Honda UK now sells dog-related accessories in response to an April Fool's joke.
Subaru has a notoriously dog-friendly stance. Its marketing campaigns almost always feature smiling young couples with a dog and a few kids (in this economy!?). Other brands are making a point of being more pet-friendly as well. Rivian and Tesla both offer dog modes for their EVs, which will keep your pet at a comfortable temp while you run into the shops. Now, Honda offers a range of dog-specific accessories for models like the Civic after an April Fool's post was taken seriously.
Back in April, Honda made a post with the above photo. The longer you look at it, the more obvious it is that this is a fake post. It included details like an XL, scratch-proof seat, inserts for food and water bowls, and harness mounts right where a person's shoulders would sit. A squeaker toy and food dispenser rounded out the joke changes.
However, Honda said that the joke press release elicited strong reactions from the brand's global audiences. As it turns out, people would quite like somewhere to put their pets and all of their pets' necessary accessories.
So, Honda accelerated development of the products in the UK. Honda already does this in Japan, selling a number of accessories (pictured here) like a carrier basket, to its Japanese buyers. "Launching vehicle accessories for dogs is something that the Honda UK team has been discussing for quite a while," head of automobile for Honda UK Rebecca Adamson said. "But it was the success of the April Fools' Day campaign that ultimately prompted us to develop this product pack - because it became so clear that customers wanted something special for their four-legged friends." Right now, products will be offered for the Civic, Jazz, HR-V, and CR-V.
All told, Honda's dog pack will include a dog guard for your seats, rubber mats, trunk mats, a foldable cargo mat, and a trunk step protector. On top of that, Honda says you can retrofit some of these items onto other models. Not all accessories are available across all the above cars, however, as some mounting points won't be compatible. The pack costs $624 USD, topping out at $954 USD.
Frankly, there's no reason for Honda not to work to bring this package global. Americans love their pets just as much as Brits do, after all, and it'd be nice to see some more lifestyle-specific options packs on cars. Not just your standard technology and comfort packages.