Honda has decided that it will stop supplying its official dealers in Russia with new cars come 2022, as part of the automaker’s efforts to restructure its global operations in the midst of a global pandemic.
The Japanese brand will however remain in the Russian market by selling motorcycles and power equipment. They will also retain activities related to the after-sale service of its vehicles, as reported by Reuters.
Unlike rivals such as Toyota and Nissan, Honda has no manufacturing facilities in Russia, where they sold just 79 vehicles last month – a 50% drop compared to the previous year. Honda currently sells just two models in Russia and both are SUVs (CR-V and Pilot).
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Furthermore, its overall sales in Russia this year through November were down 15% to 1,383 units, a mere spec compared to the 1.3 million new cars sold there in total during that period.
Honda’s plans for Europe also include the company ditching its pure gasoline and diesel variants by 2023, aiming to retain a lineup consisting of fully-electric or hybrid models. According to company exec Ian Howells, Honda also believes in alternative fuels and isn’t ready to go all-in on fully-electric propulsion just yet.
“They’re [EVs] a third to 50% more expensive than a conventional or hybrid vehicle,” he told Autocar earlier this month.
Still, Howells does know that hybrids don’t represent a long term solution, stating: “They don’t take us the full way and that’s why we do see this as a transitioning or bridging type of technology to get us to the point at which the technology behind the batteries and the infrastructure are both in place to move forward to offering mass personal mobility with a new type of energy carrier.”