EXCLUSIVE: 7-seater 2024 Honda CR-V demanded by local market -- Honda Cars Philippines
VJ Bacungan · Sep 16, 2023 01:00 PM
The all-new 2024 Honda CR-V carries over one of the most notable features of the previous model – the third-row seat.
This family-friendly feature, along with third-row air-conditioning, is standard on all non-hybrid CR-Vs. AutoFun Philippines was the first to report on this ahead of the all-new CR-V’s launch on Sept. 13, 2023.
This means Honda Cars Philippines Inc. (HCPI) now has two seven-seaters in its lineup, including the strong-selling Honda BR-V. In an exclusive interview, the Japanese carmaker told AutoFun Philippines that the third-row seat was highly in demand.
“We continuously conduct market research, and we’re always in touch with our customers,” said former HCPI section manager for production planning Maiko Viar at the sidelines of the all-new CR-V’s launch.
“And from there, we found out that seven seats is actually one of the key considerations of the Philippine market, especially for the ones who are purchasing an SUV,” she added.
The more, the merrier
The 2024 model is the third time a CR-V has been made available with more than five seats in the Philippines, starting with the second-generation model debuting locally in 2002.
One option was the front-facing third row for a total of seven seats. In contrast, the other option was side-facing jump seats that made the CR-V a 10-seater (competing with the Isuzu Crosswind and Mitsubishi Adventure, which had a similar setup).
But the CR-V fights back with considerably better on-road ride and handling and stronger performance from the turbocharged 1.5-liter gasoline engine.
“In terms of target customers, I think the CR-V market is very established in the Philippines,” Viar said.
“There’s a lot of competition when you’re trying to compare in terms of price or whether you’re comparing it in terms of body size,” she added. “So it really depends on the customer’s preference on which competitor or other model they’re comparing the CR-V with.”
Soriano said the company targets sales of at least 300 units a month, with 70 percent for the non-hybrid variants and the rest for the hybrid model. This is nearly double the 160 units a month that all variants of the previous CR-V were selling in the Philippines.
Do you think the all-new CR-V has a better chance with the much-loved third-row seat in the local market?
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An award-winning multimedia journalist, editor, and host for online and TV who has written in-depth stories on road safety and the Philippine elections. Outside of the media, VJ is an accomplished motorsports champion, English teacher, and dancer.