Speaking with CarAdvice in Japan ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda Australia director Stephen Collins denied that the brand had lost its way, though admitted things were changing for the better.
“I still think we’ve got a very strong brand perception and image, but of course you can’t rest on your laurels and I think that some of the cars you’ve seen today [Civic Type R] will help build that reputation," Collins said.
"I don’t think we’ve lost it, certainly we lost a number of sports car in our range but the NSX I think is the ultimate in really starting to enhance that reputation for sportiness.”
Collins denied that Mazda had overtaken Honda’s mantle as the premium Japanese manufacturer in Australia.
“I don’t think we’ve lost it to Mazda. [We are] still a premium brand and have a great reputation in the marketplace. We definitely need to be stronger in the sporty arena, not just for Honda Australia, but globally [and] that’s the way the company is looking to go.”
Honda Australia is actively seeking to bring the NSX supercar and Civic Type R hot-hatch to our market as early as possible.
Collins said the local division was in a better position to get the NSX than other countries given the car’s strong reputation in Australia.
“Everybody in the world is trying to climb over each other to get it, but because we have a strong history we are in a good position to get it.”
Honda Australia still has no firm date for the car’s arrival but early 2016 is the most likely at this stage. It plans to take as many of the hybrid supercars as it can get its hands on and is currently working out the distribution model.