Accord Sales Are Getting Destroyed by Camry: What’s the Deal?

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2018 Honda Accord Touring

All-new Accord models are sitting on lots for far longer than they should.

Honda is experiencing a notable slump in sales this year, and the Accord is mostly to blame. Even though Honda’s all-new mid-size sedan has won numerous awards, some dealerships are seeing stock stay on the lot for nearly 200 days, instead of the usual average of 60, according to Automotive News. The probable cause? Leasing incentives. At current, Honda is not making too many moves to push incentives on the new Accord. Dealer stock of Accords is piling up so quickly, that some are even turning away delivery of new stock.

Obviously with Honda’s build quality, infusion of features, and international awards, the slump is not caused by a poor product. However, for comparison, Toyota’s Camry is the Accord’s closest contender and offers very nearly the same features. The distinction is that Camry sales continue to be hot. Why? The power of the aforementioned lease. Toyota offers attractive leasing incentives for Camry that seem to help sway buyers who may consider Accord. Even with a potential quality gap, the lease typically covers the entire warranty period anyway. Combine that with the incentives mentioned prior, and it puts the Accord in a very difficult position against direct competition.

Honda-tech.com 2018 Honda Accord Ohio Built

 

Even past Accord lessees will see an astronomical bump in monthly payments, or need a higher down payment than they were expecting, almost making the Accord its own worst enemy.

While the lack of lease deals seems like a problem, some say it should actually stay just the way it is. Lease incentives could lead to a perception of a cheapened product, or one with a flaw, indicates Brian Benstock, manager of Paragon Honda. Benstock’s New York City dealership might feel the heat temporarily, but from a long-term point of view, he states. “Do we need to have the same incentives that Nissan has or Toyota has? I don’t think so. We have a better product. If given the choice between better product and better incentives, I’ll take better product all day long.”

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Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites for Internet Brands, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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