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Back in January, I began the process of purchasing a Clarity in Pennsylvania. First I was told they could not get one as they were not "allocated" any. My response was, "You're telling me that I can not buy a new Honda at a Honda dealership?" They agreed to see what they could do. They tried to have a vehicle reallocated from Washington state, but was told by Honda they could not ship it from Washington to Pennsylvania. Next there was supposedly one in NY that was not sold and they were going to go get it for us. That also fell through.



Finally, they were able to have Honda schedule a new one to be built for us. At the end of January we were told it was scheduled for the end of February, but they did not have a firm date. Later we were told there was a firm date, March 10. That date came and went with no new information.


Then the COVID pandemic became an issue. After many inquiries, we were told it was rescheduled for April 28. That is the last information we have been able to get. The dealership claims they are trying, but not getting any information. I called Honda USA customer service, and was told they could not help.


I understand the pandemic situation has caused a lot of havoc in the automotive industry. (I work for a mfg company that supplies the automotive industry and was off for 6 weeks) But what I can not understand is why no information? Honda is very big into lean manufacturing and ensuring everything is in order and in its proper place. How can no one have any information on the status of this order. Even if they said, there was an issue with restarting the plant and we have rescheduled again, and here is the new date, I would be okay with that, (not happy, but okay) But the complete lack of information in this day is mind boggling.


Because this has dragged on for so long, and I was in need of a vehicle, the local dealership has given us one of their service loaners as a vehicle until our Clarity arrives, which I greatly appreciate, but it is kind of like putting your finger on a leak. It solves the immediate problem, but no one is happy and the original problem is still there.


I've had the garage rewired for both 110 and 220 and still have hope, but it is beginning to fade.
 

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I picked up a 2020 yesterday from Ourisman in Bethesda MD yesterday. They also have 2 base models (red and black) and a touring (silver). There are also two 2019, white base models at Rosenthal's in Alexandria, Va. That's all I found in the NE and no one would talk 2021 deliveries.
 

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Welcome aboard!

Wow, I had no idea the Clarity is so scarce outside California and so troublesome obtaining one...

Do be patient - it's worth the wait and to have a very unique car to drive around - a sure head turner....

I am in Southern California and we have so many - sometimes more than Bolts & Teslas on the road.

The only unique head turner is the color - Forest Metallic Green which Honda does not use in any other model.....
 

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I picked up a 2020 yesterday from Ourisman in Bethesda MD yesterday. They also have 2 base models (red and black) and a touring (silver). There are also two 2019, white base models at Rosenthal's in Alexandria, Va. That's all I found in the NE and no one would talk 2021 deliveries.
I have been tracking Clarify manufacturing dates for a while, I have a lot of data on 2018 and 2019 models but almost no data on 2020. If you don't mind sharing what your manufacture date is (located on driver side door jamb) and the last four digits of your VIN (feel free to scramble the last two digits if it makes you nervous, I just need ballpark). The other three 2020's at Ourisman have VIN's that range from 13xx to 16xx so I am guessing your VIN is in a similar range, and I am guessing manufacture date of about March. The highest VIN numbers that I have seen so far for 2020 models are in California at just over 1900.
 

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Mine was manufactured 1/20 - 07XX. Assume good news, if you're thinking 2021 availability. What I was told (and it seems reasonable) is that due to COVID-19, production schedules will be delayed. Dealer believed that the focus would be on the production of the mass selling models and more niche models, like the Clarity, won't be prioritized, initially. Don't suppose they wanted me to wait, but seems like an honest assessment.
 

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Mine was manufactured 1/20 - 07XX. Assume good news, if you're thinking 2021 availability. What I was told (and it seems reasonable) is that due to COVID-19, production schedules will be delayed. Dealer believed that the focus would be on the production of the mass selling models and more niche models, like the Clarity, won't be prioritized, initially. Don't suppose they wanted me to wait, but seems like an honest assessment.
Officially there is no difference between 2019 and 2020 Clarity however someone who has owned both a 2018 and 2020 says they noticed a small change in the buttons on the steering wheel not having raised edges anymore. One example is the volume control button on 2018 and 2019 has sort of raised ridges, but the 2020 volume control is smooth with no ridges. I looked at a photo online and can definitely see the difference. Trivial of course but they said something else that got my interest, if I understood correctly they said the steering wheel buttons are quieter now. On my 2018 (and I assume 2019) all of the buttons on the steering wheel click when you press them. It's not super loud but you can definitely hear it, kind of annoying for me as I use cruise control a lot and I often adjust the speed or hit cancel and resume, so it can be lot of clicking noises at times. I had a passenger in the rear seat once who asked what buttons I was pressing because they heard the clicking noises when I was adjusting cruise control speed. So it's not super loud but it's loud enough that everyone in the car can hear it. Any of my dash and center console buttons like climate control do not click when you press them they are silent, it's only the steering wheel buttons that make this noise. I am wondering if the 2020 steering wheel buttons still click or if they are now silent like the climate buttons?

The other auditory annoyance is that if I am using cruise control and I press the paddle to slow down there is a loud warning tone that lasts about a second. I assume it is warning you that radar cruise control is no longer active because pressing a paddle cancels cruise, but after 200 times I know this by now but there is no way to turn off the warning that I can find in the options. It doesn't do a similar warning if I press the brake pedal even though that also disables radar cruise, so I don't know why pressing the paddle has to give this loud annoying warning every time. I am wondering if the 2020 still does this, if you are using ACC and then press the paddle to slow down does it give a warning tone?
 

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Welcome aboard!

Wow, I had no idea the Clarity is so scarce outside California and so troublesome obtaining one...
You're being facetious, right? 2018 was the only model year that Honda offered nation-wide in the US. 2019 was reserved for CA and the CARB and ZEV states. 2020 is, by all accounts, available only in CA and by special order or dealer order in all other states.
 

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2019 was reserved for CA and the CARB and ZEV states. 2020 is, by all accounts, available only in CA and by special order or dealer order in all other states.
And they actually only shipped to ZEV states in early 2019, by around February 2019 Honda stopped sending new inventory to anywhere other than California. Honda got questioned about this in August 2019 when this was noticed and a Honda PR spokesperson admitted as such but also claimed that even though inventory was being "prioritized" for California, anyone in any other state could still order a Clarity. However reality was far different as people outside of California found that no matter how hard they tried any dealer they went to told them they can't be ordered.

Things changed somewhat towards the end of 2019 when suddenly small handfuls of Clarities started appearing around the country in a few states, presumably overflow that was not needed in California. Also many dealers reported they can now order Clarity and we finally began to hear about people outside of California, and even outside of ZEV states successfully ordering a Clarity, although it does usually take a few months. A few 2020's have also appeared on dealer lots in some places. And apparently the ability to order one outside of California, although requiring some persistence and some effort finding a dealer willing to do so, continues to be possible.
 

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2020 green Clarity January 2020 12xx

We are in Champaign Illinois. My wife and I tried to get a Clarity last October. Dealer tried to get one out of California but couldn't get the Green. We really wanted that color, very nice looking. Finally settled on ordering for delivery in March. Got it in mid April. The dealer also requested more for stock and had a white and 2 grays when we finally picked up ours. So far, We love the car. We took one trip to the Chicago area in early May and were a little disappointed in the mileage (asked about this in an earlier thread). But warm weather has the battery range in a better place. We haven't really needed the ICE to any great extent.
 

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1/20 - 07XX
1/20 - 12XX

Interesting that they got as high as 1200 in January. The highest VIN numbers that I have seen in California are just over 1900. Assuming that they started 2020 production in December like they did the previous model year, then this indicates they did a run in December and January and then slowed production after that.

For comparison in 2018 about 24,000 Clarities were produced for the U.S. market. In 2019 only about 7,000 were produced, nearly 6,000 of those went to California, most of the other 1,000 went to east coast ZEV states. Here we are at the end of June and they haven't even hit 2,000.

My opinion remains that these cars are expensive to produce and Honda only makes a small profit when selling Clarity without factory incentives. I think they were hoping that the $7,500 federal credit, along with some state credits would be enough to make them attractive. However I think they discovered in 2018 that they can only sell Clarity in significant numbers when there is at least a $4,000 factory incentive, with dealers often adding an additional $1,000-$2,000 discount. However I think Honda loses money with that size of an incentive and so they pulled back to California where they need the CARB credits to offset gasoline car sales, and where Clarity sells better anyway. Although they have now reduced the California factory incentive to $1,000 which probably explains why they appear to be selling fewer Clarity in California compared to last year (of course COVID-19 also). But lowering the incentive to $1,000 indicates that Honda is not willing to lose money on the Clarity even in California at the moment, since they aren't selling very many gasoline cars right now they probably don't need the CARB credits.

My guess is that it all depends now on what happens with the hydrogen version, which is what Clarity was originally designed for. They have discontinued the BEV Clarity, they had to be losing money on that one the lease price was so low. But as long as they continue to produce the FCEV Clarity I think they will probably continue to produce the PHEV Clarity for the California market, with small numbers sold in other states like currently. That's my best guess at the moment, probably a coin toss right now whether they continue with the Clarity in 2021, and again I think that mainly depends on whether they continue with the hydrogen version.
 

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"However I think they discovered in 2018 that they can only sell Clarity in significant numbers when there is at least a $4,000 factory incentive, with dealers often adding an additional $1,000-$2,000 discount." I don't think that was true in the Midwest during 2018 when I was looking to purchase one. In Iowa the Iowa City dealer sold a good number of them with very little discount, and when I talked with the Honda dealer in West Des Moines he said he couldn't keep them in stock -- they sold as soon as they came in, with NO incentives of any type, full price. That's why Honda's refusal to advertise and market the car from the beginning baffled me. Granted, with the lower price of gas now, demand might not be as strong, but in the Midwest with long distances between charging stations Plug-in Hybrids are the way to go.
 

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"However I think they discovered in 2018 that they can only sell Clarity in significant numbers when there is at least a $4,000 factory incentive, with dealers often adding an additional $1,000-$2,000 discount." I don't think that was true in the Midwest during 2018 when I was looking to purchase one. In Iowa the Iowa City dealer sold a good number of them with very little discount, and when I talked with the Honda dealer in West Des Moines he said he couldn't keep them in stock -- they sold as soon as they came in, with NO incentives of any type, full price. That's why Honda's refusal to advertise and market the car from the beginning baffled me. Granted, with the lower price of gas now, demand might not be as strong, but in the Midwest with long distances between charging stations Plug-in Hybrids are the way to go.
I agree that much of it was due to Honda not marketing the car, but it's hard to say how much because in one sense marketing is saying "Hey we have what you want" which only works when customers already want something. But trying to educate customers as to why they would want a PHEV in the first place is not an easy thing to do especially in short advertising sound bites.

I am somewhat in the minority in that I believe PHEV has a strong future as it can fill the gap for people who are not ready yet for full EV, which last time I checked is still 97% or so of the market. EV enthusiasts convince themselves that since EV works for them it can work for everyone, which is not the case yet. At the moment though low gas prices have really stalled things and so the only pressure right now to increase hybrid and EV production is regulatory pressure. Regardless of what gas prices do I think regulatory pressures will continue to gradually increase. Actually we are seeing that now in aviation as they are starting to be under increasing pressure to start working on technology to move away from kerosene. Interestingly hydrogen is starting to get a lot of interest, with the idea to use fuel cells to power electric propeller planes for the shorter regional flights, which they think could happen within twenty years or so.
 

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I hope you can hold out. The Clarity is an outstanding vehicle and worth the wait if you can get some cooperation from Honda. In case you are considering the new RAV4 PHEV as an alternative, I have found the Clarity to be preferable for several solid reasons. Besides, Toyota is only selling 5,000 units this year and it might actually be easier to get a Clarity. There have been several threads on Clarity forums regarding the purchase of a Clarity in California, where units are available but that also has its set of complications. Still, well worth the trouble if you can get one in the end. Good luck!
 
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