Honda has announced that it is discontinuing the Clarity, its first production hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicle, nearly six years after its debut. Production of the FCV, which premiered at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show before going on sale in 2016, is set to come to an end this year, Nikkei Asia reports.
Weak market response is the reason for the demise of the car, the spiritual successor to the FCX Clarity, a lease-only hydrogen-powered vehicle that was introduced in 2007. The Clarity FCV was also a lease-only model, and its relatively high price of 7.83 million yen (RM293,000), coupled with a dearth of hydrogen-fueling stations, resulted in the automaker only selling about 1,900 units worldwide.
The fuel-cell wasn’t the only version of the car to go on sale. Plug-in hybrid and electric variants came about in 2017, but the EV version was discontinued in 2020 following poor take-up. Now, the plug is also being pulled on the Clarity PHEV, effectively ending the nameplate’s run.
The Clarity isn’t the only model that is being canned by the automaker. The company also announced that it is also ending domestic production of the Legend sedan and the Odyssey MPV, as part of a broader push to trim under-performing models and shift its focus to electric vehicles as part of its new direction.
The Legend first appeared in 1985 and ran for four generations before being dropped from the automaker’s model line-up in 2012. The current fifth-gen was revealed in late 2014 and refreshed in 2018. However, sales of the car, essentially a Honda-badged Acura RLX, have been incredibly soft – only 216 units were sold last year, a far cry from the nameplate’s peak of roughly 20,000 vehicles in 1991.
Earlier this year, the company released the Legend Hybrid EX, the world’s first production vehicle certified at Level 3 autonomous driving, as a limited run of 100 units and only available through lease. While the Legend will sail off into the sunset, the tech will find its way on to other models in the future.
As for the Odyssey, its introduction in 1994 as a pioneering Japanese minivan helped the automaker rebound from a business slump. The MPV proved popular among families and sold 126,000 units in 1995, but sales have tapered in recent times in the face of competition from the Toyota Alphard and similarly priced models. The current fifth-gen version was introduced in 2013, refreshed in 2017 and given a second facelift late last year.
The Clarity, Legend and Odyssey are all assembled at the company’s Sayama plant near Tokyo, which is slated to close in the fiscal year ending March 2022. Honda has decided not to move their production elsewhere once the plant has shut, leading to their discontinuation.
GALLERY: Honda Clarity fuel-cell
GALLERY: Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid
GALLERY: Honda Legend, 2018 facelift
GALLERY: Honda Odyssey, 2020 facelift