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Honda’s carefully investigative and logical approach to electric vehicle production is a model that has stood the test of time (Report, April 13). Chief executive Toshihiro Mibe says Honda needs “to take into account multiple factors, such as the living environment and the penetration rate of renewable energy, rather than simply switching to electric vehicles”.

In the days of Hero Honda, a joint venture the company had with Hero Cycles of India, it undertook a large customer survey in the late 80s. The survey told a surprising story. India’s consumers had changed their minds. Scooters were no longer the vehicles of choice and motorcycles were to become the two-wheel vehicles of the 1990s. It was thanks to that keen customer insight that the company — now Hero MotoCorp — eventually sold more than 1mn motorcycles a year.

Resisting the siren call of EV, at least in the very near term, Honda, which has never posted a loss in its corporate history, is once again demonstrating its leadership in the automotive market.

John Mullins
Associate Professor of Management Practice, Marketing and Entrepreneurship London Business School
London NW1, UK

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