First the excellent refreshed Accord HEV, the super-efficient and powerful Civic 1.5-T, and now the Clarity PHEV. And more is coming! Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – April 3, 2017 2017 Honda Clarity PHEV-42 – Pricing TBA but expected to be in the mid-30s, a whopping 42 miles from the plug, and a decent but still preliminary 42 mpgUS combined rating as a pure hybrid on gasoline. New York City, NY – At this year’s 2017 NY International Auto Show (NYIAS), Honda released more details on its 3-way Clarity lineup. While the FCV is interesting but pricey, and the 80-mile range BEV is all but a non-starter due to range and expected mid-30s upfront pricing, the Plug-in (PHEV) is ready to excite. Honda's dynamically styled Clarity has a low, wide aerodynamic body, a special hero color, and 18” alloys. I like the Accord like front with unique DRLs and design elements but I am not too enamored with that rea quarter… The Clarity PHEV, like the Accord offers a spacious interior for five adults, outfitted with premium, environmentally responsible materials. If it is anything like the Accord which it should be, those rear seats will be segment leading. The Clarity PHEV will also include Display Audio with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay standard plus the full suite of HONDA SENSING advanced safety avoidance and collision mitigation systems. 2018 Honda Clarity Interior Clean, classy, functional, and it appears very comfortable like the Accord. We posted this a few times over the past 6-months but there is another hybrid specific model coming in 2018 that will be using the Accord Two-Motor system but possibly a 1.5L ICE for even better efficiency? And their truck lineup will be receiving the electrified drivetrains as well. 2018 Honda Clarity PHEV-42 The 2018 Honda Clarity PHEV will arrive at dealerships across the country later this year. Honda has initially declared it will have an all-electric range (AER) of 420-miles but like past Honda pronouncements, I suspect that will be short of actual. Maybe 43 to 45 miles actual once the EPA certification has been completed? For longer trips, the Clarity PHEV uses a heavily atkinsonized 1.5L I4 mated to a very powerful 181 hp and 232 lb.-ft. of torque electric motor powered by a 17 kWh Li-Ion traction battery. Honda stated a driving range of 330 miles in Charge Sustaining (Hybrid) mode so expect a smallish 7+ gallon fuel tank? A product planning decision that seems a bit on the short side to me. From a Level2, it should take 2.5 hours from flat. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is anticipated to earn a mixed driving EPA fuel economy rating of 105 MPGe combined besting the current Sonata Hybrid PHEVs 99 MPGe rating. The Clarity PHEV will feature a Normal, Econ and Sport driving mode. A fourth HV mode is standard and can maintain the battery's SoC for later in-city uses for example. Honda March 2017 Sales Overview Honda including its Acura division reported it sold 137,227 vehicles in March, down 0.7 percent below the 138,221 sold in March of 2016. YTD sales of 365,293 are up 2.1 percent over the 357,703 sold through the same period of 2016. Honda trucks set a new March record, gaining 12.6 percent on sales of 61,975. Acura Division Mach sales were down again with sales of 11,696 vehicles, off 21.2 percent below the 14,852 sold in March of 2016. YTD sales of 31,762 are off 16.1 percent below the 37,875 sold through the same period of 2016. The Honda Division trucks also set new March record with a 12.6 percent gain lead by the very popular and segment leading refreshed 2017 Honda CR-V. CR-V sales of 32,872 were up 23.0 percent over the 26,730 sold in March of 2016. YUTSD sales of 94,057 are up an even more impressive 32.1 percent over the 71,188 sold though the same period of 2016. Although March Civic sales of 31,520 were down 4.1 percent from the 32,855 sold in March of 2016, the highly regarded compact was the best-selling passenger car in America on a retail basis through the first quarter of 2017. Items of Note: In January and now March, the Fusion Hybrid outsold Prius. YTD sales of the Prius (15,769) are still ahead of the Fusion Hybrid (15,660) by just 109 vehicles. This is turning out to be quite the horse race with both jockeying back and forth for the monthly sales lead. The Prius has not felt this kind of sales pressure ever. The Kia Niro, now in its second full month of sales reached 2,704 new owners and continues to be the 4th bestselling hybrid in the country. The sales totals appear to be accelerating over and above the 2,143 sold last month and I suspect it will top out near 3 to 3.5k/month mark with incentives beginning to be offered in earnest and for the first time in March. Ioniq is just now reaching Hyundai dealerships so we will be watching that one closely with April being its first full month of sales. U.S. March 2017 Sales vs. March 2016 Sales Ranks and Results for the top 18 Automobile Manufacturers GM March 2017 Sales Up 1.6% with 256,224 Vehicles sold Ford March 2017 Sales Down 7.2% with 236,250 Vehicles sold Toyota March 2017 Sales Down 2.1% with 215,224 Vehicles sold FCA March 2017 Sales Down 4.6% with 190,254 Vehicles sold Nissan March 2017 Sales Up 3.2% with 168,832 Vehicles sold Honda March 2017 Sales Down 0.7% with 137,227 Vehicles sold Hyundai March 2017 Sales were down 8.0% with 69,265 Vehicles sold Subaru March 2017 Sales Up 11.3% with 54,871 Vehicles sold Kia March 2017 Sales Down 15.2% with 49,429 Vehicles Sold BMW March 2017 Sales Up 3.5% with 36,002 Vehicles sold Mercedes-Benz March 2017 Sales Up 2.0% with 32,352 Vehicles Sold VW March 2017 Sales Up 2.7% with 27,635 Vehicles sold Mazda March 2017 Sales Up 4.9% with 24,549 Vehicles sold Audi March 2017 Sales Up 1.7% with 18,705 Vehicles sold Jaguar/Land Rover March 2017 Sales Up 18.9% with 12,918 Vehicles sold Mitsubishi March 2017 Sales Up 6.2% with 11,766 Vehicles sold Volvo March 2017 Sales Down 21.9% with 5,356 Vehicles sold Porsche March 2017 Sales Up 3.6% with 4,479 Vehicles sold In March, BMW moved up two spots to 10th ahead of both VW and MB. Jaguar/Land Rover moved ahead of Mitsubishi to take the 15th spot. In terms of Market Share, GM was a clear winner in March with a 0.9 percent gain over March of 2016. FCA was down 1.0 percent, Nissan was up 0.7 percent. Regarding segment sales totals, F-Series outsold GM’s Silverado, Sierra, Colorado, and Canyon combined. Ram also outsold Silverado. March light vehicle SAAR (seasonally-adjusted annual rate) was 14 million in March although March 2017 sales (1.54 million) were off 0.05 million vs. March of 2016 sales (1.59 million). The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles was approximately 14.0 million vehicles. YTD industry sales of 4.00 million is down 0.05 million form the 4.05 million sold through the same period of 2016 with the same number of selling days. It is clear that short term sales have peaked. With incentives piling on across the industry, where we go from here is anyone’s guess.