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Thread: Honda to release pet-friendly vehicle

  1. #1
    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    Default Honda to release pet-friendly vehicle

    MSNBC.com


    Honda to release special dog-friendly Element
    Dog-friendly version of crossover will have built-in water bowl, ramp



    Honda says it's still finalizing the features, but the Dog Friendly Element will be available this fall.
    Richard Drew / AP


    The Associated Press
    updated 11:53 a.m. PT, Thurs., April 9, 2009

    NEW YORK - A new offering from Honda Motor Co. may get dogs more interested in checking out the inside of their ride rather than hanging their heads out the window.

    The Japanese automaker showed off a "Dog Friendly" version of the Honda Element SUV at the New York International Auto Show on Thursday. The concept features a cushioned pet bed with safety restraints in the cargo area, a spill-resistant water bowl, and even a ventilation fan to keep canines comfortable. A folding ramp gives animals an easy way to get in and out.

    In the back seat, there's an integrated pet carrier and machine-washable seat covers to make it convenient and safe to carry smaller pets. The rubber floor mats feature a toy-bone pattern, and paw-print emblems on the side and back of the vehicle draw attention to its pet-friendly status.

    Honda says it's still finalizing the features, but the Dog Friendly Element will be available this fall.

    "Pets have become more like family, more important to households than ever before," said James Jenkins, a senior product planner for Honda. "We felt this was the perfect vehicle to offer such dog-friendly features."

    The Element already is appealing to pet owners because of features such as its easy-to-clean flooring in the cargo area and its wide doors.

    Honda showed an interest in pets through the "Wonderful Openhearted Wagon" concept the company unveiled in 2005. That demonstration model included pet-friendly materials, a place for small animals to ride right up front, and a larger pet carrier that popped up from the floor in the back seat. Pet owners quickly started clamoring for Honda to put the features into production, Jenkins said.


    The new Element may help Honda find a powerful niche market to revive sales of the Element, which are down 61 percent in the first three months of this year.

    It's no secret that pet owners are willing to open their pocketbooks to pamper their pooches. There are about 75 million dogs in the U.S., and the market for pet products and services totaled more than $43 billion last year, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.

    Pricing for the Dog Friendly Element hasn't been disclosed, but standard versions of the vehicle start around $21,000, including destination charges.


    Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    URL: Honda to release special dog-friendly Element - Autos- msnbc.com



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  2. #2
    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Cool, seems like they're always one step ahead of the game.

  3. #3
    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    I would totally buy that!!

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    i'd like to see any dog stay in a restraint
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  5. #5
    Elite Member lurkur's Avatar
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    I'll take a car full of dogs over one filled with kids any day.

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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    I got all excited until I saw what model this was. Sorry but I find the Element to be too boxy and just ugly.

  7. #7
    Elite Member Belt Up's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lurkur View Post
    I'll take a car full of dogs over one filled with kids any day.
    Hehe, you and me both.

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