The Japanese company had two difficult years in 2011 and 2012 (
30,107 and 35,812 sales respectively) thanks to natural disasters in Japan and Thailand as well as the high value of the Yen.
Nonetheless, with a new CEO and a consistent supply of new product, the once mighty Honda aims to return to its former glory, which peaked in 2007 with around 60,000 sales.
Speaking with the media at the launch of the all-new Honda Accord in Auckland, Honda Australia director and general manager of sales and marketing Stephen Collins noted that Honda had so far in 2013 increased its sales 65 per cent compared with 2012.
“Since last year we are now consistently selling 4000 units per month. This momentum I expect will continue into the current quarter,” Collins said.
Honda Australia plans to sell 45,000 vehicles this year, helped by the over-achieving Honda CR-V (averaging 1200 units per month), which has become the best-selling petrol SUV in its segment, and the updated Civic. Those predicted figures would put Honda at a 4.1 per cent market share in a 1.1 million-unit market.
Collins however insisted that Honda's recent bounce back was not a reason to become content.
“In no way we are being complacent, [Australia is] still a very, very strong market place. Our challenge is to keep improving and keep providing our customers with great products and value for money.”
Honda Australia's new
managing director and CEO, Noriyuki Takahura, admitted that Australia was one of the most competitive car markets in the world, but that Honda was finally seeing growth locally and globally.
“After challenges [in the] last few years, we are seeing growth around the world. Globally by 2016 our aim is to sell six million cars. This is 50 per cent more than 2012 and shows the confidence we have in our new models,” Takahura said.
Honda Australia plans to double sales from a low base of 30,000 in 2011 to 60,000 by 2015. Along the way the company’s sales goals are: 45,000 in 2013; 50,000 in 2014; 60,000 in 2015.
Honda Australia will expand its diesel line-up to include the CR-V (which will be available with an automatic transmission) later this year, with potential for other diesel models to follow.