The all-new Honda Odyssey, which was set as a hybrid vehicle (HV), achieved favorable sales of 8,400 units, four times higher than predicted for the monthly sales plan, 10 days after its release on February 5.
The 5th generation Odyssey, which is the existing model, underwent a full model change in November 2013; an HV version was also added after such update.
Regarding the HV development, Honda R&D Center Senior Research LPL Masato Nakagawa, who is also the developer in charge for the Odyssey, said, “We really had a great difficulty with its packaging.” Aside from having a cabin space that is suitable for a luxury minivan, they had to work on a unit space that is necessary for hybrid vehicles, such as the battery and electric control unit (ECU).
Accordingly, Nakagawa and his co-developers focused on providing the necessary spare tire space, which is normally found only in exported cars. This ‘tire space’ under the first row seat, was designated as a storage for the battery and ECU for the Odyssey hybrid version, which is exclusive for Japan. The setting in which there is a storage space under the floor started in the first generation Honda Fit, which used the space for fuel tank storage.
In Japan, flat tires can be replaced using a flat tire repairing kit; thus, they have focused on providing tire space for the exported Odyssey units. It’s a bold move, yet a clear solution to preserve the ample spaceâ€”an Odyssey trademark.
(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)