While the Honda Accord dominated the 1990s, it has been virtually all Toyota Camry in the new century. Yet a look back at the first six months of 2009 shows that the newer, larger Accord is continuing to gain ground on its chief rival. Camry sales have so far remained top in its segment, with 150,242 sales in the first half of the year. The Accord isn't far behind, though, as it has amassed 131,143 sales through June; only 19,199 behind Camry.

Wards Auto reports that the Accord's gains have been consistent over the past three years, as the sales gap went from 94,004 in 2006 to 80,877 in 2007 and 63,828 in 2008. With sales deeply depressed so far in 2009, though, the numbers can be a bit deceiving. Still, the Camry has seen a 37.4% drop in sales, as compared to 36.3% for the Accord.

Toyota told Wards that one reason for the Accord's improved sales verses the Camry are increasing incentives on the full-size Honda. According to Edmunds, the Accord's April incentives increased four-fold verses the automaker's April, 2008 numbers. Even more interesting is the fact that cash on the hood has increased since April, hitting $2,183 in June. The Camry, on the other hand, had $1,538 on the hood last month; down over $400 compared to May.

[Source: Wards Automotive]