At a time of the year when the marketplace is dominated by Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers, and new and used cars come with a host of discounts aimed at attracting those vital pre-Christmas sales, it has come as a surprise that Japanese car giant Honda has gone the other way and raised its prices.
Honda’s public line is that this is the first actual price rise in real terms since the start of January 2014, and that the new prices bring their cars in line with the rest of the industry, while remaining very competitive. The increases correspond to an average of 2.3% across the product line, and include the very popular Jazz and Civic models, neither of which have been raised in price since January 2014. Again, the manufacturer can point to bigger rises among its competitors, with one leading brand in particular increasing prices by some 3% during 2015 alone.
The Jazz and Civic models will now cost an additional 2.3%, making them among the most expensive cars in their class; whether their renowned reputation and high specification will counteract such a price rise remains to be seen. It will be interesting to watch how the market reacts to these changes at a time when consumers are increasingly on the hunt for the best value in the cost of a vehicle, competitive insurance policy prices and resale potential.
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Some models are subject to larger rises, with the new HR-V seeing its prices up by 4.4%, an increase of around £500 on the cost of its most basic model, which will now cost £18,495. This brings the HR-V very close to the cost of its major competitors including its chief crossover rival, the Nissan Qashqai, and marques such as the Renault Kadjar and Peugeot 3008. Having received mixed reviews since its launch, the HR-V may see sales suffer from this increase. The functional CR-V is also increased in price, and now starts at more than £22,700, a rise of 1.9% – again, with a strong line-up of competitors, Honda may find it increasingly difficult to keep its market share.
Honda’s justifications are that a majority of their models have remained at a fixed price for nearly two years and that in a competitive motor trade industry and marketplace it’s important to place the vehicles accordingly. Whether these new rises will see a decline in the number of Honda models being taken for a spin on trade plates is anyone’s guess, but at a time of year when value and seasonal cheer are at a precedent, the price rises may meet with a mixed reaction.