The news out of Detroit grows ever bleaker, but Honda is all smiles as it prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its U.S. operations and parade a 49-foot robot through the streets of Pasadena. During yesterday’s dry run of the Rose Parade opening show, Honda unveiled the design of its float (pictured at right), a towering, top-hatted replica of the company’s ASIMO humanoid robot (although we think Playmobil‘s legal team might want to take a closer look). The parade, now in its 120th year, will also feature the Honda FCX Clarity as its first hydrogen-powered fuel cell pace car.
And did we mention that the float also moves, smells good, and will be accompanied by a dedicated marching band? Come parade day (that would be January 1), the float “will evolve from an opening ceremony stage into an animated replica of Honda’s ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility), standing about 12 times the height of the actual ASIMO humanoid robot,” notes a Honda press release. And what’s that lovely smell? “The surface of ASIMO will be covered with super fine ground white rice and super fine ground everlasting; it is accented by fine cut blue statice and fine cut red statice as well as silverleaf to create accents and ‘shadows.’ Fine cut everlasting, whole red carnations and white chrysanthemums will bring vivid color to Honda’s 50th anniversary logos, which will be decorated by Honda employees on December 27.” We don’t know what “everlasting” is, but we know a few other car companies that could use some right about now.