Honda Australia plans to utilise the strong imagery and credibility of the new NSX supercar to reinforce its credentials as a car company capable of muscling it with the best.
With global production capacity of the Honda NSX limited to just eight per day, wait lists for the US market have already hit two years, while Europe sits at 12 months. Australia, though, appears to have secured a few build slots already that should see initial customer cars arriving within six months of orders.
Even so, Honda Australia doesn’t believe there will be double-digit deliveries in the first 12 months, leading the brand to leverage the model’s credentials via other means rather than simply relying on it being seen on the road.
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Honda Australia’s general manager of customer and communications, Scott McGregor, told CarAdvice at this week’s international NSX drive in Portugal that deliveries will be very limited – but the Japanese brand will seek to strongly position its halo product through advertising and the media.
“There is no doubt there will be a limited number of vehicles on the road, but I think the power of media at the moment, the amount of great content that we will be able to produce…” McGregor told CarAdvice.
According to McGregor, Honda will use its supercar in a similar manner to segment rival Audi.
“As you can see with the way Audi has been able to launch the R8, they’ve been using imagery to evoke that passion for the brand and what they are doing in that space,” he said.
Although no confirmation of initial sales numbers for Australia, the local operation expects to secure numerous cars for delivery early next year.
“We’ve got some numbers that we are working with, there is no cap, per se. It’s balanced by the number of build slots we can secure given the wait list… so it is a little bit predicated by what is possible. But, I think we have some confidence that we will be having more expression of interest than we have cars available. Like when Lexus did the LFA for example,” McGregor said.
But while Honda will no doubt promote the NSX heavily for its brand-building strategy, it is under no illusion that its image will change overnight.
“I don’t think from a brand perspective it’s a short term fix. It’s not about running an ad campaign and all of a sudden everyone feels amazing about you. It’s a process,” McGregor said.
“Once we step out of these phases, end of next year (which will also see the new Civic Type R here), the vast majority of people have been exposed to a different kind of Honda.”
Buyers can now place their order via one of the five specially selected NSX dealers nationally, with each order handled only by the dealer principle to guarantee the best customer experience.
McGregor confirmed that Honda Australia will not have any NSX models sitting in dealerships and that all cars will be built to order only.