Honda rolled off today from its Columbus, Ohio assembly line the first mass-production version of 2013 Honda Accord sedan, considered as the most important new vehicle for the carmaker this year in the US. The 2012 Accord is the second-biggest-selling vehicle in the US for Honda this year, behind the Toyota Camry.
Honda has been producing the Accord at its Columbus plant since 1982, when the company made history by becoming the first Japanese carmaker with a plant in the US. Since then, the plant has produced over 9 million Accord sedans. Hide Iwata, chief executive of Honda of America Manufacturing, remarked that for 30 years, the Accord has been Honda’s signature vehicle, adding that the vehicle remains the industry benchmark in a very competitive segment.
Honda expects that the full remodeling of the Accord will help the vehicle remain at stride or even outpace the Camry, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata and Chevrolet Malibu. It has been a trend in the auto industry that when a model gets a makeover, it would generate more sales. Honda hopes that the Accord would follow that trend when it goes on sale in September at US dealerships.
The current 2012 Accord logged a 28 percent in sales this year. The midsize sedan market is considered as the most competitive in the US. It is expected that most of Honda’s major rivals will be selling updated models.
For the first seven of 2012 alone, five of the 11 top-selling models in the US were midsize sedans. Excluding pickup trucks and sports utility vehicles, five of the top seven models were midsize sedans. The top-selling midsize car for the first seven months of 2012 was the Camry, which updated last year, with 243,816 units sold.