The new Honda Civic sedan has achieved the company’s aim of reasserting it among the top small car brands since the launch in July, while the imminent hatch and Type R are expected to build on this return to form into 2017.
Over the second half of this year, Honda claims the three-box Civic has achieved a running average of almost 23 per cent private small sedan market share against rivals such as the Mazda 3, Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla.
This sales total of 4500 units for the new Civic to date puts it at number two in class if you exclude fleet sales, which Honda doesn’t engage in. Honda Australia’s overall private market share is around seventh in-market overall, well ahead of its outright position.
In good news for fans, the range will get a significant boost from early 2017 with the launch of the Civic hatch, now made in Thailand to be price-equivalent to rivals. Given small hatches usually outsell sedans in Australia, it should propel Honda up the sales charts.
The Civic hatch will feature the same model line-up as the sedan — VTi, VTi-S, VTi-L, RS and the range topping VTi-LX, the latter two of which are performing well in the sedan body.
“We just haven't been competitive in small hatches for a long, long time,” Honda Australia director Stephen Collins told us this week, so the company is planning to yield strong growth. Most hatch buyers don’t consider sedans, so incremental sales are expected.
“You’ve got to be selling 1500 [small cars] or more a month and I think that’s where we want to be,” Collins said, talking about combined hatch and sedan sales.
This would make the Civic Honda’s top-selling car ahead of the HR-V and CR-V, and likely put it fifth in-segment behind the Corolla, Mazda 3, Hyundai i30/Elantra and Volkswagen Golf/Jetta — though the new Holden Astra/Cruze range may step up.
Before year’s end, the hyper new Civic Type R will finally arrive to give the Ford Focus RS and Volkswagen Golf R some Japanese competition. As we reported recently, this hot hatch is already being testing in disguise on Australian roads.
Details of the new Type R’s powertrain are unconfirmed at this stage, though it’s expected the new car will feature a version of the current model’s 231kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo driving the front wheels, with a manual gearbox as standard.
Civic fans, your favourite car is returning to form.
The new Civic hatch and the Type-R turbo derivative will, alongside the new CR-V medium SUV here in Q3, boost Honda Australia’s sales from 40,000 this year to a targeted 48,000 next year — if all goes to the corporate plan.