honda sets target to roll out 1 million green vehicles by 2030 – DOC692653
With the future of the auto industry currently in a state of flux, various automakers are piecing together specific plans to become a major player in the future. Whether it’s cornering electrification or diving deep into autonomous driving vehicles, each company has its own long-term plan ready to be rolled out when the time’s right. In Honda’s case, that plan appears to be a major onslaught of green vehicles in the, including hybrids, plug-ins, fuel cell vehicles, and electric vehicles amounting to a total of 1 million sales per year by 2030.
The goal is as ambitious as it comes considering that Honda isn’t exactly lighting the sales charts on fire with its hybrid offerings. In fact, through June, the automaker has only sold 2,329 hybrids in the U.S. in the 2016 calendar year, a number that represents just .0047 percent of what it’s aiming for by 2030. It certainly hasn’t helped that Honda’s hybrid offerings in the U.S. market is limited to just the Acura RLX sedan, the NSX supercar, the Honda Accord Hybrid, and whatever’s left of the CR-Z hybrid hatchback, a model that will soon be discontinued and replaced by the soon-to-arrive Acura MDX hybrid.
Even if Honda’s current hybrid state doesn’t inspire too much confidence, CEO Takahiro Hachigo is confident that the automaker can achieve its plan, which in some ways is set to kick off this year with the introduction of the Clarity hydrogen fuel cell sedan, the first of three Clarity-badged green cars the company plans to roll out in the U.S. The second of these three models, the Clarity plug-in hybrid sedan, is scheduled to launch in 2017 while the all-electric Clarity joining the fold at an unspecified date. Two other hybrid models – a Civic and a CR-V – are also expected to enter the market before 2020.
It remains to be seen how successful these new models are going to be and how they’ll be able to complement Honda’s existing green car lineup. But let it be said that Honda isn’t being conservative with this goal. The company is dreaming big, as it should considering that “Dream Big” is one of its core values.
Can Honda achieve its intended goal?
I don’t want to say “no, it can’t” simply because I’ll be rooting for Honda to get to where it’s planning to go. The industry is certainly set to improve and I’m not going to be one of those people who wish ill will on a company for setting its expectations high.
That said, I also understand how difficult the road ahead is going to be, especially if competing car makers make similar goals for themselves. Having more brands rolling out more green vehicles will make it more difficult for Honda to sell its own. In order for the automaker to achieve its goal, it needs to have models that will resonate with customers and that’s going to play a big role in determining whether the company gets to its target or falls flat on its face.
There are also other issues that the automaker needs to address, one of which was pointed out by Christopher Richter, an analyst at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, who told that dealerships aren’t keen on green cars because they don’t sell as quickly as traditional models. “Unless there’s a change in what dealers want, I don’t think they are going to get there that fast,” Richter added.
It’s a good point, but I think the climate in that regard will change once the industry starts its likely shift towards hybrids and EVs. Let’s all hope then that when that time comes, Honda will be up to the challenge.