Honda previews 2024 Prologue EV, new retail design

Honda’s all-electric Prologue crossover is taking shape as the automaker prepares for an electrified future that targets half a million EV sales in North America by 2050.

The 2024 Prologue, Honda’s first volume EV, will leverage General Motors’ Ultium platform and batteries as part of a partnership between the two automakers. Honda has said it expects to sell 70,000 Prologues.

The Prologue’s exterior styling was handled by the Honda Design Studio in Los Angeles with influence from a Japan-based design team. Honda will design the interior as well.

“We announced a plan two years ago, positioned as a smart strategy, to co-develop an electric vehicle with GM,” Mamadou Diallo, American Honda’s head of sales, said in a statement. He said the collaboration with GM resulted in an attractive vehicle and a more efficient product development and manufacturing process.

According to a digital rendering, the Prologue mixes clean lines with a long wheelbase, short overhang and strong stance, suggesting it will have adventure-ready aspirations and on-road manners like many of its rivals in the hot-selling compact crossover segment.

Designers and engineers concentrated on aerodynamics and fine-tuned the body to create a simple surface with fewer lines to improve range and reduce cabin noise.

Honda said such styling “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.”

Honda says the front fascia will set the tone for others EVs that will use Honda’s e:Architecture starting in 2026. In 2027, Honda and GM will also roll out a series of affordable EVs based on a co-developed platform.

Honda’s move toward electric also includes new dealer facility designs with modular layouts that contemplate lower inventory and changing consumer shopping behavior.

Dave Gardner, American Honda’s national head of operations and sales, told Automotive News last month that while a small percentage of shoppers complete the entire car-buying process online, the amount of digital engagement has increased.

Mike Kistemaker, assistant vice president of national sales for Honda, told Automotive News that in the current low-inventory environment, 90 days is the “sweet spot” of how long customers are willing to wait for the vehicle they want. Though dealers are operating with less inventory on the ground, they are still able to satisfy consumer expectations.

Honda says its new dealership designs will also include charging stations as well as guidelines on tools and equipment dealers will need to sell and service EVs.

Gardner also told Automotive News that Honda will roll out EVs according to volume and that dealers in ZEV states would be the first to “come online with BEVs.”

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