American Honda Motor Co. snared the Union of Concerned Scientists' biennial award for greenest automaker in America in 2007 — for the fourth time in a row.
Nice run. But unlike many automakers dabbling in greener product, Honda is already moving on to phase two, with cars such as its FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell sedan, which is emission-free.
"Our commitment is more for the long term," says Barbara Ponce, manager of corporate advertising at Honda. Her job is to communicate Honda's corporate philosophy for its cars, motorcycles and power equipment, and that doesn't include bragging about every green trophy added to Honda's shelf.
"Environmental advertising is not a box to check. It's organic to the brand," Ponce says, adding that Honda's green messaging reflects its corporate philosophy and DNA.
Part of this strategic approach may come from the fact that Honda is no eco-newbie. For decades, the company has devoted r&d to advanced technologies, first resulting in early adopter vehicles such as the Insight hybrid and leading up to Honda's latest green-inspired model, the FCX Clarity, available this summer via lease in California.
The Civic GX — fueled by compressed natural gas and billed as "the cleanest mass-produced sedan on the planet" — was ranked the greenest vehicle for the fifth straight year in 2008 by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. The GX joined the gasoline Civic, Fit and Civic Hybrid among the council's 12 most environmentally conscious vehicles available.