Honda Dealer Outlook: Happy, Yet Frustrated

Honda dealers have much to be happy about. Its annual average sales per dealership at nearly 1,300 is third, behind Toyota and Lexus dealers. The new Civic will be a hit as always. Despite a stronger Chevrolet Malibu which will pose a challenge, the new Accord, along with the Coupe version, will be fine with a design that brings some refreshing tude to the model. Dealers, though, have to be frustrated

Honda dealers have much to be happy about. Its annual average sales per dealership — at nearly 1,300 — is third, behind Toyota and Lexus dealers.

The new Civic will be a hit as always. Despite a stronger Chevrolet Malibu which will pose a challenge, the new Accord, along with the Coupe version, will be fine with a design that brings some refreshing ‘tude to the model.

Dealers, though, have to be frustrated with Honda's truck lines, Pilot, Element and Ridgeline, which are proving to be less than exciting. They probably could use a fresh infusion of marketing.

Another reason for frustration — the Acura brand. After more than 20 years in the market, its vehicles can't get any traction. Survival of the brand has to be a question mark if the market takes a significant downturn in the next couple of years.

Add marketing to the list of frustrations. Honda dealers privately grouse about some of the manufacturer's seemingly heavy-handed policies especially in Web-based marketing. One vice president for a prominent group used to compare Honda's policies with those of Kim Jong Il of North Korea.

Yeah, we know it's a little over the top, but…

TAGS: Dealers Retail
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