The company’s local director Stephen Collins this week stated his aim to achieve 50,000 sales next year, around 20 per cent more than is expected this year.
Most interestingly, the company is predicting this double-digit growth exclusively on the back of sales to private buyers — a part of the market that’s weak at present — and within an overall industry expected to show only mild growth.
Pictured above: Forthcoming Honda Civic hatch
“Next year is a really important year for us,” said Honda Australia's Stephen Collins today.
“We’ve really consolidated to 40,000 units over the last two years; our plan remains to do 50,000 next year. It’s big growth in what will be a relatively flat market.”
Collins added most of this growth would come from the new Civic sedan and the forthcoming hatch version due early next year (to be sourced from Thailand for the first time, and priced at the same point as the sedan), plus the all-new CR-V due for a world reveal this year and an Australian launch in the second half of 2017.
Pictured above: Next-generation Honda CR-V undergoing testing, in camouflage
“I think it’s an ambitious number, but I think it’s also a realistic number,” Collins said.
“We’re gearing ourselves and our dealers for that. In the next 12 months you’ll see steady growth of the brand and in volume, and a steady rollout of new product. We’re confident in our plan.”
The plan is very feasible, considering the company wants 1500 combined Civic sales per month (early sales of the sedan indicate this is viable), which would incrementally add well over 10,000 extra units.
Pictured above: The popular Honda HR-V
Considering the arrival of the new CR-V in late-'17 should yield an inevitable spike in interest — especially considering the new one will be sportier and better to look at — and assuming the HR-V (Honda’s current top-seller, with 12.5 per cent market share in its segment) remains on track, the 50,000 mark should be assured.
Remember, also, that the all-new Civic Type-R will touch down late next year, and if orders are anything resembling those for the Ford Focus RS, it'll make a splash.
This would once again ensconce Honda Australia in the top 10, and likely push it back ahead of the likes of Subaru and Kia (and Mercedes-Benz) – brands it trails at present. It would also nudge the brand towards to 60,000 mark it achieved in 2007 at its peak. Honda Australia’s 107 dealers had better get ready…
What do you think? Is Honda equipped to get back among the top-10 players here?