The answer has little to do with crossover popularity.
There’s no denying the all-new 2018 Honda Accord is an excellent car. Honda dealerships across the US are extremely impressed with not only its renowned build quality, but also its long list of advancements, including design and handling. But here’s the thing: it’s not selling very well, according to an Automotive News report. What’s the problem, exactly? The popularity of crossovers? That could certainly be one factor, but there’s another issue Honda dealerships are blaming: a lack of good lease offers.
The bottom line is that buyers are looking for good deals, which can easily be found in today’s US auto industry. For example, you can lease a new base trim Toyota Camry, the Accord’s longtime rival, with a good 36-month offer of around $219/month with $1,999 down in Los Angeles. Comparatively, a base Accord with the same three-year lease will be $249/month with $3,199 down. Because of this, Honda dealerships are having a tough time selling Accords and, as a result, some have even turned down resupply shipments from the Accord factory in Marysville, Ohio. While the factory is fully capable of building plenty of vehicles, the problem is that once they arrive at dealerships, many end up parked on lots.
The Automotive News report also states that “inventory levels (stand) are at a 104-day supply” as of March 1, a pretty high number in the industry. Unless many of these Honda dealers start suddenly moving more Accords, they’re tempted to shut off the resupply tap, if you will. The last thing they want is too much inventory. People who want to lease a new Accord, according to one dealer, are being chased away. Dealers are simply having a hard time making money off the new Accord, despite its premium quality. Honda figured that alone would be enough to entice buyers, but it’s not. "The quality gap has narrowed between the domestics, Honda and Toyota," one dealer said.
"When you're buying a car, you have a great story to tell a customer. When you're leasing, they say, 'Well, it has at least three years of warranty on it.' They're just renting it anyway. It is an uphill battle."