At least temporarily.
Early this month we learned that sales of the all-new Honda Accord have been less than stellar. Because of a combination of factors, mainly the lack of incentives, potential customers are opting for the competition instead, mainly the also highly regarded redesigned Toyota Camry. Toyota has been undercutting Honda with better lease and purchasing offers. There’s also the issue of popular crossovers, specifically the Honda CR-V and Pilot, also affecting the Accord.
Only last week, Honda dealerships complained in-person to Honda corporate at the North American Dealers Association meeting in Las Vegas. At the beginning of the month, there was a 103-day inventory supply. The industry average is a 70-day supply, hence the dealerships’ concerns. Honda indicated a solution will soon be found. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Honda is planning to reduce Accord production at its Marysville, Ohio plant for a total of 11 days through July. The stoppage will include two days a month from April through June, along with an additional five days in early July. Plant employees, all 4,200 of them, can either take vacation days, unpaid days or do other facility tasks.
According to Honda, the reason for the temporary stoppage is to “focus on aligning production to current market conditions.” Adjusting production output for inventory conditions is not unheard of, but it is somewhat surprising in the case of the Accord, given its immense popularity. Then again, how popular is it anymore? Aside from the lack of incentives, could the iconic Accord become another crossover victim? Sedan sales are down in the entire industry. Even Ford has put the brakes on development of the next generation Fusion. Hopefully Honda’s temporarily Accord production halt will do the trick along with better sales deals. If not, well, that’s a whole other problem entirely we really hope Honda won’t have.