American Honda reported a 0.1 percent decline in September volume as strong demand for trucks failed to offset sluggish car sales.
The company reported U.S. sales of 133,655 vehicles, compared with 133,750 in September 2015. Car sales slumped 8.9 percent to 64,591, more than enough to offset a 9.9 percent gain in light truck sales, which set a September record.
Deliveries at the Honda brand rose 1.5 percent in September to 120,842 vehicles, also a September record. Strong demand for crossovers drove Honda light truck sales to a September record, gaining 10 percent to 60,215. Honda car sales fell 5.8 percent to 60,627 thanks in large part to a 19 percent drop in Accord sedan sales.
“The return of a new Civic Hatchback to the Honda brand adds a fresh dimension to an already robust car lineup for 2017,” Jeff Conrad, Honda Division general manager, said in a statement. “The expanding 10th generation Civic roster brings new energy to the car side of our business even as our trucks continue with steady gains.”
Civic sales fell 0.3 percent in September from a year earlier to 28,184. Honda Fit sales surged 296 percent to 5,068.
Sales of the CR-V crossover, Honda’s top-selling nameplate in September, gained 6.5 percent from the year-earlier month to 31,884 vehicles. Demand for the HR-V crossover jumped 49 percent, while sales of the Odyssey minivan fell 9.8 percent and the Pilot crossover declined 10 percent. The automaker sold 3,318 units of the recently released Honda Ridgeline pickup.
Weak car sales at Acura more than offset a record September for the luxury brand’s light truck sales as Acura’s U.S. sales dropped 13 percent to 12,813.
Sales of the TLX luxury sedan plummeted 39 percent, while deliveries of the ILX compact car dropped 43 percent. MDX crossover sales gained 14 percent from the year-earlier month, while RDX crossover sales rose 1.8 percent.
“The success of the refreshed MDX, the first model to showcase the new Acura styling direction, is further validation of Acura’s Precision Crafted Performance brand direction,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura Division general manager, in a statement. “Step-by-step we are amping up performance as a signature for the brand and a clear point of difference over the competition.”