Honda has this week revealed its plan for the foreseeable future, with the goal to introduce 30 electric vehicles by 2030 with three electrified models coming next year.
It’s a bold plan, especially if you look at its UK car sales, which have been on a downward trend over the past decade or so.
Speaking to Car Dealer, Honda UK managing director Jean-Marc Streng insisted this was not a problem, saying: ‘From the outside our volume drop looks a bit crazy, but actually we are fine with that.
‘Yes, if we sold 10,000 more cars it would be better, but we believe that around 30,000 cars we’ve found our sweet spot in terms of profitability, customer base, and sustainability for the future.’
When asked how the pandemic had changed the way Honda operates in the UK, Streng added: ‘We’re now in more regular contact with dealers because we meet virtually, and we’ve set up new ways for them to learn about the products.
‘What hasn’t changed is the desire to drive a car and make that last decision on-site rather than at home.
‘What we’ve arguably seen is a quick shift on repeat buyers. If you’re buying your fourth, fifth, sixth Jazz, you could argue you can do it fully online unless something has changed significantly between models.
‘So for loyal customers there becomes a time where I think online sales will pick up.’
Rebecca Adamson, head of automobiles at Honda UK, noted: ‘We’re seeing a combination, where people like to do as much as they can online, but very few want to do it all online.
‘As long as the ownership model stays as it is, it’s a high ticket item, they still like seeing it and touching it and choosing the colour.
‘Our industry probably changed more in the first six months of Covid than who knows how long. But what became really apparent was that customers really appreciate the opportunity to see the car and have someone explain the technology to them. That really adds value.’