Honda Australia has taken the first step in a bold new journey to lead the automotive industry in this country with a new approach to the car buying and ownership experience.
- Honda Australia launches new business model, with 90 Honda Centres forming the revamped Australian network
- Customers offered certainty of price for their new Honda vehicle and a consistent, exceptional experience, no matter which Honda Centre they visit
- ‘5 Year Unlimited Kilometre Warranty^, 5 Year Premium Roadside Assist, 5 Low Price Services’ equals five years of trouble-free motoring with the Honda Road Ahead Guarantee
At a time of great change across the automotive industry Honda is revolutionising the new car buying experience in Australia, to set the brand up for a sustainable future and make way for the next generation of Honda vehicles.
With a revamped network comprising 90 Honda Centres across consolidated larger geographic areas, centralised marketing and stock management, and a ‘one price promise’ that delivers certainty of price and added value for customers, the new way for Honda in Australia starts now.
“We embarked on a transformation journey over 15 months ago to create an enhanced, consistent and premium Honda brand experience for our customers and Honda representatives. Today marks an exciting new chapter for Honda Australia, as we officially introduce our new business model to the Australian market,” said Stephen Collins, Director, Honda Australia.
“Many businesses outside of automotive have already realised an end-to-end customer experience that is simple, trusted and enjoyable, is the key to future success. Brand experience is the new competitive battleground, which is why we have shifted our focus from the auto industry norm of chasing volume, to prioritising a quality customer experience.”
At Honda, we think buying and owning a car should be a simple, straightforward and joyful experience. That’s why we’re not only fundamentally changing the way you buy a car with the Honda Price Promise, an Australian automotive first, but we’re also transforming the ownership experience with our Road Ahead Guarantee. And that’s just for starters. It’s the new Honda way and it’s all completely ‘Designed for Joy’.
Every decision by Honda Australia in re-engineering the entire business, has been made with the pursuit of an enhanced customer experience in mind.
The key elements of Honda’s business transformation are:
- A priority focus on an enhanced customer experience and customer retention, by providing simplicity, good value and a hassle-free buying and ownership experience
- A Honda Price Promise to customers that they will pay the same price* for their new Honda vehicle across the Honda Centre network, in all locations around Australia
- A simpler and more flexible operating model for Honda’s network with different types of retail representation
- A streamlined product line-up based on customer preferences, market trends and growth segments for the Australian market
New Honda Network
The revamped Honda representative network is another key component of the new business model and central to Honda’s long term success in Australia.
The physical representation of the Honda brand is very similar to the previous network, with 90 Honda Centres around Australia providing an extensive national footprint to maximise convenience for the 200,000 customers currently servicing within the Honda network.
With 30 Honda Centres across metropolitan areas and 60 Honda Centres covering provincial and rural areas, the revamped network is the right size to support a sustainable business for Honda Australia, based on the planned volume of around 20,000 vehicles annually.
Management of the new network has been consolidated to 47 owners, which promotes both operational and cost efficiencies, as well as easier integration and strategic alignment.
“The revamped Honda network has been carefully considered and planned, allowing us to maintain optimum network flexibility, while ensuring it was the right size to meet customer expectations and deliver outstanding experiences for our customers,” Mr. Collins said.
“We’ve also maintained Honda’s provincial and rural network, which is critical for customer convenience, warranty repairs and availability of Honda products.”
Shaping the New Network
A new Honda Centre is currently operating from a temporary space at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre in Brisbane, before transitioning to the main AutoMall facility at the same site when it opens towards the end of the year.
Far from the old-style shopping centre display, the new site is an interactive retail space showcasing the ‘Joy of Honda’. Also under construction at the same location is a multi-brand service centre on the roof-top carpark, which will enable customers to get their vehicle serviced whilst shopping.
One Honda Centre owner has chosen to separate sales and service into different locations to better satisfy customers in that area. These are the types of new ways Honda is supporting its network partners in implementing a sustainable business model for the future.
Honda representatives act on behalf of Honda Australia for the sale of new Honda vehicles to customers, with Honda Australia owning all-new vehicle stock, as well as all display, test drive and service loan vehicles required in each Honda Centre.
All of the available new vehicle stock is also managed by Honda Australia and housed in central locations, rather than being scattered amongst different Honda Centres. This will make it easier and quicker for customers to get the vehicle they want, in the colour and grade they want, rather than having to go from one site to another and shop around to find their preferred vehicle.
In addition to the new network structure, the ultimate vision for Honda in Australia is to create a seamless customer journey, from sale to service, and this is the foundation of a Honda Centre.
The ‘path-to-purchase’ has been simplified and optimised to strive for an enhanced customer relationship and to provide lifelong customer value, with Honda representatives playing the pivotal role of leading customer interaction with the brand.
Online Configurator & Customer Portal
An online vehicle configurator is one of the major changes to Honda’s corporate website, which will offer customers a simple and engaging way to view vehicle information and pricing, as well as ‘build’ the vehicle they are interested in purchasing.
The configurator will feature all Models, Grades and Variants available in the Honda vehicle line-up, along with features, offers, options and accessories, all with transparent pricing. Customers can build their vehicle online at home or in person at a Honda Centre, save their configuration for later, as well as book a test drive.
Customers will now also have access to a bespoke customer experience platform that integrates the entire customer experience lifecycle – from online activity to in-person Honda Centre visits.
The customer portal allows owners to digitally manage their vehicle and connect with Honda throughout the ownership journey – whether it is vehicle information, Honda service bookings, reminders and history or personal contact details, it is all contained in the one place to make it as easy as possible for customers.
Honda Price Promise
The Honda Price Promise means a customer will pay the same national drive away price for their new Honda vehicle*, regardless of which Honda Centre they visit anywhere in Australia.
New vehicle pricing for all Honda models is now drive away, so includes the on-road costs and statutory charges, along with a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty^, five-year premium roadside assistance and a low price service offering for the first five standard scheduled service intervals1.
The new vehicle price is also the same regardless of paint colour, with metallic and pearlescent paint colours included, if chosen by the customer. The only items not included in the new national drive away vehicle price are any Honda Genuine Accessories selected by the customer to personalise their vehicle.
No more haggling or shopping around for the best price. With the Honda Price Promise you’ll always pay the same price for your new car no matter which Honda Centre you visit – with all drive away costs included.
You’ll pay just one price, before adding any accessories, wherever you go, with no pressure to buy. We believe it’s a much more transparent and enjoyable way to buy a new car. And it’s our promise to you.
Honda Road Ahead Guarantee
Every new Honda vehicle comes with a five-year unlimited-kilometre warranty^ and five years of premium roadside assistance as standard, providing peace of mind for customers.
In addition, a great value vehicle service offering is linked to each new Honda vehicle purchased, so customers pay the same low price for the first five standard scheduled services on their new Honda vehicle, using Honda Genuine parts and products designed to work seamlessly with the vehicle.
Whether the customer is servicing based on elapsed time or distance travelled (whichever occurs first), they will pay the same low price of $125 for each of the first five standard scheduled service intervals.
This industry-leading service offering includes both the base service items and adaptive service items, so the first five standard scheduled service intervals for every new Honda vehicle will cost a total of just $625 – a saving, on average, of around $1,250~ for the customer.
When you combine the service interval savings with the value of five years of premium roadside assistance, more than $2,000 of value will be delivered to the customer under the new business model.
Honda Genuine Accessories provide customers with the opportunity to personalise a vehicle to suit their needs and lifestyle. Given that is very much a personal choice, accessories will continue to be offered as a separate component of the new car buying process.
The Recommended Fitted Retail Price (RFRP) for all accessories is available on the Honda website to ensure there is similar price transparency for customers, in line with the Honda Price Promise. To enhance the ownership experience even further, new ‘Accessory Packs’ are now available to new and existing Honda customers.
A choice of three accessory packs – Essentials Pack, Style Pack and Premium Protection Pack – brings together individual accessories in clever combinations to complement a customer’s lifestyle.
As an added benefit, the RFRP of an accessory pack is 20 per cent less than the combined total RFRP of the individual accessories, to help make the purchase decision even easier for the customer.
New Way for Honda in Australia Starts Now
“Honda is a global mobility brand with a rich history and an exciting future. In Australia, we are shifting our model to enhance the overall customer proposition and create a sustainable quality business,” Mr. Collins said.
“Restructuring a business is not easy – transforming a business is doubly hard, as it involves changes to everything we do. But our founder, Soichiro Honda, once said: ‘Instead of being afraid of the challenge and failure, be afraid of avoiding the challenge and doing nothing’.
“Our entire team has worked tirelessly over the past 15 months to create a new chapter for Honda in Australia. We’re making it simpler for customers to choose Honda and easier for our network to make that happen.”