Honda is axing a slew of models from its line-up in Japan including the Thai-built Accord, though Honda Australia is sticking with the slow-selling mid-sizer.
“For the Australian market, there is no plan to discontinue Accord locally, in fact demand is currently outpacing supply,” said a spokesperson for Honda Australia.
The current, 10th-generation Accord, which entered production in 2019, is manufactured in Thailand, China, Malaysia and the USA.
Thai-built models are exported to right-hand drive markets like Japan, Australia, and Indonesia and other south-east Asian markets like the Philippines.
It isn’t sold in other right-hand drive markets such as New Zealand, the UK and South Africa.
Honda has yet to officially announce where the 11th-generation Accord, expected to debut in 2023, will be built. Prototypes have recently been spied testing.
To the end of June, Honda has sold 39 Accords in Australia, putting it last in the mainstream mid-sized passenger car segment behind the Peugeot 508 (86 sales).
In 2021, Honda Australia sold 90 Accords, outselling discontinued models like the Ford Mondeo and Subaru Levorg. Sales were down 45.5 per cent in a segment that, while admittedly well past its glory days, was down 10.4 per cent overall.
The current Accord was launched in Australia during the final weeks of 2019, and it recorded 165 sales in 2020.
You don’t even need to go back to the days of the critically acclaimed Accord Euro to see a considerably higher tally. Honda sold 1760 examples of the previous ninth-generation, Thai-built Accord in 2014.
The reported discontinuation of the Accord in Japan will leave Honda without any sedans in its home market.
Production of the flagship Legend and the plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell Clarity ended last year, and the Insight hybrid was discontinued this year.
It isn’t just sedans that are dropping like flies.
Best Car Web also reports Honda will also discontinue the CR-V and Shuttle people mover in Japan this year.
It’s unclear if the new CR-V, set for a July 12 reveal, will be sold in Japan. The current model is produced there, though Australian-market CR-Vs come from Thailand.
The wave of discontinuations will leave Honda with a domestic range consisting largely of kei cars, plus the Fit (Jazz), Vezel (HR-V), Civic hatch, E electric vehicle and Freed and Step Wgn people movers.
While Honda Australia has switched to sourcing the Civic and HR-V from Japan instead of Thailand, it’s indicated it’s keeping a number of production sources for its vehicles to smooth out the impacts of currency fluctuations with the Australian dollar.
The Japanese brands don’t always lavish their home market with their latest and greatest, which often has a flow-on effect for Australia.
Honda doesn’t sell any of its upmarket Acura-branded models in Japan, nor does it sell its US-built Pilot SUV and Ridgeline ute.
Nissan is still selling the 2010-vintage March (Micra) and releasing the upcoming X-Trail a whole two years later than its almost identical US-market Rogue counterpart.
Mitsubishi is finally releasing a new ASX and resurrecting the Colt, but both of which are expected to be sold only in Europe.