Home » Honda Is Having Issues Launching An Electric Scooter And That’s Just Sad

Honda Is Having Issues Launching An Electric Scooter And That’s Just Sad

Honda Motocompacto Cancelled Ts
ADVERTISEMENT

We all love the Honda Motocompacto electric scooter, but the launch of this little piece of micromobility is shaping up to be a mess. Case in point? Our very own Mercedes Streeter, who’s on vacation right now, is having to figure out a backup plan. In her words, “The Honda dealer canceled my order without explanation. Apparently, the rumor is that dealers who don’t want to deal with them are canceling orders.” Uh-oh.

According to Mercedes, the dealer just refunded her money without an explanation. When pressed further, the dealership claimed it wasn’t yet set up to sell the Motocompacto, which is strange because display materials should’ve shipped already. This thing had an on-sale date this month, and it’s not uncommon for new model paraphernalia to arrive at dealerships before vehicles themselves.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Unsurprisingly, Mercedes isn’t the only one experiencing order frustration. It didn’t take long to find additional reports of canceled orders in Motocompacto Facebook groups, with prospective buyers scrambling to find dealerships willing to take their money.

Motocompacto Canceled Order

Motocompacto Canceled Order 2

ADVERTISEMENT

Screen Shot 2023 11 07 At 8.56.35 Am Screen Shot 2023 11 07 At 8.58.27 Am

So how is it that customers could place orders at non-participating dealers? It should be impossible for dealers to pull out of Honda’s program at the last minute, right? Well, reader TheBarber, who works at a Honda dealership, has one potential answer. First, Mercedes found some pre-order shenanigans:

Apparently, “Some dealers were doing their own pre-orders, even though Honda never said you could preorder them.” Another potential answer is that the Motocompacto is sold through Honda’s parts counters, and dealer management software may not yet be configured for Motocompacto sales. Look, I’m not saying that the dealership model in America often doesn’t work for consumers, but well, direct sales probably wouldn’t have issues like this. Either way, we’ve reached out to Honda and will update you as soon as we have answers.

03 Honda Motocompacto Large

However, dealers opting out of the Motocompacto program isn’t the only headwind. Due to supply lagging demand, TheBarber explained that it could take months to get a Motocompacto if you weren’t quick enough to grab a successful preorder.

ADVERTISEMENT

“A message came on our internal system: “Preorder Fulfillment: units will be shipped on a rolling basis starting this month and will begin arriving in the coming days. To meet the high demand and ensure a smooth launch for all participants, we will be prioritizing allocations based on the following.
– Preorders placed during the early phase (before October 8th) first 5 units out of the total order quantity to be fulfilled starting October 30th.
– Remaining preorders are scheduled to be fulfilled by mid-December -Any additional normal orders through the system will be fulfilled upon preorder deployment completion. – Due to extremely high demand, we anticipate potential delays in fulfilling orders. AHM is actively working to increase production and inventory levels in early 2024 to address this demand.””

So, if you suddenly have a hankering for a Motocompacto, expect delivery sometime in 2024. Oh, and even if you did find a dealership participating in the Motocompacto program, don’t expect to rely on shipping. Thanks to sheer weight and the hazards of transporting a large lithium-ion battery pack, some participating dealers may not want to play ball on sending these out via courier. As per TheBarber:

I am also curious to see how it’ll play out once these scoots become available and dealers refuse to ship them. I’m hearing some wild low shipping prices being calculated out there for something that is 40+ lbs and has restricted shipping due to the lithium battery. My dealer has already contacted everyone on our list that requested shipping to let them know they have to pick it up in person. My parts department is certified for hazmat shipping but they don’t want to deal with the paperwork on these. Failures of communication abound in this whole ordeal.

It’s a shame that the launch of the Motocompacto is shaping up to be rocky (and to be fair, it seems every automaker is blowing every launch, with delays, price hikes, etc. becoming the norm), because it really is a cool bit of kit. It’ll go 12 miles at 15 MPH, costs $1,000 (assuming dealerships aren’t throwing markup on them), folds up for easy carrying and storage, and can plug right in beneath your desk. I’d totally be interested in one if they were sold in Canada, as the appeal of a tiny sit-down electric scooter for last-mile transport is massive. However, with a market debut this messy, suddenly I’m feeling less jealous due to Canada missing out. Let’s hope Honda can sort out Motocompacto deliveries, and fast.

(Photo credits: Honda, Facebook)

[Ed Note: The original headline said “Honda is Blowing the Launch,” which may be true, but is perhaps a little harsh, so I’ve toned it down. A little. -DT]. 

Support our mission of championing car culture by becoming an Official Autopian Member.

ADVERTISEMENT

Relatedbar

Got a hot tip? Send it to us here. Or check out the stories on our homepage.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
55 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
7 months ago

Taking a break from vacay time for this: If you’re a Northern Illinois resident like me and got your order canceled, McGrath Honda tells me it will be selling the scooter and is taking orders at MSRP. Unfortunately, nobody seems to know when shipping will begin, so it’s going to be rough.

Not a plug or anything, I literally just started calling dealers this morning to see who is going to be selling this thing and without markup.

Edit: And that was a bust! McGrath also refunded my money. Seriously? I just want to give Honda my money!

Last edited 7 months ago by Mercedes Streeter
Highland Green Miata
Highland Green Miata
7 months ago

McGrath Honda doesn’t exactly have a great reputation for… well, anything. It’s also extremely odd that only the Elgin location was taking orders and not the giant new one they just built in St. Charles.

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
7 months ago

That’s unfortunate, though I am not surprised. As for the oddity, it seems these dealers just aren’t prepared for the Motocompacto or the DreamShop. Some of the dealers I’ve talked to didn’t even know what I was talking about.

Madewithgenuineparts
Madewithgenuineparts
7 months ago

Nice to see that Honda/Acura dealers are still awful… family experiences with American Honda hanging us out to dry for TSBs on a Civic and Integra have resulted in a decades long boycott that we’ve never once regretted.

Daryll Rardon
Daryll Rardon
7 months ago

Honda definitely has some production / shipping issues – two years ago I called the local Honda motorcyle dealer for a Metropolitan for my wife (but I’m sure that I would use it too!). No stock, no shipping updates. 18 months later I get an email from the dealer that they have one Metropolitan in stock and if I hurry I can buy it. Good grief. This is metro Cincinnati, not in the middle of nowhere either.

Mr. Frick
Mr. Frick
7 months ago

Honda blew it. Only the FOMO folk will put up with this crap. Once that subsides, and the impulse buyers have moved on to the next hotness, this thing will have to stand on it’s own merits. My interest is waning after considering how Honda will handle warranty and service after this debacle.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
7 months ago

After reading the article, it mostly sounds like the launch of this product is a mess because DEALERS SUCK.

Bob Johnson
Bob Johnson
7 months ago

Ordered Nov 1st and was surprised to learn the details of what I got myself into.

Honda is not handling this well and the dealers are taking it on the chin. Seems like no one at AHM anticipated demand and never considered direct shipping from a fulfillment center. This should not have been released until a few hundred thousand were ready to ship and then just start slapping labels on boxes to customers.

Wondering if there isn’t some sort of dealer agreement that prevented this from happening as one would expect in a world of online orders and direct shipping. Going through dealers’ parts departments seems like a waste. No wonder some dealers are not participating.

Lokki
Lokki
7 months ago

Interestingly enough (to me anyhow) I was at the Mobility Show in Tokyo last week, and the Honda display did not include a Motocompacto. I was disappointed as I’ve hoped to get a close look at one. They did have an evTOL on display though, so that was cool….

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
7 months ago

if only Honda had a sales network to sell two wheeled motorized things.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
7 months ago

Apologies if someone already said this…but why in the world is Honda selling these through its auto network and not it’s power sports one????

Scone Muncher
Scone Muncher
7 months ago

Not available in Canada (probably because they’d be technically illegal).

Space
Space
7 months ago
Reply to  Scone Muncher

Why should Canada stop people from having fun.

Scone Muncher
Scone Muncher
7 months ago
Reply to  Space

They shouldn’t! Long story short there’s no regulatory category (yet) for “micromobility” vehicles. Because the Motocompacto doesn’t have pedals, and does have a throttle, it’s technically a low-speed motorcycle. A user would need a licence, insurance, and not be allowed in bike lanes, for example.

Now, the reality is it’s a free-for-all. The rules say a pedal-assist bicycle can’t go over 32km/h on motor power…but I can walk across the street *today* and buy one with a throttle that will do 70. “It’s only for off-road use, wink wink nudge nudge,” says the shop owner. The streets are lousy with e-bikes that look like Ninja 300s, powered scooters, overpowered pedal assists…

I can see why Honda would just say, “not worth it”.

Lewin Day
Lewin Day
7 months ago

I really wanna get one or more of these and wrap them with a cool livery but shipping one over to Australia seems like a massive pain on top of the issues you mentioned.

AMGx2
AMGx2
7 months ago

I don’t think employers are too keen on you bringing one IN the building let alone UNDER your desk (and charging it for ‘free’ at the same time) since if these things have a problem and catch fire then well .. the whole building could go down (and take some employees with it). And parking them all outside requires some roof and plenty of outlets but all bunched up they’d also light up all off them at the same time giving a lot of fireworks…

I love electric bikes and steps though – I have a 3 wheeled skateboard hybrid, goes plenty fast (20 mph) , charges in less than 2 hours from a normal outlet and easily goes 10 miles which is plenty of range since you don’t want to sit (in my case – stand) on these for too long.

If executed well this could be a good marketing stunt for Honda, but it seems they didn’t expect the ‘common people’ to find and like this deal.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
7 months ago
Reply to  AMGx2

I don’t know, the giant stack of bloated laptops and laptop batteries that are all bloated and stacked in IT rooms are a much bigger fire danger that nobody seems to care about. I was in a meeting with someone that had their laptop cracked open by the battery being swollen. These are a low fire danger compared to the shenanigans around the office. I’ll add all the little heaters people sneak in as well as the plastic power strips good for 530 joules moving 4x that.

Scott
Scott
7 months ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

This was the first thing I thought of too re: dealers maybe being reluctant to handle Motocompactos due to the batteries. I’ve had so many Samsung and Acer devices ‘blow up’ due to a swelling battery. Literally: maybe almost a half-dozen separate times by now, including for a couple of Acer devices (netbooks) that I had bought replacement batteries for (direct from Acer) and the replacements swelled up too within months.

And, as you say Jared, old laptops (and phones, etc…) are plentiful in most business big enough to have IT staff (and in my house too… my collection of old laptops is suggestive of OCD on my part, though none are swollen atm). And besides: there are lithium batteries in every Honda hybrid and EV fer crissakes. 😉

If a dealer told me they cancelled my order due to battery fears, I probably would send a complaint to Honda… not because it’d accomplish anything of course, but rather just for whatever catharsis it might provide.

Lokki
Lokki
7 months ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

You’re right. Once you’re in a death-trap full of potential bombs, what does adding another bigger-than-most potential bomb matter?

Bob Johnson
Bob Johnson
7 months ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

Exactly! And these are not laptop batteries. As long as they are sourced from a qualified manufacturer, the risk is very low.

Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
7 months ago

There is a guy on Reddit that ordered from the same dealer as me, and he keeps asking them for updates and such. When I called they were like, I see your order, give me your phone number and we will communicate when we get some news

As far as today, the order is still active. My order ends on 005 so I am wondering if I will be able to be one of the first 5 initial orders that dealers are supposed to get

I will keep you posted

Fix It Again Tony
Fix It Again Tony
7 months ago

What a screw up. I thought this was targeting holiday sales.

JDE
JDE
7 months ago

the mark ups are also still a thing. have to go 30 miles to get the one properly marked in my area. seems like they should be available from the motocompacto website without involving a dealer at all too.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
7 months ago

I assumed these would be sold with their motorcycles and stuff. Why are they selling through car dealerships? That seems a little messed up.

Drew
Drew
7 months ago

Probably because the idea is to package these as car accessories, not really vehicles on their own. Throw this in the trunk and have a short ride from the parking garage to your destination a few blocks away.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
7 months ago
Reply to  Drew

I guess, seems weird though. I can put a Honda generator in my truck bed and use it at the worksite but it is sold at a hardware store.

If they sold it through their motorsports dealers at least they would have a chance to upsell on other things. What are car dealers going to do… try to talk them into a Honda Accord?

Drew
Drew
7 months ago

What are car dealers going to do… try to talk them into a Honda Accord?

That’s part of it–they figure anything that gets people onto the lot gets them thinking about buying a new Honda. I also suspect they will try things like putting car/Motocompacto combos together that hide markup on one thing or the other and allow them to move money around.

It would make the most sense to have them at both places (and or just available online), but they (probably correctly) decided that buyers of this are more likely to look at the cars than the motorcycles. The limited range and speed of this put it in a very different class than a motorcycle or scooter.

They could possibly sell them at bicycle stores, near the electric bikes, but I think they’d get passed over a lot.

Last edited 7 months ago by Drew
My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
7 months ago
Reply to  Drew

Bike stores are the wrong market. Honda has no presence there.

2 wheels is the place to be. This is a toy, for enthusiasts and such. Someone that will also consider a Metropolitan or Ruckus. I just don’t see Dan the family man getting an Oddysey and putting one of these in the back.

I guess maybe this is like those branded bikes they sometimes sell along with cars or something.

Drew
Drew
7 months ago

I guess maybe this is like those branded bikes they sometimes sell along with cars or something.

Yeah, that is pretty much what these are intended to be. And, yeah, they’re not for Dan and the family minivan. They’re for Todd to throw in the back of his Civic so he can zip into work from the shitty parking spot out in the back lot (mostly so he can show his coworkers) or Sarah to scoot around the city after she parks her CR-V. These are for a childless adult to have a fun little scooter of their own instead of renting a Bird scooter or whatever. I think someone looking at a Ruckus or a Metropolitan would pass this over every time. This does up to 12 miles with a max speed of 15 mph.

Frackle
Frackle
7 months ago

A Honda motorcycle dealer would be quoting an out the door price of $2,700 and offering a free valve clearance check as a holiday promotion

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
7 months ago
Reply to  Frackle

They’d sell at MSRP then try to sell a helmet and a riding jacket. Hope they come back to look at that Ruckus or Metropolitan.

What’s a car dealer going to do?

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
7 months ago

And it isn’t even through the normal car retail channel, it’s through the parts department, who aren’t used to selling, you know, complete, useable vehicles. It’s all kind of messed up

Frackle
Frackle
7 months ago

looking forward to the savagegeese motocompacto type r review where he’s compelled to give half the runtime to the dealer who gave it to him at msrp

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
7 months ago

Things in America that are broken

  1. Health Insurance System
  2. Corporate Personhood
  3. Dealership-based Auto Sales!
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago

4. Education
5. Wealth Disparity
6. Public Transit
7. Road Infrastructure
8. Idiocracy

You want more?

Bob Boxbody
Bob Boxbody
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

The idiocracy doesn’t seem broken, to be fair.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
7 months ago
Reply to  Bob Boxbody

Well, Brawdo’s got what plants crave, so….

Data
Data
7 months ago

It’s got electrolytes!

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  Bob Boxbody

See points 1-8

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

You want more?”

Yes please!

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago

9. NIMBYism
10. Immigration system
11. Tax system
12. Consumerism
13. Anti science
14. Fake news
15. Democratic Party
16. Republican Party
17. Every other political party
18. Military Industrial complex
19. Homeless Industrial complex
20. Puppy mills
21. Privatizing gains and socializing losses
22. Racism
23. Coal rolling
24. Blind patriotism
25. TRUCKBUTT!
26. Celebrity worship
27. Professional sports worship
28. War on drugs
29. Education Industrial complex
30. Unpaid internships
31. Honorary doctorates
32. Obama getting the Nobel Peace Prize for what exactly?
33. Sideshows and takeovers
34. Bad cops
35. Harvey Weinstein (and others like him)
36. Cults
37. Multi level marketing
38. Proud boys
39. KKK
40. Obesity epidemic
41. FOX network lying
42. Keeping up with the Jones
43. HOAs
44. Anti nuclear hysteria
45. Climate change denial
46. Get back to the damn office or else! movement
47. Freedumbs
48. Trucknutz
49. Incels
50. Housing crisis

There, that should keep you happy for a while.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Thank you!

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago

Anytime.

Drew
Drew
7 months ago

Things in America that are is broken

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
7 months ago

Should have just released it through hardware and appliance stores like Silo or something, it isn’t a car and it isn’t really a motorcycle, so it’s too far outside the comfort zone of their dealers, and they’re selling it through their parts operations, but it isn’t a “part”

Dan Pritts
Dan Pritts
7 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Should sell through their Powersports dealers, not their automotive dealers.

I’m sure the idea is to create some sort of green buzz around the brand, which you wouldn’t get if you sold it at a powersport dealer.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
7 months ago
Reply to  Dan Pritts

Still has the Honda brand on it, and the press release would still go out on American Honda letterhead, would have worked just as well

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
7 months ago
Reply to  Dan Pritts

I assumed that is where it would be sold. This would be like Westinghouse selling a toaster through their industrial distribution channel next to their generators and stuff.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago

Well of course! It’s much more convenient to buy your toaster and nuclear power plant as a bundle

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I was referring to their worksite gas powered generators. I forgot they also have nuclear generation. That would be even better. Monte Burns would have to start giving employees some strawberry jam along with their tar tar sauce.

Geoffrey Reuther
Geoffrey Reuther
7 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Silo?

Can I go get the latest Nirvana album while I’m there?

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
7 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

I think it would have been smarter to just team up with Amazon, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, anyone who can handle it as just another thing they sell.

Alexk98
Alexk98
7 months ago

If this keeps up, we’ll see dealers slap these things on civics as a mandatory 3k accessory or as part of some absurd “value package” that’s 20% of MSRP for wheel locks, a ceramic coat, floor mats, a touch screen protector and a motocompacto

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
7 months ago

Probably better to just get a regular ebike anyway. These things are just cumbersome lime scooters basically.

Frankencamry
Frankencamry
7 months ago
Reply to  Rabob Rabob

People aren’t buying this because they need an e-bike. That’s like telling people to get a Saturn SC when they tried to order a DeLorean with a bunch of weird accessories, because the SC is a better daily driver.

Nobody scratches the nostalgic forbidden fruit bug by finding something boring instead.

55
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x