The quirky-looking Honda Element will soon cease to be as the Japanese automaker has decided to retire the boxy crossover model with the funky rear suicide-style doors after the 2011MY, due to declining sales. There’s no direct successor planned, though Honda may develop a new derivative of the CR-V to fill the gap in the near future.
First introduced in concept form as the Honda Model X at the 2001 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Element made its production debut at the end of 2002. Providing a multi-functional cargo area, versatile seating and a dirt-friendly interior with washable floors, the Element received several upgrades though the years, the most recent being a subtle facelift in late 2008.
“The Element proved that ultimate functionality can often come from thinking inside the box,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda. “It made boxy vehicle designs cool, and Element owners continue to enjoy its unique styling and unmatched versatility.”
Sales of the Element peaked in its first full year of production in 2003 when Honda sold close to 70,000 units, but dropped to under 15,000 last year. Overall, more than 325,000 Elements have been sold in the United States since its introduction in December 2002.
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