As the Honda CRV models have struggled in recent months to keep up the sales pace of their sibling HRV, Honda has already said that they will be considering making some changes. Recent rumours suggest that these changes may include the option of a third row of seating.
Many experts have been speculating for several months that the runaway success of the HRV would impact the sales of the Honda CRV. Price may be a factor, but the fact that the HRV may have stolen sales from the CRV is difficult to deny. While the Honda CRV models haven’t suffered the massive sales drops other models have had in the first half of the year, it is becoming obvious that the Japanese auto manufacturer needs to give the model a little more attention.
According to Leon Brannan, the head of the automotive division at Honda UK, this attention may come in the form of the 2017 next generation model being offered with seven seats. Brannan has said that the model will also feature a more attractive design and Honda could attempt to move the model upmarket. The new CRV is anticipated to debut in 2017 and these changes would mean that it would need to grow in size. This would be necessary to accommodate a third row of seating. Brannan revealed that the next generation model is set to feature interior changes borrowed from the HRV, with features and design details similar to the smaller model including the HRV’s touchscreen infotainment system.
The Official Stance:
Takahiro Hachigo has said during his inaugural speech as the new Honda CEO that the “core global Honda models” which includes the Accord and CRV are set to “undergo full model changes” in future plans to make them more aesthetically attractive and feature “more new technologies, innovative designs and higher competitiveness”.
Officially, it is unknown whether Honda Australia will follow the UK strategy to promote the next generation CRV upmarket and allow the HRV “more breathing room”. Presumably Honda Australia will make an announcement nearer to the local arrival of the new CRV in 2017. The Australian sales figures have shown that the CRV has suffered a drop of 13.9 percent year on year. This has equated to a drop from 5037 units sold in 2014 to 4337 in 2015. The CRV crossover is currently sat in fifth place within the medium SUV segment. This is well below the leading models; the Toyota RAV4, Nissan X-Trail and Mazda CX-5.
The HRV, on the other hand, which launched in February has already racked up 5191 sales and claimed the crown as the Honda top selling model. Despite the Jazz hatchback enjoying spectacular sales, the HRV has outsold this model by 52 units. These impressive sales mean that the HRV is in fourth place within the small SUV category, trailing the Nissan Qashqai by only 103 sales.
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