Honda’s 25.7% July sales plunge dropped the auto maker to its lowest U.S.-market ranking in 30 years, according to Ward’s data.
Honda’s core brand and its Acura luxury marque recorded 80,502 deliveries for the month, down from like-2010’s 12,437 and June’s tally of 83,892. That knocked the auto maker to into seventh place behind Nissan and the combined sales of Korea-based Hyundai and Kia.
Nissan and Hyundai-Kia accounted for deliveries of 84,601 and 105,065, respectively, in July.
Long a fixture in the so-called Big Six auto makers – along with General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Chrysler and Nissan – Honda has not occupied seventh place in the monthly U.S. sales race since it fell behind Volkswagen in October 1981, according to Ward’s.
Accounting for 7.6% of the U.S. light-vehicle market, July also marked Honda’s weakest performance on the share front since matching that total in June 2005.
The auto maker suffered double-digit declines on both the car and light-truck sides of its business. Honda car sales totaled 42,321 for the month, marking a 28.1% nosedive, while its truck tally plummeted 22.7% to 38,181, compared with like-2010.
The bleak numbers bear all the hallmarks of the inventory woes that have plagued Honda and its Japan-based counterparts since the island nation was rocked by an earthquake in March.
The temblor also triggered a devastating tsunami and contributed to power outages that disrupted production at vehicle-assembly and components plants.
Sales of the Honda Accord midsize car fell 24.1% on 16,831 deliveries, while Civic sales slumped even further – down 37.1% on 13,695 deliveries.
Honda’s truck-side volume flagship, the CR-V cross/utility vehicle, recorded 13,943 deliveries, 27.8% fewer than like-2010.
The lone Honda nameplate in positive sales territory was the Pilot CUV. Its sales climbed 8% on 9,954, according to Ward’s.
Through July, Honda sales were tracking 2.6% below year-ago levels with 687,944 deliveries.