubs for EV interest, I think you might be surprised if sales were shown by cities how many EVs sell there, but possibly still tiny numbers compared to California. In my local area where there have been zero local ads to my knowledge, this is pickup country, so to that extent, you are correct.

    Probably places like Boston, and more so NYC, actually buy fewer EVs than they otherwise would based on environmental concerns or even politics because urban areas are somewhat less likely to have home access to L2 charging stations at home (urban apartment, town home, condo, etc). Another issue might be electricity cost in MA; I have family in Western MA paying .25+/KWhr, is it that high in Boston too?

    Anyway, like the answer to life (42), we now know the answer from Honda itself, and it is California.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019

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