Honda working closely with dealer network to prep for EV and digital sales future
TORRANCE, Calif. – Honda released the first sketch previewing the design of the all-new Prologue full-electric SUV launching in 2024. The first Honda model designed primarily through virtual reality visualization technology, Prologue styling suggests an adventure-ready SUV capable of satisfying everyday driving and weekend getaways with a strong hint of the well-received Honda e in the front fascia.
The exterior styling of the Prologue represents the clean, simple and timeless values of the global Honda design direction, together with a long wheelbase, shorter overhang and a strong stance outfitted with a capable tire. Prologue was designed at the Honda Design Studio in Los Angeles in collaboration with a Honda design team in Japan.
“We announced a plan two years ago, positioned as a smart strategy, to co-develop an electric vehicle with GM. What will result is not just a more efficient process, but a great looking new vehicle, the Honda Prologue,” said Mamadou Diallo, vice president of Auto Sales, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Our dealers are excited about Prologue and the fact that it is just the first volume Honda EV, with more Honda-engineered EVs we will begin building in North America coming to market in 2026.”
Toward its global goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, Honda will introduce 30 new EVs globally by 2030, with a volume of 2 million units. In North America, Honda has laid out an aggressive timeline of EV introductions based on three phases leading to 2030:
- 2024: Begin sales of the Honda Prologue, co-developed with GM
- 2026: Begin production and sales of Honda models based on the new Honda e:Architecture.
- 2027: Begin production and sales of a new series of affordable EVs, based on a new vehicle architecture co-developed with GM.
Based on these three phases, the Honda brand plans to sell nearly 500,000 EVs in North America by 2030.
Honda also is working closely with its dealers to help them prepare to take care of customers in the new era of BEV sales and service. This includes:
- A new dealership facility design provides dealers with a modular and flexible space reflecting changes in the way customers shop for and purchase vehicles, as well as lower inventory dealers will need to support sales in the future.
- The number and type of EV charging stations dealers will be required to install based on their expected EV sales volume through 2030.
- Guidelines regarding the types of special tools and equipment dealers will need to acquire to service Honda electric vehicles.
For the rollout of these guidelines, Honda is taking a tiered approach with dealers based on potential EV sales in their local markets. A tiered approach will allow dealers to determine the best timing for these investments and evolve as EV sales accelerate.
U.S.-based Design of Honda Prologue
A team of designers in the Honda Design Studio in Los Angeles used virtual reality to overcome challenges related to remote work requirements during the COVID pandemic and to collaborate virtually with Honda design and development team members in Japan. Prologue was conceived as a modern and fresh design that will look comfortable in the same showroom as existing Honda SUVs.
“As the project leader for the exterior design of the Honda Prologue, it was very exciting to work with a young team of designers with new capabilities to create an SUV with clean, simple lines and a strong influence from our global EV models, including the Honda e,” said Jiro Ikeda, Exterior Design Leader. “We balanced that with a neo-rugged look that you see in our current lineup to ensure Prologue represents a true Honda EV.”
The team also focused on aerodynamics, fine-tuning the body with a simple surface direction and fewer lines to improve range and reduce cabin noise. This is something that will become even more important for customers driving an EV, as the absence of engine sounds will make any wind noise and other sounds entering the cabin more noticeable.