Sales of Honda and Acura vehicles were nearly cut in half in March compared with the year-ago month, as consumers reacted to the coronavirus emergency and partial shutdown of the U.S. economy. American Honda sales fell 48 percent last month and were off 19 percent in the first quarter.
Before the March numbers, sales of Honda and Acura cars and trucks had been 0.2 percent higher over the first two months of the year and had continued to be in the black during the first 10 days of March, Honda said in a statement.
"Combined with declining demand from cautious customers, hundreds of Honda and Acura dealers were closed in the second half of March in compliance with mandates imposed on businesses by state and local governments," the company said.
Sales of American Honda light trucks suffered equally with losses at its popular car lineup last month, and not a single model was spared from deep double-digit percentage declines. Much of Honda's focus at the dealership level has shifted to service, maintenance and repair, the company said, "while preserving the health and safety of their employees."
Brands: Honda down 48%; Acura down 51%
Notable nameplates: Honda Civic and Accord each down 46%; Honda Clarity down 84%; Honda CR-V down 47%; Honda Pilot down 52%; Acura ILX down 44%; Acura TLX down 54%; Acura RDX down 54%; Acura MDX down 46%.
Incentives: $2,278 per vehicle, up 4.1% from a year earlier, ALG says
Average transaction price: $28,112, down 0.4% from a year earlier, according to ALG
Quote: "As a society, we're all in this together. After a strong start to the year, industry sales are going to suffer in the short term, and we have suspended auto production as part of our effort to carefully manage our business in the face of the steep decline in demand," said Steven Center, vice president of automobile sales at American Honda. "Our country is going to come back strong and we are going to come back strong, and we know there are better times ahead."
Did you know? Acura sold just 31 of its RLX flagship sedans in March, and just 179 in the first quarter. The 2020 model is still part of the first generation that was introduced for 2014. Nonetheless, Acura has neither announced a second generation of the aging sedan nor confirmed its expected discontinuation.