WOW: Honda Concept Built for Dog Owners

 |  Aug 13th 2006  |   0 Contributions reports that Honda is joining the pack in introducing a new concept minivan for the doggy set.

TOKYO Honda Motor Co. will reveal a new concept minivan at this month's Tokyo Motor Show that has dog-friendly features, including a glove compartment that converts into a carriage for a small dog and paw footprints embedded in its tire treads.

The WOW is intended to test consumer reaction as Honda decides whether to roll out similar vehicles for Japan and the United States. The company also plans to announce a new line of "Travel Dog" car accessories for sale in Japan later this year, including $220 pet carriers. The Japanese automaker has been holding dog talent shows in Japan at which owners are encouraged to test-drive cars with their pooches.

Other automakers have had mixed success with dog-related products. Ford offered a pet-friendly options package, including a foldable water bowl, on its 1999 Ford Focus but discontinued the feature because of lack of interest. General Motors has sent packs of researchers to the Detroit Kennel Club's annual show to watch how handlers get dogs out of vehicles, and in 2002 unveiled a GMC Envoy Pet Pro concept SUV with a dog ramp.

What this means to you: Automakers still are trying to find a way to cash in on the lucrative pet market, said to be upward of $28 billion in the United States alone.


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