Honda continues strong 2012; CR-V leads the way
The CR-V crossover -- redesigned for 2012 -- hit its seventh consecutive monthly sales record in July.
LOS ANGELES -- American Honda Motor Co.'s sales continued a strong 2012 showing, led by the recently launched CR-V crossover hitting its seventh consecutive monthly sales record.
Last summer's inventories were severely crimped by the Japanese earthquake, skewing this July's 45 percent gain for American Honda overall. But the 2012 results are strong nonetheless.
American Honda's year-to-date performance is its best since 2008. Honda Division's sales increased by 46 percent in July, and Acura Division's increased by 36 percent.
"As our sales momentum continues to build through the summer, Honda is experiencing its best year-to-date sales in four years," John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president of sales, said in a statement. "With success growing along with inventory, it's wonderful to be able to meet the strong retail customer demand."
Despite media criticism of the Civic's cost-saving interior, Honda's compact car continues to outsell the Toyota Corolla and is the top seller in the compact segment. Honda sold 25,004 Civics in July -- up 79 percent over July 2011. For the year, Honda has delivered 187,586 Civics in the United States, up 33 percent over the same period of 2011 and well ahead of the Corolla's 175,366 units sold.
The sell-down of the Accord mid-sized sedan -- for which dealers have a stair-step volume incentive -- continues to work, with 28,639 units sold in July. It slightly trailed the July sales of the segment-leading Toyota Camry (29,913 units sold), which was redesigned last fall.
Made-in-Japan Honda vehicles continue to be slow sellers, as home-market incentives generate more profit for the parent company than units sold here. Shipments of the Fit were barely at last year's quake-affected levels, while Insight and CR-Z hybrid deliveries are a trickle.
On the truck side in July, the CR-V broke the 20,000-unit mark with 20,554 in sales, crushing the Toyota RAV4 (15,248 units sold) though edged by the Ford Escape (21,572).
The Odyssey minivan handily beat the Toyota Sienna, although the Pilot couldn't keep pace with Toyota's 4Runner. The Crosstour continues to struggle against the more traditionally styled Toyota Venza.
As for Acura, despite heavy advertising weight, the new entry-luxury ILX compact sedan is starting slowly, selling 1,410 units in July -- well below its annual target rate of 40,000 units. It was even outsold by the aging TSX sedan it is designed to replace, a dangerous sign.
Acura sales boss Jeff Conrad said in a release that the ILX is "gaining its stride."
Meanwhile, the recently redesigned RDX compact crossover hit another consecutive monthly sales record. The MDX mid-sized crossover -- slated for a summer 2013 redesign -- is still the brand's volume leader.
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