Chances are slim that Australia will ever get to see the Honda Pilot large SUV or the Ridgeline pick-up truck. The closest that future buyers can get – if they’re looking for a large SUV – is the next-generation, three-row, seven-seater Honda CR-V, that’s expected in 2017, CarAdvice reports.
“One of our big projects now that we’re working on is the next-generation CR-V,” said Stephen Collins, director of Honda Australia, while the seven-seat CR-V is “under consideration.” The director also explained that keeping customers loyal and having models that they “can grow in to or downsize to” is essential.
In regards to the seven-seat CR-V, Collins is confident that the option would help in terms of providing a solution for customers looking to downsize. This however, leaves the brand with the issue of “upsizing.” He disclosed that both the Pilot and Ridgeline are vehicles that he was hoping would make its way to Australia, but unfortunately, that would not be the case.
“In terms of what’s available, probably the two gaps for us in the market as we see it, are a large SUV,” he noted, adding, “at this stage there’s nothing on that horizon. But I think we will continue to scour the world for an option in terms of a large SUV.” He explained that not having a large SUV in the product line-up is difficult, especially when it comes to retaining customers.
According to Collins, the need to have a large SUV was already made known. “Our Asian office, and the global product planning office, is certainly aware,” he said. “The question comes, you know, for right-hand drive markets, whether we can build a business case. At this point that’s not able to be done,” he revealed.
He also quashed hope that the Ridgeline would be introduced Down Under, “the prospect of a pick-up becoming available in the short term is not an option for us,” Collins revealed. On that note however, he stated, “the numbers show it. The large SUV segment is growing, it’s not going to go anywhere south anytime soon. And nor are commercials,” further implying that a large SUV and a pick-up would add value.