“A sale isn’t always a sale,” or so says John Mendel, the top American executive at Honda, which has long steered clear of the daily rental and other fleet sales that prop up many of its competitors’ sales charts.
Honda has traditionally focused its marketing efforts on the retail side of the market and there, it claims, it has been gaining ground. In fact, the Japanese brand claims to now be the retail sales leader in four of the largest non-truck segments in the U.S. auto market with the midsize Civic, compact Accord, Odyssey minivan and CR-V crossover.
Those powerhouse product lines helped Honda achieve a 16.2% increase in retail sales for the first nine months of 2013, while capturing a 16.1% share of the American market. During the same period in 2012, Honda held a 15.8% share of the retail market.