Car companies want to attract as much of a diverse audience as possible and knowing that a certain age group prefers a specific vehicle makes it less attractive to others when it becomes known as a car that will only work in a certain age group. Brands such as Buick, Cadillac, GMC, and Lincoln have been known to attract older buyers even though these companies have built models in recent years to gain a larger audience and attract a much different crowd. Strangely enough this can sometimes happen with a car that looks like it could have or should have been attractive to a younger crowd.
This has been the case with the new Honda S660. Testing the market for the 2016 model year the S660 was revealed two years ago at the Tokyo Motor Show and was expected to attract a crowd of students, young professionals, and even a few drivers who were looking for a sport and snappy second car. The car is made to pay homage to the models that have come before it such as the S500, S2000 and the Beat but the reaction by the public has been much different than what Honda expected it to be.
The Honda S660 is a convertible Kei car that has a small 660cc engine that mid mounted. This engine only carries in three cylinders and offers a small amount of power, but in this little roadster that is plenty as it is a dynamic driving car that is built for fun. The other benefit this car include the low price which was the expected part to attract younger drivers, who would also be attracted to the new and modern design that gives you a car that is attractive, sporty and wants to be driven and tested.
What has happened with the S660 is the current orders have gone to mostly buyers over the age of forty. This number isn’t just a close race, the number of buyers of this older age group that have chosen the S660 is over eighty percent, a staggering and telling number that was not expected by Honda. What is great for the company and this car is the fact that all 8,600 that are planned to be built have already been spoken for, making it easier to call this a successful venture and make it easy to get then next allocation ready to sell.
The fact the buying group are mostly over forty isn’t as much of a surprise as it should be. The first factor is this low price and sporty style make the S660 a great car to buy as second car to take on fun drives or weekend jaunts. The other reason is the fact that licensed drivers in Japan under the age of forty has dropped by 46 percent over the past several years. With these two factors in play it’s not as shocking that the S660 was bought up by an older age group even though Honda expected it to be a younger crowd that would buy this car up.
With all allocations sold of the S660 will Honda offer this little sports car here in the US? As interesting as that question is there might not be a market in the US for a three-cylinder sports car, but if it were to come to our shores it might be interesting to see what the demographic is that would actually buy this car and make it either a first or second car in a garage. It may be coming, with all allocations sold, the only way to make more on this model is to produce more or expand the market, both are options for Honda and good ones to have to explore at that.