New Honda HR-V will mirror Jazz sales strategy

New Honda HR-V will mirror Jazz sales strategy

Honda New Zealand says it will use the same strategy of offering multiple variants of the new HR-V, which proved extremely successful with the launch of the Jazz light hatchback.

There will be six HR-V variants available from Honda dealership when the car officially goes on sale on August 29. The two main models are the 1.8 S, and the 1.8 Sport, with sub models X and L, as well as Sport X and the Sport Plus.

The company is running at 120% ahead of 2014 sales according to Honda New Zealand product planning manager Peter Ashley, and the arrival of the HR-V is perfectly timed to take advantage of the growth in small SUV and crossovers.

It’s shorter, narrower, and lower than the CR-V but the new HR-V mirrors its styling. It also has a few design cues from the Euro Civic such as the artfully hidden rear door handles that accentuate its coupe-like styling.

Honda New Zealand marketing manager Nadine Bell says some original CR-V owners feel the current model is too large but feels the new HR-V will be a better fit, and it may cannibalise some Jazz and CR-V sales.

Bell says the company wants to capture the movement from medium and small cars, and medium SUV, into small crossovers. She cites the Mazda CX-3 as being the prime competitor for HR-V.

“We think we will pull customers from many segments, and we may likely cannablise some of our sales in Jazz and CR-V,” she says.

The HR-V S and the HR-V Sport are both front-wheel-drive crossovers, powered by a 1.8-litre engine coupled to a CVT automatic transmission.

It sits on a lengthened version of the Jazz platform and offers almost as much cabin room as the CR-V.

The specification is generous and both models have the magic seat system, daytime running lights, climate control, Honda display audio system, and electric park brake to name but a few of the features.

The Sport model offers larger alloy wheels, a lane watch camera, panoramic glass sunroof, leather upholstery, roof rails, LED daytime running lights, front fog lamps, and parking sensors.

Bell says the distributor wants to appeal to a wide range of customers and demographics hence there are six variants on offer.

She is confident that Honda New Zealand will sell the 700 vehicles the factory has allocated it by the end of the March 2016 Financial year.

“We think that a professional sales person will be able to qualify a person when they walk into the dealership and show them the right HR-V model for their needs and personality,” says Bell

“We followed the Jazz strategy that has worked very well for us by providing many variants, which gives people the ability to choose the look and feel to their vehicle,” she says.

“Personalisation of a vehicle has become very important to our customers,” she says.

Bell says the figure of 700 units is conservative but global demand will restrain supply from the factory.

She is hopeful that a good customer response to HR-V could open up the supply pipeline a little more, and she confirmed that Honda’s no-discount strategy remains in place.

“Price Promise stands for consistency and fairness to all buyers. We would be uncomfortable with dealers offering a discount on one car or five,” says Bell.

The HR-V sub-models are created here at the Honda distribution centre in Nelson.

The HR-V line up starts at $32,900 for the 1.8-litre S model, and the 1.8-litre Sport retails from $39,900.

The HR-V X adds a front skid plate, side running boards, and a rear skid plate to an S-model for a retail price of $35,900.

The HR-V Sport X gets the same additions as the HR-V X and it retails from $41,200.

The HR-V L is the second S Sub model, and it receives premium leather seats, chrome aero grille, chrome lower door garnish, stainless steel door sill garnish, and cargo step protector from $ 35,900.

The HR-V Sport Plus wears a front and rear aero bumper, satin silver aero-style side skirts, 18 inch Modulo Sport Plus alloy wheels and 225/45R18 tyres.

Bell says it is quite likely that a Mugen derivative of the HR-V will also become available in future months.

2016 Honda HR-V recommended retail prices:

  • 1.8 S $32,900
  • 1.8 X $34,200
  • 1.8 L $35,900
  • 1.8 Sport $39,900
  • 1.8 Sport X $41,200
  • 1.8 Sport Plus $43,900
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