When Honda dealers pressed for less clutter in the brand's lineup, the automaker trimmed slow sellers such as the CR-Z hybrid, Element crossover and Crosstour wagon.
When dealers asked for more light trucks, Honda redesigned its pickup and shuffled its production to deliver more consistent supplies of Pilot, CR-V and HR-V crossovers.
When they asked for more zip in the lineup, Honda gave them speedy and sporty variants of the Civic.
But dealers might have a tougher time with the next item on their wish list: help from the factory to move the redesigned Honda Accord, the venerable and critically acclaimed midsize sedan that no one seems eager to buy.
As of March 1, inventories of the Accord stood at a 103-day supply, a glaring number for a brand that prides itself on precisely matching production to demand.
So when Honda's new executive leadership in the U.S. meets with dealers here Saturday morning, they will likely face new demands for cash incentives and more generous lease deals to better compete with Toyota's redesigned Camry.
The response will be telling.
Honda is stingy with incentives, mindful of their destructive impact on resale and brand values. It avoids chasing competitors on volume and all but refuses low-margin fleet sales. At the same time, it can ill afford to let its marquee sedan, now in its 10th generation, languish.
"I'll be surprised if we don't see some help in April or May," California Honda dealer Dave Conant told Automotive News this month. "They're not going to let the car sit on the lot."
In any case, Honda might be able to give dealers something else they want: more details about the revival of the Passport nameplate. Honda is bringing back the Passport as a midsize crossover to be slotted between the CR-V and the Pilot, people familiar with the plans say, giving it a competitor against vehicles such as the Nissan Murano and Ford Edge. a