Honda Australia is hoping 2017 will be the year the brand makes its comeback with the next-generation CR-V mid-sized SUV spearheading a renewed core line-up including the new Civic hatch and Civic Type R.
Honda' s customer and communications general manager Scott McGregor said the 2017 CR-V and Civic, together with the current HR-V small SUV would reignite interest in the brand.
“I think people might be a little apathetic toward Honda at the moment, and we’ll bring a renewed interest in the brand with those three models,” McGregor said.
The fifth generation CR-V made its debut in the North American market in October this year but won’t arrive in Australia until the third quarter of 2017.
Honda Director Stephen Collins has confirmed that when the new CR-V lands here it will be available in both two- and all-wheel drive, but don’t expect a diesel engine.
“We’ve got no plan for a diesel engine – full stop,” Collins said.
“We know the diesel segment is decreasing, and we think that with the engine line-up we'll have in the petrol we’ll be very competitive.”
I think people might be a little apathetic toward Honda at the moment, and we’ll bring a renewed interest ...
It is also understood the CR-V may come as both a five- and seven seater, although Honda is remaining tight lipped on the subject.
“We’ll launch all variants at the same time – we’ll have one big bang. All I want to say is that we will expand the appeal of the car and our goal really is to get CR-V back in among the top players in the mid-sized SUV segment,” he said.
Collins pointed to Mazda’s CX-5 as the standard Honda wants to aim for with its CR-V.
“I think clearly CX-5 is the benchmark and the volume they’re doing is consistently 1500 or more a month. So I think for us to get in among the top we’d want to be doing about a 1000 a month."
Collins said that the new CR-V together with the next-generation Civic hatch, which is due to land in Australia early in 2017, and the Type R, which will arrive later in 2017 will make up Honda’s core models and boost growth. The sedan version of the 10th generation Civic arrived in Australia earlier this year.
“This year we’ve stabilised. We’ve had two years of 40,000 [sales] and we’ve really tried to stabilise our business. The three core cars forus are HR-V. CR-V and Civic, and I think next year they will make up close to 70 per cent of our volume.”
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