Honda has launched a new model for the HR-V, or the Vezel in Japan, for its home market. But consumers are already demanding an, even more, smaller SUV.
A car for every people
Honda now offers two models of SUVs in the Japanese market. One is the mid-size CR-V, and the other is the compact SUV, the Vezel, whose second generation was launched on April 23, 2021. But when you look outside of its home market, Honda has launched a wide variety of SUVs other than these two models.
In recent years, various SUV models have been introduced one after another around the world and the Japanese market is not an exception. Toyota now has 9 SUVs in Japan, including the recently introduced Corolla Cross and the updated Land Cruiser.
Mazda also has been launching various SUVs like the CX-8, CX-30, and MX-30 to complete its full-lineup along with the CX-3 and CX-5. Nissan, which its sales haven’t been performing well, has launched the Kicks to replace the Juke and also has announced the full-electric Ariya. Additionally, the 4th generation X-Trail (Rogue in other markets) has been rumored to be launched in Japan too.
Against this backdrop, Honda has only 2 SUV models, unlike other carmakers. The 1st generation Vezel was introduced in 2013 and, as mentioned above, has been fully updated in 2021. The CR-V also passed on to the 5th model in Japan after a 2-year hiatus.
In the meantime, Honda sells numerous SUVs in other markets that the Japanese market doesn’t have. In North America, there’s the Passport and Pilot. In China, there’s the Avancier, UR-V, XR-V, VE-1, M-NV, X-NV, and a new electric SUV is planned to be launched in Spring 2022. Moreover, there’s the WR-V and BR-V for smaller markets like Asia and South America, all unavailable in Japan.
Meanwhile, in Japan, the all-new Vezel is attracting attention in the Japanese market. A Honda dealer in Tokyo talks about how the new model is doing well in sales.
“The new Vezel is very popular. In particular, the e:HEV Z and e:HEV PLaY models are the mainstream in sales, and customers are experiencing delays in delivery. Because of this, we sometimes recommend the smaller Fit Crosstar, but it seems to be different from compact SUVs, and not a few people are considering other cars than Honda. To be honest, it would be great if we had another SUV model to sell.”
Like Toyota and Mazda are expanding their SUV lineups, it is true that some people think Honda needs to do the same thing. In particular, Honda needs a rival to Toyota’s Raize compact SUV.