American Honda inches higher, thanks to Acura

For the year, Honda Division sales edged up 1 percent to a record 1,373,029 vehicles. Photo credit: DAVID PHILLIPS

American Honda Motor Co. notched another slim sales gain for December, riding heavily on crossovers and the Acura brand.

The automaker’s December sales rose 1.5 percent to 137,281 units. The luxury arm gained 13 percent in December on strong performances from the ILX and TLX sedans and the RDX crossover. Honda Division’s sales were flat, despite double-digit gains from its crossovers and the recently redesigned Fit subcompact.

For the year, Honda Division sales edged up 1 percent to a record 1,373,029 vehicles. Acura gained 1.5 percent on sales of 167,843 units, its best year since 2007 and its third consecutive year of gains.

Light trucks drove much of the year’s growth at both brands. Honda’s CR-V, redesigned in October, set an annual sales record, rising 10 percent for the year to 335,019 units. Among cars, the Accord, Honda’s best-seller, gained 6 percent for the year, and the Fit was up 11 percent. But sales of the Odyssey minivan sank 5 percent.

“Despite the price of gasoline dropping well below $3 a gallon in many markets, Honda’s strong, balanced lineup of cars and trucks helped us achieve record sales in 2014,” Jeff Conrad, Honda Division general manager, said in a statement.

Acura’s mix of crossovers rose 13 percent in 2014, helping to offset a 15 percent drop in car sales, which picked up only toward the second half of the year with the introduction of the TLX midsize sedan. The MDX three-row crossover had its best-ever sales year, with 65,603 units sold. The smaller RDX also set an annual record, 44,865 units, a slight gain from the previous year.

“The Acura MDX and RDX declared loud and clear why we call them the best 1-2 punch in the luxury SUV game, with record sales in the history of the Acura brand,” Mike Accavitti, Acura general manager, said in a statement.

“With our passenger car lineup now strengthened by the successful launch of the all-new TLX, the upcoming introduction of the redesigned ILX, and the highly anticipated NSX supercar set for its global debut in Detroit, the Acura brand is poised for great things in 2015.”

You can reach Jaclyn Trop at jtrop@crain.com -- Follow Jaclyn on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jaclyntrop

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