U.S. Honda CR-Z Sales Are Embarrassing, Total Reboot Rumoured

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
u s honda cr z sales are embarrassing total reboot rumoured

The Honda CR-Z is selling even worse than it used to. And by used to, we mean worse than it did last year, its worst year ever. And by worst year ever, we really do mean worse than the two absolutely terrible previous years.

U.S. CR-Z volume is down 37% through the first two months of 2015, a drop from 585 sales in January and February 2014 to 371 in the same period one year later. Honda sold 739 CR-Zs in the first one-sixth of 2013, 829 in the same period of 2012, and 1985 in the first two months of 2012.

There appears to be hope on the horizon, according to a source of Car & Driver’s. That hope involves murdering off the current Fit-based CR-Z and replacing it with a slightly enlarged CR-Z based on a shortened Civic platform.

No hybrid, many horsepowers, a proper successor to the CRX. Sounds good.

One shouldn’t allow themselves to feel that the CR-Z’s ridiculous flop means sport compacts are a fruitless endeavour in the current new vehicle market. While Hyundai Veloster sales are flaming out, the car went on sale nearly four years ago. Moreover, over the last two months, Hyundai USA sold nearly eight Velosters for every CR-Z.

On a higher performance scale, Subaru USA’s WRX/STi pairing are up 44% to 4790 sales over the last two months. The WRX/STi is outselling the surging Audi A3, an entry-level best seller for America’s most steadily growing luxury brand . Volkswagen Golf GTI sales have more than doubled in this relaunch year to 3757 units through the end of February.

Mini, meanwhile, is shaking off the loss of Clubman, Coupe, Roadster, and Paceman sales with its regular Hardtop model. After a dreadful 2014 at the end of its lifecycle, the core Mini is up 259% to 4589 sales so far this year.

Sure, the Beetle is plunging so quickly Volkswagen might finally be thinking of killing it off. In old age, Fiat 500 sales declined in February for the 18th time in 21 months. But more popular models prove that there’s market share to be had, and surely Honda, of all automakers, can learn from their mistakes. More Civic sharing would help defray costs, moderately high performance might bring a youthful image back to the brand, and a second-gen CR-Z might just do what the similarly named CR-V does: dominate its category.

For now, we can look on with embarrassment as Honda reports dreadfully low CR-Z sales figures month after month. Only 175 were sold in February 2015, the third month in the model’s 55-month history – and the third out of the last four – that CR-Z sales have fallen below 200 units in the United States. Honda Canada reported two CR-Z sales in February, or 100% more than the figure achieved in its worst month ever, when one CR-Z was sold in October 2013.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Mar 16, 2015

    If they made it look correct, base it on the Civic as mentioned, put no hybrid foolery under the hood, and call it the CR-X II or 2 (With the II/2 in little letters next to the X). And allow a manual in all trims. Boom. Fly off shelves.

  • John Williams John Williams on Mar 16, 2015

    In another 5 to 10 years, people will buy CR-Zs on the second-hand market, rip out the hybrid hardware, drop in a worked-over Si engine and finally have themselves something that it should have been in the first place: a light, tossable, yet relatively fuel-efficient machine that doesn't fall flat on its face in embarrassment. Just like the folks who took malaise-era Malibus, ripped out the weezy 229 and dropped in a GM Goodrich 350 in its place, people will go out of their way to set right what's wrong with a car.

  • Alan I do believe that traffic infringements penalties based on income will affect those who are financial able to flout safety regulations.When I drive above the posted speed limit I assess my situation using probability. If I'm confronted with a situation where time is of more value to me than speed I will speed if I assess the probability of a fine to be quite low. I can afford the fine, what I can't afford is the loss of points on my drivers licence.In Australia (12 points in QLD and all States have a point system) we have a points system attached to your drivers licence. An open drivers licence is granted 12 points every 3 years. So, if you receive an infringement for exceeding the speed limit it takes 3 years for the points to be removed. I generally get caught once every 2 years.I think a points system would be a fairer system over a system based on income. Its about retaining your licence and safety, not financial gain by the government.As you can see below it wouldn't take long for many US drivers to lose their drivers licence.[h2]Current penalties for individuals caught speeding[/h2]InfringementPenalty amountDemerit pointsLess than 11km/h over the speed limit$287. 1 pointAt least 11km/h but not more than 20km/h over the speed limit$431. 3 pointsMore than 20km/h but not more than 30km/h over the speed limit$646. 4 pointsMore than 30km/h but not more than 40km/h over the speed limit$1,078. 6 pointsMore than 40km/h over the speed limit$1,653. 8 points and 6 month suspension
  • Wjtinfwb Instead of raising fines, why don't the authorities enforce the laws and write tickets, and have judges enforce the penalty or sentence of a crime. I live across the street from an Elementary School on a 4-lane divided state highway. every morning the cop sits in his car and when someone sails through the School Zone well above the 10 mph limit, he merely hits his siren to get their attention but that's it. I've never, in 5 years, seen them get out of the car and actually stop and driver and confront them about speeding. As a result, no one pays attention and when the School Zone light is not lit, traffic flies by at 50-60 mph in the 45 zone. Almost no enforcement occurs until the inevitable crash, last year some zoned out girl rolled her beater Elantra 3 times. On a dry, straight, 4 lane road with a 45 mph limit. I'm no Angel and have a heavy foot myself. I've received my share of speeding tickets, lots of them when younger. Traffic enforcement in most locales has become a joke these days, jacking prices because someone has a higher income in as asinine as our stupid tax policy and non-existent immigration enforcement.
  • Jeff S If AM went away I would listen to FM but since it is insignificant in the cost to the car and in an emergency broadcast it is good to have. I agree with some of the others its another way to collect money with a subscription. AM is most likely to go away in the future but I will use AM as long as its around.
  • BEPLA I think it's cool the way it is.If I had the money, time and space - I'd buy it, clean it up, and just do enough to get it running properly.Then take it to Cars and Coffee and park it next to all the newer Mustangs.
  • Dave M. I suppose Jethro’s farm report comes via AM, but there’s a ton of alternative ways to get that info. Move forward people. Progress is never easy.