The family car Accord from the Japanese auto maker Honda Motors, had ruled the segment till 2001 when another Japanese car Toyota Camry dethroned it. Honda Accord managed to stand high at number-2 position under Camry for the next nine years till 2010; it slid to third position in 2011 after Camry and Nissan Altima when the company suffered a huge blow by the quake-tsunami disaster in Japan. In October 2011, Toyota released a completely redesigned Camry in the markets and by spring, Nissan invested 2,250 USD in the recreation of Altima. The sales of Camry and Altime boomed by 37% and 39% respectively through March, and in the same time the sales of Accord declined by 8%.
The current scenario is worse for Accord as it has slipped to fourth position now under Ford Fusion which is also undergoing a revamp this year. A lot of shoppers these days are choosing other competitive cars over Accord; a year ago for every 6/7 family cars sold, one was Accord but now for every 10 cars sold, one is Accord. Till 2010, Honda Accord maintained its second position with a market share of 17-18 percent in the segment, the figure then fell down to 13.6 percent in 2011 when Nissan Altima derailed Honda Accord from second position and for the duration of Jan to March 2012, Accord’s share in the segment was 10.4 percent after Ford Fusion bagged the third spot.
Honda is redesigning the once a ‘must drive family car’ Accord as 2013 Honda Accord which is expected to hit the showroom in the fall this year. The car has not broken covers as of now but Honda had foreshadowed the Accord coupe concept in January. This redesigned 2013 Accord will be smaller and lighter than the original version. In the face of this fierce competition, Honda needs to keep up its game by improving in a lot of areas and has therefore affixed the 2013 Accord with a host of crash-avoidance technology. The Honda Accord Hybrid is also on the cards.
According to a spokesperson of the company, the slow sales of Accord is a big concern and these days the car market has become excessively competitive with all the big players like Toyota, Hyundai Volkswagen and Kia leaving no stone unturned in the process to increasing their sales. Hyundai and Kia had rendered a full model change to Sonata and Optima respectively in 2011, Toyota too just changed the entire model of Camry and the latest entry of Volkswagen Passat is also a threat to other models of this segment. These players were not actively participating in the competition 5 years ago but now staying near the top is become an arduous task, added the spokesperson of Honda.
The spokesperson seems pretty confident about the success of 2013 Honda Accord that will put this car back into the segment leading position in many areas. He also revealed that the new Accord will be powered by a very powerful and efficient four-cylinder direct injection V6 engine with a six-speed automatic transmission. Honda is going to furnish Accord with some major changes in feature content, fuel economy, safety and level of technology; these major strides are surely going to help it win its position back.