25 Years of Odyssey
Quite a celebratory powertrain offering
Honda is marking 25 years of the Odyssey minivan, which launched in 1995, and which has had combined sales of in excess of 2.7-million since. There have been five generations of the vehicle, and along the way the Odyssey has introduced such things to the segment as a third row that folds flat into the floor and a built-in vacuum cleaner.
Although the minivan is absolutely the best overall architecture for someone who is truly interested in space and utility, unfortunately the segment isn’t exactly robust. In the case of the Odyssey, for example, through July, the company has sold 56,611 units in the U.S., which is a decline of 6.5% compared with the same period in 2018.
For the 25th Anniversary model they are offering such things as chrome accents and special badges. But what is more notable is that all 2020 Odysseys come standard with a 10-speed automatic as well as Idle Stop.
Think about that: a 10-speed. The first-gen? A four-speed.
The previous-generation Hyundai Elantra (2010 to 2015) had the edgy Fluidic Sculpture design forming its sheet metal; it’s bigger brethren, the Sonata, was more visible in this regard, though the smaller size of the Elantra gave the skin a greater tautness than was the case on the Sonata.
The common wisdom seems to be that midsize cars have pretty much had it in the U.S. new car market.
For conducting business in the U.S. market, Toyota has historically had several separate business entities: a sales and distribution company headquartered in California (Toyota Motor Sales, USA); manufacturing operations (Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America); a racing subsidiary (Toyota Racing Development, USA); the Toyota Technical Center for R&D in Ann Arbor; and a design facility in California (Calty Design Research, Inc.). On April 1, 2006, Toyota merged its R&D operations and its manufacturing operations into a single company.