Honda plans to stop selling the Accord midsize sedan in Europe as the carmaker continues to suffer sales in a segment where premium ones from German groups are preferred. Leon Brannan, Honda’s UK car division’s boss, told Automotive News Europe that the midsize segment is dominated by corporate sales to German premium brands, which makes the cost to compete is “eye-watering.”
Honda started selling the Accord in Europe in 1977 and commenced production at its Swindon site in the UK in 1992. Back then, the Accord’s main selling points are its reliability and affordable technology.
When Honda shifted the production of the vehicle from the UK to Japan in 2000, Honda was unable to offer similar discounts provided by its European rivals, especially when the Japanese yen gained strength against local currencies.
In 2014, the Accord saw its sales in the region drop 19 percent to 3,453 units, last according to JATO Dynamics market researchers. Honda, meanwhile, logged a 5-percent fall in sales in the EU and EFTA markets to 133,268, giving it a market share of just 1 percent, according to data from industry body ACEA.
Honda is more optimistic for this year in Europe, especially as it prepares to offer new and refreshed models like the HR-V subcompact crossover and the CR-V compact SUV.