Honda made the confusing move of releasing its 2022 Odysseys earlier this month—in Janury 2021—for a very 2020s reason: supplier issues. The HondaVac, a built-in mini vacuum cleaner for minivan messes, also disappeared as an option with the model year switch, as Honda simply couldn't get the little vacuums anymore. Honda sourced the vacuums from Shop-Vac, which went out of business last year, and Honda simply hasn't been able to find a different supplier.
Perhaps you didn't realize that the company synonymous for sucking up garage messes in no time went out of business given all the other companies that make shop-vacs (a word that gets used like "kleenex" or "xerox" as a generic term now). According to NorthcentralPA.com, Shop-Vac abruptly shuttered on September 15 last year, letting hundreds of its employees go on the spot.
In a letter to employees quoted by NorthcentralPA.com, Shop-Vac said that the global economic downturn had a significant hit on their business, and that the company had been speaking to a potential buyer, but the sale fell through.
A Honda representative confirmed to The Drive that they also learned of ShopVac's closure in mid-September, roughly when Shop-Vac's employees did:
"Shop-Vac was the company that supplied HondaVac to us, and they went out of business. This was an unexpected development, as we were expecting a buyer for the company that would have ensured continuous supply of the HondaVac. We learned in mid-September that Shop-Vac Corporation would be going out of business."
There is some good news for folks who thought the idea of putting a little vacuum in one of the most mess-prone kinds of vehicles was a smart one, however. Honda hasn't ruled out the possibility of bringing it back, but it's all down to finding the right supplier.
"Regarding whether HondaVac will return, that is something we are continuing to investigate, but to this point we have not identified an alternative supply source," a Honda spokesperson told The Drive.
The other piece of potentially good news for Odyssey shoppers as well as the Shop-Vac faithful is that Shop-Vac was finally purchased by GreatStar Tools USA at the end of last year, reports the Williamsport Sun-Gazette. No timeline has been given for the plant's reopening, but GreatStar says that it's a great fit within their product line-up, and that they do plan on reopening and expanding Shop-Vac's business.
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