LOS ANGELES -- American Honda's February sales fell 2 percent, as rare slumps by such volume models as the Civic, CR-V and Odyssey offset a strong month for the redesigned Accord.
With nearly 28,000 sales, up 35 percent, the Accord led Honda brand sales, and gave the Toyota Camry its closest contest for top-selling car in months -- though it still trailed by more than 3,200 units.
"It took a big winter storm in the Northeast to slow us down a bit, but our robust sales over the last three weeks show that our strong retail momentum continues," John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president, said in a statement. "With Accord posting strong numbers and spring just around the corner, the best is yet to come."
Meanwhile, Honda says dealers this year are selling the restyled 2013 Civic "on merit," and not relying on incentives, as they did with the outgoing 2012 model.
"We're not spending nearly so much on special finance rates and lease deals," said spokesman Chris Martin. "Mostly all the '12s are gone now."
Also, some of the 2013 Civic models, such as the Hybrid and Si sedan, experienced delayed introductions, which crimped some dealer inventories, Martin said. As a result, Civic sales were off 16 percent.
Sales of vehicles imported from Japan, such as the Fit, Insight and CR-Z, continued to decline, as larger home-market profits for those cars kept allocations higher in Japan.
On the Acura side, the new ILX appears to be hitting its stride, handily outselling the TSX it is designed to replace. Overall, Acura's U.S. sales rose 1 percent last month to 11,364.
Sales of the redesigned RDX compact crossover were sharply higher, while the aging MDX crossover continues to be the brand's volume leader, though sales were off 18 percent last month.