Honda Motor Co. recently introduced the Element, a small, boxy sport utility vehicle aimed at twentysomethings who are, to quote a former Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. executive, “more in tune with the rugged outdoors as opposed to the comfortable outdoors.”
The Wall Street Journal recently reported the Honda Element “is all about utility: Its side doors open wide enough to load a loveseat, its back seats collapse every which way and its cavernous interior can be cleaned out with a garden hose and scrub brush.”
Honda designed the Element after talking with thousands of young people “at malls, beaches, colleges and extreme-sports events.” That demographic segment wants “a storage locker with wheels and cupholders,” the Wall Street Journal said about Honda’s findings.
Some companies in the RV industry are looking to attract members of the so-called Generation X, the offspring of Baby Boomers. Those companies are hoping to develop products that will bring Gen. Xers into the RV lifestyle so they can at least partially replace their parents who will eventually leave RVing because of age.
The sport utility trailer toy hauler is the RV product most directed towards the active outdoors twentysomething and above demographic, and Fleetwood recently experimented with the NexGen motorhome. However, Fleetwood concluded recently there would never be adequate demand for a NexGen motorhome, largely because price, although the company is considering incorporating aspects of the NexGen in future RV products.
The Honda Element includes a 160-horsepower, four-cylinder engine and carries a base price of $18,300. The EX version, including four-wheel-drive, radio and air-conditioner retails for $20,850, the Wall Street Journal reported.