Honda has been confirmed as the fastest growing mainstream car brand in Europe for the full year in 2016. The latest data from European industry body ACEA shows that total sales for Honda in EU and EFTA countries in 2016 were 159,126 units to the end of December, an increase of 20.8% per cent compared to same period in 2015. Honda’s growth significantly outpaced the results for the EU passenger car market as a whole, which saw a year-on-year increase of 6.8% per cent.
The strong 2016 performance was driven by demand across Honda’s model range, with HR-V, Jazz and Civic all seeing year-on-year growth. HR-V made a strong contribution to the overall total in Europe, with sales of 34,921 units. The Jazz supermini saw sales growth of 26.0 per cent last year, following the launch of the all-new model, with total registrations of 39,613 across EU and EFTA markets. New Civic Type R led the refreshed Civic range to increased sales of 47,300 units in 2016, up 4.9 per cent on the previous year.
Honda saw sales growth in all five of the main car markets in Europe in 2016 (UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain). The market with the highest rate of growth was Italy, with a 98.0 per cent increase, making it Honda’s 3rd largest European market. Other particularly strong growth rates across Europe included Finland (+47.7%), Portugal (+38.6%) and Hungary (+58.1%).
Sales success for Honda Motor Europe in 2016 was bolstered by a number of significant news announcements throughout the year. The new Civic Hatchback Prototype was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and production of the US market version commenced in August at Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) in Swindon, UK. HUM is the global production hub for the new Civic hatchback, with the model set to be exported to more than 70 countries around the world, including European markets, North America and Canada.
The unveiling of the new Civic Type R Prototype stole the show at Paris Motor Show (Mondial de L’Automobile) at the end of September, and the new Type R has this month been named as the most eagerly anticipated launch of 2017 by readers of What Car? in the UK. The first examples of the new Clarity Fuel Cell arrived in Europe in November, to participate in the Hydrogen for Innovative Vehicles (HyFIVE) EU demonstration project. The year was rounded off with the delivery of the first European Honda NSX to former CEO of Honda Switzerland, Claude Sage.
Edited: Honda Europe