Honda Australia is keen on seeing a healthy 25 percent growth in overall sales in 2016, propped up by the high expenctations set on the introduction of the new Civic. They hope to reach 50,000 units sold this year.
Stephen Collins, director of Honda Australia, said: “This year we are planning to sell 40,000 cars, the same volume we did in 2015. For us it is a year of volume consolidation. I think there is going to be two distinct halves. The first half of the year, we basically have no old Civics left.
“We are selling strongly with HR-V. We are currently selling about 1000 HR-Vs a month, our private market share in that market is about 14 per cent, (and) we are very happy with HR-V. That car was a strong signal of us getting our mojo back. Civic is the next phase of that recovery.
“We expect that next year we will grow our volume to 50,000 units and we expect much off that will be on the back of Civic.”
Set to launch in June, early preview models of the 10th generation Civic are already starting to populate showrooms to generate interest in potential customers and encourage pre-sale bookings.
Honda has always been a strong seller in Australia, not to mention globally. But the local sales trends are a microcosm of the worldwide automotive landscape, with the emergence of new and competitive offerings from European, Korean and Japanese marques. These factors have persistently shaved off crucial sales away from Honda.
The launch of the HR-V crossover in 2015 was a significant booster for Honda Australia, and yes the numbers are still strong even after last year’s marketing blitz and general hype have subsided. But 2016 will be the year of the Civic, they hope, and will build upon the momentum gained from the HR-V.
Mr Collins added: “What we are not going to do is set pie-in-the-sky, unrealistic sales numbers. I think that we still want to keep growing but keep growing sustainably. What I see coming through is the product to do that.”
There has been a lot of positive attention on the tenth-generation Civic, which implements the “One Civic” strategy, ditching the parallel development of different cars that carry the same name for different parts of the world.
It brings with it, in addition to a comparatively more aggressive exterior, is Honda’s newest generation of turbocharged engines and CVT gearboxes, upgrades technology and connectivity inside, and a spritelier set of dynamics even at the base variant.