Just over a month ago, Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo announced that the Japanese automaker will be realigning its global strategy by trimming its model lineup and offering solely zero-emission vehicles by 2040. The models to be trimmed are supposedly those that are underperforming in terms of sales, and it seems the first batch of models to receive the axe is the Honda Odyssey and two other nameplates.
The current generation, Japanese-built Honda Odyssey has been on sale since 2014 in Japan and 2015 in the Philippines. Since then, the premium MPV received two facelifts over its lifetime, the most recent of which was at the end of 2020. Unfortunately, this will be the last generation of the Japanese Honda Odyssey.
According to a report by Nikkei Asia, Honda will be shutting down its Sayama plant near Tokyo by fiscal year ending March 2022. Vehicles produced in this plant will not be moved elsewhere, and as a result, production of the Honda Clarity and Legend full-size luxury sedan will also cease by then.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Honda Clarity, that’s because this midsize liftback was only sold in Japan, North America, and a few other markets around the world. Available as a plug-in hybrid, electric, and fuel cell hydrogen vehicle, the Clarity wasn’t a huge seller for the brand. Only 1,900 units were sold last year, so its discontinuation is not surprising.
As for the Honda Legend, the flagship luxury sedan just received a major update this year. The 2021 Legend became the first production vehicle to be equipped with Level 3 autonomous driving technology through Honda Sensing Elite. Either way, only 100 units of the innovative Legend with Honda Sensing Elite were made available in Japan and only for leasing.
The Honda Legend was briefly sold in the Philippines as Honda Cars Philippines’ flagship vehicle from 2015 until stocks ran out. The large hybrid luxury sedan is a rarity on Philippine roads, making this sedan very special to car enthusiasts. Back in Japan, the Legend sold poorly in 2020. Only 216 units were sold, which is a far cry from its peak of 20,000 units in 1991.
Going back to the Honda Odyssey, the end of the MPV’s Japanese production doesn’t mean that the nameplate will be discontinued altogether. The Honda Odyssey is also on sale in North America as a completely different and unrelated minivan. Honda Cars Philippines also briefly sold the US-market Odyssey in the Philippines until the company decided to switch to the smaller, Japanese-built model.
The Honda Odyssey will live on in North America, but for the Philippines, only time will tell whether the North American model will replace the Japanese-built Odyssey. The other question is whether Honda will still offer the recently facelifted Japanese Odyssey in our market altogether.