Supply and inventory problems resulting from the March 2011 natural disaster that hit Japan continue to hound Japanese carmaker Honda. According to American Honda President and Chief Executive Tetsuo Iwamura, who spoke at the ongoing New York Auto Show, sales of flagship Honda Accord for March 2012 were "not satisfactory" as the model continues to be outsold by other Japanese models like the Toyota Camry and the Nissan Altima.
The company only managed to sell 26,771 Accords in the United States in March 2012, down from 31,533 units in the same period in 2011. The company posted an eight percent year-on-year drop in sales for the accord, selling only 61,132 units in the January-March period.
American Honda disclosed that total Honda division sales dropped four percent year-on-year to 115,833 in March 2012. This development saw Honda’s share in the U.S. light vehicle market drop from 10.1% in the first quarter of 2011, to 9.2 percent for the same period this year. The Accord was once the hottest car in the US, but stiff competition as well as inventory conditions pulled the model down.
Right now, the Accord is facing tight challenges in the mid-sized sedan market, where it faces rivals like Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion and Volkswagen Passat.
Iwamura said that its inventories are improving but the main problem right now is how to distribute its vehicles among dealerships. Iwamura noted that the Accord sales slump was due to a shortage of some popular models, adding that a new model in the fall would aid Accord’s sales resurgence.