Honda’s Euro loses currency
The popular Accord model’s run is over despite its popularity in Australia
THE last call is about to go out for Honda Accord Euro orders. The car has just been killed off, despite its popularityhere.
The Accord Euro succumbed because of global demand for the wide-body Accord that’s more like a Toyota Camry and a winner in the US heartland.
Nearly 75,000 Accord Euros have been delivered in Australia over the past 12 years, a result that handily trumps the sibling. Fans expected its popularity would mean a new-generation car in 2015 but it’s not enough to save the car.
The bad news has just arrived from Japan after a worldwide tally of the thirdgeneration Accord Euro.
Honda Australia director Stephen Collins says: “It was a global decision to discontinue the model. The car is not sold in the US, not sold in Japan. The lead market was Europe but sales have been declining there.”
“There is no doubt it’s been a success for us. For three years in a row we sold more than 10,000. We were a reasonable market, but not big enough. We’re disappointed, obviously. But the global decision was based on the decline in Europe.”
Honda Australia has locked its final production slot for the start of next year, which means its dealers are taking orders for cars that will be delivered until the middle of 2015.
The Euro arrived in 2003 as part of a new wave of Japanese cars, including the Subaru Liberty, which were much more European in the way they looked and drove.
The idea was to launch a fullscale attack in the soft underbelly of European prestige brands including Audi and BMW, but the global financial crisis hit and the Japanese makers retreated, and now the Europeans have their own generation of pricecompetitive compacts.
“We introduced it in 2003. During the same period we’ve sold 52,000 wide-body Accords. The best year was 2005, when we sold 10,500 cars,” Collins says. He is not expecting a surge in the car’s final months, says there no special run-out edition plan, and expects the price to stay at $30,340.
The loss of the Euro is another blow for Honda Australia, whose sales have been in retreat this year. “We re going to end up around 33,000 this year. That’s clearly down on last year but we’re having a much stronger second half to the year,” Collins says.
“Next year, we’re hoping for close to 40,000. That will be led by HR-V and we want to be one of the main players in that small SUV segment.”