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Honda edges closer to Accord confirmation

In Accordance: Honda’s new-generation Accord will be revealed in the US on July 14, but, if the model were to arrive in Australia, expect to see some styling tweaks and for it to be sourced from a different location.

Accord nameplate to continue in tenth-gen guise if Honda Australia gets its way

Honda logo3 Jul 2017

By TUNG NGUYEN

HONDA Australia is closing in on securing the new-generation Accord sedan for the local showrooms despite slowing sales in the mid-size vehicle segment and a challenging business case.

Due to be revealed internationally in the coming weeks, Honda Australia director Stephen Collins confirmed that the tenth-generation Accord is still on the table for the local market.

“Our plan is definitely for that to be the case, we’re still working through the business case for it, but our clear intention is that yeah, absolutely, that car will come,” he said.

“I don’t know the details at this point in time, and obviously everyone is well aware that it will be shown very shortly.

“It’s still a very, very challenging segment, but we still think there is definitely a place for Accord in our line-up, and definitely a market opportunity there we want to fill.”

The Honda Accord competes in the sub-$60,000 medium passenger car segment and has notched 152 new registrations during the first five months of this year, a 56.3 per cent drop over the same period last year.

The Accord is currently lagging well off the pace of market leaders including the Toyota Camry (8507), Mazda6 (1465), Ford Mondeo (1382), Volkswagen Passat (1044), Subaru Liberty (965), Skoda Octavia (736) and Kia Optima (365) in a segment that is down 3.3 per cent year-on-year.

A number of competitors have withdrawn from the segment in recent years, including the Honda Accord Euro, Nissan Altima and Suzuki Kizashi due to slow sales.

However, Mr Collins reaffirmed that Honda Australia is edging closer to confirming the new Accord for the Australian market.

“I think we’ve said all along that it’s a challenging segment, you all know that, and that we needed all the numbers and everything to add up, so we’re definitely progressing,” he said.

“Maybe the tone’s a bit more positive … you know we want it to be our flagship sedan and to continue as such, so there’s still some hurdles to cover with it, but we are progressing.”

Mr Collins said that if the Accord were to return, it would likely also herald the return of a hybrid powertrain to a mainstream model.

“Hybrid would certainly, I think, be part of the mix,” he said. “We are looking at others which I don’t want to go into right now, but I still believe, and we still believe, that it needs to be our technological flagship – hybrid would be a part of that mix.”

A hybrid Accord was launched in Australia in mid-2015 under the Sport Hybrid nameplate, but was quietly discontinued less than a year later due to slow uptake.

A new-generation Accord hybrid would be in direct competition to the Toyota Camry hybrid – a model which will be imported from Japan from the end of the year as local manufacturing winds down.

The only other hybrid powertrain currently on offer in Honda’s stable is the flagship $420,000 before on-roads costs NSX supercar as the brand discontinued its CR-Z back in January 2015.

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