Following Dongfeng Honda's announcement that it would stop selling fuel cars, Guangzhou Auto Honda also announced that it would no longer launch new pure fuel models from 2027.
When announcing the results for the third quarter of 2023, GAC GROUP said that GAC "Liangtian" is actively participating in China's "new joint venture era" trend, and the electrified transformation has begun to bear fruit. Meanwhile, GAC GROUP said that Guangzhou Auto Honda will no longer launch new pure fuel models from 2027, when all Honda models sold in China will be 100% electrified from 2035.
Prior to this, Dongfeng Honda has taken the lead in announcing the suspension of the sale of fuel vehicles. On July 16 this year, Dongfeng Honda announced that it will launch its new independent pure electric brand in the second half of this year, with more than 50% electrification by 2025, no new fuel cars after 2027, and more than 10 pure electric models by 2030.
As early as April, during the Shanghai auto show, Honda Vice President Shinji Aoyama also made it clear that all Honda models launched in China will be hybrid and pure electric products after 2027, and will no longer launch new pure fuel models.
As one of the leading Japanese car companies, Honda's sales in China have been in a severe period of decline in the past two years. According to the data, Honda's terminal sales in China in 2022 were 1.3731 million, down 12.1% from the same period last year. Honda's cumulative sales in China from January to September this year were 831305, down 20.86% from the same period last year. Honda's two joint ventures in China both fell off the list of retail sales of domestic manufacturers. Fundamentally, Automotive Industry concern believes that the "frustration" of Honda's joint venture brand in China is related to the rapid rise of the domestic new energy market, but its performance in the new energy sector is related to its regular performance. Honda's overall market of fuel vehicles began to shrink under the impact of new energy vehicles, which also led to Honda's weak performance in China, while its lost market share was gradually being absorbed by its own brands.
Compared with other Japanese joint ventures, Honda is determined to transform the electrified sector and is more "aggressive" in its goal of electrification, but for now, Honda's two joint ventures in China have very low feelings in the domestic new energy vehicle market.
According to the official website, Dongfeng Honda currently sells pure electric models for e:NS1 and Guangzhou Auto Honda for e:NP1, but the sales of the two models are very mediocre in the car market. From January to September this year, Dongfeng Honda sold a total of 4502 e:NS1 vehicles, while Guangzhou Auto Honda e:NP1 surged to 4217 vehicles, according to retail data from the Federation of passengers. There is a clear gap between the two models and the joint venture pure electric head brand, and Honda is unlikely to rely on current new energy products to achieve growth. in other words, Honda does not have a model that can bear the heavy responsibility of sales in the new energy field.
In fact, whether it is Guangzhou Auto Honda or Dongfeng Honda, fuel vehicles are still the tone of Honda's overall market in China, but against the backdrop of a shrinking traditional fuel vehicle market and rising domestic sales of new energy vehicles, Japanese joint ventures, including Honda, have shown weakness and their retail share in China has fluctuated. Data show that the market share of Japanese cars in China has fallen from 24.1% in 2020 to 17.6% in the first half of this year, a drop of 6.5%. Among them, the sales of Honda, Toyota and Nissan all declined to varying degrees in the first half of this year.
Under the dual pressure of electrified transformation and global market competition, Japanese brands want to keep up with the pace in China, and perhaps only by accelerating the introduction of electrified products can the possibility of falling behind be reduced. Of course, "Automotive Industry concern" believes that in the highly competitive pure electricity market, independent brands have an absolute advantage and gradually absorb the market share of joint venture brands. In this context, Honda still has a long way to go to rely on new energy to achieve growth.
According to the plan, Guangzhou Auto Honda's first green low-carbon electric car "Shuizhi" plant is expected to be completed and put into production next year, with an annual production capacity of 120000 vehicles. In terms of new cars, three pure electric vehicles under Honda's EVR N brand, including the e:NP2 Prototype, e:NS2Prototype and ERV N SUV, have been debuted at the Shanghai auto show. Among them, the e:NP2 and e:NS2 will be launched by Guangzhou Auto Honda and Dongfeng Honda respectively, equipped with the new generation of intelligent technology such as Honda CONNECT 4.0, and are expected to be launched in early 2024.
Prior to an interview with the media, Honda Technology Research Industry Co., Ltd. executive special, electric industry development minister Katsushi Inoue said: "now from the world point of view, the electric development of China's automobile market is the fastest, but also the strongest." In such an environment, we think it is necessary to advance the pace of comprehensive EV (electrification). We are now in order to cater to China's overall market environment, to better meet the needs of customers. "
In addition, Honda Technology Research Industry Co., Ltd. executive executive, minister of China, general manager of Honda Technology Research Industry (China) Investment Co., Ltd. Igarashi Fumihiko Yaxing, general manager of Honda Technology Research Technology (China) Co., Ltd., also said: "the overall competition in the car market is very fierce, and it is a difficult period for Honda from the second half of last year to the present. Since September last year, chip supply, epidemic and other factors have a great impact on our sales. At one point this year, we were looking forward to first-quarter sales, but various policy changes, promotional measures by car companies and a decline in fuel vehicle sales brought about by rising sales of new energy vehicles have all had a negative impact on our terminal sales. For the sales forecast of 2023, the goal of our efforts is to surpass last year. Next, we will face more and more fierce competition, in such an overall environment, Honda will try its best to develop electrification, so as to survive in this trend. "
Honda's joint venture in China, as one of the mainstream car companies in China, is not only facing a slowdown in sales growth, but also in a difficult stage of transition, and there are only about three years before the two companies ban the launch of new fuel cars. it remains to be seen whether there will be any major changes in the sales of the next two companies.
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