Despite redesigned core products from Honda and Acura, American Honda Motor Co. is still struggling to catch up to the rest of the recovering industry, posting the steepest annual drop in sales among major automakers.
American Honda's sales were down in December and the fourth quarter, marking 17 straight months of declines.
American Honda's vice president of sales, Momadou Diallo, attributed the drop in volume to a lack of inventory and ongoing supply issues and noted that once stockpiles recover, sales will "continue to rebound."
"We begin 2023 with roughly double the on-hand inventory of 2022," Diallo said, "and the expectation that this will mean a healthy sales increase this year."
Honda's redesigned Accord and Pilot will reach customers this month, closing the loop on the brand's major 2022 product rollout that included the HR-V, CR-V and Civic Type R. Acura's Integra, which saw a successful launch in 2022, will add a Type S variant this summer.
Both brands also will add new all-electric crossovers, the Honda Prologue and Acura ZDX, likely in the second half of the year.
American Honda finished 2022 with U.S. sales of 983,507, a decrease of 33 percent from 2021. In the fourth quarter, the automaker's combined sales dropped 11 percent to 255,250, compared with the same period in 2021.
In December, combined sales of 93,843 marked an 11 percent decline, but it was the Japanese automaker's best month since March.
Brands: Honda closed the year with sales of 881,201, a 33 percent decline. In the fourth quarter, deliveries slid 11 percent to 227,596. Honda's December sales dropped 11 percent to 83,407 from a year earlier. Despite declines across the board, Honda achieved its second-best month and quarter of 2022.
Acura finished 2022 with 102,306 sales, a 35 percent dip from 2021. In the fourth quarter, Acura deliveries slipped 9.2 percent to 27,654.
Acura's December volume fell 5.5 percent to 10,436, but the month was the brand's best since April thanks to more than 5,000 sales of the three-row MDX, and Integra deliveries, which topped 2,000 for the third straight month.
Notable nameplates: Honda Accord, down 24% through December; Civic, off 49%; HR-V, down 16%; CR-V, off 34%; Ridgeline, up 3.4%; Acura TLX, down 56%; MDX, off 23%; RDX, down 57%.
U.S. light-vehicle market share: 7.1 percent in 2022, down from 9.7 percent in 2021.
Incentives: $1,000 per vehicle in December, down 37%, and $1,009 per vehicle in the fourth quarter, down 60% from a year earlier, according to TrueCar.
Average transaction price: $37,299, up 5.7% in December, and $37,428 in the fourth quarter, up 21% from a year earlier, according to TrueCar.
Fleet mix: 1.7% of December sales, according to TrueCar.
Quote: "It's no secret we have the best Honda and Acura product lineups in our history, and when we have the inventory to meet strong customer demand, our sales will continue to rebound." — Mamadou Diallo, vice president of auto sales for American Honda.