Honda deliveries fall 2% as cold, snow dent East, Midwest strongholds

LOS ANGELES -- The arctic temperatures that hit key Honda markets in the Midwest and East Coast kept some car buyers out of Honda showrooms last month, leading American Honda to a 2 percent decline in U.S. sales.

Combined sales for the Honda and Acura divisions fell to 91,631 vehicles last month from 93,626 units in January 2013. Volume at the Honda division dropped 4 percent to 80,808 vehicles, offset by a 14 percent jump in Acura sales.

Honda attributed the division's slip to the cold weather that gripped "several of Honda's stronghold markets in the Eastern and Midwestern" part of the United States.

Last year, American Honda posted its second-best U.S. sales of 1,525,312 units, an increase of 7percent.

"After a hot sales year in 2013 that saw the CR-V join Accord and Civic as the third Honda vehicle to sell more than 300,000 for the first time in our history, January's foul weather cooled things a bit," John Mendel, executive vice president of automobile sales at American Honda, said in a statement.

Mendel said Honda looks forward to a "warming trend" and the arrival of the redesigned 2015 Honda Fit subcompact and updated sporty 2014 Civic Si compact.

Despite the cold, Acura's mid-sized MDX and compact RDX crossovers led the brand to a record January for light-truck sales. MDX sales jumped 65 percent to 4,241 units while RDX volume rose 10 percent to 2,730 vehicles.

You can reach Ryan Beene at autonews@crain.com

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