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At the launch of the facelifted Honda CR-V yesterday, Honda Malaysia (HM) announced that its 2014 sales grew by 50% year-on-year – from 51,550 units in 2013 to 77,485 units, beating the 76k target that sounded ambitious when it was first announced.

That huge jump propelled Honda to be the top non-national passenger car brand in Malaysia for the first time ever. Taking into account pick-up trucks (which Honda doesn’t have), the H brand is second only to Toyota in total non-national vehicle sales, and is fourth overall. Honda is also the biggest gainer in 2014, commanding an estimated 11.6% market share, a 3.7% bigger slice of the pie compared to 2013.

Powering the growth is the new Honda City sedan and Jazz hatchback, launched in March and July respectively. Combined, the B-segment platform siblings contributed nearly 70% to Honda’s 2014 sales. The company is also claiming leadership in the D-segment sedan and mid-size SUV classes, thanks to the Accord and pre-facelift CR-V.

Powering growth will be the just-launched CR-V facelift and the much-anticipated HR-V

It’s all in the plan. “Three years ago, Honda Malaysia set a mid-term strategy to elevate our business to 100,000 units and started our preparation for enhancing the competitiveness of our products, increasing production capacity and expanding our dealer network,” said HM’s MD and CEO Yoichiro Ueno.

Looking forward, HM is setting an 85k target for 2015 based on its own estimated total industry volume of 697k – not far away from Malaysian Automotive Institute’s 700k forecast. Growth will be underpinned by the CR-V facelift and much-anticipated HR-V compact SUV, launching next month. HM also has plans to expand its network to 90 dealers by 2016 from the current 77.

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