Industry Sales Results

A gamble to push up the price of the new Honda Civic appears to have backfired.

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The Honda Civic has reported its lowest sales months on record following the arrival of a new model from $47,200 drive-away – almost double the $24,990 drive-away starting price two years ago – and the introduction of non-negotiable fixed prices mid-way through last year.

The new model’s $47,200 drive-away offer pushed the Honda Civic into the same price band as the luxury small-car category.

Official new-car sales data released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries shows 61 examples of the Honda Civic were reported as sold in April 2022 – a dramatic 84 per cent drop compared to 228 delivered in the same month last year.

April 2022 was the fifth month in a row the Honda Civic has posted only double-digit sales: 83 in December, 58 in January, 86 in February, 58 in March and 61 in April.

These tallies are a fraction of the April record of 1180 examples reported as sold in 2007 – Honda’s record year in Australia – and 800 deliveries in its most recent April high set in 2018.

As with most car companies, Honda is also being impacted by severe stock shortages and shipping bottlenecks.

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Honda showrooms canvassed by Drive said the main roadblocks to Honda Civic sales were a combination of the higher price and severe production slowdowns which, they said, also delayed deliveries of the popular CR-V mid-size SUV (down 30 per cent).

Sales of the Honda HR-V small SUV were also down last month (73.2 per cent compared to the same month the prior year), however that vehicle is in the middle of a changeover to a new model.

Honda Australia executives have previously said the switch to non-negotiable fixed prices was crucial to the brand’s survival in Australia, to make the business financially viable.

Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years, spending most of that time working for The Sydney Morning Herald (as motoring editor and one of the early members of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice / Drive in late 2018, and has been a World Car of the Year judge for 10 years.

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