Honda makes a U-turn to catch U.S. truck, SUV pattern, Auto Information, Automobilnews
DETROIT: Honda Motor Co is redesigning the appears and the advertising and marketing for its sport utility automobiles and vehicles to attraction to U.S. shoppers who’re paying premiums for rival automakers’ automobiles that supply a extra rugged, off-road journey picture.For the reason that Seventies, Honda has been synonymous in the US with understated, well-engineered and extremely environment friendly vehicles such because the Honda Civic and Accord. Honda’s SUVs, minivans and its Ridgeline pickup truck are constructed on the smooth-handling chassis of these sedans.
However over the previous 5 years, U.S. shoppers have shifted towards bigger automobiles with all-wheel drive, beefed-up suspensions, huge grilles and physique armor designed for plowing over desert paths and mountain trails – although most such automobiles by no means depart pavement.
Ford Motor Co’s new Bronco sport utility and its F-150 Raptor mannequin are chasing this pattern. Fiat Chrysler Cars NV is increasing its Jeep model to reap extra revenue from a section it dominates.Greater than 70% of automobiles offered in the US final yr have been midsize vehicles and SUVs, whereas 53% of Hondas offered match these classes. Honda doesn’t promote a big pickup that competes with the Ford F-150, and is due to this fact shut out of one of many U.S. market’s most worthwhile segments.
“We’re not on pattern with the remainder of the business,” Jay Joseph, Honda’s U.S. car advertising and marketing vp, stated throughout a convention name.
Honda on Thursday unveiled a brand new search for its midsize Ridgeline pickup, giving the automobile a much bigger grille and different off-road cues. A brand new promoting marketing campaign launching on Friday exhibits the Ridgeline hauling grime bikes and charging down unpaved roads within the Rocky Mountains. Former wrestler John Cena provides the adverts a “powerful man” voice.
Honda is hoping the brand new method will increase Ridgeline gross sales to 50,000 vehicles a yr from about 33,000 in 2019, Joseph stated.
The automaker has forecast a 68% decline in international working revenue for the present fiscal yr that ends March 31, primarily because of the gross sales misplaced to the pandemic.
Honda’s Passport midsized SUV can be one of many subsequent fashions to get the off-road makeover, Joseph stated. The five-seat Passport is outsold almost seven to at least one in the US by the Jeep Grand Cherokee, in response to gross sales knowledge compiled by Automotive Information.