Building an excellent car sometimes isn't good enough.
A couple of weeks ago we learned that US Honda dealerships are having a difficult time selling the all-new Accord sedan, despite it being an excellent car. However, being an excellent car is not always good enough anymore, mainly due to the increasing popularity of crossovers and improved rivals, such as the Toyota Camry. Many Honda dealerships, however, currently have an Accord overstock on their lots, and according to Automotive News, have reached out to Honda itself to help offer a solution.
Executives from Honda North America will meet with dealers this weekend at the North American Dealers Association (NADA) show in Las Vegas in what will hopefully be the first step to solving the problem. Dealers are expected to push for cash incentives and more generous lease deals that will better position the Accord as a Camry alternative. However, Honda is concerned that potential incentives could later hurt resale and brand value. But that's a problem both sides will have to deal with later on because if a vehicle does not sell the way it's expected to, then both sides lose. At the beginning of this month, Accord inventories stood at a 103-day supply, a figure way above what dealerships are comfortable with. The industry average is a 70-day supply.
Honda's dealers have made past requests from the automaker, such as a light pickup truck, which became the redesigned Ridgeline. When sales of the CR-Z hybrid, Element crossover and Crosstour wagon were slow, dealers asked for a reduced lineup. Honda complied. Will it do so again with the Accord? "I'll be surprised if we don't see some help in April or May," California Honda dealer Dave Conant told Automotive News. "They're not going to let the car sit on the lot." Also at NADA, Honda dealers are hoping to learn more about the revival of the Passport, set to become a mid-size crossover, instead of an SUV like it once was, that will fill the lineup slot between the CR-V and Pilot. It will face off against the likes of the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano.