When Honda wanted to give Toyota a kick in the pants, it unveiled the 2010 Hybrid Insight at a price that is about $2,000 lower than Toyota’s ringer, the Prius. To Honda’s credit, the Insight seems to match up to the Prius’s features quite well even with a lower price tag. I recently read a WIRED article that discusses the implications of the new Honda Fit Hybrid being thrown into the mix. The Fit is poised to become the least expensive hybrid on the market, close to $6,000 shy of the Prius. I’d imagine it makes Toyota cringe, but the fact of the matter is that the move illustrates the jousting match that goes on among car manufacturers daily. In the article, Yoshihiko Tabei, an analyst at Kazaka Securities, suggests that the constant undercutting will only be damaging for both companies, whose customers will benefit at the expense of its profits and shareholders. I’ll equate the jostling between the two Japanese giants to this video. Like the sheep in the video, they will continue to deal blows until one comes out on top and the other staggers away disoriented.
The point of today’s leaf is to showcase the Honda Insight logo, however. In the history of automobiles, car brands have become household names while their models have become top of mind. But individual models rarely have their own identities. If anything, they are only ever depicted as a plastic typographic nameplate. Even then, all the nameplates tend to look alike. I find it odd that there are multimillion dollar ad campaigns dedicated to individual models, but still no unique logos. To some extent, the look of the vehicle itself acts as the sole contributor to the identity. Wouldn’t want the vehicle’s symbol to trump the greater brand represented by the symbol on the hood I suppose. This is exactly why the Insight logo is worth mentioning, since it even has a logo to begin with. The symbol relates well to one of the Insight’s unique features, Eco-assistance, in which the dashboard displays leaves to indicate how efficiently it is being driven. I think that in any other industry, the Insight logo could be swapped out too easily. However, amongst the visual monotone of vehicle emblems, giving the Insight its own symbol helps it stand out.