Car News

Honda pinning hopes on 2015 HR-V

Winding up sales of all but one hybrid model, Honda is pinning its hopes of lifting sales to 40,000 in 2015 on its soon-to-launch HR-V.

HONDA HAS HIGH hopes for both the 2015 HR-V SUV which launches early next month and its facelifted CR-V which arrives towards the end of the year. Indeed, Honda is hoping to sell 40,000 cars this year, which is an almost 20% increase on its 2014 sales (33,000).

While most automakers are predicting 2015 to be flat, Honda is bullish about its prospects in 2015. Speaking with Practical Motoring, Honda Australia director, Stephen Collins said no other car in Honda’s history had sparked so much customer interest.

“For us [Honda] HR-V is really what this year is all about; it’s our number one priority and we believe it will be a major player in that small SUV space. That said, we see no reason why Jazz won’t continue to be strong in the light car segment, and our third core model for 2015 will be the facelifted CR-V. Those three cars will be the foundation of our volume.

But it’s the HR-V that Collins believes will be the main sales driver.

“We’ve had thousands of people go to our website and register their interest in the new HR-V, and that’s very exciting for a vehicle launching into one of the most competitive segments in the new car market. But that small SUV market is very strong, it’s one of the only segments growing.

But there have been complaints the HR-V won’t be offered with all-wheel drive, however, Collins believes the small SUV market is dominated by two-wheel drives and so the HR-V won’t be seen as lacking.

“We [Honda] think the small SUV market is dominated by two-wheel drive SUVs and CR-V covers off those who want a four-wheel drive,” Collins said.

“As a brand, we think we’ve got practicality really well covered with Jazz and CR-V and now HR-V but, in addition to that over the next couple of years we’ll also be focussing on sportiness, particularly with NSX which will be here next year, and we haven’t yet formally announced Civic Type-R [it will be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March] but that car is part of our DNA and part of our history, it’s also a big part of our future.

“So, I think having those cars that offer core car buyer values of practicality, but also having sporty cars gives us a very good armoury,” Collins told Practical Motoring.

But what about news this week that Honda would wave goodbye to the CR-Z because of poor sales. Collins said that wasn’t quite the full story, saying the CR-Z was in run-out and that replacement hybrid models were on the way Down Under.

“The CR-Z was a great car and the decision to run it out wasn’t due to poor sales. It wasn’t a core car for Honda, but I think it helped raise awareness for us and now it’s time to move on.

“The hybrid technology was old-generation technology and we’ve got new hybrid technology on the way and so the time is right for our current crop of hybrid models to make way for new hybrid cars.

“Most mum and dad buyers want the full package; they want good value for money, cars that are fun to drive and they want cars that are practical. I think that if you don’t have all three of those elements and you only have one or two I think you’ll struggle.

“With our hybrids coming this year we’ll be endeavouring to tick those boxes.”


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Deevo
Deevo
5 years ago

The HR-V is over-priced by at least 20% and in Oz has no 4WD option. Typical Honda marketing stuff up. It’s just not worth the price they’re asking.
I’ll be replacing my current HR-V with a Mazda CX3 as it represents much better value for money, particularly when you factor in Honda’s exorbitant service costs and ridiculous spare parts pricing, and the utterly lousy service Honda dealers provide.
I recently inquired about having my odometer repaired and my Honda dealer quoted $2,300! For a device that costs maybe as much as $5 to manufacture!
Honda, you’ve lost a 30 year customer forever. I’m sick and tired of the constant rip offs, and I’d advise no-one to buy a Honda – they’re just not worth the high initial cost and the staggering service and repair costs.

PracticalMotoring
5 years ago
Reply to  Deevo

Thanks Deevo. $2300 for an odo? Sheesh. Is it just the lack of all-wheel drive that’ll push you to the CX-3?

Deevo
Deevo
5 years ago

I’ve found 4WD to be a very good safety feature, particularly when dealing with these sudden, savage rain storms we seem to be increasingly having. Feeling your vehicle hunkering down when the road fills with water is very reassuring. But I’m also utterly sick and tired of Honda’s relentless price gouging and woeful service.

PracticalMotoring
5 years ago
Reply to  Deevo

Agree totally with the AWD sentiment.

Walaby
5 years ago

I think Mr Collins fwd projection figures will prove to be wildly optimistic as per the last years. He and Honda need to take a leaf out of Mazda’s book and offer some choice in engines & transmissions. I am a very keen Honda owner (07 Civic Man sedan) and would like to update into another Honda so looked at the HRV last week and left the dealership underwelmed. Where is the new engine technology? Where is the choice in transmissions? Where is a diesel? Mr Collins and Honda’s track record at picking what customers preferences are there for all to see in the last 5 years sales Honda figures which are depressing. God help the poor Honda dealership. CX3 will again prove Mazda’s now vastly superior ability at offering what the Australian market wants. Very sadly Honda fail again.

PracticalMotoring
5 years ago
Reply to  Walaby

Thanks Wallaby, I think you might be right. To boost sales by almost 20% in a flat market is a big ask.

Harvey Wilson
Harvey Wilson
5 years ago

Isn’t the CR-V actually AWD? Surely Mr Collins would know that. Their “Real Time 4WD System” only sends power to the rear wheels as needed…sounds like AWD to me, plus there is no low/high range gearing.

PracticalMotoring
5 years ago
Reply to  Harvey Wilson

There’s a lot of confusion out there about what constitutes 4WD and what is AWD. In my opinion AWD is really best left for a permanent system like Subaru, and that’s because on-demand, or part-time systems generally only engage the rear axle for a brief moment before reverting back to front-drive. That said, some systems can be locked into AWD for use at low-speeds…
It is frustrating that people use AWD and 4WD interchangeably.

donk1
donk1
5 years ago

The Diesel version of the Honda HRV is now unlikely to be part of the local HRV lineup. Due to poor sales of the Civic DTIS & a manual only version of both, now means that it’s not a possibility any time soon. An auto diesel version is still some time away.

DIESELGATE
DIESELGATE
1 year ago
Reply to  donk1

NOBODY wants diesel, TheEnd

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober