Honda just released its January 2018 sales report and Honda Accord sales took a major hit despite being all new for 2018.
Honda’s January sales report was unsurprisingly stellar when compared to December being a period of sales and discounts but one sales number stuck out like a sore thumb, Honda’s new accord. According to Honda’s official sale report for January, they dropped earlier last week (Feb 1, 2018) sales of Honda Accord dropped 9.5 percent compared to January last year. Pretty much every other Honda car including Civic, Clarity, and Fit didn’t experience quite the drop in demand. There are, however, some very good reasons thanks to some keen commenters on Temple Of VTEC that shed some light on this situation.
First of all, it looks like some of the polarizing details of Accord versus Camry (Accord’s only real competition) that set the two apart aren’t being the home run hits Honda was hoping for, namely that front end and a lack of a V6.
On paper, the new 2.0T versus the old V6 may make more sense, but to the average car buyer who isn’t informed on Honda’s latest developments, going into a dealership and finding no big engine option can be a disappointment.
Then there’s that new look. Whereas the Camry evolved their previous generation even further, Honda went off the deep end and took a gamble on a bold new look. I personally love it, but it’s a bit of a departure for some of Honda’s faithful the way the numbers are playing out.
Next, there’s no coupe. Although coupe sales represent only 5 percent of total Accord sales, the lack of that option could dissuade some buyers.
Then there are fleet sales, Honda has none. Competitors like Nissan and Toyota make a significant chunk of their sales from fleets. According to Bloomberg, for the month of January Toyota moved close to 30,000 units for fleets. Presumably, a large number of those were Camrys.
A big reason for the lack of sales are the financing incentives. For the new Accord, there are literally none. A Camry you can finance over 72 months for .9 percent APR which is OK if you’re a family who needs a big car and want to stretch out your payments.
Add the fact that Honda JUST started production of the new Accord in the middle of December which might account for low inventories, and it’s reasonable to see why Accord took such a large hit in January.
As an aside, the last time Accord sales were this low was in 2012 when Honda unloaded 13,659 units in January compared to 2018 January’s 17,677 units.
We’ll see how Accord sales improve in February, or not.