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New Accord targets the upper class

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Honda is to move its next generation Accord to the top end of the upper-medium sector.

The car, which will go on sale in the UK early next year, will be available in four-door saloon and estate format, and will only be powered by engines of 2.0-litres or more.

David Strangeway, general manager of Honda UK's car division, says the new Accord will not be a replacement for the current model. Instead it will try to bridge the gap between the latest Accord and the soon-to-be-ditched Legend by becoming Honda's top UK saloon.

“The Accord is a good car but it is competing in the budget end of the market, where we don't want to be,” Strangeway says. “With the new car, we are aiming at the more discerning executive end of the market. “The new car will be bigger and equipped to a higher quality level. Its pricing position will reflect this while offering excellent value against its competitors.”

Insiders say UK prices will start from about £18,000 and that Honda wants the 2003 Accord to become a stepping-stone upwards from the Civic range and a saloon alternative to the new CR-V. It will appear at a crucial time as Honda UK is on track to record its best-ever sales year, with a total of 75,000 units sold within its reach.

Production of the European Accord, which will make its debut at this year's Paris motor show, will move from Swindon to Japan.

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