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Honda Hopes to Clean up with 2014 Odyssey

Minivan gets minivac.

by on Mar.26, 2013

The Honda Odyssey family mover now has a family-ready vacuum built in.

If we said the new 2014 Odyssey minivan sucked, Honda might just take that as a compliment. The updated Odyssey Touring Elite model debuting at the New York Auto Show will introduce a new feature likely to have significant appeal to family buyers – the first in-car vacuum.

The HondaVAC is one of several new features being introduced on the 2014 Honda Odyssey which has gained steady momentum in an otherwise shrinking market segment.

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Minivan sales are currently less than half what they peaked at a decade ago, but there is still a sizable demand among family buyers who see them as the most functional and efficient people-movers on the market. The challenge is coming up with a consistent stream of new innovations.

“Honda is once again showcasing its reputation for innovation with HondaVAC, and its ability to provide true value to our customers,” proclaimed Michael Accavitti, vice president of marketing operations at American Honda.

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Sneak Peek: Ford Family One Concept Van

NY Debut of a Possible Minivan Alternative.

by on Apr.04, 2009

Family One - Ford's latest take on a minivan alternative.

Ford Family One - the automaker's latest take on a minivan alternative.

The minivan is dead.  Or so goes conventional wisdom, and the steady decline in sales would suggest that’s probably true.  Even king-of-the-hill Chrysler is struggling to fill a single factory, while the other domestic makers, Ford and General Motors, have walked away from the minivan segment entirely.

Well, then again, maybe not.  Ford weighed in with an interesting alternative, last year, in the form of its Flex “people mover.”  And at the upcoming New York Auto Show, it will reveal another possible minivan substitute, this one dubbed the Ford Family One.

If the basic shape is familiar, that’s because Ford has been getting a lot of mileage, lately, out of its European-designed TransitConnect van.  We saw a heaping helping of TC variants at the Chicago Auto Show, just two months ago.  But the automaker does have an interesting point to make: the van is surprisingly flexible, and perhaps it could be turned into a real minivan alternative, if your family doesn’t mind being driving a van distinctly commercial in its overall shape.

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