DETROIT – Despite discontinuing production of its coupe, Honda hopes it will be able to maintain midsize-car market share with the introduction of its all-new ’18 Honda Accord sedan.
“The sedan has dramatic enough styling to appeal to coupe intenders,” Sage Marie, American Honda spokesman, says at the Accord’s global reveal in Detroit.
The sleek new coupe-like shape of the sedan is one of Honda’s strategies in dealing with declining car sales.
“The diversity of offerings is greater now than it was in the past,” Marie says.
Midsize sedans’ share of the total U.S. car market has tanked from 20.6% in 2009 to 15.1% in 2016 and 13.5%, so far this year, according to WardsAuto data.
Accord sales fell 5.5% through June to 160,091 units, compared with like-2016’s 169,354 units. Through June, the Accord’s sales were No.2 in the segment behind the Toyota Camry with 176,897 and ahead of the Nissan Altima at 146,284.
The Accord’s share of the midsize-car segment ran at 17.7% in January-June, compared with 16.2% for full-year 2016.
Honda is hopeful the redesigned sedan will attract new buyers. It’s likely the Japanese automaker will need to increase volume to keep pace in the midsize segment in the U.S., which is expected to rebound with the influx of new product. In addition to the Accord, Toyota is launching a new Camry sedan and Hyundai is offering a significantly refreshed Sonata this year.
As announced last month, the big news with the ’18 Accord’s engines is the lack of a V-6. Honda reveals here the car’s 4-cyl. lineup will include the automaker’s 1.5L DOHC direct-injected turbo from the CR-V, making 192 hp at 5,500 rpm and 192 lb.-ft. (260 Nm) of torque from 1,500-5,000 rpm. Also offered is a 2.0L DOHC DI turbo, closely related to the mill in the new Civic Type R, churning out 252 hp at 6,500 rpm and 273 lb.-ft. (370 Nm) of torque from 1,500-4,000 rpm.