In the age of relentless spy shots, leaked patent filings and drawn-out teaser campaigns, automakers are generally terrible at keeping an upcoming debut to themselves.
So why was Honda so quiet ahead of last week's debut of the fifth-generation CR-V crossover?
It certainly had plenty to crow about with the redesigned model: the addition of a turbocharged engine, a new chassis, advanced safety features and a crisp new design.
But Honda didn't want to miss a beat. Given the popularity of the outgoing model, the outsize importance of the CR-V's segment, and a brisk schedule of debuts over the next several months, Honda had little patience for a long wind-up before the 2017 model begins arriving in dealerships a few weeks from now.
"This is how Honda likes to make debuts," Dave Sullivan, AutoPacific analyst, told Automotive News. "It's without much fanfare. No extravagant displays or pyrotechnics. Honda is letting the product do the talking. It's not the most exciting product, but CR-V is outselling the Accord, and that goes to show just how important of a vehicle this is for Honda."
That importance is only growing, as consumers increasingly give up on sedans in favor of crossovers, a trend that's expected to continue even if gasoline prices begin to rise again.
The trend has been especially good for the CR-V, which has racked up close to 4 million sales since its introduction in 1997 and leads the crowded compact-crossover segment amid stiff competition from Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Chevrolet and Subaru.