Speaking to the automotive media in Sydney yesterday, Honda Australia’s Director and head of sales and marketing, Stephen Collins, said Honda is aiming to push sales to 45,000 units this year, a significant increase from 2012’s 35,812 sales.
Last year saw the company suffer the effects of the Thailand floods, which limited supply of numerous models in the first quarter. This year sees the all-new Honda CRV SUV gaining momentum with sales averaging around 1100 units per month and the Civic hatch around 800 units per month.
Honda forecasts that Civic will make up the majority of its sales this year, with around 15,823 units (sedan and hatch), CRV to follow with 14,345, Jazz at 8128, Accord and Accord Euro at 6,068 with the Odyssey, CR-Z and Insight to make up the remainder.
With the launch of the Honda Jazz Hybrid this week, Honda has further expanded its hybrid lineup, which already included the Civic, Insight and CR-Z. Nonetheless, the big news is the arrival of a diesel powerplant for the Civic and CRV.
Come April, Honda Australia will bring the European-built Honda Civic diesel, which will make use of a 1.6-litre turbodiesel, making it the first Honda to be sold in Australia with a diesel engine.
Around June-July, the facelifted Honda CR-Z will arrive, with expected improvements to the power output as well as equipement upgrades and a minor facelift. Despite winning a car of the year award, the CR-Z failed to deliver on its target of 600 units last year, managing just 370 sales. The effects of the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ twins as well as Hyundai’s Veloster stole some of its limelight.
Following the CR-Z upgrade, the All new Honda Accord will launch in the second half of this year and will comprise of a full four cylinder lineup as well as a V6 variant. Honda will continue to run its dual medium-car strategy with the wide body and the Accord Euro selling alongside each other for the forseable future.
The Honda CRV diesel will also make an appearance very early in 2014, with the new SUV finally set to take on its main competitors on level a playing field.
Honda Australia is optimistic that it can reach 45,000 sales and may in fact reach the 50,000 mark.