Honda in Europe

994 words 4 pages
Honda in Europe


The Honda Motor Company first entered the European market in the early 1960s through the sale of motorcycles. Honda’s motor vehicle sales in Europe have been relatively poor, especially in the previous five years. And Honda executives wonder why their global strategy is sputtering.

History of Honda and Automobile Industry

In 1946, Souichiro Honda founded the Honda Technology Institute. The Company started as a motorcycles producer and by the 1950s had become extremely successful in Japan. In 1956, Honda entered the US market and was able to position itself effectively. In the early 1960s, the company commenced automobile manufacturing and participated in Formula F-1 to assist its technology development.
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The main problem was that the company failed to truly understand the culture of Europe and more importantly it treated Europe as one giant single market. Though France, Germany, the UK and Italy are all European, cultural differences abound between them. One theory that explains the differences between the four nations is that of high-context versus low-context cultures. In a high-context culture, the interpretation of messages depends on contextual cues like gender, age, balance of power, etc. and not on physical written text. In a high context culture there are things that are not said but are understood. Countries considered to be high-context cultures include China, Japan, Italy, France, Spain and the Latin American countries.

Cultural Context Successful advertising in low context cultures differs from that in high context cultures. An advertisement for a high-context culture is based on an implicit style where the emphasis is on the overall feel and outlook rather than the feeding of pure information. In this type of advertisement, the actual product may not even be shown. The audience may be only given implied images and sublime messages. Honda’s Jazz website contained a large amount of information which would have been too much for high-context cultures such as the French and the Italians. In addition, high context cultures have been much slower than their


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