Published on June 17th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair0
Honda May Discontinue Odyssey, Legend and Clarity
Honda Motor Co may be ending production of the Odyssey and other models.
Some of these models will be produced in a different Honda factory in Japan.
By now you’re probably aware that the car industry is going through a “once-in-a-century” transition. Not only are carmakers moving to electrify much of their product range, but they’re also having to deal with supply disruptions from the pandemic and the global semiconductor shortage. In times like these, it makes sense for some cost cutting and rationalisation to happen. And the victims of this rationalisation are 3 Honda models and 1 Honda factory in Japan… So far.
Jiji Press reports that Honda Motor Co. will be shutting down their Sayama plant in the Saitama Prefecture some time this year. With the closure of this plant comes the end of production of 3 large vehicles from Honda. This includes the Odyssey – a well-known MPV that’s offered in Malaysia, the Legend – the flagship sedan of Honda for decades, and the Clarity – an experimental fuel large sedan.
End of an Odyssey
The Odyssey is a familiar name to many Malaysians, Honda fan or not. It was the answer to the Toyota Estima and grew in popularity in the 2000s. Unlike the Toyota MPV, the Odyssey was built on the bones of a sedan, the Accord. It traded some of the practicalities of a pure passenger mover for better high speed dynamism and sportier looks. As time went by, the Odyssey morphed, becoming taller and more practical but also a lot more luxurious and better equipped. We actually had the opportunity to drive the Odyssey a couple of times and we really loved the comfort and dynamism it offered. It was a little expensive, for sure, but it’ll be a vehicle we will miss. The last time it was updated was actually just last year, and it was just a minor facelift that never made it to our shores.
The Legend Is Finished
The Honda Legend was one of the first ultra-luxurious Honda models. The 1st generation Legend is largely ignored. The 2nd generation model was apparently locally-assembled in Malaysia for a short time. These sedans were powered by large 3.2-litre V6 engines and packed with loads of cutting-edge technology and equipment. Some NSX tech was even trickled down into the 2nd generation Legend.
With the 3rd, 4th and 5th generation models, Malaysians stopped really paying attention to them. By that time, Honda Malaysia had set up shop and brought more value to the Accord models. The large displacement of the Legend was always a huge hindrance to its success here and parts are not quite as easy to find. The latest Honda Legend was actually the first car to offer Level 3 self-driving, so it’s surprising they’re axing it so quickly.
A Lack of Clarity
The Honda Clarity first debuted in the US in 2008. Back then, electric cars were still seen as a gimmick, as no real fast charging network was available. The idea was to give a vehicle the zero emissions benefits of an electric vehicle and the refuel rate of a fossil fuel car by fitting it with a hydrogen fuel cell. Hydrogen fuel stored in the car would be used to create electricity to move an electric motor, pushing the car forward.
Just like with hybrids, Honda actually beat Toyota to the technology. Preceding the Prius was the Insight. Preceding the Mirai was the Clarity. The 2nd generation Clarity (which we actually drove in Japan, back in 2017) came with 3 fuel options. There was still a hydrogen fuel cell option, but now they added a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) with an early version of the i-MMD system found on the current City RS. There’s also an all-electric version of the Clarity.