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Honda Australia studying sub-HR-V crossover
New small-sized crossover expected to open Honda’s SUV range in the near future
13 Oct 2017
By TUNG NGUYEN
HONDA Australia could bolster its burgeoning SUV line-up with a new small-sized crossover to sit below the HR-V and CR-V to act as an entry-level high-rider and capitalise on booming customer demand in the hot segment.
Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the new Civic Type R, Honda Australia managing director and CEO Hiroyuki Shimizu confirmed a new small SUV was on the cards for the local market.
“Yes, we are investigating at the moment, this is true,” he said. “To compete here, in this market, the Australian market, we have to be there.
“Everyone tells me about the big, big one (SUV), but this is not possible at the moment. There is some space in the line-up, maybe it becomes more smaller, but you will have to see.”
While the HR-V is classified as a small SUV, its physical dimensions of 4294mm long, 1772mm wide and 1605mm high put it in the larger end of the segment, leaving room for a smaller crossover in Honda Australia’s line-up.
A light SUV, possibly the Honda WR-V that measures 4000mm long, 1740mm wide and 1600mm wide and offered in emerging markets such as South American and India, could arrive to take on the likes of the Suzuki Ignis and give the H-badged brand a boost in sales.
Honda Australia director Stephen Collins said he recognised the growth opportunity in introducing a small SUV model to Australia’s crossover-hungry market.
“We’re just investigating that at the moment, we think that a smaller SUV underneath HR-V could be an opportunity,” he said.
“We haven’t got anything to plug in there yet, but we think over the next few years that could be the next growth segment and we’re working on what options could become available to us as well.”
Mr Collins revealed the new-to-Australia model would likely be a global model as the proliferation of SUVs spreads worldwide.
“So I think there’s a lot of discussions in a lot of markets about over the next three-to-five years is it smaller, is it bigger, what is it, so a lot of those discussions are happening in high-end product meetings at the moment,” he said.
“There’s some discussions about it because I think it’s a trend not just in Australia – the SUV trend is global.”
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