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Honda slashes small, light car prices

City saver: Honda’s struggling City light car now starts from $18,990.

Honda cuts $2000 from key Civic models and drops $500 across City range

5 Aug 2010

HONDA has dropped prices across its small and light sedan line-ups in attempt to increase sales, with up to $2000 slashed from its mainstream Civic range and a clean $500 cut across the City light-car series.

VFACTS figures released this week show that Honda is struggling to hits its City sales target of more than 300 sales a month, or 4000 a year, with the Jazz-based four-door down 23.2 per cent year to date.

In comparison, the light-car segment is up 18 per cent so far this year and should grow further with a host of new entrants, including the recently launched all-new Hyundai i20, the redesigned Volkswagen Polo and facelifted Mazda2, and, in the coming months, a full new Holden Barina range and the first passenger cars from Chinese brands Chery, Great Wall and Geely.

The 200 City sales Honda managed last month is right on its average for the year, while the Jazz recorded a relatively strong 725 sales in July – up 60 per cent on the corresponding month last year – but it, too, is not recovering as strongly from the economic downturn as its key rivals. The Jazz is up just 5.2 per cent overall YTD.

15 center imageLeft: Honda Civic VTi-L sedan.

For the Thai-built City, the manufacturer’s list price (not including statutory or dealer delivery charges) has now fallen to below $19,000, with the entry-level VTi starting at $18,990 – $1500 less than its launch price in February 2009.

The premium VTi-L variant is now priced from $21,490, while across the range automatic transmissions adds $2300 and metallic paint requires a further $395.

The Civic range is faring better this year, with sales (which include the UK-sourced Si and Type R hatchbacks and the Japanese-built Hybrid) up 12.6 per cent YTD, to 6695 units, although this is well behind big-volume nameplates such as the Mazda3, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai i30, Holden Cruze and Mitsubishi Lancer.

The baseline Civic VTi has fallen $500 to now start from $22,490, while the VTi-L and Sport have each received a $2000 cut to now start from $24,690 and $29,990 respectively. Again, auto adds $2300, while metallic paint adds $475.

The Civic Si remains priced from $37,490, Type R from $39,990 and Hybrid from $34,490.

Honda Australia general manager of sales and marketing, Stephen Collins, said: “The competitiveness in both the light and small car segments has intensified and the repositioning of both City and Civic pricing shows our determination to increase our market share in these vital segments.”

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