Honda Australia has admitted the Civic small automobile is now not the jewel in its crown because it as soon as was, however stays devoted to the nameplate regardless of shifting its focus in the direction of extra fashionable SUVs.

Chatting with CarsGuide, Honda Australia boss Stephen Collins stated the long-running Civic now takes a backseat to the HR-V and CR-V – and sure incoming ZR-V – high-riders.

“Civic now performs a special function,” he stated.

“Civic for us within the earlier era was a quantity recreation – sedan, hatch, base grade, mid-grade, high grade, each grade – however now, I assume given our technique in SUVs, it performs a special function.

“We’re nonetheless extraordinarily dedicated to the Civic identify; it’s obtained such a heritage.”

Learn extra concerning the Honda Civic

Now in its eleventh iteration, the newest Civic arrived in Australian showrooms late final 12 months, supplied in a single, highly-specified VTi-LX grade priced at $47,200 driveaway.

Thus far this 12 months, Honda has managed to promote simply 263 new Civics after 4 months of buying and selling, nicely off the tempo of the segment-leading Hyundai i30 (7924), Toyota Corolla (7239) and Mazda3 (4641).

For reference, the Civic was averaging round 600 gross sales a month only a few years in the past in 2020, albeit with a extra expansive line-up and a special focus.

Again then, previous to Honda’s shift to an company gross sales mannequin, the Civic was in its Tenth-generation part and was accessible in hatch and sedan form, the latter of which is now discontinued in Australia resulting from slowing curiosity.

“The small sedan market is following the very same development, sadly, as massive sedans and its declining at a speedy fee,” Mr Collins stated.

“I keep in mind after we launched the previous-generation sedan, we have been doing a thousand a month. If we stored our similar share now, we’d be doing lower than 100 a month.”

Regardless of the shrinking Civic line-up and gross sales numbers, Mr Collins stated he nonetheless sees the small-car section taking part in an necessary function going ahead.

“I feel there may be [a future for small cars in Australia], and I might hope so,” he stated.

“Small automobiles are now not actually small automobiles; small automobiles are what medium and a few massive automobiles was once.

“On the finish of the day, it’s the purchasers who decide whether or not these automobiles are going to proceed or not, and I might hope they do as a result of I like them, I like small hatches.”

(Image credit: Thanos Pappas) (Picture credit score: Thanos Pappas)

And to that finish, Honda will develop its Civic line-up within the close to future, with the hybrid model resulting from land earlier than 12 months’s finish, and the Kind R scorching hatch seemingly in 2023.

The Civic hybrid, often known as the e:HEV, produces 135kW/315Nm from a 2.0-litre petrol engine and dual-electric motor set-up, and can compete immediately in opposition to the hot-selling Toyota Corolla Hybrid.

Nevertheless, whereas the Civic hybrid will compete in know-how, it should seemingly put on a better pricetag than its Toyota rival, which begins from $27,395 earlier than on-road prices.

In the meantime, the new-generation Civic Kind R will probably be revealed mid-year, when Australian timing can even be locked in.

Although the automobile has been teased, little or no data has been confirmed for the Honda’s newest scorching hatch.

Rumours level to the model reusing the outgoing fashions 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine and front-drive set-up, with outputs not less than prone to match its predecessor’s 228kW/400Nm figures.

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