2017 Honda CR-V World Debut
John Mendel, Executive Vice President, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Today, we're excited to share with you the next big step in what the Merrill Lynch-Bank of America "Car Wars" study identified as the most aggressive product cadence in the business.
We kicked off the year with the launch of the Civic Coupe, followed by the Accord Hybrid, an all-new Ridgeline and the five-door Civic Hatchback. We've invited you here for a first look at another all-new Honda light truck model launching this fall, but that still won't be the last of our new product intros this year.
The Clarity series is on the way, too, with the Clarity Fuel Cell later this year, to be joined next year by the Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-In Hybrid as we move forward with our vision for making electrified vehicles a volume pillar of the Honda brand, which will ultimately include plug-in versions of multiple core models.
Then, next spring, we'll launch an all-new Odyssey that will complete the remake of our Honda light truck lineup. With pickup and SUVs all the rage, it's no surprise to hear that we're on track for all-time record sales of Honda light trucks in 2016.
So, light trucks - and especially SUVs - are hot and we've already announced moves to improve our supply. But what makes our story different from virtually every other automaker is that we're also growing car sales, led by Civic and Accord. Honda-brand cars are up 4.5 percent for the year, and Civic, at nearly 14 percent over last year's pace, is on track to post the best sales results in its 44-year history.
Overall, the Honda brand is on pace for its third consecutive record year and we're doing it with our unique focus on retail buyers. In fact, with the exception of GM, which has made retail gains after reducing their fleet business, we're the only full-line brand that is actually growing its retail sales and share in 2016; and we're doing it with the lowest incentive spending among the Big 7 OEMs.
So, we're having a great year... without compromising our principles... with a focus on long-term, sustainable, product-driven growth. This includes a fourth year of retail sales leadership in four of the five major categories: compact car, midsize car, SUV and minivan. And we'll look to sustain and build on that momentum with benchmark-setting new products like the all-new fifth generation CR-V that we're here to show you today.
CR-V is a pillar of our brand, with sales topping 300,000 units in each of the past three years. In fact, when you add up sales of CR-V over four generations, since its introduction in 1997, CR-V is the outright best-selling SUV in America over the past 20 years with total sales approaching 4 million units.
Over four generations, CR-V has become a true staple of the American SUV diet and a real bread-and-butter model in our Honda lineup... roughly a quarter of total sales and now virtually on par with Civic and Accord in terms of volume.
And the 4th-gen CR-V is running through the tape with a best-ever September and a great October in the making, as we prepare for the launch of the new model.
Today we're excited to show you that new model... an all-new fifth-generation CR-V that we think raises the bar for the compact SUV in every imaginable way: - styling, - sophistication, - dynamic performance, - fuel economy, - functionality, - ride comfort and more.
So, without further ado. let me introduce the 2017, all-new 5th-generation CR-V!
Jeff Conrad, Senior Vice President, Honda Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
We're thrilled to give you this first look at the all-new 2017 CR-V – the fifth generation of CR-V that builds on the fundamental formula of the previous four generations, with its just-right size, features and price; but the significance of the change needs to be underscored. The new CR-V will feature an all-new platform and powertrain - with its first application of turbo-charging, making this one of CR-V's most comprehensive redesigns to date.
Visually, this change is characterized by a wider, more broad-shouldered stance, longer wheelbase, more sharply sculpted body and premium detailing including LED headlights and taillights.
The more premium, upscale exterior is matched up with a more sophisticated, spacious and high-quality interior, with upgraded materials, more intricately styled seats, and a host of new features and technologies that raise the standard for comfort, convenience and connectivity. This includes a new Display Audio system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, and a physical volume knob. Our customers and many of you told us loud and clear that you wanted a volume knob so the knob is back!
Total interior volume is at the top of the class. Our longer wheelbase contributes to a 2-inch increase in rear seat legroom to absolute best-in-class levels... and rear cargo space with the second-row seats folded down is nearly 10 inches longer than before.
Converting the interior from passenger to cargo hauling is easier than ever with a new single-motion split-folding rear seat that creates a fully flat cargo area. Under the hood, we have two engine choices: for LX trims a 2.4-liter, direct injected 4-cylinder largely carried over from the previous model. For EX and above trims, which will represent roughly 75 percent of sales volume, power comes from an upgraded version of the 1.5-liter direct-injected turbo that debuted in the new Civic.
It makes 190 horsepower in the CR-, delivering top-class acceleration and best-in-class EPA fuel economy ratings. And like the Civic before it, this new CR-V will deliver world-class driving dynamics with absolute best-in-class handling, ride comfort and cabin quietness.
In developing this new CR-V, our engineers didn't look only at other products in the class, they benchmarked luxury-class models like the BMW X3 for ride quality, steering, body control and NVH.
The new CR-V also will expand application of our Honda Sensing safety and driver-assistive technologies. The 2015 CR-V actually introduced Honda Sensing to our lineup... and since then we've steadily expanded its deployment to new models including Pilot, Ridgeline, Accord and Civic. The 2017 CR-V takes the next step forward, with Honda Sensing applied as standard equipment on EX and higher trims, which accounts for about 75 percent of sales.
Finally, we're delivering more value and feature-content than ever before, including a new Hands-free Power Tailgate, remote engine start, heated side mirrors and more. The bottom line – this new CR-V raises the bar in every imaginable way, delivering more performance, space and premium content together with higher fuel economy and value than ever before.
So, we believe we're well-positioned to maintain CR-V's status as the best retail-selling SUV in America.
The new CR-V will be produced at three plants in North America... in East Liberty, Ohio... which is the global lead plant... as well as Alliston, Ontario... and, for the first time, at our Greensburg, Indiana plant.
# # #