The Chinese-built Crosstour, available in two 3.5L versions selling for 398,800 Yuan (US $61,100) and 428,800 Yuan, is about twice as expensive as the comparable American model. The high price tags mystify many. Isn’t this odd-looking segment buster after all just another Accord? Are there enough rich fools around to buy it?
Honda seemed to think there are: if the BMW X6, similarly ugly and more outrageously overpriced (the 3.0 xDrive35i has a MSRP of 1.024 million Yuan!), can manage to find more than 10,000 such fools in China a year (China was the largest market for the X6 in 2010), why can’t the Crosstour?
Now almost half-year after the release, sales numbers clearly show Honda miscalculated the strange appeal of the Crosstour, which bears the tacky Chinese name "Ge Shi Tu" meaning literally "Song, Poetry, Painting." In the first three months this year, only 698 units of it were sold; GAC-Honda targeted to deliver 10,000 for the whole year.
Surely GAC-Honda stressed from the beginning that it did not seek volume but to lift its brand image in marketing the Crosstour. But consumers seem to have failed to get the message that this is a high-class car for people with different and refined tastes. The BMW X6, not the Crosstour, has succeeded on the rising conspicuous consumption in China. There are many rich fools alright, but just not enough to think the Crosstour is a good means to display wealth and cause envy.