New Honda, Perfect Fit or Flop?


Honda is rolling out a car that is specifically targeted toward women. The new Honda Fit She’s is currently available only in the Japanese market. This new car comes in a “pretty-in-pink” and “eyeliner brown” color. The decision to offer the car in the Japanese market was based on the country’s more sex-defined roles. As much as half of all Japanese women stay out of the workforce and those women who do, there is more of a divide in tastes than one might find in Western countries. The car offers features that include a special UV-blocking window glass so that women concerned about their skin don’t have to worry about wrinkles while driving, as well as, a “plasmacluster” climate control system the maker claims can improve skin quality.

U.S. and European auto industries are hesitant to release the vehicle into their respective markets because previously when manufacturers tried to target products directly to women this proved an unfavorable outcome for the auto industry.  Automakers are not necessarily ignoring the needs of women. Both Ford and General Motors, among others makers, consider features and attributes of new products looking for ways appeal to women and avoid aspects that men would notice.

Before the auto industry releases this vehicle into the U.S. market they must understand their customers. Applying Quality Function Deployment, women customers do not want to be a singled out market. Women’s needs can be satisfied by including features where men and women both benefit; for example, providing larger storage space to put purses or briefcases, and including a UV-blocking window glass in all cars because men need protection against skin cancer too. Outside of Japan, women car buyers want to be treated like “one of the guys.”

What sort of quality control should the U.S. adopt in order for this vehicle to be favorable among women? Do you think a car targeted toward women has the potential to be successful in the U.S.?

5 thoughts on “New Honda, Perfect Fit or Flop?

  1. This article is very interesting to me because I actually own a Honda Fit (2009) which is all black. I feel like this car is becoming more and more popular, especially in the city. I absolutely love my car. I never pay more than $35 to fill up my whole tank. It parks everywhere. It is really interesting to me how the Japanese market is directing the sales of these cars towards women. Even though I am a female owner of this car, I feel like I see more male drivers than female drivers driving the Fit. The sport version is sleek and the steering is powerful for the little motor it has. Although I do understand where they are coming from, I would suggest when they do come to the US, to make more personalization for BOTH sexes similar to what the Fiat does. Great article and you bring up great points.

  2. This article is interesting and you bring up a good topic when company has to consider the attributes for their goods. I remember from one of my marketing class, companies are now focusing more of their products (or maybe just marketing) geared for women because women made most of the buying decision. The male as the dominant player in the family has gone down, and women are getting out of the homemaker role. So those companies that consider women are being smart. I do not own this car but base on the previous post I’m impressed. Not because the car has UV-protected mirror, which I think most car do, but the mileage. Companies should consider women when choosing their attributes but they are should consider the other sex as well. Maybe they can consider more family friendly as well with the the mileage?

  3. The pink car featured in the article really caught my eye, because it is such an unusual sight, and prompted me to read further. It is extremely interesting that Honda has chosen to target their female Japanese market with the Fit. The features of a UV blocking window glass and “plasmacluster” climate control must be meeting a need that Honda saw a demand for. In Hospitality classes we talk about how some hotels specifically design room for female business travelers and male business travelers. Offering a curved shower curtain rod, more outlets, and cosmetic products for women while men’s rooms feature larger mini fridges, larger flat screen TVs, and a regular, straight curtain rod. Although different needs have been defined by research for men and women, companies must be careful in introducing these gender specific products so as not to cause claims of separatism or to be judged ethically inaccurate.

  4. I was wondering what other features the car might have that are designed specifically for women besides the UV blocking windows and the pink color. I think that it would be hard for the auto industry in the U.S. to introduce a car that is only for women. I do not believe small features like the UV blocking, that men also benefit from, will cause a serious demand for the car. It will be interesting to see how this works out in Japanese market.

  5. I love the idea of this. When I move back to Japan I am going to buy one. I know that this car was specifically designed by women. Who go by “Joshi”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *