Honda has created a range of one-off golden products to celebrate 50 years in Australia, designed to highlight the immense diversity of its product offering. And no, you can't buy them.
Honda's broad range of products across various segments have delivered over five million sales for the brand in Australia, since launching here on February 4, 1969.
Although we're most excited about the cars here at CarAdvice, all corners of the sprawling Honda organisation have contributed to a huge array of one-off products.
There's also a locally-assembled HRU19 Buffalo lawnmower, and an EU22i Generator. The gold collection will be used to "inspire, thank and connect with Honda Australia customers" throughout the year.
The collection of golden products was created in conjunction with Vinyl Wraps and Graphics in Melbourne. They use a gold chrome film, laminated with a clear satin film to help minimise reflections, to create a finish fit for a James Bond villain.
According to Hiroyuki Shimizu, Honda Australia managing director and CEO, the brand's 50th birthday present to itself is meant to be a "bold and fun way" to celebrate its "unique diversity".
"I mean, who has ever seen a golden mower or generator before?” he asked. "We’re looking forward to showcasing these amazing golden products around the country throughout 2019, so stay tuned for more information on that front."
“Most important though are our customers. Honda would be nothing without our customers – both long- term customers and new customers all contribute to making this brand what it is today. I am very proud to be a second-generation Managing Director of Honda Australia and incredibly grateful to all our customers for their ongoing loyalty, trust and belief in the Honda name," he added.
His counterpart at Honda Motorcycle and Power Equipment, Robert Toscano, added: “Honda products have been instrumental in shaping the landscape of modern Australia over the last 50 years – take the CT110, more commonly known as the Australia Post, ‘postie bike’, which has helped deliver the mail to Australians all across the country for generations,”
“I am proud to have been a part of the journey so far and it’s fantastic for us to celebrate this together, we all look forward to the future and the next 50 years of Honda in Australia.”
With five decades of history on which to draw, Honda has plenty of highlights in Australia. In its official materials, the company highlights the 1973 Civic (which Mandy Turner recently drove), the 1977 Accord, the 1987 Prelude 4WS and the NSX as some of its most significant models, along with nods to the SUV world with mention of the CR-V and HR-V.
The S2000 and Jazz also drew mention, along with the Civic Type R. Then there was the Integra Type R, which almost didn't make it to Australia. Essentially, the company likes all its cars. Who'd have thought!
Times have certainly changed for buyers, though. Where the Civic and Accord might have served as sales heroes in the 1970s, just 179 people bought an Accord last year.
The (not-so) compact Civic is still the brand's second-best seller, thankfully, but the CR-V was its sales leader with 16,107 registrations in 2018. This is, of course, a familiar story for most brands today.
As for the next five decades? Well, Honda Australia CEO and managing director, Hiroyuki Shimizu, has some thoughts on what they'll entail.
“What is crucial to us in the midst of the technology evolution, however, is that we don’t lose the human touch," he said.
"Electrification, connectivity and autonomous developments are all in the future, but we must always ensure that we connect with our customers and deliver an experience that reflects the heartbeat of Honda."
Now if we can just convince Honda to bring its new little classic Civic-inspired Urban EV to Australia...