The first production run for Honda’s S660 sports car has sold out, with all 8600 units spoken for and the order book full until June next year.
All of the S660s have been sold within Honda’s home market of Japan, but the carmaker may have been surprised by the average age of the new model’s primary customer.
Bloomberg reports that 80 percent of S660 customers are aged over 40, and that many have purchased the roadster as a ‘weekend’ car to complement their daily drivers.
Honda spokeswoman Misato Fukushima said that those daily drivers are also Hondas, as the majority of S660 customers to date have been loyal fans for many years.
A lack of young customers for the S660, which is pitched as a youth-oriented model, could indicate problems for Honda in the Japanese market if the carmaker perceives it is struggling to win over new (and younger) customers.
The S660’s market divide is also a complete reversal of the S2000 roadster, for which 80 percent of customers were aged under 40 upon its introduction in 1999.
Ms Fukushima said Honda expected the S660 to be popular among ‘older’ buyers, but the carmaker also expects younger buyers to be gradually drawn to the new model.
Compounding the problem of customer renewal for Honda and other Japanese carmakers is a growing league of young people in Japan and other countries who view a driver’s licence as a low priority.
A report last year suggested young people would rather own a good smartphone than a car, as they believe they can get around using up-to-the-minute public transport information via apps, or use car-sharing and ride-sharing apps such as Uber.
This, and worsening road congestion, may explain why the number of licence holders in Japan under the age of 40 has fallen by a sizable 46 percent during the last 13 years.
Honda plans to reopen the S660 order book in October ahead of a second production run next year. No word yet from Honda on whether the next S660 production run will produce models for sale in markets outside Japan.
MORE: Honda - Forget Targets, Let’s Dream: New CEO Hachigo
MORE News & Reviews: Honda | S660 | Japan