HONDA Cars Philippines Inc. (HCPI) on Tuesday, April 20, announces its plan to capture at least 10 percent market share in the subcompact crossover sport vehicle segment as it launched the all-new Honda HR-V.

In an interview, Steve Gingco, chief operating officer of Honda Cars Makati Inc., said HCPI is confident of hitting such a target following Honda HR-V’s improved “safety technology, fuel efficiency and comfort” among its many other enhanced features. This is on top of the growing number of sedan owners now shifting to sports utility vehicle.

The car firm aims to sell 1,400 units annually or 120 units a month from 30 units, according to HCPI vice president Louie Soriano, in a virtual press conference held in Manila.

Since its reintroduction in 2015, Honda’s HR-V has sold more than 7,000 units and Gingco said Cebu contributes about 10 to 15 percent of Honda’s national sales.

“Cebu is our next big market outside Manila and ever since it has become an automotive car playground. It has become a trendsetter in the Visayas and Mindanao,” he said.

Two variants

On Tuesday, HCPI simultaneously launched the two models of Honda HR-V in Manila and in Cebu at the Honda Cars Cebu along A. Soriano Ave., North Reclamation Area, Cebu City.

The All-New Honda HR-V is available in two variants, namely, the S CVT and Turbo CVT with prices ranging from P1.300 million to P1.6 million. Customers can choose among four colors: ignite red metallic, platinum white pearl, premium opal white silver (new color; V Turbo CVT only), and meteoroid gray metallic.

The all-new model is available in its 37 dealerships nationwide.

Gingco said the all-new model is ideal for young professionals, startup families and even those who are into “sleek, premium and sporty” design vehicles.

He added that the brand’s safety technology, Honda Sensing, the brand’s own drive assist system has been an important feature of the all-new model and in fact has raised the bar when it comes to safety technology features in other brands.

“Honda capitalizes on safety because it wants to ensure protection to the driver and passengers,” he said.

Q1 industry sales

Amid the challenges faced by the automotive industry due to the pandemic and other external factors, like the Ukraine-Russia war, chip shortage, supply chain disruption, and soaring oil prices, Gingco said the industry remains optimistic of the upward sales performance to be driven by the strong inflow in overseas remittances and the expected “revenge spending” of consumers after the two years into the pandemic which would pump prime economic activities benefitting all industries not only in the automotive sector.

Election-related spending also bodes well for the industry and the need for mobilization of Filipinos on the back of the improved infrastructure across the country and traffic conditions.

Sales of passenger cars went down by 16.2 percent to 18,323 units in the first quarter of 2022 against 21,855 units sold in the same first quarter of 2021, according to the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc.-Truck Manufacturers Association (Campi-TMA) first-quarter sales performance data.

Meanwhile, sales of commercial passenger cars grew by 16.5 percent to 56,431 units from 48,457 units in the comparative first quarter of 2021.

The industry report pointed out that sales of light commercial vehicles or the sports utility vehicle category went up 25.3 percent to 45,629 units or 25.3 percent more than the 36,430 units sold in the first quarter of 2021.