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AIMS: Honda working to ‘claw back’ sales

Price adjustment: The refreshed Honda Accord Euro - now on sale - has taken a cut of $1150 across the range.

Broad model price cuts pay dividends for Honda as sales climb 55 per cent in June

Honda logo4 Jul 2011

BUOYED by more than 4100 new-vehicle sales in June – up from 2300 in May – Honda Australia senior director Lindsay Smalley is confident the Japanese brand can recover from its sales downturn this year, which to the end of May had reached 27.6 per cent.

“It’ll be a tough year for us, without a doubt,” he said. “However, we had a huge lift in June – we popped up to 4162 (units) – and that involved nothing ‘artificial’, it wasn’t pushed, it’s an almost instant reaction to our price realignment.”

Honda recently slashed prices on a number of key models, including Jazz, CR-V, Odyssey and wide-bodied Accord, following a major realignment with its European-sourced Civic hatch, which now starts from $29,990.

Its MY12 Accord Euro now on sale has also taken a cut of $1150 across the range.

Mr Smalley said he expected the company “to claw it back” sales-wise to a downturn of less than 20 per cent, but added that “there is going to be some limitations to stock” until August or September when supplies return to normal after production delays stemming from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

 center imageLeft: Honda Australia senior director Lindsay Smalley.

“That’ll start to certainly free up from September onwards. We’ll jump on the gas then,” he said.

According to Mr Smalley, Honda is working hard to return to annual sales of 50,000 to 60,000, but is hamstrung by the fact that much of its current model program involves “midlife-type motoring” with general upgrades rather than fully redesigned vehicles.

“We’ve got seven models in our line-up and they’ll start to come through with full model cycle change from next year onwards,” he said, pointing to the redesigned Civic small car and CR-V compact SUV that are both due in Australia next year.

The new-generation CR-V will also introduce a two-wheel-drive version, which should boost sales.

Significantly, Mr Smalley also ruled out the Honda Beat compact sportscar and the Jazz-based Freed mini-MPV for Australia – two models which offer further sales potential but are not considered by Honda to be suitable for this market.

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