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.
The release of the 2013 Honda Accord heralds the start of the ninth generation of the brand’s best-selling midsize vehicle. It will come in the Coupe and Sedan versions and will have features better than any other model in the 37-year history of the Accord. The 2013 Accord performs better, has better equipment, and is more sophisticated and luxurious.
Indeed, this new generation has high levels of craftsmanship, dynamics, luxury, and of course, standard equipment, compared to other models in the same class. In terms of dimensions, the length and wheelbase are more compact when compared to the previous generation. Still, the brand has managed to put in some important enhancements to the interior like the trunk volume and the legroom in the rear.
This makes the new Accord have a more athletic look with better driving dynamics and handling that is more responsive. The brand made sure to redesign almost everything from the edge of the bumpers in the front and all the way to the exhaust finishers. Other elements include the aerodynamics, glass, sheet metal, and unit-body.
There are also new features on the interior as well as electronic systems. New as well are the engines, transmissions, components of the chassis, and the various safety systems. Even with all of the chances, the new 2013 Accord remains focused on ensuring that the well-known safety and security the brand is known for are still there.
Present as well is the passenger comfort, convenience, handling, fun-to-drive performance, and value for money. Both the 2013 Accord Sedan and the 2013 Accord Coupe will be manufactured at two facilities located in Ohio. This will also signal the 30 straight years of making the Accord in the U.S.