Honda Australia is hoping to lift sales as high as 50,000 units this year, representing a nearly 40 percent improvement on its 35,812 sales in 2012.
Key to this ambition is Honda Australia’s return to full supply capability from Thailand, with sales last year affected by the 2011 Thai flood disaster.
The carmaker's official target for 2013 is 45,000 units, but local sales and marketing boss Stephen Collins believes a higher figure is within reach.
“We will be reviewing this target throughout the year, and will be pushing as we go to get that figure closer to 50,000,” Mr Collins said.
The CR-V and Civic Hatch are expected to be the key players in this sales boost, but Mr Collins told TMR this week that the refreshed 2013 CR-Z sports hybrid, due in July, will bring its own appeal.
The CR-Z scores a 10kW/16Nm boost to its 1.5 litre petrol-electric drivetrain, with the new totals of 101kW/190Nm dropping 0-100km/h (in UK guise at least) more than half a second to 9.1 seconds.
Also improving the CR-Z’s sporting credentials will be a new S+ button, delivering a KERS-like ten second acceleration boost when the battery contains more than 50 percent charge.
Mr Collins also confirmed that the all-new Accord sedan would launch locally mid-year, and will continue to be sold alongside the existing Euro model for the foreseeable future.
Honda is keeping mum on specific details for now, but confirmed that the new Accord will continue to be available with both four and six-cylinder drivetrains.
Also confirmed this week was the addition of a turbodiesel variant to the local CR-V lineup in early 2014, more than a year after the arrival of the 2013 model in 2.0 litre and 2.4 litre petrol guises.
This will be the first time a diesel drivetrain has been offered on the midsized SUV in Australia, finally offering buyers a Honda-badged alternative to similar options in the segment.
The 2.2 litre N22B Honda turbodiesel is already available in European markets, and produces 110kW and 350Nm from 2000rpm, and tied to the all-wheel drivetrain only.
In Europe, this engine is available with six-speed manual or five speed automatic options, but Honda is yet to confirm the new model’s local spec.
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