The Honda HR-V has swiftly become the brand’s top-selling model in 2015, overtaking the Jazz light hatch and its CR-V big brother despite only launching in mid-February.
According to May’s VFACTS industry sales figures, Honda registered 910 HR-V’s for the month, compared to 799 units for the Jazz (up a remarkable 172.6 per cent in its own right) and 518 units for the CR-V, down 27.9 per cent.
The HR-V’s annual total is now 3891 units, ahead of the Jazz on 3700 (up 103.9 per cent) and CR-V on 3235 units, down 15.7 per cent. The HR-V’s figures are also more than double the combined total for the Civic hatch and sedan, which has notched up 1816 registrations (down 51.7 per cent).
When Honda launched the HR-V on February 12, local director Stephen Collins said the company would target an average monthly sales tally of around 800 units. This has so far proved cautious, given it sold 910 in May, 859 in April, 1081 in March, and 825 in February (it also plated 216 before launch in January).
The incredibly strong start for the Thai-made HR-V — which comes despite whispers of long wait times for certain variants — and the equally good start for the Jazz has taken Honda’s annual total to 15,291 units, up 24.0 per cent.
The performance of the Jazz and HR-V — as well as the City (1037 this year, up 57.1 per cent) — offsets the decline in the CR-V and Civic, plus the Accord (down 48.1 per cent to 410) and the axed Accord Euro (97, down 76.2 per cent). The Odyssey (1102, up 7.1 per cent) has been about stable.
Nevertheless, no other top-ten brand in Australia is growing faster in percentage terms than Honda, with the next biggest mover being eight-placed Volkswagen, which is up 13.4 per cent to 24,917 units. It’s a welcome comeback for a brand that has declined consistently in recent years due to supply constraints stemming from natural disasters, currency flows affecting pricing, and a lack of model options.
As we know, Collins has been effusive about returning the brand to 60,000 annual sales by 2018, a figure it achieved in 2007. At this rate, it appears a mark of almost 40,000 units in 2015 is achievable.
On a wider note, the HR-V has also raced to the pointy end of the booming small SUV segment, one of the fastest-growing in the industry, given it’s up 25.6 per cent this year. The HR-V’s annual total of 3891 sits behind only the soon-to-be-replaced Hyundai ix35 (7620), Mitsubishi ASX (4626) and Nissan Qashqai (4345).
The HR-V's market share is already about 10.0 per cent.
Breathing down the HR-V’s neck is the Mazda CX-3, which launched in March but has already amassed 3296 registrations this year. It outsold the HR-V, ASX and Qashqai to finish May on 1035 units.