Honda Motor Co. wants to launch a crossover in Europe that would rival the Nissan Qashqai, according CEO Takanobu Ito. Ito said that Honda is “very envious” of Qashqai’s sales so it decided to do “something like that." Ito didn’t say when this crossover is expected to arrive. The Qashqai is a major factor in Nissan's increasing sales in Europe.
In the first three quarters of 2011 in western Europe, the Qashqai alone (with 153,079 units sold) had higher sales than the entire Honda lineup (with 105,918 units), according to JATO Dynamics.
Through October, Honda’s European sales had dropped by 19% to 128,333 units, accounting for a 1.1% share of the market. On the other hand, Nissan's volume is higher by 16% to 390,849 units to get a 3.4% share, according to ACEA data. It was also revealed that Honda's European volume has continued to drop from peaking at 311,743 in 2007 and it had a 1.9 share.
This is the last year that Honda recorded profits in Europe. To turn around this trend in Europe, Honda will launch several models next year, including a new Civic compact, CR-V compact SUV and 1.6-liter 120-hp diesel, which offers a CO2 emissions level of less than 100 grams per kilometer. This engine weighs 180kg, the lightest in its segment. Honda’s factory in Swindon, England, will manufacture this engine.