SEMA eNews Vol. 10, No. 27, July 5, 2007

HONDA LOOKING TO IMPROVE ACCORD SALES

According to WardsAuto, American Honda Motor Co. Inc. wants to “boost sales of its Accord midsize sedan to a level not seen since 2001.” In recent year’s, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.’s Camry has surpassed the Accord in sales, and Honda wants to take back some of the market share.

John Mendel, senior vice president for American Honda, says that the volume expectations are to hit 400,000-plus units with the 2008 Accord, which will go on sale in the United States this fall. Last year, Honda delivered 354,441 Accords in the United States—a combination of 323,079 domestically built models with 31,362 imported models. The current generation of the Camry, which was launched in 2006, sold 448,445 units in 2006, making it the best-selling car in the United States. Back in 1997, only 12,547 units separated the Camry and Accord in spots one and two, respectively. In 2001, the Accord did beat the Camry in sales, 414,718 units vs. 390,449 units. And Honda’s assurances in 2003 that the 2003 Accord would again hit the 400,000 mark never came to fruition.

Global Insight analyst Rebecca Lindland said that the company expects the Accord to reach about 425,000 units in 2007, but that the Camry will hit the 500,000 mark with the addition of 100,000 units of production capacity at Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. Many Honda officials have attributed the high sales figures for the Camry to higher incentives and an increase in fleet deliveries. According to Fleet-Central.com, 11.4% of 2005 Camry sales went to fleets, vs. 2% of Accord deliveries.

And although Mendel downplays the somewhat rivalry between the Camry and the Accord, the fact is Honda wants to boost sales of the Accord, period. Furthermore, Honda would like to increase the percentage of coupes sold. At its peak, the Accord coupe accounted for about 70,000–80,000 units each year, but recently sales of the coupe have hit about 35,000–40,000 units annually.

Source: Schweinsberg, Christie. (June 27, 2007). “Honda Wants to Get Accord Back to 400,000.”  WardsAuto.com. Retrieved June 27, 2007, from www.wardsauto.com.