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Honda Odyssey axed, Accord staying and new crossover joining HR-V and CR-V as Honda Australia doubles down on SUV focus following 2022 Civic launch

The Odyssey is a stalwart in the people-mover segment, but it will be no more early next year.

Honda Australia has “an onslaught on new product” due over the next 18 months, likely including an all-new crossover, as part of its renewed SUV focus, but one famous people-mover nameplate will be axed along the way.

Speaking to media last week, Honda Australia director Stephen Collins reiterated the company is targeting 20,000 annual sales in 2022 and beyond, but the mix of models that make those up will continue to evolve.

“Into the next few years, probably around 90 per cent of our business will be SUVs,” he said. “The SUV growth in the market just continues to be amazing, and our line-up over the next couple of years will reflect that.

“The vast majority of our overall volume over the next couple of years – as we refresh HR-V, as we refresh CR-V, (and) we’re looking at another SUV – will be primarily SUVs.”

Mr Collins added the third-generation HR-V small SUV will enter Australian showrooms around March or April with multiple grades, unlike the soon-to-be-launched 11th-generation Civic small hatchback, which will be released with just one.

Meanwhile, the sixth-generation CR-V mid-size SUV is yet to be revealed, but it is expected to be with optional hybrid power sometime next year, for an Australian launch in either late 2022 or early 2023.

What will be even more interesting, though, is the third SUV model Honda Australia is hoping to add to its line-up, with Mr Collins confirming “it will definitely be under CR-V”.

As reported, the mystery crossover in question is also expected to be positioned below the HR-V, likely as a light SUV that targets the Mazda CX-3, Toyota Yaris Cross and Kia Stonic. If recent trademarks are anything to go by, it could be known as ZR-V.

An artist's impression of what the sixth-generation CR-V could look like. (Image credit: Kolesa) An artist's impression of what the sixth-generation CR-V could look like. (Image credit: Kolesa)

Of Honda Australia’s remaining passenger cars, Mr Collins confirmed the Japanese-built fifth-generation Odyssey people mover will, indeed, be axed globally early next year following the closure of its Sayama plant in March, meaning Australia will lose its Kia Carnival archrival.

“It’s unfortunate,” he said. “Odyssey has been an awesome, awesome vehicle for us, in what’s a pretty small segment, but very consistent for us for many, many years.”

Asked if the unrelated US-built Odyssey could be offered in Australia instead, Mr Collins not only ruled it out, but refuted recent reports that Japan was set to actually build a sixth-generation model after parent company Honda changed its mind following dealer feedback.

The recently unveiled SUV RS concept is expected to preview the all-new crossover. The recently unveiled SUV RS concept is expected to preview the all-new crossover.

For reference, in the year to date (to the end of October), Honda Australia has sold 927 examples of the Odyssey for a segment share of 11.1 per cent. The Carnival, meanwhile, has moved 4954 units for a commanding 59.1 per cent slice.

Another relatively slow-selling passenger car for Honda Australia is the 10th-generation Accord mid-size sedan, but despite just 69 examples sold and a 0.5 per cent segment share (YTD), it will carry on for an 11th generation, according to Mr Collins.

“We’re going to be continuing with Accord,” he said. “There will be a full model change (for) Accord. It’s small volume, and it’s quite niche, but Accord will be our premium sedan.”