Honda Motor Co. posted a 37-percent drop in sales of the Accord in China in the first five months of 2014, far from what the Japanese carmaker had expected of the mid-sized sedan. The Accord was the best-selling midsized sedan in China three years ago, and Honda had tried to revive the car’s dominance in the country with high expectations.
It even released an exclusive 3-liter version featuring a flashy grille and a tag rivalling the Audi A4 luxury sedan. But prospects were getting a bit dimmer for the Accord in China, as it dropped to 9th among mid-sized sedans in April.
In late February, Honda offered a stripped-down Accord at a starting price of CHY180,000 ($29,000) -- less expensive than earlier versions that had base tags of more than CHY200,000. That offer, however, failed to stop lagging sales.
"We've already lost faith in it," Liu Yefei, who manages a Honda dealership in Shanghai, told Bloomberg. He quipped that tried to concentrate on higher-end version, but they underestimated the desire for German cars in China.
Japanese carmakers have been laboring in China since a territorial row between the respective countries two years ago. While sales of lower-priced units have started to recover, higher end model were devoured by their German rivals, who have kept on boosting their positions in the country.
German carmakers have also been introducing lower-priced luxury cars, eating up on sales of Japanese carmakers thriving on mid-sized sedans.