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Honda Australia confirms Accord for late 2019

Thai Accord: Honda Australia looks set to import its new-generation Accord from Thailand, which will start producing right-hand-drive examples next year.

Thai-built 10th-generation Honda Accord mid-size sedan to resist shrinking segment

Honda logo15 May 2018

HONDA Australia has ended nearly two years of intense speculation, finally revealing that the 10th-generation Accord mid-size sedan will join its model line-up soon.
 
Speaking to journalists in Melbourne this week, Honda Australia director Stephen Collins confirmed that the new model is on the horizon, despite the shrinking segment it plays in.
 
“Our plan with Accord is to launch it next year, most likely later next year,” he said. “To this point, only left-hand drive is available.
 
“I can’t go into details today, but we think the Accord name has been in the market for decades. It’s our flagship sedan.
 
“Despite that (mid-size) segment continuing to drop … we just think it’s an important model. We’re working to finalise that …  it’s taken us time, but our plan is to launch it.”
 
Sales in the sub-$60,000 mid-size-car segment to the end of April this year have taken a significant 25.3 per cent hit, following a 19.7 per cent decrease in 2017 and a smaller 1.9 per cent dip in 2016.
 
Specifically, the Accord has sold 60 examples in the first four months of 2018, representing a 50.4 per cent drop over 121 deliveries made during the same period in 2017.
 
This year’s segment is currently led by the Toyota Camry (4665 units, down 25.6 per cent), Mazda6 (973, down 18.2 per cent), Ford Mondeo (751, down 34.5 per cent), Subaru Liberty (602, down 23 per cent), Skoda Octavia (574, down four per cent) and Volkswagen Passat (548, down 35.2 per cent), among others.
 
Given the latest Accord broke cover in July last year, it will be more than two years old when it hits local showrooms, but Mr Collins put this down to lack of appropriate production availability.
 
“We’d prefer to have a shorter period of time, but it’s currently not available in right-hand drive anyway. We’ll get it as soon as we can,” he said.
 
Australia will not be the only right-hand market to import the newest Accord, with Mr Collins adding that “there are some other markets in Asia and ASEAN. I think the reality is, if we were the only market that wanted right-hand drive, it’d be touch and go”.
 
He did also confirm that Australia will “most likely” import its Accord from Thailand as the United States plant only produces left-hand-drive examples.
 
Mr Collins explained that the Accord’s standard equipment list will be reflective of its positioning in Honda Australia’s wider model line-up.
 
“The idea is we will have it as the flagship sedan, so we’ll pack it full of features and technology,” he said.
 
“At this point, we’re not going to confirm (engines) yet, but the concept is we’ll keep it – it’s a flagship. It’s an important nameplate, a global nameplate, although not in Japan.”
 
Available powertrains include 145kW/260Nm 1.5-litre and 191kW/342Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrols plus a 158kW hybrid that combines a 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle four-pot petrol with two electric motors.
 
When questioned if it would make sense to offer the latter given the Accord’s proposed flagship position, Mr Collins said: “You can certainly make that argument, I think.
 
“We’ve just got to make sure that we can position it, price it to sell a reasonable number of them, which we were challenged with that with the previous one. That’s pretty well known, so we’re working through that now.”
 
The ninth-generation Accord is currently offered in VTi-L and V6L grades, priced from $43,990 and $52,590 before on-road costs respectively.
 
As previously reported, the forthcoming Accord ushers in complete exterior and interior redesigns, upgraded technology and infotainment, and an expanded suite of Honda Sensing advanced driver-assist safety features.

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