Is the end near for Honda in Europe?

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Post by iHansz » Sat Apr 29, 2023 1:16 pm

Last Wednesday, 26 April, Honda held its 2023 Business Briefing. See this ... ing-electr page. It reflects on the electric future plans for the near future. Honda is planning to launch 30 EV models globally(?) by 2030 with production volume of more than 2 million units annually. But they only speak about Japan, Asia and US. There is no mention of models in Europe. Is the end near for Honda in Europe?

Understand that a normal hybrid Civic, for example, is already not even deliverable (for now?). The delivery time has gone up to more than a year and a half. They only deliver the HR-V and Jazz from stock, not to mention the e. You won't make it with these models, unfortunately. Where are the new ZR-V (only as hybrid) and the electric HR-V? The market will and is be flooded with Chinese electric models this year (and certainly next year) and they are becoming more and more affordable.

The cheapest Tesla, by now, (in the Netherlands) is thousands of euros cheaper than the e. Consequently, only two e's were sold this year (in the Netherlands). Had actually expected, though, that there would be a Honda e 2.0 by now. An improved version with new software, like Android Automotive, more efficient engine, and a better battery (read longer range). And, some 15000 euros should be taken off the price, then the e could be competitive. The development costs have been there anyway. Right?

If Honda does come out with new electric models for us, which I very much doubt, then it's done for Honda in Europe. They are not going to make it with the (Sony) Afeela either, as it will be far too expensive, anyway it has not yet been confirmed whether it will come to Europe. Anyway they should not think, we have a good reputation so potential customers will wait. The don't.

I will be very sad if Honda will disappear from the European market. :cry:
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Post by FDAD » Sat Apr 29, 2023 3:04 pm

The truth is... what is the significance of Honda in the overall market? What do the people lose if Honda gives up Europe?
Honda doesn't seem to care either so as a non Honda fanboy I cant justify it being a great loss.
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Post by Verone » Sat Apr 29, 2023 5:30 pm

I doubt they'll disappear completely from the European market, but since the European market (not including the UK of course given the slow pickup of charging infrastructure) is moving heavily toward PHEV and BEV powertrains because of new legislation that's coming in over the next 6-8 years, it wouldn't surprise me if they scale back purely because they're just not there yet when it comes to PHEV and BEV vehicles, which is what the Euro market needs.

Asia and the US are still VERY heavily reliant on IC infrastructure because of the pure ranges that people tend to drive there, and Japan is surprisingly slow to adopt new tech in areas where existing infrastructure is in place and is fit for purpose. Plus, Honda has MASSIVE brand loyalty in Japan that they can't overlook, being a domestic manufacturer.

The e was Honda's first real mass market dip into the BEV market, and despite a few people who loved it (myself included, I'm picking my brand new e up next week in fact), most people don't get what the e offers and feel Honda have fumbled the ball. They're right in some respects, but I still feel that for my own circumstances, the e is a super compelling offering.

In general, when it comes to the media's portrayal of electric motoring, there's way too much focus purely around range for EVs, and people haven't yet made the mental leap of realizing that if you treat an electric car the same as a cell phone and just drop it on charge at night or when you're not using it, range really isn't a factor for 99.9% of journeys for most city dwellers.

With regards to Honda in particular, yes they have a few hybrids on the market, and they dipped their toes into alternate fuel experimentation on a consumer level with the FCX clarity, but that also fell flat on its face and maybe they're feeling the pain. Given the current mentality of consumers looking for a BEV, it's easy to see that Honda fucked up badly by offering the e with the battery capacity they did. If they'd upped the size of the battery even marginally to compete with the Zoe's range, then it would have sold way better and probably would have been a massive hit. The problem there is that because of the lower efficiency of the e's powertrain, they'd have needed

It'll be interesting to see what Honda's focus will be in 5-7 years or so. They've made significant statements about re-entering Formula One when the 2026 engine regulations hit, which will put substantially more focus on the efficiency of the hybrid powertrains that the cars use. When the regulations changed to hybrid powertrains in 2014, it only took a couple of years for Ferrari, Mercedes, and Nissan (through Red Bull and their Infinity partnership) to really ramp up their hybrid vehicle offering, with both Mercedes and Ferrari both saying outright that their R&D in F1 pushed their hybrid road car technology leaps and bounds ahead.

Curiously, Honda were in the sport at the same time, and really struggled with providing decent engines under the hybrid powertrain rules after 2014, so this mirrors the issues they've had with getting their road car powertrains off the ground.

I don't think Honda will shit itself completely in Europe, but it's very much mirroring the issues that Subaru have been having in recent years, and their model lineup has shrunk drastically to make them a shadow of their former selves.

Hopefully both Honda and Subaru can get back off the ground and start innovating like they used to, because they're great brands with some fantastic heritage.
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Post by miura88 » Sun Apr 30, 2023 10:34 am

Honda e power train is much more efficient than you think

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