The all-new 2018 Honda Accord has won over the automotive press and it was even recently named the North American Car of the Year, but even with all of its accolades, sales are not off to a great start. According to dealers, buyers are not choosing the 2018 Accord over its longtime rival, the Camry, because of unappealing lease deals.
According to Automotive News, Honda had a a 104-day supply of the new Accord on March 1, which is much higher than industry standards. Sales of midsize sedans have already been struggling, but according to dealers, the bigger reason that the Accord isn’t flying off dealer lots is because of a lack of enticing lease offers. Right now you can lease a 2018 Accord LX for $249 a month for 36 months with a $3,199 drive off. The Camry LE is $219 a month for 36 months with only a $1,999 drive off.
“Where lease is heavy, like Florida, New York, Ohio and California, that’s where we’re getting hurt,” stated Rick Case, CEO of Rick Case Automotive Group, which has Honda stores near Miami and in suburban Cleveland. “When you get two cars as close as they are, it’s not that much better than the Camry that people are going to pay $50, $60 [or] $80 more a month.”
Case continued that Accord sales are only at about half where they should be and that Honda is hoping that the Accord’s accolades will help sell the midsize sedan, instead of traditional incentives. With inventory numbers increasing, some dealers are actually declining new shipments.
“I will take what we need for the spring. Then I’m going to take a good long look at it at the end of March and April,” one dealer stated. “If they start piling up, I certainly will shut them off.”
Even with the growing inventory numbers, Honda hasn’t made a fast fix to the Accord’s lease rates, but does say that it’s listening to dealer concerns.
“We continue to work collaboratively with our dealer partners and appreciate our ongoing dialogue with them to ensure the overall value proposition with each of our products is competitive in the marketplace,” A Honda spokeswoman stated in an emailed statement to Automotive News.