By on May 3, 2010

Looks like Honda will be stuck near the bottom of the market in April, under performing with a 12.5% rise. Honda Division was up 11.7%; Acura up 21.6%. The problem is with the cars: Honda’s were down 1.4%, while trucks saved their bacon with a 41% increase. The Fit eked out a 14% increase, but the Civic slipped 5%. Accord was up 9%. Pilot (+42%), CR-V (+37), Odyssey (+14%) and even the Ridgeline (+46%) kept the Honda from the red.

Acura cars were also weak, but the MDX and RDX both showed over 50% increases. The new ZDX sold 234 units.

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32 Comments on “Honda Lags The Market: Up 12.5%...”


  • avatar
    lanetru

    It looks like Acura’s pulling ahead in near-lux brand death watch.

  • avatar
    thalter

    Honda was one of the best performers during the Carpocalypse, registering smaller sale drops than most. So it only goes to figure that their current YOY numbers will be less favorable.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Precisely. Honda didn’t collapse like others did last year.

      As for sequential, Nissan collapsed from March – down hugely from 95,000 last month, by about 1/3 to about 65,000.

      Honda is up sequentially, to 113 from 108,000. Honda has just about double Nissan share.

  • avatar
    tech98

    I thought Honda would be doing well out of the Toyotapocalypse.

  • avatar
    thalter

    I realize the ZDX was relatively cheap to develop (piggybacking on the Crosstour), but with an annual sales volume in the low 4 figures, I doubt Acura will recoup the marketing expenses for the ZDX, much less the development costs.

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      ZDX is supposedly based actually on the MDX versus the Crosstour which is based on the Accord. Though both are 5 door hatchy thingies they are not from the same underpinnings.

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      Just to clarify things…

      ZDX / MDX and PILOT / Ody.. SAME frame.
      Look at the rear suspension and compare the interior details..
      Or ya coula be real elemental, and just put one side by side.. and see the slash in the rear qtrs that completely makes the ZDX POINTLESS.

      The Crosstour / Accord.. same frame.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    I find it interesting that Chrysler still sells more minivans than Toyota and Honda combined. My admitedly anecdotal evidence is that Honda’s Odyssey is losing ground to the Sienna over the last couple of years. I know a couple of families who were Odyssey people who are now driving Siennas. Of course, the current Ody is in its 6th year, so maybe it isn’t doing so badly at that. Still, I think enough Ody owners have been crapped on by bad transmissions that their enthusiasm is waning.

    The next few months will be interesting with a new Sienna hitting the dealer lots. It may well be better than the Odyssey, and the Chrysler will undoubtedly be cheaper. Honda needs a new Odyssey, and fast.

    • 0 avatar

      The all-new 2011 Odyssey will go on sale later this year. Nissan will introduce an all-new Quest sometime next year. It will be fun to see how the new Sienna, Odyssey and Quest will stack up against each other.

      I agree that Chrysler (and Kia) will remain the low-price leader in the minivan market.

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      The largest share of minivans that go to fleets is the Caravan. Chrysler long lost it’s retail minivan sales crown. Overall sales is a nice figure but your retail sales is more important as that is a much stronger recognition of the market accepting a vehicle at prices closer to MSRP.

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      @jpcavanaugh

      Of course, the current Ody is in its 6th year, so maybe it isn’t doing so badly at that. Still, I think enough Ody owners have been crapped on by bad transmissions that their enthusiasm is waning.

      I think you may have hit the nail on the head. Honda used to go four years between model changes, now six. The cars used to be drivers cars with smart styling, now not so much. But my Acura is on its third transmission right now and granted, as an Acura owner I was pampered with free loaner cars, but the bloom is definitely off the rose.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      The Oddy is a good enthusiast’s van.

      And with that sentence I’ve described the problem. Enthusiasts, by and large, don’t buy minivans. The Oddy’s sportier ride and handling feel “nervous” the the average buyer. It also feels a good bit larger and somewhat unwieldy where the Sienna seems smaller and more carlike. That it’s noisier, rougher-riding, thirstier and rather expensive doesn’t help matters.

      I like all three of the vans, but the Honda misses the mark by the widest margin. I can see why every journalist outside of Consumer Reports prefers it, but that’s not a virtue here.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Honda’s biggest volume sellers, the Accord and the CRX both registered gains even though both are facing some new and formitable competition. The Civic Still sold 25k units even though it is due to be replaced this fall. Not too shabby overall.

  • avatar
    bmoredlj

    Accord’s YTD lead over Camry has reached over 8,000, but even if it does end up taking the top sales kanmuri from the Toyota, it probably won’t be by much.

    As for Acura, if ever a brand needed an across-the-board makeover, it’s them. There’s no uglier or more confused collection of vehicles on the market outside of Subaru, and they’re embraced for their oddness. Acura notsomuch.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    Somebody at Honda needs to brush up on their math, or perhaps their spreadsheet skills. YTD figures are down (barely) for Element and TSX, but they show a positive in the % chg column.

  • avatar
    jaje

    Honda’s really lagged the market for the past several months whereas last year it was one of the darling larger companies (outside of the success of Subaru and Hyundai).

    Please don’t hang your hats on overall sales #s. A lot of cars are sold to fleets or to dealers a retail sales which are then redirected to dealer fleet sales. Though the metal is being moved it is being sold at or below their cost. Relying on fleet sales is not a sustainable long term sales practice (as we can all see).

    Reason I’m bring this up is that Honda sells very few cars to fleets – mainly FCX or NGX Civics or Insights to gov’ts. Honda has always stayed away from false promise of volume sales to fleets. Fleet sales always have a major effect on the resale value of the car – also the focus of the MFGR b/c if they are building cars for both consumers and fleet customers – the MFGR will always cut corners to make the strategy somewhat profitable. That means lower quality and lower resale value.

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      As an aside, the “fleet” cars for The Columbus Dispatch and WBNS-TV are mostly Hondas, Accords, Civics and CRV’s. Maybe it’s a local thing because Honda is based in the area, but it’s something you don’t normally see.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Honda actually sells more fleet than people realize, but it’s generally company-car fleet rather than rental. The former is not really a bad thing; the latter is resale-value suicide.

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      I think the last fleet sales stats – Honda sold 2-3% of overall sales to fleets whereas Toyota was 30% and D3 40%+.

      I do agree that yes there is a difference between a company car fleet (maybe willing to pay more $ per car to coddle employees and have their cars look nice) versus rental car fleets (el cheapo models – and higher volume).

      I’m not from Ohio but I would expect the locals to support the local major automaker. The only time I’ve ever had a chance to rent a Honda from a fleet was in Puerto Rico (rented a Fit).

  • avatar
    boyphenom666

    Here is the link for the full article, but the excerpt below indicates thay are aware of their problems.

    http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/business/stories/2010/04/27/leader-laments-hondas-lack-of-progress.html

    Leader laments Honda’s lack of progress
    Company didn’t grow after Toyota’s trouble, says president, CEO
    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 2:53 AM
    By Dan Gearino

    THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

    Takanobu Ito wants better product performance.

    Honda’s top executive thinks his company has grown complacent, coasting on the success of the Accord, Civic and CR-V and not doing enough to exploit demand for gas-electric hybrids.

    … “The biggest problem is, we’re not selling the value of our products. We have to improve the performance of our products as well,” he said.

    He lamented that Honda’s U.S. market share has fallen, from 10.5percent in the first quarter last year to 10.1 percent this year, despite the opportunities presented by Toyota’s safety recalls…

    • 0 avatar
      Samuel L. Bronkowitz

      Dear Mr. Ito:

      There’s a reason your cars aren’t selling. It’s because most of them are UGLY.

      Get back to building cars like the previous generation TL and earlier generations of the Accord and your fortunes should improve.

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      @Samuel L. Bronkowitz

      The interiors are also pretty ugly these days, not to mention the cheapening of the materials. I like the dash and the center console of my ’02 TL far better than the dash and gaudy center console in my dad’s ’10 Accord, not to mention the awful audio system. Whatever happened to “Honda, we make it simple?”

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Did Honda fall as far in 2008/2009? I would think that they’re simply not bouncing as high because they didn’t plummet quite so low.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    >>Honda is up sequentially, to 113 from 108,000. Honda has just about double Nissan share in cars.

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      Nissan had a terrible April 2009 so their gains in April 2010 are offset by a bad month last year. Chrysler on the other hand had a terrible year last year and so far most of this year. At least until the pipeline can put out good cars. I still think we don’t need Chrysler as we have not needed them since they first when under in the 80′s.

  • avatar
    segar925

    This once upon a loyal Honda owner switched to a ’99 Nissan Maxima eight years ago and I don’t regret it one bit. The ’99 Max now has 122K and I’ve spent a total of $1097 in eight years on everything except gas. That cost of ownership includes 4 Michelin X radials, a muffler, 2 CV boots, new spark plugs, brake pads, one O2 sensor and every oil change. No timing belt to change, no water pump failure, no transmission problems. Nissan really built a great 1999 Maxima.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Honda has really gone off the deep edge with its designs. Once upon a time, Hondas were crisp and clean with certain subtle signature features like a low hoodline for great visibility and a large greenhouse.

    Now, Hondas just look awkward.

    • 0 avatar
      TG57

      The low hoodlines and large greenhouses are still there, even if they are no longer as obvious as before. They still have good visibility, at least compared to their current competitors if not their predecessors.

      Sit inside the current Civic and Corolla and it’s quite clear which one has better visibility. Same story for Accord and Camry.

    • 0 avatar

      Pedestrian collision regulations in Europe killed the low hood.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Acura sold less than 400 RL’s and ZDX’s COMBINED.


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