No More Honda Hoot

One of the big motorcycle events of every year is the Honda Hoot.  Honda owners from all over North America show up every year in Knoxville, TN.

But, American Honda is pulling the plug.

American Honda announced today that the 2008 Honda Hoot will bring to a close 15 years of what has been one of the most successful motorcycle rallies in history. Over the years, almost a quarter of a million guests attended the Honda Hoot which was born in the hills of Ashville North Carolina and eventually moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. At the first event, a little over 3000 attendees enjoyed what would grow to become one of the largest rallies in North America…

Based on the current economic crunch which may have significant impact on our customers during 2009, American Honda will take this time to seek out new and innovative ways to engage with our customers so that we can continue to ride together.

The language of the announcement makes it sound like the cancellation of the Hoot is a permanent deal, not a temporary expediant due to the current economy.

This is especially interesting, coming as it does just days after the announcement that American Honda is withdrawing from AMA racing.  Again, Honda is using the current economic situation as the reason for withdrawing.  I do note, however, that in February of this year, Honda announced that in 2009, that its Motorcycle manufacturing operations would be transferred back to Japan.  That announcement came well before any economic concerns.

It seems to me like Honda had decided almost a year ago that its US operations would be sharply curtailed, and we are now seeing the public ramifications of that decision.  I’m inclined to the belief that something is going on at Honda.  But I don’t know what.  And I don’t know if that something is good or bad.

Based on Honda CEO  Takeo Fukui’s rather downbeat speech a few days ago, Honda is under some financial pressure, but in the same speech, he seemed to be a bit more positive about the state of the motorcycle industry.

But the recent indications are that American Honda is really scaling back a lot.

Author: Dale Franks

Dale Franks is the former host of The Business Day, ”a daily, four-hour business and financial news program on KMNY Radio in Los Angeles. From 2002-2004, he was a contributor on military and international affairs for Currently, he a publisher and editor of the monthly political journal The New Libertarian, as well as an editor of the popular web log, Q and O. Dale served as a military police officer in the United States Air Force from 1984 to 1993, in variety of assignments both in the United States and Europe, where he also was assigned to the staff of the Headquarters of Allied Forces Central Europe. In addition to broadcasting, writing, and speaking on various topics, Dale has also been a long-time technical training instructor on a variety of computer software and technology subjects. Dale has also long been involved with information technology as an accomplished web designer, programmer, and technologist, serving as the corporate knowledge specialist for Microsoft Outlook at SAIC, the nation's largest employee-owned corporation. Additionally, he is the author of a number of software user guides used for classroom training by one of Southern California’'s premier computer training and consulting firms. His book, SLACKERNOMICS: Basic Economics for People Who Find Economics Boring, is available from Barnes & Noble.

4 thoughts on “No More Honda Hoot”

  1. I heard on the news that Honda is going to continue building Gold Wings in the States for another year, because they’ve delayed the new plant in Japan.

  2. I heard on the news that Honda is going to continue building Gold Wings in the States for another year, because they’ve delayed the new plant in Japan.

    Maybe, but Honda America is still backing out of a lot of stuff.

    Perhaps if Honda had a less boring product lineup, they’d have a better outlook.

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