Live chats – Florent Lionnet (Honda): the concept of customer service will save the world of two-wheelers – HONDA occasions

Florent Lionnet (Honda): the concept of customer service will save the world of two-wheelers

Live chats - Florent Lionnet (Honda): the concept of customer service will save the world of two-wheelers - HONDA occasions

Transcription of the chat which took place on October 3, 2007 at 11:00 am live from the Site stand at the 2007 Mondial du 2 Roues: new market segment, DREAM concessions, pricing strategy, Florent Lionnet, CEO Honda, answered your questions.

Question from PHILIBERT: Is it true that you are releasing new Goldwing colors during 2008 ?
Florent Lionnet – Director of Honda France: Hello everyone. In 2008 a new color will be available, it is even today, a cabernet red with the most beautiful effect..

Question of menardeau: When will a transalp with a cardan shaft and horses in addition? ?
F.L.: We are studying new machines that will meet your expectations in the more or less near future. But, whatever the case, the gimbal transmission is topical for the future of some key products in the range..

Question from Gentleman Rider: Why did Honda choose a "copy and paste" policy? We see more and more characteristic features of the competition in new Honda models
F.L.: Who is copying who? The famous story of the chicken and the egg. The first designs for a new product appear three years before its public release, so it may well be that our designers are inspired by a movement that will impact the entire profession. In any case, I promise you for the future (near because from Tokyo) a rather revolutionary design for a new machine which will open a new market segment..

Mao’s question: Scheduled for this year, the release of the Honda DN-01 is still pending. Presented three years ago in Tokyo, will this new motorcycle concept be marketed in 2008? And if not, why ?
F.L.: the DN-01 was presented in Tokyo two years ago and not three. I will meet you at the end of October on Moto-Net to discover a brand new product that will answer your question and your expectations..

Question from VFR-LYON: When will a new VFR, with more cc, since there are rumors going around? ?
F.L.: You will still have to be patient but I can already tell you that this product renewal is strategic for the brand: until the VFR800 does not deserve and remains an exceptional machine.

Question from Tarmontpellier: The new XL 700 V is sumptuous, and would replace my current RC 36 from 1990 over 100,000 km (but still showing no sign of weakness). The choice of colors for the new Hornet is quite appropriate (yellow and red in particular). With a view to countering the new Yamaha 660 Tenere, which is clearly oriented for all roads and long journeys (22-liter tank), do you plan in the medium term to develop the mono of the former Dominator for this type of use, or do you consider rather that this type of architecture is buried by the euro 3 standards, and that the craze aroused by "rallies" has died out in favor of other disciplines (supermotard for example)? Thank you in advance for your attention and congratulations on the awakening of the brand.
F.L.: The Dominator mono equipped the FMX650 launched in 205 but which did not receive the expected reception. No doubt a lack of power, I have to admit. It is not timely to develop a new large single cylinder.

Question from dOOd: When will the Hornet 1000 be??
F.L.: See you in Milan. But forget the name Hornet for this new machine. In addition, you will have the chance to discover a brand new small scooter.

Question from Hornet man: Do you really think you’ve done a good job at the helm of Honda since you’ve been here. The brand has never been so bad in France when on your arrival it was supposed to be first in 2007. Do not you think you have underestimated your opponents or have taken you for the white knight ?
F.L.: I think that with my teams we have done an excellent basic job. But maybe not visible to customers at first. I have undoubtedly sinned by excess of passion but in any case I will not give up this challenge which is commensurate with the brand. The product renewal that was long overdue in 2007 due to euro3 standards appears at the Paris Motor Show with the new Fireblade. You will discover in the next two shows that we will be armed to fight. Now I will be lying if I say that 2007 is not a year of great frustration for me and for the Honda network. But everything happens and the energy is deployed.

Question from guismo: We, CBR XX enthusiasts, are impatiently awaiting an evolution of this bike that has become legendary … so for 2008 good news from Honda ?
F.L.: Like the succession of the VFR, the succession of the CBR1100XX is strategic for the brand and you will discover in the years to come that you have done well to wait. The result will live up to your expectations.

Question from Burnet: Hi Florent, what do you personally drive? ?
F.L.: That’s a good question! I started with a VFR when I came to Honda almost three years ago. Then quickly a Pan (old life at BMW Motorrad which pursues me), then CBR1000RR thanks to the Honda Days which myself convinced me of the quality of the machine and then the new CBR600RR presented to journalists in the USA and at the moment I rolls in Goldwing for the pleasure of the road for two. Of course when I travel to Paris, I take an S-Wing 125 ABS which allows me more intra-muros mobility.

Question from chriscordo: The new 600CBF does not have much thinning, although its technology is similar to that of the Hornet. Why ? Can you give a price range ?
F.L.: Despite everything, the revolution is more transparent. New aluminum frame and new engine derived from the CBR600. This remains a machine that will amaze you when it is tested at the dealership from the start of next year (January). Its entry-level price is 5,990 euros in version N.

Question from Seb77: Hello. A simple question: what price range do you plan to apply for the new CBF 600? And what price for the model CBF 600 faired version and ABS ?
F.L.: The price range is 5,990 euros for the CBF600N up to 6,990 euros for the S ABS version knowing that France does not import the S version.

Question from yoplaboum: With the S-Wing Box, you are still focusing your strategy on services. But is it not rather the product that is wrong in France? ?
F.L.: I remain convinced that the concept of customer service is what will save the world of 2 wheels. Of course you have to have the right products but also focus on how to sell these products well. Listening to the customer remains our concern. After for tastes and colors … Our concept of DREAM concessions meets customer expectations. Total transparency and quality service.

Question from tino22: Hello Florent. Do you already have some feedback on the effectiveness of your concept of "Dream" concessions? ?
F.L.: We continue to successfully deploy the concept. 20 DREAM concessions will be operational by the end of 2007 and 30 by the end of March 2008. Our target of 40 has therefore almost been reached. The numerous studies carried out after opening each DREAM dealership prove to us that we are in the right direction.

Question from popov33: Hello Mr. Lionnet. The 2007 Hornet was frowned upon in terms of finish of the model in several magazines, will the 2008 model be modified accordingly to return to the quality criteria to which the brand always refers. Thank you
F.L.: I don’t think I read the same comments. Anyway, the Hornet is a product that won all Roadsters benchmarks from its launch even against the Z750. The only "problem" is its price positioning, which is why we decided to replace the price of the machine at the correct market price in concession, ie 6990 euros. In addition we have developed with Boxer Design a kit to make it more "mean": the Hornet R.

Question from brad pote: Does the arrival of the Chinese (and others) on the 125 market worry you? And in the market for bigger motorcycles?
F.L.: Here is another good question! No, Chinese brands are an opportunity for a brand like Honda. In fact, unlike the Japanese brands in the past, the Chinese mainly land on the 125 segment and with lower quality products (compared to the Japanese). A customer to start in the two-wheeler does not have an expandable budget and wants to buy a two-wheeler cheaply to "taste" the product. After this sometimes impulsive first purchase, he will naturally turn to a brand that is well established with a quality distribution network. This is where the DREAM network, along with the rest of the Honda exclusive network, will perform its role to perfection..

Question from cbrxx: Hello. Isn’t the Goldwing too expensive? I have had mine for 10 years and I hesitate to change…
F.L.: I am proud to announce to Moto-Net Internet users that Honda will exceed 1000 Goldwing registrations in France this year. In addition, I am also very proud to be the first country in the world (excluding the American continent) to sell Gold. An increase of 20% per year since my arrival thanks to a simple technique: the trial in concession. When testing, it is easy to justify the cost of the machine. Yes 30,000 euros this represents a cost but it seems to me justified in relation to the quality.

Question from dimitrivtr: Will there ever be a replacement for the VTR 1000 F? (I’m soon at 100,000 km, I had 2 vtr) and I find that there is no equivalent in the range and it’s a shame given the potential of this engine full of character and couple !!! A big supermotard with this V2, is it possible (given what comes out with other brands: KTM, Ducati …) at Honda (with a reasonable price around 10,000 euros) ?
F.L.: No project for the moment. But you can find great opportunities in the Honda network.

Question from Antho-3: Hello and already well done for your motorcycles! I have a small question concerning the CBR 125. Very comfortable for the city but personally I find that the template is a bit small, when we talk about its faults the size of the tires keeps coming back … The new model adapted the injection, but do you envision some sort of CBR 125 maxi with a bit bigger fairing as well as wider tires? Second and last question that I can’t help but ask you: being a Fan of Max Biaggi and the word is weak, do you have a say about it? Honda banned him in 2005 and because of that he was laid off for 2006. Today, first in SBK, Max won the first and this weekend he will try if not to keep his second place, to win the title! Max may have told too many truths others don’t, but the talent is still there! Thank you in advance, sportingly.
F.L.: So for the CBR125, we are aware of this "defect" but the product would lose its sporty character by wanting to "enlarge" the machine too much. As for Max, I have great respect for his talent and I hope that this weekend’s race for the Superbike title (I will be in Nevers) will hold a fierce battle for us. In any case, continue to plead for this talented pilot.

Question from atouteberzingues: Hello Mr. Lionnet. Does your opinion (in French) have an impact in Japan at Honda ?
F.L.: Of course. I participate in monthly European and world meetings in Japan. It is thanks to France that the Varadero 125 as well as the S-Wing exist because sales of these products are very low in other European countries. The new Transalp is also the result of a strong push from France. Moreover, the GPS coordinates on the fairing are those of the Col de la Bonette in the Alps. A nod to our French customers.

Ridesurfeur question: What have you seen more innovative at the show this year? ?
F.L.: I think the most innovative is yet to come to Tokyo on the Honda stand with the culmination of the 2005 DN-01 concept..

Question from rift77: Can you tell us in a few words what mainly differentiates the European market from the Japanese market, or more broadly Asian. Do we drive the same motorcycles? What are the European specificities? Which machines are exclusively reserved for us? How much of Honda’s activity represents the Japanese market (compared to the rest of the world) ?
F.L.: First of all, the legislation. The equivalent of the B license to drive a 125 cc does not exist in Japan, while this segment draws the two-wheel market in France and in Europe. Euro standards are also a big difference which forces us to have intense production constraints. This is why you often wonder why brands like Honda which have many models in the world do not import all of their machines..

Question from motard53a: I would like to know the price of the new CBF 600 S with abs and dual braking.
F.L.: 6990 euros.

Question from PROTRAIL: Hello! And long life to Transalp 2007! Will we soon have the essential accessories for the traveler: suitcases, high screen and tank carpet when it leaves the HONDA dealerships? Tubeless spoked wheels? I had an APRILIA CAPONORD 1000 ETV: superb machine but too heavy, too powerful for my taste, although extraordinary handling … I am 53 years old, I want to return to a modus vivendi that is both more pleasant and more functional: DUO? : I weigh 65 kg all wet! My wife 50 kg! I think this new displacement should be more than enough to take us both, without too much "paddling" ?
F.L.: Thank you for your support.

Question from luc: Hello! I come to the show tomorrow morning, I would like to know if the new Hornet 1000 is visible ?
F.L.: No, this product does not exist, but Honda has a nice surprise in store for you in Milan. Visit Moto-Net from November 6 after the press day.

F.L.: Thank you for all of your comments (positive and negative) and I hope I answered all questions with the heart. I invite you to join us at the Show and come and discover the new Honda range. Long live Moto-Net !

Collected live by Site readers

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