POWER PLAY: The fourth quarter will be the most active for American Honda as 2005 models roll out. The automaker has upped online ad activity: a cool contest compared entrants' looks to various Honda vehicles, tying in with a similar TV spot. It will also use more broadcast network TV for the 2005 Odyssey minivan launch, shifted from heavier spot TV buys. The Odyssey gets more online ads and a buzz marketing event in Times Square, unusual for Honda. Acura is making impressive gains in sales, partly through new models. The Honda Civic small car line tried to keep front-of-mind with another youth-targeted, summer concert tour.
DOWNSIDE: Honda Division had a tough 2004, just two years after its ambitious new-product blitz. Sales of the Honda brand slipped through August by 2.3% to 812,292 units, says Automotive News. Is this the year Honda Division breaks its 10-year run of setting continual annual record sales?