Honda Cars Philippines president and general manager Toshio Kuwahara told reporters Tuesday night at the Solaire Resort and Casino that a faster turnaround of Mobilio sales might trigger the local production of the seven-seat mini, family van.
“Mobilio is our second pillar product next to the City. Sales are going pretty fast for all our models but Mobilio has been the second best-selling vehicle after Honda City since it’s introduction in April of this year,” he said.
Sales of Mobilio averaged 500 units a month, compared to City’s average monthly sales of 900 units.
Kuwahara said while the plan was not immediate, it would not wait for ten years to make Mobilio as Honda’s second Philippine-produced unit.
Honda Cars Philippines currently imports Mobilio from Thailand.
“We only need sales figure close to that of the City,” Kuwahara said.
Honda’s sales in the first three quarters of 2015 already surpassed by 7 percent the full-year sales in 2014.
Kuwahara said nine-month sales grew 50 percent year-on-year.
“And particularly last month, we were able to gather 2,093 vehicle sales and new customers. This is a 54-percent increase compared to the same month last year. And this is so far, HCPI’s best-selling month for 2015,” he said.
Honda launched four brand-new models in 2014, including Odyssey, Mobilio, HRV and the luxury sedan Legend.
Kuwahara said the new models, especially Mobilio, were instrumental in achieving better sales performance in 2015.
Honda used to sell only five models in the country, including Civic, City, Jazz, CRV and Accord.
“Accord was top of the line up until tonight. Legend is Honda’s top of the line luxury car comparable to some Mercedez Benz, BMW and Audi models. Although, it’s not a cheap car, people can expect more than what competitor has,” Kuwahara said.
The Philippines became the third country next to Japan and Korea to welcome Honda Legend.
Honda said the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals would allow the entry of luxury sedans. Total industry sales grew by more than 20 percent in the first nine months.
Honda Cars Philippines expects to sell up to 10 Legend units a month.