Honda-S660-8

Usually when a car sells out it’s good news for a company, however with the recent sales figures from Honda’s S660 I have a feeling the big wigs aren’t all that pleased. Oh sure, the entire production run for 2015 (all 8600 units) have now been accounted for but a whopping 80% of buyers are over 40.

For any other car that’d be no issue, a non-story even. But the fact that the S660 was designed to appeal to young buyers and to entice new customers over to the Honda brand makes these figures rather worrying. Of course there are many reasons why over 40s would account for a majority of the sales, but it doesn’t make it any less sad.

It was the same thing with the Daihatsu Copen. Just 10% of people who bought the new Copen were in their 20s. Why then are these cheap as chips sports cars being snubbed by the younger generations?

Honda-S660-15

Well, it could have something to do with the general lack of interest in cars these days. Most people I know would rather spend their time taking photos of Starbucks coffee to put on Instagram or looking at puppy videos on YouTube than driving.

In Japan it’s especially the case, with license holders dropping substantially. Recent figures show a decrease of as much as 46%. That reduction in people bothering to get driving licenses in the first place means there’s a shrinking market for new car buyers. A grim prospect for an economy dependent on its auto industry.

This trend isn’t exclusive to Japan though, we can see this in many other countries around the world. But it’s a growing concern in a country that’s home to many of the world’s largest car firms.

Honda-S660-6

If Honda can’t get young people interested in cars with a small, good looking, and fun to drive roadster then what’s the solution? For Japan, more power isn’t the answer as the best selling cars are hybrids. More practicality to suit their lifestyle? Well, it’s not like the S660 doesn’t have a spare seat. And let’s be honest here, you’re not meant to care about practicality when you’re young.

But let’s not dwell too much on the doom and gloom, at least the Japanese public have shown keen interest in Honda’s latest sports car. This bodes well for when Honda eventually bring over the new NSX here too. Most of the buyers for the S660 have also been long time Honda buyers looking for fun weekend car. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few also own/owned the Beat.

If you’re a young ‘un would you buy the S660 if it were available in NZ? Or better yet, move to Japan to be able to buy one? If not then any suggestions on how Honda (and other car manufacturers) can bring more young buyers into showrooms?

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