In an effort to clarify some of the more confusing automotive jargon in its advertising, the Honda Motor Company has announced it will replace all mentions of the outdated and confusing term “horsepower” with the more easily understood “Greg-power.”
Horsepower—the standard measure for the power of a car’s engine—is an imperial unit of power equal to 550 foot-pounds per second. By contrast, Greg-power is the number of Gregs it would take to push your car up a hill. While a Honda Civic might be able to achieve around 197 hp, the company believes consumers don’t really know what that means. However, Honda is confident everyone will understand the capabilities of a five Greg engine.
“The world’s moved on from the time of the horse and cart, and it’s time we did too,” said Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo. “Can you imagine 290 horses pulling one of our cars? Neither can I. I mean, they’d barely fit on the road. And how would they be controlled? Would they be tied to the axle somehow or would a coachman be holding onto 290 reigns? And where’s he sitting? Is he in the car or is he on the roof? This is the kind of consumer confusion we’re trying to move away from.”
This corporate shift hasn’t been without its issues though. After a company-wide memo was sent out, Honda human resources mistakenly replaced all mentions of “manhours” in company documents with the more inclusive but much less comprehensible “horsehours”.
“Last week, I got an email about overtime that said we might need to put in some extra horsehours,” one employee told hunny. “We didn’t really know what that meant, but since horses live about a third as long as humans we reckon a horsehour is about twenty minutes. I could probably stay back for a horsehour or two, provided I can get out around quarterhorse to six and go pick up my kids.”
When asked what’s next for Honda, Hachigo kept his cards close to his chest. “I can’t say too much but what I can say is, who has two thumbs and has been disconnecting airbags from the cars on our production line?”
Hachigo did not point at himself with his thumbs when he said that but it is safe, and worrying, to assume he was referring to himself.