Honda's Sales Chief Warns Of "Stupid Things" As Accord, CR-V Top Retail Sales Charts
In this year’s red hot new car market, the Honda Accord and CR-V have apparently captured the top spot in both new car and SUV retail sales through the first half of 2014, according to Polk registration data. But John Mendel, Honda’s head of sales, had some pointed words for the industry as a whole, and the state of the American auto market.
Speaking to Automotive News, Mendel said that despite Honda’s slipping market share, Honda wouldn’t do“stupid things in the short-term that damage the person who bought yesterday.”
Criticizing longer loan-terms and looser underwriting standards for new vehicle loans, Mendel said
“It’s a very, very short-term tactic…especially in the subprime area, because you not only are pulling sales forward, you’re probably pulling people out of used cars into a new car that maybe they can’t afford.”
Stating that the new car market was “near the top”, Mendel said that Honda would continue to focus on retail sales, rather than pivot towards more fleet delivers like many of its rivals do. Even so, Honda’s sales are down 1 percent year to date, while incentive spending has increased drastically – as much as 55 percent for its passenger car lineup -, as Honda aims to stay competitive against competitive brands and make new car leases more attractive.