Editorial: Accord A Canary In the Coal Mine For Europe's Large Car Segment

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

Acura’s decision to consolidate both the TL and TSX into a single replacement, did more than just deprive North American consumers of a Made In Japan, manual-equipped Acura sedan. It also helped spell the end of the European Honda Accord.

The “narrow body” Accord, sold in Europe, Australia and other world markets formed the basis for our TSX. But Honda has decided to cease production of their “large” (by world standards) sedan starting early next year.

In Canada and the United States, the Accord is a strong player in the mid-size sedan market. But in the rest of the world, it’s a bit player at best. In a region where cars like the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Fiesta regularly top the sales charts, the Accord was fighting for relative scraps. And its competition, like the Ford Mondeo, Opel/Vauxhall Insignia and Volkswagen Passat practically have the segment locked down in the all important corporate fleet arena, where most of these large cars are purchased, due to the tax savings generated by a company car, rather than buying one for personal use.

Honda won’t be replacing the Accord with another version, but given the way things are going for Europe’s car market, that may not be a bad thing. Crossovers are eating into everything from sedans to compact hatchbacks to station wagons. Better to devote resources to marketing the CR-V and the upcoming HR-V than a minor player in a shrinking segment.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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7 of 48 comments
  • TonyJZX TonyJZX on Oct 28, 2014

    i found this to be a conundrum that doesnt make sense in the end here's a car that weighs 3,500lb with a 2.4 four that uses premium that isnt all that quick and doesnt have all that much room inside... i felt my head was way too close to the pillars so it is a big more stylish than a camry but didnt amount to nought if it doesnt make a compelling argument i think the mazda 6 or even mazda 3 sedan makes a more sensible choice hell, the mazda 3 even has a larger engine with more power torque on lower grade gasoline and pretty much the same effective space inside

    • See 2 previous
    • Zykotec Zykotec on Oct 28, 2014

      @Corey Lewis Yes, you could spec up a 6 to be a real 'Accord-killer' and they actually did sell a couple of the Awd version. But most of the cars were specced lower than it was possible to spec the Accord. In general Honda doesn't seem to like having a lot of available options (on either side of the Atlantic) which probably hurt their sales a lot here in Europe.

  • Calgarytek Calgarytek on Oct 28, 2014

    Bland is beautiful, esp, when it goes forever. It's hard to love an old German car, except if its a pre-1995 Mercedes Benz (some say pre-1990). I have a buddy here who drives a 2011 S4. It's a superior car, but in a lot of ways, he still misses his first generation TSX. He's financed it and now is of the opinion that was a bad move. Talking to me doesn't help esp. when I tell him that Audi planned obsolescence happens when the warranty expires. Like, right on the dot.

  • Zykotec Zykotec on Oct 28, 2014

    Honda in Europe is a lot like Acura in the US. I think if Honda were willing to really try and understand the European market, it would also be of tremendous help to Acura. Except for maybe the CRV and Civic, no one cross-shops a Honda against anything else, at least in Norway. The Accord was too expensive and too impactical to compete with midsizers like the Mondeo, Avensis or Passat, and as it has no badge it couldn't compete with Audis or BMW's. The CRV is too large to compete on price against the Quasquai or XV, and lacking a 7 seat configuration it can't compete with the Outlander or it's french sisters. I hope the HRV will make a killing in the compact CUV market when it comes out. Some people are starting too notice the practicality and economy of the Civic, but Honda doesn't market their cars enough, and people seem to prefer paying extra for soft-touch interiors and soundproofing rather than paying extra for reliability.

  • Buckshot Buckshot on Oct 29, 2014

    Sad but no surprise. The current Accord is too expensive and old. The Europeans prefer European car brands with eurostyle and poor reliability.