AM Online

Accord sets sights on BMW customers

The head of Honda sales will be targeting his old employers at BMW when the new Accord goes on sale next summer.

Bernard Bradley, general manager – cars, believes the new Accord can challenge the 3 Series for corporate business, but is aware that every manufacturer with a new upper-medium saloon makes that claim.

“You hear all the time: ‘We’re going to challenge the 3 Series’,” said Mr Bradley.

“But I believe we have credibility behind that statement if you look at the performance of the new CR-V and, to an extent, the Civic.

“The level of CR-Vs we are selling now compared to 12 months ago is light years ahead.

“The average price now is £24,000, compared to £18,000-£19,000 then, with some selling for up to £30,000.

“This shows that Honda can sell cars at that premium price level. We’re picking up sales from everywhere – old CR-V, premium compact saloons and other SUVs.

“And proof that Honda is moving in the right direction is shown by the mix of Civic sales, which has moved from £11,000 to £15,000-£16,000.

“We plan to do the same with the new Accord – we are aiming to go further upmarket, appealing in both four-door and Touring guises to user-choosers.”

Exact details about the new Accord will be released in February, but it is bigger than the current model, more sharply styled and, importantly, will come with a Euro V-compliant i-DTEC diesel from launch, which will be around June and July.

There will be a full fleet launch program before its on-sale date, with residuals likely to be set some time in the spring.

Mr Bradley is keen to attract a richer mix of business through user-chooser and leasing companies.

He added: “We can get an overall richer mix with the new Accord. We don’t think we will be outselling the 3 Series, but we will be looking to increase volumes and taking that extra business from the traditional premium brands.”

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