American Honda rides trucks to December, annual records

In 2015, Honda brand truck sales in the U.S. jumped 12 percent, while car sales fell 4.2 percent.

American Honda, including Acura brand, set a December U.S. sales record, as sales rose 9.9 percent to 150,893 vehicles, the company said today. Full-year sales climbed 3 percent to a record 1,586,551.

The record sales in 2015 came on strong truck demand at the Honda brand. The automaker’s U.S. truck sales climbed 9.7 percent to 770,424. That was offset by a 2.7 percent drop in car sales to 816,127.

In contrast, Acura’s truck sales softened in 2015 while its car sales rose.

Honda and other automakers have seen U.S. sales rise as low gasoline prices and broad economic gains drive demand for pickups, crossovers and SUVs.

December gains

In December, Honda brand sales jumped 12 percent to 134,070 units, but Acura brand sales slid 5.5 percent to 16,823.

The Honda brand’s car sales rose 13 percent on the strength of the Accord midsize sedan, up 11 percent, and the Civic compact, up 29 percent.

Honda truck sales rose 11 percent as sales of the Pilot crossover rose 16 percent and Odyssey minivan sales increased 14 percent.

The CR-V crossover was the only core Honda model to see sales decline in December, dropping 3.7 percent to 31,185.

At Acura, MDX sales fell 7.5 percent, RDX sales slipped 4.2 percent and TLX sales dropped 8.5 percent. Sales of the ILX rose 13 percent.

2015 trucks

In 2015, Honda brand sales rose 2.6 percent to a record 1,409,386.

Acura sales increased 5.6 percent to 177,165 for its best year since 2007 and its fourth consecutive year of growth.

Honda brand truck sales jumped 12 percent, while car sales fell 4.2 percent.

Sales of the CR-V crossover rose 3.2 percent to a record 345,647 in 2015. Sales also rose 2.9 percent for the Civic, 4.1 percent for the Odyssey and 25 percent for the Pilot. But Accord sales dropped 8.4 percent to 355,557.

Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of the Honda brand, said in a statement the company is expecting a “very robust 2016.”

Acura’s sales growth was paced by a 19 percent gain in car sales, led by TLX sedan sales that more than doubled to 47,080.

Acura truck sales fell 1.2 percent to 109,236, despite a 13 percent gain for the RDX crossover, to a record 51,026. MDX crossover sales fell 11 percent to 58,208.

You can reach John Irwin at jirwin@crain.com

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