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  • Questions re Honda dealers and CNG vehicles etc.

    I have a few questions re Honda:

    1. Do they have a link that lists all natural gas certified dealers in the USA and Canada?
    2. What is the best way to approach a dealer to encourage him to get certified and carry the CNG Civic or any future CNG vehicles.
    Our Honda dealer in Decatur, Illinois is right across the street from a nice new truck stop. It is a Pilot Flying J. Should I wait until the truck
    stop carries LNG and/or CNG, or do you think he might encourage them? I understand Honda is trying to increase certified dealers. We are between
    Indianapolis and St. Louis. Indianapolis has three stations, St. Louis has one. Chicago has several, but is further away. Decatur and Springfield seem
    like natural refueling spots that would be well placed.
    3. Can dealers add a CNG pump to the financing?
    4. Are any other CNG vehicles in the works for Honda? I would think that the Odyssey would be a contender.

  • #2
    Re: Questions re Honda dealers and CNG vehicles etc.

    It would appear that the farmers in the area around Decatur would be on fire about CNG.
    Once upon a time we had a heavy haul trucking yard in Springfeld on the old bypass in the 60s.

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    • #3
      Re: Questions re Honda dealers and CNG vehicles etc.

      Springfield does run its buses on CNG. You are right, the farmers should feel that way. In my experience farmers are very slow to adapt new ideas though. There are exceptions however. Once one does it the others might catch on. Caterpillar is working on large CNG construction vehicles, but I don't have any details. Caterpillar builds some of them here in Decatur. They also make generators that run off biogas from landfills etc. I would think that municipalities would want to make CNG available, to help reduce pollution.

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      • #4
        Re: Questions re Honda dealers and CNG vehicles etc.

        Once you get the farm belt behind you with a new source of energy all kind of good things happen.

        I believe they were the moving force behind diesel pickups in the past decades.
        They bought butane then propane for years for farm use until the product got as high as gas or diesel.

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        • #5
          Re: Questions re Honda dealers and CNG vehicles etc.

          I've read that modifying repair facilities for natural gas is expensive; sloped ceilings, special ventilation, spark resistant lighting and methane detectors. $200,000+ in some cases. If this, in addition to tech training, is required by Honda dealers to get certified, I can see why they wont do it for low sales volume.

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          • #6
            Re: Questions re Honda dealers and CNG vehicles etc.

            Ron,

            Thank you for your interest and your questions pertaining to Honda's Civic Natural Gas sedan. I've copied your questions into my response for ease of review. Please scroll down.

            1. Do they have a link that lists all natural gas certified dealers in the USA and Canada?
            + Go to Honda's web site and then click on the Civic Natural Gas' link to it's own page. There you key in your zip code and it'll list the closest certified sales locations. Please note, there are no certified Civic Natural Gas dealers in Canada as the vehicle has never been offered in the market2.

            What is the best way to approach a dealer to encourage him to get certified and carry the CNG Civic or any future CNG vehicles.

            + Simply go in and ask to meet with the dealer's GM or GSM and explain why you're there and why you think they should consider this new marketing opportunity.

            Our Honda dealer in Decatur, Illinois is right across the street from a nice new truck stop. It is a Pilot Flying J. Should I wait until the truck
            stop carries LNG and/or CNG, or do you think he might encourage them? I understand Honda is trying to increase certified dealers. We are between Indianapolis and St. Louis. Indianapolis has three stations, St. Louis has one. Chicago has several, but is further away. Decatur and Springfield seem
            like natural refueling spots that would be well placed.
            3. Can dealers add a CNG pump to the financing?

            + A dealer can usually add any sort of accessory to a sales contract as long as the financial institution has approved the item. A home refueler woudl have to be explained I'm sure. Back with American Honda had a working relationship with FuelMaker Honda dealers had a program for leasing and selling the PHILL.

            4. Are any other CNG vehicles in the works for Honda? I would think that the Odyssey would be a contender.

            + Honda is constantly studying the market. There are a number of platforms that could lend themselves but the demand has to be there to warrent the additional investment. Time will tell.

            ChiefPosey,

            There are very few facility requirements to become certified and as for service training for a dealer's two master techs, I believe the cost of the 3 day class is less than $150 per tech and that's to cover the materials and supplies that are provided to each student that passes the class. There is very little unique expense to becoming a certified sales and service point for the Civic Natural Gas.



            Eric
            Last edited by Eric Rosenberg; 08-23-2012, 08:58 AM.

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            • #7
              Re: Questions re Honda dealers and CNG vehicles etc.

              Thanks very much for your thorough answers. I will be working on Bob Brady Honda in Decatur eventually.

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              • #8
                Re: Questions re Honda dealers and CNG vehicles etc.

                As a former car dealership owner in Miami; a couple of thoughts;

                If you're willing to devote some time to the effort, go the the Honda manager and tell him you want to start a NGV club and need a meeting place and sponsor. Getting warm bodies to the showroom who happen to be well informed, concerned about saving money, environment, civic duty and happen to also have a job and good credit rating is very enticing. He's got money in his budget for goodwill.

                As for the low cost for modifying a shop, maybe yes and maybe no. To start with I'm going to have to hire an engineer to evaluate what changes will be needed. These must take into consideration CFPA standards, local, federal, state requirements, my franchisee agreement, yard insurance, property insurance, surety bond and who knows what else. At the very least, I've got to get building permits. I'll have building and fire inspectors snooping around and perhaps even local environmental agency folks. If the cost exceeds a certain amount I may loose my grandfathering and have to make additional improvements. I'm looking at worst case scenario, but I've got other things to worry about if I'm only going to sell a few more cars. By the way, despite the heartless reputation of car dealers, I want to make sure I don't blow my employees to smithereens.

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                • #9
                  Re: Questions re Honda dealers and CNG vehicles etc.

                  I have been around a lot of dealerships in my life, but the Honda dealer here was a new experience.
                  I have dealt with regimented companies before but not in a dealership.

                  We only had contact with one salesman, no one would talk with you about anything before or after the sale.
                  Except the salesman or service-writer, there was a accs parts lady that assisted on options for the car.

                  The salesman a older gentlemen that was the only one allowed to sell CNG vehicles and was constantly being surveyed on his service to the customer.
                  AS he made the delivery of the new car to us in the car-lot, I open the passenger door to get in I found a large key on the seat.
                  As I handed it to him and his face turned white, I have often wondered just what that key fit.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Questions re Honda dealers and CNG vehicles etc.

                    Originally posted by ChiefPosey View Post
                    I've read that modifying repair facilities for natural gas is expensive; sloped ceilings, special ventilation, spark resistant lighting and methane detectors. $200,000+ in some cases. If this, in addition to tech training, is required by Honda dealers to get certified, I can see why they wont do it for low sales volume.
                    put a free standing rack outside and you wont need ventilation when the volume picks up spend the money and do the fancy stuff inside. I have worked on my cabover trucks outside for years as they wont fit in the shop you could even put a awnning up free standing so it would not catch any gas you can buy a nice rack for less than 5000 when what is in the box wont work look outside the box

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