It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that we here at Roadshow are fans of Honda. The company makes well-engineered and affordable cars that are fun to drive and cheap to run. It would seem, however, that Russia’s car-buying public doesn’t share our enthusiasm for the Big H.
According to a report published Wednesday by Reuters, Honda is pulling out of the Russian automotive market in 2022. We suspect that the fact that the company only managed to sell 79 cars in November in the entire country likely has something to do with that. That number is down 50% from November of 2019, so this is not a new problem.
Why has Honda been struggling to sell cars in Russia? It’s hard to say conclusively, but the fact that it lacks any production facility in the country, unlike its competitors Toyota and Nissan, probably has something to do with it. Shipping cars into a country typically incurs all kinds of taxes and fees, and makes it harder to stay competitive.
While Honda’s cars will be making their exit from the Russian market, Honda motorcycles and power equipment (think generators and lawnmowers) will keep on keeping on. The same is true for after-sales of the existing Honda vehicles in-country.
Honda didn’t immediately respond to Roadshow’s request for comment.