Honda repudiates rumours of delaying or putting off the Honda HR-V

Company officials have said that HR-V will be released very shortly per their original timeline

LAHORE: Honda Atlas Cars Pakistan Limited (HACPL) has dismissed various media reports that HACPL will either delay or outright put off the launch of its upcoming HR-V crossover sport utility vehicle (CUV). 

Maqsood Ur Rehman Rehmani, Vice President and Company Secretary of HACPL, and Amir Nazir, General Manager Sales & Marketing at HACPL, have both denied the rumours that there have been any alterations in HACPL’s plan to release the Honda HR-V. In conversation with Profit, both have stated that the HR-V will be released per HACPL’s original timeline. 

Neither of the two could quote an exact release date for the HR-V. However, Nazir stated that the announcement for the launch of the HR-V will be made “very soon”. “Providing an exact date would reduce the surprise that HACPL has prepared for customers,” said Nazir when asked if he could provide a particular timeline in terms of weeks and/or months. 

Profit, like most other media outlets, had reported that the HR-V would be released later in 2023. HACPL’s urgency to release the HR-V is likely an attempt to galvanise its sales after the forgettable showing by the entire automotive industry in FY 2022-23. HACPL in particular saw month-on-month (MoM) contractions of 35% and 29% in July and August respectively. The launch of the HR-V might provide the company with the ability to rally customers behind the ongoing CUV bonanza. 

The HR-V already has a history in Pakistan. Its Japanese iteration, the Honda Vezel has long been imported in Pakistan by private dealerships as a CBU. However, this is the first time HACPL will be introducing the automobile themselves as a CBU. This will also be HACPLs first foray in the crossover-SUV segment.  

Nazir had told Profit in an earlier conversation that the HR-V would be “released in both hybrid and non-hybrid variants”. ”It will attract customers with its latest design and fuel average.” 

“The HR-V will come in a hybrid and non-hybrid variant. It will attract customers with its latest design and fuel average” General Manager of Sales and Marketing at HACPL Amir Nazir told Profit. HACPL has not given a quote on the official price of the HR-V as it is likely part of the ‘surprise’ that Nazir has hinted at. However, Nazir has hinted to Profit previously that the HR-V will be priced competitively in comparison to its direct competitors. 

A 2022 release will intensify competition in the CUV segment with MG still likely to release their completely-knocked-down (CKD) portfolio later this year, and Haval having released their CKD lineup just this month. 

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Daniyal Ahmad
The author is a member of the staff, and covers the automobile sector as a sector analyst. He can be reached at [email protected]

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