Many of the marque articles published on Motoring Weekly discuss “companion brands” – a marque that was created to fill a gap in the market – Pontiac was one that outgrew its parent. In recent decades we have seen a resurgence in major manufacturers creating brands typically to fill the luxury end of the market, for example, Honda and Acura, Toyota and Lexus and even Mazda with their short-lived Eunos brand.
Many companies are also focusing exclusively on electric power and we have seen announcements that Maserati will move to pure electric power and Automobili Pininfarina will be doing the same thing. Now there has been an announcement from Honda that they will be expanding another brand in their eco-system.
They recently showed the Honda Everus Concept in China. Like the plans for Pininfarina, this is a pure electric SUV and was shown for the first time at the Beijing Auto Show. Honda uses the Everus name in the China market only and the car will be built by their joint venture GAC Honda – GAC is part of the Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group and GAC also have joint ventures with Toyota and FIAT amongst others.
The Everus EV is based on Honda’s HRV crossover style SUV and is expected to go on sale before the end of 2018 – that is only six months away and the companies (Honda and GAC) were apparently reluctant to share details of the powertrain to be used. You can always tell an electric concept – the designers must have some blue accents on the bodywork!
The Everus brand is actually not new – it has been used in China for the last seven years as a rebadged Honda Civic and a concept with the name was shown over ten years ago. The EV will be the first new model from the company as opposed to building Hondas with their own badge glued on.
Honda also has a joint venture with Dongfeng in northern China that sells cars under the Honda and Climo marques, so it looks like the three brands will target differing market segments. Climo is focused on first time buyers – I liken them to Toyota’s Scion brand in the US, Honda will be the main brand and then it looks like Everus will evolve into their Chinese EV brand.
It also looks like Honda is using the brand to establish its full electric power credentials – they have had hybrids and the Insight for decades, yet they have been fairly stagnant in this market segment compared to others, even though they were once a market leader! China is a huge market for electric cars, so if the brand is successful, I wonder if Everus will become another Lynk & Co and spread its wings into Europe or the US – depending on tariffs of course!