American Honda: Accord sales unsatisfactory
NEW YORK (Reuters) -- March sales of the flagship Honda Accord were "not satisfactory" but the automaker is working through the inventory problems that led to an unexpected slump, company executives said at the New York Auto Show on Wednesday.
U.S. consumers bought 26,771 Accords last month, down from 31,533 vehicles a year ago.
Accord sales have dropped 8 percent to 61,132 units this year through March.
Total Honda division sales fell 4 percent year-over-year to 115,833 last month, American Honda said earlier this week.
"We are not satisfied with that," said American Honda President and Chief Executive Tetsuo Iwamura, noting the Accord was outsold by both the Toyota Camry and the Nissan Altima last month.
Honda's share of the U.S. light vehicle market has dropped to 9.2 percent this year from 10.1 percent in the first quarter of 2011.
The Accord -- once the top-selling car in America -- faces more formidable competition in the mid-sized sedan market, where the Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu, Kia Optima and Volkswagen Passat have gained ground.
Honda is still working through problems stemming from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which disrupted production.
"We're still suffering the inventory issues associated with the disaster," marketing executive Mike Accavitti said.
Iwamura said total inventories were improving but distribution of vehicles among dealerships was "kind of a problem at this moment."
He said the Accord sales slump was caused by a shortage of some popular models but that a new model in the fall would help improve Accord sales.
David Phillips contributed to this reportContact Automotive News