Where are the 2019's?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Sdickins 999, Jul 6, 2019.

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  1. Sdickins 999

    Sdickins 999 New Member

    I'm researching PHEV cars, and looking on cargurus.com to see what is available. I live in a rural area, so the nearest Clarity's are at least 75 miles away. All the Clarity's I find in the state of Iowa are 2018's. Are there 2019's available anywhere? Is there any significant difference between 2018's and 2019's? Is Honda reducing the inventory of Clarity's? Thanks for your input.
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  3. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Honda may be focusing on the 10 ZEV states for deliveries of 2019 Clarity PHEVs. I guess that if Honda can't sell these great cars at MSRP, they'd prefer to lose money selling them in the states where the cars can at least provide the benefit of contributing to the ZEV electric car credits in those states that follow California's ZEV regulations.

    To my knowledge, no one has discovered any differences between the 2018 and 2019 Clarity PHEVs. Presumably, the Service Bulletin updates that dealers have been performing on 2018 Clarity PHEVs are not necessary on the 2019s.
  4. MajorAward

    MajorAward Active Member

    The very first Clarity I ever saw was a green 2019 at the Atlanta Auto Show. Ed Voyles Honda brought it in, and to my knowledge, it was the only 2019 Clarity at any dealer in the state of Georgia. After the show it was taken back to the dealership, and after all the 2018's were sold (I believe they had six at one time), It was the last one to be sold. They now have zero, and a quick search says there is one new 2018 left in the state. I feel fortunate to have attended the show, because it was then I decided the Clarity was the perfect car for my situation. I guess those of us in non ZEV states are kind of in an exclusive club. Not many cars like ours on the road.
    I hope you are able to find a 2019, but based on my experience, I don't believe you will, unless you are willing to travel. Good luck, it is a great car!
    4sallypat likes this.
  5. BeMurda

    BeMurda Active Member

    They are no longer manufacturing 2019s in Japan. 2020's eta is early 2020, though there are some rumours that there could be a slightly quicker release.
  6. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    I haven't been able to find out when 2018 production stopped, the latest mfg date I could find for 2018 was 12/18 so I am guessing they started 2019 production in January, meaning 2018 ran for just over a year. 2019 apparently for just six months.

    Be nice if during the down time they can maybe get caught up with spare parts including windshields, but I'm sure that's just wishful thinking.
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  8. JCA

    JCA Active Member

    I believe from the VIN that I have the 35th 2019, and the manufacturing date was 12/18, so they must have changed over in December. Of course, the changeover was probably just hitting a button incrementing the year to "2019" and resetting the VIN back to "0" or "1" :)
  9. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    Great thanks. FYI besides the sequence number the 10th digit changed from J to K during the changeover from 2018 to 2019.
    4sallypat likes this.
  10. 4sallypat

    4sallypat Active Member

    Yes, this is correct and I got one of the very last 2018 made in December of 2018 - glad it had a fresh battery and all the updates before I drove her off the lot.

    I wonder if the ZEV states, in 2019 Honda will do the same great frenzied incentives like they did in the end of 2018 ?
    Happy I got $11,000 off MSRP ($7600 Honda incentive + $2900 Dealer discount + $500 Honda CA state employee) and $2500 in post sale rebate checks!
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  12. Eric Periard

    Eric Periard New Member

    One of them sits in front of my house, Touring edition too. Just walked in and they had a fully loaded, bought it and drove off the next day :)

    It's pretty next to my 2019 Volt Premier. IMG_20190706_212004.jpeg IMG_20190624_190722.jpeg IMG_20190624_161730.jpeg

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Inside EVs mobile app
    2002 likes this.
  13. Texas22Step

    Texas22Step Well-Known Member

    Several posts on this forum have reported that Honda has plans to "relocate" its EV manufacturing to the US, presumably hoping to insulate themselves from tariff exposure. I have no idea if this is true, but if it is could one connect these dots to possibly relate the early production halt in Japan of the 2019 Clarity models (and thereby low supply to the markets) to the inherent issues that production relocation to the US would incur? Just speculation, mind you.
  14. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    If Honda was planning to build a new car assembly plant in the U.S. I don't think it would be a secret as there is a ton of planning and permitting required well ahead of time, not to mention selecting a city which usually involves trying to get concessions from the city, typically it makes the news at least locally if a manufacturer is even investigating the possibility of building a plant there.

    Now if the plan is to move production to an existing U.S. plant that might be something that they could keep secret a bit longer, but not forever considering all of the different subcontractors that will know about it well ahead of time. I did a quick Google search and found nothing, maybe if I tried harder I would find something at least from a semi-reliable source but I'll let someone else do that, until then it is not a rumor that I am even considering.
    Texas22Step likes this.
  15. Texas22Step

    Texas22Step Well-Known Member

    Yes, I was actually thinking about the existing Honda of America plant in Marysville OH, where Honda has assembled their Accords for the US market for many years and, as with other auto makers, they are seeing a significant softening of unit sales (especially in the sedan segment). A shift of Clarity production from a Japan may make sense for Honda under these circumstances.
    4sallypat likes this.
  16. 4sallypat

    4sallypat Active Member

    It would be nice to have Clarity made in the US to avoid importation taxes and employ more US workers.
  17. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Car and Driver wrote this headline: "Honda Will Soon Be Building EVs and More Hybrids in Ohio." I would be flabbergasted if the ultra-low-production Fuel Cell/Battery Electric/PHEV Clarity line would be moved to Ohio. Only cars that would be expected to sell well in the US would be built in the US. The low sales of Clarity PHEVs despite massive discounts would seem to disqualify moving production to the US. I am certain that the electrified cars Honda will build in the US are the CR-V Hybrid, the Pilot PHEV, and perhaps a small BEV crossover. However, because the HR-V is currently coming from Mexico, I'd expect the HR-V EV to come from there, too. Better would be an all-new electric Element designed from the ground-up to be a killer BEV.

    If my letters to Torrance convince Honda to bring the upcoming Honda e to the US, I'm sure I can just as easily convince them to build it in the US, right? BMW is daring to sell their upcoming all-electric Mini Cooper SE in the US (for nearly the price of a Tesla Model 3 with about half the 220-mile range of the Model 3). Why shouldn't Honda challenge the Mini Cooper SE in the US with the Honda e? Building a limited number of Honda e cars in the US would provide practice for the production of a later, larger-volume, electric vehicle.
    2002 likes this.
  18. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    The Automotive News article that the Car and Driver article linked to provides a dose of reality that some of the rumors were missing. A few quotes:

    "Honda Motor Co. will stop second-shift production on one assembly line at its flagship Marysville, Ohio, complex in August so the factory can be refurbished and retooled to make electrified vehicles."

    Sounds like the rumors that Honda BEV's will soon be built in the U.S. were true, right? But then you read:

    "we felt the right idea was to take a break on second shift so we can do some retooling and prepare for the future."

    "The process will take a few years"

    "Electrified vehicles can be anything from a mild hybrid to a fully electric model. Last year, such autos accounted for less than 5 percent of the U.S. market, but that share will likely keep growing — but slowly and steadily, not suddenly and sharply."
  19. Texas22Step

    Texas22Step Well-Known Member

    Yes, you are right that the Automotive News article (and, for that matter, the C&D article were from April) has some additional quotes from Honda that are further illuminating and of interest, but to me the fact both articles either mention or refer to the Clarity are at least some reinforcement of the idea that the Clarity is not likely to be discontinued by Honda merely because of poor short-term sales in the US (which, IMHO, are at least partially the result of poor marketing by Honda and grudging (at best) support from its dealer network in most states), but they will take a long-term view of the US EV market and essentially stand in the corner while only moving their eyeballs.

    From this, it looks to me like the Clarity will be around for some time as the EV market develops and matures further in the US.

    Also, now that I think about it, is assembly of the Clarity a one-place only task? I wonder if Honda might be strategizing about retaining its current Japanese Clarity production base to supply Clarity vehicles sold outside the US, but at the same time create an assembly base for the cars in Marysville (low-volume for the time being) that can insulate this vehicle (and others currently imported) from potential tariff actions while adding the "made in the USA" moniker too. Again, just my own speculation. Time will tell.
  20. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    I think Clarity was mentioned in the articles simply because it is an existing Honda plugin sold in North America that they could refer to. But I agree statements from Honda indicating that they expect slow growth of the plugin market to continue in the near term probably means they aren't panicking about the Clarity sales numbers, especially as you said since they aren't really even lifting a finger to sell it other than the current incentive in California. In fact they might be saying "Hey look at that, without any effort on our part we are still selling 1,000 Clarities a month!" :p

    I am just going on my experience with Toyota, when I bought my Camry in 1992 Toyota was making the Camry in Kentucky. But I bought the Camry wagon and those were made in Japan. If wagon sales had been better they might have started making them in Kentucky also but they weren't and they didn't. The Prius has always been made only in Japan. At one point as Prius sales were increasing they were planning to start making them in the U.S. but as sales declined they decided against it. It takes a huge amount of money to tool an assembly plant for a particular model of vehicle, so it only makes sense if there will be enough volume to generate offsetting savings from logistics and/or tariffs.

    Someone might say "but there are hybrids made in the U.S., like Accord hybrid and Camry hybrid". But it's a lot easier if making a hybrid version of an existing car like Accord as other than the powertrain they use most of the same parts. Prius and Clarity meanwhile are dedicated electric vehicles and I think that's why at least for the foreseeable future they won't be making them in the U.S. However Honda doesn't expect this situation of low volume plugin sales to continue forever and they think it's time to start preparing for eventual production even if that won't be for a few more years.
  21. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I'd say that handing out $6,000 discounts on a car that likely doesn't produce a profit even if sold at MSRP constitutes an effort to sell the Clarity PHEV--just not the effort it takes to advertise and explain an alternative-concept car.

    Honda decided discounting the Clarity will achieve their nebulous goals for the car better than advertising and dealer training. Also, I'd assume they don't want to advertise the Clarity PHEV because they're worried about needlessly spending part of their ad budget on unprofitable, discounted Clarity PHEVs that could cannibalize sales of their profitable Accord.
  22. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    I know I said that in the sentence previous to the one you are quoting

    "they aren't really even lifting a finger to sell it other than the current incentive in California."

    I didn't mention Oregon by the way because they offer the $6,000 incentive there but are apparently not shipping cars there. Not having cars available is sort of a disincentive :confused:

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