The last Honda Odysseys will soon journey to customer homes, as the closure of its factory – and no successor in sight – end the people mover’s 27-year run.
The Honda Odyssey people mover will soon complete what’s likely to be its final voyage out of a showroom Australia, as the last examples are sold to customers.
Launched in Australia in 1995, Honda has marketed the Odyssey across five generations, morphing from an enlarged five-door wagon to a traditional sliding-door people mover over its life, and remaining popular with Australians throughout.
But despite steady, continued sales in Australia, the Sayama, Japan factory producing the Odyssey closed in March 2022 – and Honda elected not to continue building the people mover at one of its other plants.
Three months on, all examples of Honda’s popular people mover in stock have been sold – or have a customer’s name allocated to them, and are in the process of being delivered, according to a Honda Australia spokesperson.
While the Odyssey departed as Australia’s second best-selling people mover, the popularity of the people mover segment has declined significantly in recent years, as SUVs take over as the default family vehicles.
The last time more than 3000 Honda Odysseys were sold in a year in Australia was 2006 (3002 sales) – at which time the people mover segment accounted for 2.6 per cent of passenger cars sold, and 1.6 per cent of all new motor vehicles.
In 2021, Odyssey sales had fallen to 1143 vehicles, down 62 per cent – but in a segment accounting for 0.8 per cent of all vehicles sold.
Interestingly, people movers managed to represent 5.0 per cent of passenger car sales – though more likely a result of significant declines in hatchback and sedan sales over the 15-year period, incorporating the demise of Australian large car manufacturing.
A total of 43,152 Honda Odysseys have been sold in Australia since 1999 – VFACTS industry sales does not stretch back further – with a peak of 3543 vehicles reported as sold in 2005.
The Odyssey’s sales spike coincides with the arrival of the third-generation model in 2004 (above, in silver) – popularity not seen again until the arrival of the fifth generation in 2014, when sales more than doubled over the course of a year (2552 in 2014 vs 1002 in 2013).
Two thirds of all Odysseys sold since 1999 were third or fifth-generation models, the latter the most popular generation – launched in 2014, and updated in 2018 and 2021.
Prices most recently started from $48,700 drive-away for the entry-level Vi L7, rising to $56,000 drive-away for the flagship Vi LX7.
Sadly, there’s no sign of a successor on the horizon – at least not one available to Australia.
The Odyssey remains on sale in the US, however that vehicle is unrelated to Australia’s version, using a 3.5-litre petrol V6 (instead of a 2.4-litre four-cylinder) and built alongside the US-market Honda Pilot/Passport SUVs and Ridgeline ute in Alabama.
Rumours out of Japan last year suggested a replacement for the Odyssey would launch sometime this year, powered by the Accord sedan’s hybrid system – however this model has yet to surface.
Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.