The 4th day of January found American Honda Motor Company proclaiming a record sales year. For those of us in the automotive news game, not much of a surprise. In-fact, Honda called it early, a week before the ringing in of the New Year, with well earned proclamations of success, while claiming 4 top segment sales leaders.
Accord, Civic, CR-V and Odyssey claimed the #1 sales position in their respective segments beating all domestic and import comers -- 1.6 million trucks and light trucks wearing the big “H” or Acura brand were sold to U.S. consumers in 2016 -- big things!
Looking to the numbers, HR-V and Fit sales top the ‘gain’ column
2 year ago next month I landed in Miami Beach, Florida with automotive journalist from across the U.S., Canada and Mexico to experience Honda’s first and only Fit platformed coupe-like 5 door compact crossover. At that time it was boldly proclaimed to be the most unique, fuel efficient and practical future-forward compact crossover available to the market at that time -- it still is. Read my Miami HR-V meet and greet here.
Here’s the thing: With the exiting of the 9th generation Civic arrived a much larger, turbocharged, near midsize Civic sedan, a best seller, yes, but large by historical Honda standards. Honda marketing believed that a subcompact crossover the size of Fit would not only fill a void long vacated by the smaller Honda hatchbacks of last century, but afford those consumers wishing for greater 5-door utility and an all-wheel-drive option in a vehicle smaller than CR-V the opportunity to participate in the the crossover craze -- in rolled HR-V.
In the beginning supply was not meeting dealership demand
In short, while the automotive press and consumers appreciated HR-V, supply could not keep up with demand. So initially sales laid flat. In 2016 Honda shifted Fit production back to Japan while increasing HR-V production volume in Mexico. This resulted in greater supply of both HR-V and Fit, resulting in measurable sales increases for both HR-V and Fit in 2016.
The 2016 HR-V subcompact crossover surpassed Honda’s initial market goal of 75,000 units per year with a year over year increase of 95.5%, with 82,041 units sold in 2016.
Honda Fit sales surprised the industry experts with a 7.4% increase for the year on 56,630 units sold. At the end of the day what sells Fit and HR-V is great standard feature value, decent quality, exceptional utility, and affordable fun to drive, sensible, do everything and anything utility. How much Honda can one buy for under $20,000?.