Honda will not introduce any cars the size of the Honda E for the foreseeable future, as it shifts focus to more popular SUV models.
The firm’s seven-strong line-up currently features four SUVs – the Honda CR-V, the smaller Honda ZR-V, Honda HR-V and the new electric e:Ny1, launched last week as the car maker’s first electric SUV in Europe.
Honda’s decision comes despite the success of its smaller hybrid hatchbacks – the Civic and the Jazz. Speaking at the e:Ny1’s launch event in Norway, Rebecca Adamson, head of cars for Honda UK, confirmed the brand would follow the demands of the market.
“There won’t be more cars the size of the Honda E. I can say that confidently,” Adamson told Autocar. “The market demand in the UK is the SUV sector, so that’s why the focus is there. It’s a market-led product line-up. As long as that’s where the market is, we will continue to be SUV driven.”
Honda is pinning its hopes on the new e:Ny1 electric SUV, which joins the firm’s EV line-up alongside the smaller Honda E. The brand expects it to form 22% of its sales in the UK by the end of 2024, equivalent to around 7500 cars.
Adamson believes Honda is in a healthy position thanks to the freshness of its line-up. The oldest car in Honda's range was launched three years ago.
Adamson said: “We’ve arguably had a limited range, with just four cars in the line-up. Now we’re up to seven or eight if you slip the [Honda Civic] Type R and E in.
“We now have a relatively comprehensive range but it’s still simple. There’s not a massive number of derivatives. And from a retailer perspective, there’s nothing they get excited about more than a new car launch. It’s always good to have something new to talk about and go to customers with.”
The order books for the e:Ny1 will open later this year, before the first cars are delivered to customers in January 2024. The SUV offers 256 miles of range from a 68.8kWh battery, paired to an electric motor that produces 201bhp and 229lb ft of torque.