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Honda’s hybrid dealers take shape

Bright spark: Honda’s move to create hybrid-centric dealer centres points to more hybrid product, such as the recently released Accord Sport Hybrid.

Five Aussie Honda dealers to become hybrid-savvy as Accord, NSX come on stream

Honda logo17 Jun 2015

HONDA Australia has appointed five dealers around the country to become factory endorsed hybrid experts for the Japanese car-maker.

In an Australian initiative, the five dealerships –Scotts Honda in Sydney, Yarra Honda in Melbourne, Burswood Honda in Perth, Austral Honda in Brisbane and Nordic Honda Adelaide – will become the exclusive hybrid resellers for each state for the brand, as well as providing additional support to hybrid owners on a technical front.

Honda Australia director Stephen Collins said the dealers were not necessarily the strongest in the Honda network, but each had passed a set of criteria that the company had applied.

“Location's important,” he told GoAuto at the launch of the Accord Sport Hybrid in New South Wales this week. “We wanted them to be central CBD, essentially.

Not necessarily the strongest dealers we've got, but certainly good performers, and we think certainly committed to not just the Accord hybrid, but NSX.”

Mr Collins said that the outlay for the dealerships would be minimal from a refurbishment point of view, and that the hybrid cars would feature alongside regular models in the respective showrooms.

While the Accord is currently the only hybrid vehicle available in Honda’s line-up, the petrol-hybrid NSX supercar is due in 2016, while the next generation of the CR-V mid-size SUV – due in 2017 – is expected to offer a hybrid variant.

“The type of customer, particularly for NSX, is going to be pretty special,” said Mr Collins. “We need to be providing special service at the front end and the back end. Particularly for NSX, the technical requirements will be quite significant. Whether it be service advisors, technicians, even specialised sales people, they will get specialised training, and some of that will be in Japan.”

Mr Collins underlined that while similar arrangements existed in some dealerships in Japan – where hybrid sales are far higher – the new arrangement has originated from the local office.

“It's completely a local decision,” he affirmed. “Of course, in other markets, like Japan, hybrids are the majority of the volume. It's a very different situation in other markets. It’s a local decision and, we think, going forward, the right decision.”

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