Honda To Act On Falling Accord Sales

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Thread: Honda To Act On Falling Accord Sales

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    News Contributor Premium Member Perian's Avatar
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    Honda To Act On Falling Accord Sales

    Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...330&refer=asia

    Honda to Revamp Accord to Reverse U.S. Car Sales Drop

    June 14 (Bloomberg) -- Honda Motor Co., Japan's third- biggest carmaker, said it plans ``substantial'' modifications to its Accord model in an effort to reverse a sales slump that may lead to the company's first U.S. sales decline in 12 years.

    ``We're planning some fairly major refreshes coming this year,'' John Mendel, Honda's U.S. sales chief, said in an interview today. The changes will address what customers view as the current Accord's shortcomings, including exterior styling and engine power, he said without elaborating. The latest Accord is about halfway through its four- to five-year model life.

    In its attempt to boost U.S. demand, Honda is trying to regain share in a market that has accounted for 43 percent of its global sales. Accord sedans and coupes, which made up 25 percent of Tokyo-based Honda's total U.S. sales so far in 2005, fell 9 percent to 143,304 this year through May. Honda's annual U.S. sales haven't fallen since 1993, the longest growth streak in the market.

    ``Accord is Honda's symbol in this market. They'll do what they have to to protect it,'' said Jim Sanfilippo, executive vice president of Automotive Marketing Consultants Inc. in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. ``It doesn't cost much to bend the sheet metal a little differently to improve the looks, so that's an easy option.''

    The drop for Accord, as well as the Civic -- a small car that is Honda's second-biggest selling U.S. model -- cut the company's U.S. sales 0.7 percent this year through May to 565,948. Civic sales are down 15 percent this year, in part because Honda has reduced production ahead of the release of a redesigned version due in about three months.

    In spite of the declines so far this year, Honda will post a twelfth consecutive year of overall U.S. sales growth, said Mendel, who declined to estimate a percentage increase.

    The company, the fifth-biggest automaker in terms of U.S. sales, has relied more on cars than its larger competitors, General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler AG and Toyota Motor Corp., which sell more pickup trucks, sport-utility vehicles and vans.

    Amid falling U.S. demand for cars Honda has added its first pickup, boosted production of SUVs and minivans and plans a second SUV for its luxury Acura line. Honda builds its North American Accord mainly at a plant in Marysville, Ohio.

    Accord sales may have also been hurt this year as Honda dealers focused more on selling newer, more expensive models such as the Ridgeline pickup and Pilot SUV, Sanfilippo said. ``My sense is a lot of dealers are a little bit enamored with selling these new trucks,'' he said.

    Expanding competition and rising incentives in a ``mature'' segment of the U.S. auto market have contributed to Accord's slump, said Mendel, 50, senior vice president for the company's U.S. auto operations and who this year succeeded former sales chief Tom Elliott.

    Midsize sedans ``are the Fallujah of the car industry,'' Mendel said. ``Everybody is basically pounding away with everything they've got.'' Honda still expects to maintain average annual sales volume on Accord of about 400,000 units, he said.

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    Re: Honda To Act On Falling Accord Sales

    Haha, no sympathy for the devil as I always say. Everybody is worried about GM, it's not only them who is having problems selling cars lol

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    Re: Honda To Act On Falling Accord Sales

    Not even the Accord Hybrid has helped Accord sales? Interesting.

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    Re: Honda To Act On Falling Accord Sales

    OK, out of the Japanese companies to call "the devil" it has to be Toyota above all.

    I have a sneaking suspiscion that some of those Accord sales ended up as G6 sales.

    I know that if the G6 were out in 2003 I would have bought that over the Accord in a heart beat.
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    Re: Honda To Act On Falling Accord Sales

    the reason why sales are declining is that Americans have finally woken up to the Honda is better than anything myth, and discovered they no longer wanted to buy a butt-ugly car
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    Re: Honda To Act On Falling Accord Sales

    This current Accord is not very exciting at all. I remember the first time I saw it when it first came out, I was in shock. I couldn't believe that they somehow managed to make an even more ugly Accord then the previous model.

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    Re: Honda To Act On Falling Accord Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by atomicshark
    OK, out of the Japanese companies to call "the devil" it has to be Toyota above all.

    I have a sneaking suspiscion that some of those Accord sales ended up as G6 sales.

    I know that if the G6 were out in 2003 I would have bought that over the Accord in a heart beat.
    definately agree that toyota is the worst of the japanese brands. but i don't think the G6 is taking all the accord sales... definately a few, but alot of G6 owners are GM-people (grand am in particular) already, haven't seen exact numbers but i'm sure GM would yell it from the roof tops if the G6 was getting major conquest sales from people trading in hondas. the altima has almost caught up with the accord this year (passed the impala in may), and it's taking sales from someone. based on some numbers i saw here at the end of april about the top 20 sellers YTD vs same period 2004, the accord is losing sales to altima while the taurus sales are all going to the malibu. the G6 may start hurting the accord/altima/etc... over the next year as more come out, but for right now i think its a nuisance, not the big problem. it is going to be a bigger problem for the next year or so... it'll be interesting to see if the accord can survive the altima, G6, sonata, then aura and fusion all coming to market and aiming right at it.

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    Re: Honda To Act On Falling Accord Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by Perian
    We're planning some fairly major refreshes coming this year,'' John Mendel, Honda's U.S. sales chief, said in an interview today. The changes will address what customers view as the current Accord's shortcomings, including exterior styling and engine power, he said without elaborating. The latest Accord is about halfway through its four- to five-year model life.
    I'm surprised to hear that engine power was a source of complain; the Accord is one of the sprightier cars in class. Then again, some think that Honda's engines feel feeble until revs are built.

    Quote Originally Posted by plane
    That Malibu is one sweet car. I prefer the Maxx, but either in LT trim are very nice. Do you think Malibu's more room, more power, more style had anything to do with this?
    One can only hope.
    Not sure. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't see Accord shoppers considering the Malibu as an alternative.

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    Re: Honda To Act On Falling Accord Sales

    With the Accord sales on the decline, I don't really think the G6 has much to do with it. The Accord sales have been in decline for some time now, long before the G6 hit the market in full force. If anything, I think the Nissan Altima and maybe the Mazda 6 had a lot to do with it. And maybe the Camry as well considering its sales continue to increase.

    I don't know. I personally like the Accord (mostly the coupe) and it had been in my list of new car buys. I chose the Mustang over the Accord coupe mostly because I wanted to stay with an American car. Until I rode in an Accord sedan last week, I never had the chance to say how good they are. Well, from my short experience, I was massively impressed. The lady that owned it loves it and bought it to replace her 12 year Accord that was getting old.

    So, to be frank, I hope Honda gets the Accord going in the right direction. I, and 300,000+ people, don't think it is a terrible car at all.

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    Re: Honda To Act On Falling Accord Sales

    It's the Accord's FOURTH model year, guys. And it doesn't have an major incentives. When's the last time a mainstream GM sedan sold that well so late in its life cycle? And the Civic will be all new in the fall.

    Let's get some perspective.

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    Re: Honda To Act On Falling Accord Sales

    Well, the competition for the Accord is the Altima which has come on strong. Folks that buy Hondas will never consider a Malibu or G6. Accords have a great reputation for world class engines and interiors that we haven't seen in a GM product. And the buying public knows this!
    I won't bet against the Accord or Civic at least not until the Aura comes out to play.

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    Re: Honda To Act On Falling Accord Sales

    I agree with Honda's own admission: The exterior look isn't the prettiest of the bunch, especially compared to the Mazda6!
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    Re: Honda To Act On Falling Accord Sales

    It's not Honda that GM needs to worry about right now, Toyota is nipping at their heels.

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    Re: Honda To Act On Falling Accord Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by TaHoE
    It's not Honda that GM needs to worry about right now, Toyota is nipping at their heels.
    Exactly. GM needs to out Toyota, Toyota. That can be done with high quality products with great design and high value. It's a tall order, but that is what is needed in today's car market.
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    Re: Honda To Act On Falling Accord Sales

    We all remember when Mazda, Nissan, & Subaru was on it's deathbed and now Honda is getting alittle green around the face. The car market is fickle and it is just a bad move or two from Toyota for us to be reading that Toyota sales are dropping.

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