SAN FRANCISCO -- Honda Division expects to beat last year's 1 percent U.S. sales increase as it breathes new life into its truck lineup in 2015.
The brand is introducing several new and restyled models this year, prompting executives to call 2015 "the year of Honda."
Besides a new subcompact cross-over and a redesigned midsize SUV, "we have a couple other things up our sleeve that will help contribute to that sales increase," Jeff Conrad, Honda Division general manager, said after executives met with dealers at the NADA convention.
Honda plans to sell 70,000 to 80,000 units of the HR-V subcompact crossover, being launched in spring, for the first 12 months "when it's up and running," Conrad said.
Honda's U.S. truck deliveries rose slightly in 2014 in a light-truck market that expanded 10 percent.
Dealers anticipate that the HR-V will bolster Honda's portfolio as "another key component in the all-wheel-drive platform," said Jeff Hodge, president of Honda World Downey in Downey, Calif.
The aging three-row Pilot crossover will get an overhaul this summer, followed by the Ridgeline pickup. U.S. deliveries of the Pilot dropped 14 percent last year. The redesigned Pilot will be shown at the Chicago Auto Show next month.
Honda launched a refreshed compact CR-V crossover in October, beginning "a complete makeover in a very short amount of time of our truck lineup," Conrad said. But "we're not taking our eyes off the sedan business," as a refreshed Civic sedan is also expected this year.
Honda also told dealers to expect in April an expansion of its Honda Courtesy Car program to allow dealers to rent cars in addition to providing vehicles for service customers.