(This story has been corrected to note that Honda is trimming production of just two of the four models being built on the Marysville line.)
Honda is slashing production of the Accord and Civic models at its flagship U.S. assembly plant in Marysville, Ohio, a move that reflects the continuing slide in American passenger car sales.
The cutback comes as other manufacturers trim their own passenger car output, General Motors closing three of its North American assembly plants and dropping entirely a half-dozen models.
Honda’s decision to drop one of the two shifts currently producing Accord in Marysville stands in contrast to what rival Toyota has done. That largest of the Japanese automakers has actually scored a 6% increase in sales of its own midsize sedan, the Toyota Camry, so far this year. But to do that, the carmaker has engaged in aggressive discounting.
“Basically, we have been trying not to get caught up in a price-cutting race,” Seiji Kuraishi, Honda’s chief operating officer, told the r Street Journal.
Four other models are produced on the Marysville line, including the Honda Civic and CR-V, and the Acura ILX and TLX. Only Accord and Civic will see production cuts as the line is slowed.
The cuts, nonetheless, reflect the transformation of the U.S. automotive market. Once dominated by sedans, especially midsize models, light trucks – primarily SUVs and CUVs — now make up two-thirds of all new vehicle sales.
(Honda Still Sees Opportunity to Grow Car Sales in a Light Truck Market)
The Accord, which was long one of the country’s top-selling nameplates, has rapidly lost ground, despite strong reviews for the newest version of the sedan, launched for the 2018 model-year. Demand was off 3.1% in July and has tumbled 5.9% for the current calendar-year. In contrast, Honda’s long-popular CR-V crossover gained 2.5% in sales last month.
Honda has been able to pick up some ground with its compact Civic line-up of coupes, hatchbacks and sedans, but the overall weakness of its passenger car line-up has helped drive the brand as a whole 1% into negative territory for the first seven months of 2019.
And that downturn has one of the key reasons why Honda reported global earnings during the April-June quarter of just 172.3 billion yen net profit, or $1.6 billion, down from 244.3 billion yen a year earlier. In sharp contract, Toyota reported earnings of 682.9 billion yen, or $6.4 billion, up from 657.3 billion yen a year earlier.
(For more on Toyota and Honda earnings for Q2, Click Here.)
Toyota has moved more rapidly than Honda to shift to a truck-heavy line-up. And it has been aggressive in building demand for its SUVs and CUVs. The RAV4 – a direct competitor to Honda’s CR-V – last year toppled the Camry as the top-selling Toyota. The RAV4 is now the fourth best-selling model in the U.S. market.
But Honda’s problems are far from unique. GM kicked off a firestorm last November when it announced to drop passenger car models like the Chevrolet Cruze and Impala, and close those three assembly plants. It last week also shut down a transmission plant in the Detroit suburb of Warren. Rival Ford is phasing out all U.S. passenger car models save for the long-lived and still popular Mustang. Toyota has hinted it may cut back some passenger car offerings, as well.
Honda has hung on tight after dropping some sluggish-selling models earlier in the decade, but passenger cars continue to account for about 50% of its American sales. It is hoping to bring that share more into alignment with market demands, among other things launching the all-new Pilot SUV this year.
But, for now, it will pull back on production of Accord and those other models in Marysville, the first Japanese-owned passenger car plant in the U.S. market.
(Honda’s Acura set to launch of new sporty sub-brand with debut of Type S Concept. Click Here for more.)
11 responses to “Honda Slashing Production of Accord, Civic as Passenger Car Sales Keep Tumbling”
I was the biggest fan of Honda but will not be returning to the Honda Arena until the Honda Accord Coupe returns to the scene
I am also a big fan of the Accord Coupe!
I hear ya. As they currently don’t offer a couple that would make sense. I recently traded in my 2010 Accord V6 for a KIA Soul GT 2020. More competitive pricing was one part, but the other part was the Accord is a huge car, which is not great when parking, plus with no kids the back seat was largely never used. Thought about a CRV or whatever the smaller version was but preferred the styling of the GT. Will probably go back to Honda one day. Awesome cars, just didn’t woo me enough this time around.
Will the next generation Honda Odyssey be posted here?
When news about Odyssey comes up, we will, of course, post it.
Cars are too expensive and cheaply made and that is why they aren’t being bought. Just like back in the 80’s. Insurance y higher to fix all the extra assessories that are put on them. Nice but expensive. Middle class don’t have that kind of money!!!
I presume that you are referring to cheaply made American cars, that constantly need repairs and sound and feel cheap when you drive them. I have owned Honda Accords for over 20 years and the only time they are in the shop is for routine maintenance. Civics feel the same to drive as a CRV and the Accord. Quality is the trademark of Honda so you will get it in the base Civic as well as the top of the line Acura. The same can’t be said for American cars at all. That’s why I will forever remain loyal to Honda because I am never dissatisfied with my vehicle, as I always was with my American cars.
The Accord can be had for under $30k. Not that expensive and younger a lot of car for the $$. That being said, I didn’t need that much car so I bounced this time.
Well, I seen that coming when they eliminated the V6 that they where not a good seller,I Already see the 2018 on used car lots.
I bought a 2018 Accord Hybrid and have been extremely happy with it. The Accord redesign is fantastic. It’s too bad so many buyers won’t give it a chance.
I was a Honda customer for years. Then I purchased a 2013 CRV, new. From the beginning the car consumed a quart of oil every 850 miles and had a grinding noise for several seconds when it started, all of which the dealer said was “normal”. Then at 57,000 miles the computer turned on all error codes and the car would jerk between 15 and 20 MPH. I took it in and was told the computer reset all error codes, and the timing chain was put on at the factory was off by two teeth and the engine may need replacement. Five days later the car was fixed, and there was no engine damage at all. Last Friday the engine blew two blocks from home. No sound, warning, and it didn’t sieze. It sounds like the camshaft broke, the starter does turn over.
Monday i went back and bought a Camry. My wife had Camry’s and its a familiar, comfortable, and secure feeling behind the wheel of a Toyota once again.
Honda’s are overpriced and undervalued due to poor quality and poor testing. The Honda dealer told me that the computer was adjusting the timing until the normal wear on the timing chain combined with the improperly set timing gear could no l be longer compensate. You can’t fix mechanical errors with software. The CRV is going on the web being sold as-is with a blown engine. No more Hondas, I can see why they are cutting production. They need to relearn the value of quality, honesty, andcustomers.