By on April 1, 2010

Honda’s sales bounced 22 percent, as the normally incentive-adverse firm broke out financing, cashback and lease deals to keep up with Toyota and GM’s incentive war. Accord and Civic were 23 and 4 percent, with 29,120 and 22,463 units respectively. Odyssey, Pilot and CR-V all broke the 10k mark, with Pilot growing sales the most (48 percent). Fit was down slightly from last March’s recession-fueled sales, managing only 4,670 units. The Insight sold a pathetic 1,652 units.

Acura grew 25.2 percent to the Honda brand’s 16.9 percent, driven by 15-18 percent gains by TL, TSX and RDX. MDX hit 3,281 units, nearly matching the TL for best-selling Acura. The new ZDX is rolling out slowly with only 264 units sold. Though the Civic and Accord are still Honda’s bread-and-butter, weak Fit and Insight sales show how far Honda has come from its days of small car dependence… and excellence. Though sales are still improving over last spring, Honda looks more and more like an automaker without an identity all the time.

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21 Comments on “Honda March Sales Rise 22 Percent...”

  • avatar

    “an automaker without an identity all the time.”.

    How about the alternative Japanese car? That sounds about right…

  • avatar

    2,587 people bought a Crosstour? Holy crap, that means there are 2,587 completely blind drivers on the road!!!

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe they just enjoy the simple pleasure of seeing the look of horror and disgust on the faces of other drivers.

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe they’re inside driving it and don’t give a crap what other drivers think.

      They just have to remember to avert their eyes when they approach it, or leave the garage lights off when they’re getting in.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert Schwartz

      Like the old joke about the man who ate in the Eiffel Tower restaurant every day. When asked why he did that, he said that he thought the Eiffel tower was hideously ugly, and its restaurant was the only place in Paris where he could not see it while he ate.

      Seriously, the Crosstour proves that HL Mencken Was correct when he said that no one ever went broke by underestimating the taste of the American public.

    • 0 avatar

      Crosstour’s story speaks volumes about the quality of the Internet commentariat.

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe there are some people in this world who are not superficial and will actually investigate a car besides simply judging it by its looks.

  • avatar

    Hopefully with the new CAFE standards Honda will bust out with that lovely Diesel engine with a manual trans in either the Civic or Accord.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    I want my eye monthly eye candy!

  • avatar

    Though the Civic and Accord are still Honda’s bread-and-butter, weak Fit and Insight sales show how far Honda has come from its days of small car dependence… and excellence. Though sales are still improving over last spring, Honda looks more and more like an automaker without an identity all the time.

    No argument about the Insight, but I wouldn’t be too quick to condemn the Fit because of poor sales. How are sales of other vehicles in that segment?

    And part of Honda’s problem is that it has been so successful. The Civic and Accord have become the “targets” for other manufacturers’ efforts. The market has come to Honda, in some respects, but that brings more competition. With every manufacturer from Hyundai to Ford making genuine improvements in their offerings, it’s harder for Honda to really stand out from the crowd.

  • avatar

    There is some sign of intelligent life on the planet after all:

    Only 264 people were actually stupid enough to buy the Acura ZDX.

  • avatar

    Note to Acura execs: Dudes, 163 RL’s sold? Really? Why bother?

  • avatar

    The poor sales of the Insight make me think the same thing will happen with the CRZ.

    Accord and Civic numbers look good.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Put the poor RL out of its misery already! Once upon a time, Acura had a hot vehicle in that slot, the Acura Legend. Cool name and a very competitive vehicle in its day. However, that spot in Acura’s lineup has essentially been taken over by the TL.

  • avatar

    Were those the last 19 S2000s? And the last remnant of Honda’s previous just-for-the-joy-of-driving brilliance, at least for now?

    I’m now thinking that Honda’s engineers are so traumatized by seeing their most brilliant ideas utterly molested by the inept offshoot of the tuner crowd that they decided to stop building cars with any semblance of soul. That’s what it had to be, right?

  • avatar

    I think it’s interesting to note that the downtrend in Fit sales matches the uptrend in Insight sales… or, if you want to look at it another way… rises in Insight and Civic sales both parallel the fall of the Fit.

    This means that people are starting to feel less of a crunch, and are getting into more expensive cars, like the Insight, or bigger cars, like the Civic, which they would have shied away from last year (due to the perception of high fuel consumption and the reality of higher purchase price).

    The big problem for the Fit is that the Civic gets better EPA numbers (though in reality, drive the Fit frugally and you’ll get even better than the Civic can ever aspire to) and has much more space than the Fit. People in a bullish mood aren’t going to settle for something less when they can afford something more.

    Which is a shame… as the Fit is a truly excellent car.

    • 0 avatar

      When I looked at the two from the position of “money is no object, within reason”, Fit won in every way. The only advantage Civic had was the better high-speed cruise economy nimbers thanks to its aerodynamics. Gizmos were the same on both, Fit was more compact and drove well despite the beam rear, plus it’s a hatch in case of bigger items. Civic may have a bigger volume on paper, sure, but it wasn’t obvious from looking at them. So there you have it. However, throw money into the issue and voila, suddenly market is moving.

  • avatar

    I’ve actually been looking at new Hondas for the past couple of weeks. I like the flexibility of the Fit, but the Civic was a lot quieter and more comfortable on the freeway. In comparison, the Fit felt really underpowered at freeway speeds… tapped-out really, at about 70. The fit was also really noisy. Since I have a decent freeway commute of about 20 miles, this was a big factor for me even though I found the interior packaging of the Fit pretty mindblowing.

    One thing that was clear to me, as well, is that Honda must have started the month with a lot fewer Fits on the ground. The dealers I visited literally had dozens and dozens of Civics lined up and perhaps 4 or 5 fits, all automatics. Perhaps because of this inventory, the salespeople were eager to deal on Civics, quickly offering me a car for a few hundred below invoice without much effort on my part. Online searches turned up deals for a thousand below invoice… making an LX manual both cheaper and easier to find than a Fit Sport with the manual.

    • 0 avatar

      At least you could find a manual Civic. I wanted to test drive a manual Accord Coupe last year, but no dealer within a 75-mile radius had one. At any rate, I think the US market Fits are currently built in Japan, while the US market Civics are made here, which likely has an effect.

    • 0 avatar

      I think there’s some consumer confidence here but relative Fit/Civic sales seem more driven by country of manufacture. All US produced Hondas have good lease deals and have had better low rate Honda financing until very recently. In the last two years the yen has risen 10% against the dollar and it can’t be easy to make a profit on the Fit. I’m susprised they haven’t announced plans to build it in North America.

  • avatar

    I wonder about the Element. Anyone know the sales trend here? So few units sold, yet such a practical car.

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