Honda Jazz set to be axed? SUVs could kill off popular hatch
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As the world shift towards big burly SUVs, it seems that the popular, inexpensive city cars of yesteryear are being left in the dust.
One of these little cars that has felt this shift is the Honda Jazz, and if Honda Australia's statement is anything to go by, it looks like this current generation of Jazz is the last that we're going to get.
Unveiled back in 2002, the Jazz has been significantly updated over the years, but the 2020 update is the most drastic by far. Cuter looks, a feng shui cabin, and a hybrid power train is coming to the Jazz, but it might not be coming to us.
Stephen Collins, Honda Australia's director recently spoke about the hatch's future down under; "Jazz at this stage we don’t have a lot of news. We’re still working through what will happen with the next-generation Jazz. That segment is very, very challenging."
Increasing costs associated with safety tech that has to be crammed into these little cars are making them unprofitable for manufacturers in smaller markets. Higher priced SUVs are far more profitable for these brands.
When we reached out to Honda New Zealand about the new Jazz earlier this year, we received a similar response from Matt Woodburn, the head of marketing at Honda NZ.
"The Jazz is a very important model for Honda in New Zealand, and has been loved by our customers since the first generation was launched back in 2002. Locally the 2020YM has just been released, which features updated connectivity and a fresh new interior for the award winning RS grades. Officially, it is too early to provide any details regarding the model shown at the Tokyo Motorshow."
While total new Honda registrations are down around 600 units for 2019 against last years' numbers, they are still significantly better than those of 2017 and 2016. We can't pinpoint where the jazz sits in these numbers, but they look promising.
While keeping city cars in the line-up may not be very profitable, dropping a small hybrid as we head into increasing fuel costs seems like a bold move from the manufacturer. Reasonably cheap electrified vehicles are still a small commodity, and this 2020 Jazz could be a serious contender in the segment.
Right now it’s anyone's guess as to whether the 2020 Jazz will make it down to us, but hopefully Honda's positive sales numbers in the passenger segment means that it will make the trek.