2013 Honda Accord Sport
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Fleet sales are a way of life in the automotive industry. There are many non-retail customers that need vehicles, but going too far can reduce brand image and vehicle resale value. While some of its competitors have fleet sale that account for up to 20 or 30 of overall sales, Honda is bragging that it has the lowest fleet sales of all mainstream automakers for the first five months of 2013.

After calculating new-car registration data from R.L. Polk, Honda says that just two percent of its sales through went to fleet customers compared to an industry average of 19 percent. Even though this means Honda leaves plenty of sales on the table each month, it also claims to have the highest resale value and lowest cost of ownership among its competitors. In terms of retail sales, Honda says that the Civic, Accord, CR-V and Odyssey all lead their respective segments, and it breaks down/brags about its retail sales success in the press release, which is posted below.
Show full PR text
Honda Leads All Automakers in Retail Sales in Key Volume Segments

Accord, Civic, CR-V and Odyssey tops in respective segments year-to-date

07/29/2013 - TORRANCE, Calif.

-Accord, Civic, CR-V and Odyssey rank #1 in retail sales in their respective segments, according to latest Polk data
-Honda brand sales of 668,597 up 6.5 percent year-to-date through June
-More than 98 percent of brand sales to retail customers, protecting resale values; many competitor brands exceed 20 percent in fleet sales

Honda topped all mainstream automakers in percentage of sales to retail buyers during the first five months of 2013, with more than 98 percent1 of the brand's auto sales in the U.S. sold to individual (non-fleet) consumers, based on new-vehicle registration data from R.L. Polk & Co. With a strong focus on providing long-term value and low cost of ownership to its customers, the Honda brand has increased sales by 6.5 percent in 2013 with 668,597 Honda cars and light trucks finding new homes through the end of June.

Honda's four best-selling models, Accord, Civic, CR-V and Odyssey, lead their respective segments2 in sales to retail consumers. Together, these segments represent more than 50 percent of all light-duty vehicle sales in the United States.

"We're earning our sales growth on the strength of our products and the value they deliver to individual car buyers," said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Our strategy is unique among volume automakers, as we are focused on selling vehicles to individual car buyers and not corporate sales to fleets, which is why Honda vehicles have among the lowest cost of ownership and highest resale values in the industry."

In the highly competitive mid-size segment, where Accord leads retail sales, many high-volume entrants have sold in excess of 30 percent1 of their vehicles to fleet customers thus far in 2013 while over 98 percent1 of Accords were sold to individuals (non-fleet). The 2013 Accord is the most-awarded3 mid-size car when it comes to value. "Honda continues to deliver on the promise that made them the Residual Value Award recipient for 2013," said Eric Lyman, vice president of Editorial for ALG.

"Honda keeps incentives and fleet penetration low - two actions that heavily impact future values. With high volume models like Accord and CR-V at the top of their respective segments, Hondas hold their value better than any other brand."

According to Honda analysis of Polk new-vehicle registration data, more than 19 percent1 of light-duty vehicle industry sales so far this year have been to non-retail customers such as rental-car companies, corporate and government fleet operations, most at steeply discounted prices compared to the average retail transaction price. Discounts on large volumes of vehicles can have a long-term negative impact on the residual or resale values of vehicles purchased at retail. This effectively increases the cost-of-ownership for retail buyers when they eventually sell or trade-in their vehicles.

About Honda
Honda employs more than 33,000 associates in North America, and has invested more than $22 billion in R&D, sales and manufacturing operations in the region since 1959. Honda now operates 14 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda and Acura automobiles, engines and transmissions, Honda all-terrain vehicles, and power equipment products, using domestic and globally sourced parts. Over 90 percent of Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. during 2012 were produced in North America.


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  • 53 Comments
      • 1 Year Ago
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        • 1 Year Ago
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      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Honda is not refusing to sell to fleet buyers. Fleet buyers just aren't buying because they are not competitive. A fleet owner buys based on his cost. He doesn't keep a car long enough for long term reliability to come into play, so he doesn't car to much about what brand he gets. His cost is purchase price minus residual value and interest. Fleet sales have very little profit margin, so fleet purchase prices are very closely tied to manufacture and distribution cost. R&D isn't absorbed much here. If Honda residual value is so high, then that tells me that typical Honda fleet purchase price is that much higher. That just means that Honda manufacture and distribution costs are much higher than those from companies that have higher fleet volume. Maybe Honda is putting more profit margin than average into their fleet sales prices in order to protect retail residual sales values, but I doubt it. It would be a bad strategy because fleet sales increase total volume and which lowers manufacture cost.
        BB79826
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BipDBo
        "Honda residual value is so high, then that tells me that typical Honda fleet purchase price is that much higher. " lol whut The reason Honda residual prices are high is BECAUSE they don't sell to fleets. THAT'S the cause/effect. It has absolutely nothing to do with the purchase price of the vehicle.
        piggybox
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BipDBo
        “It would be a bad strategy because fleet sales increase total volume and which lowers manufacture cost.” That depends on if the lower cost can offset the sacrificed profit on fleet sales or not.
      MJC
      • 1 Year Ago
      You just can't touch a Honda when it comes to resale value and longevity. My 2007 Civic is just about to turn 100K miles...I was offered $8,500 for TRADE IN. That's for a 6.5-year old car that was only $18K when I bought it. I'm keeping it though because it looks and runs like new!
        Jesus!
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MJC
        Resale value maybe not but there are tons of vehicles that have the same longevity or better. Honda blinders off please.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MJC
        [blocked]
      normc32
      • 1 Year Ago
      So this is an example of a niche car maker? No mass produced turbo-4 or direct injection sold in the US? Who else doesn't have offer that? Not many that are premiere.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @normc32
        [blocked]
        Will
        • 1 Year Ago
        @normc32
        Accord, RLX, MDX are all Direct Injection............
      SethG
      • 1 Year Ago
      The entire industry needs to take a look at the notion of fleet sales being a bad thing and figure out a new paradigm. If your car is good, why not get it into fleets and rental lots. What's better for marketing than having potential customers rent one of your cars and be pleasantly surprised? Automakers should view a fleet sale the same as any other, as long as the price is right, why not? And fleets should be cognizant of the same factors as individual buyers when purchasing cars. Shouldn't a fleet manager care about reliability and resale value the same way an individual would? And shouldn't they be willing to spend a little more to get a better car that will be more valuable when they sell it off? And, oh by the way, what about satisfying those customers with a slightly nicer ride?
        Will
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SethG
        The hit that retail customers would take by having a flood of used fleet vehicles on the market is not a very good selling point. Also keep in mind most rental cars are used and abused, not maintained well, and do not reflect the normal wear and tear a traditional customer would put a vehicle through. Renting a car to evaluate a vehicle for purchase is really a terrible way to go about car shopping.
          789dm
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Will
          Its true but if the car can survive the rental abuse thats mean its a keeper. I remember driving new mazda5 from zipcar n it has suspension problem n making alot of noise although it had less than 50k miles but the mazda3 that i love to rent from zipcar had better reliability w more miles than the mazda5
          SethG
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Will
          I would not recommend renting cars to determine a new car purchase. I'm talking about being pleasantly surprised about a car or a brand based on a rental experience. It hasn't happened many times but rental experiences with a last gen Ford Fusion and a first gen Mazda6 completely changed the way I felt about those cars/brands. They weren't loaded. They weren't fast. But they were clearly quality cars. If you look at my comment you will see that I suggest completely rethinking fleet sales. Yes, rentals may be abused. But they will sell as high mileage used cars. Used car valuations already account for this. Mileage is a major (probably #1) factor in the value of used cars. The sale of an Avis owned one year old car with 30K miles isn't going to impact greatly the value of an individual owned car with half the mileage. We've been told time and time again that the rental/fleet market is completely different but I think the same rules about value for the new purchase and used sale should apply.
        789dm
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SethG
        Join Zipcar n u can try civiv n crv but no accord. They also offer mazda3, mini, sentra, C class if you want to try those cars before you buy it. Thry are not the top trim but u can get the idea.
      jimathyrawlings
      • 1 Year Ago
      Soooo... Honda is hoping Americans are as lazy and dumb as they think they are... seems not too many people in here are fooled though...
        BB79826
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jimathyrawlings
        That didn't make sense. Try again, bro.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        TruthHertz
        • 1 Year Ago
        The Civic still isn't very competitive in several areas. The engine and transmission are carryovers. The Bluetooth phone book needs to be manually programed and it's underpowered/torqueless. The last part may be a result of the aging 5 speed auto. It's good it's not in fleet. I would never rent one...
          mchica
          • 1 Year Ago
          @TruthHertz
          Those carryovers still put the Civic in the top tier of the segment for fuel efficiency and emissions. PLus it's actually an entertaining motor which loves to rev without sounding like it's got dirt in it like many others in the class. Believe it or not, it's tidy exterior dimensions and deceptively spacious interior are a big selling point for the Civic. Combined with generation upon generation of multi-time owners who put hundreds of thousands of miles on without problems is why they keep coming back for a new one when their 10 year old one is tired and can still sell for decent money on the used market which Hondas in general have crazy resale value. 2012 was a low point, but it's bounced back after Honda listened to the criticism and actually did something about it.
          TruthHertz
          • 1 Year Ago
          @TruthHertz
          Lots of people do drugs, doesn't mean it's the best thing for them. They are just idiots, just like the blind Honda and Toyota buyers...
          SethG
          • 1 Year Ago
          @TruthHertz
          Any automaker would be thrilled to have a car as uncompetitive as the Civic. As much as we may not love it, they're selling a ton of them.
          Ben Lee
          • 1 Year Ago
          @TruthHertz
          Maybe the Civic is a solid dependable car.
          superchan7
          • 1 Year Ago
          @TruthHertz
          The fact that the powertrain is "carried over" is not really an honest criticism. Lots of younger folk, sometimes including me, fall into the "new = better" psychological trap while forgetting that the Civic still posts better real-world fuel economy than many of its competitors, including the recent favourites Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus with their trick GDI and Turbo engines that look nice but don't deliver. Honda fixed practically everything that was wrong with the cheapened 2012 Civic, and the 2013 is flying off North American dealer lots. Honda accepted criticism and took responsibility, something that is becoming rarer these days.
      icemilkcoffee
      • 1 Year Ago
      Interesting. I wish these numbers were made public. Retail sales figures are more interesting than total sales which includes fleet sales.
        BB79826
        • 1 Year Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        Fleet sales are completely useless - except for letting you know which cars will have their resale value negatively affected. They REALLY need to break out fleet sales. But if they did that, the Fusion and the Focus's sales wouldn't be nearly as fantastic as they appear.
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      I like the new Accord sedan/coupe they have done a good job with it. One of my favorite Honda's in the current line up.
        Jesus!
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cruising
        Are you kidding me? I saw the rear of a car the oter day and was like my God what is that?! Was the new Accord coupe. Man talk about nasty.
          mchica
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jesus!
          Tastes are subjective. The new Accord is a hit and the Coupe is a good seller, even with it's limits as a family car.
      Felspawn
      • 1 Year Ago
      As a fan of Honda i've been hard on Honda the last few years. (decade?) Tough love and all. But the new accord is definitely a step in the right direction, and now with their return to F1 and partnership with Mclaren i have renewed hope that good things are on incoming.
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Felspawn
        FI regulate now to down size to 1.6 and turbo charging and KERS, this is not 1988, this is now 2013. With redbull have on of the best aero, williams best hybrid sytem, merc and renault most experience in turbo charging, it is a uphill task for honda.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          [blocked]
      davegyza
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mazda is the Honda of old now. I miss my S2000. Wish they'd make a new one but it'd probably be a hybrid with a CVT knowing Honda today.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @davegyza
        [blocked]
      Master Austin
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good for them, still a bit too boring to drive so it wont make a difference for me.
        briang
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Master Austin
        What would be a car that's not boring to drive?? Just curious.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @briang
          [blocked]
          Jesus!
          • 1 Year Ago
          @briang
          Focus ST, Mustang, Camaro, Charger, Challenger, 4x4 pickup shoot I can think of tons of vehicles that are more fun and look better doing it than any Honda.
          chanonissan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @briang
          Mazda 6 and 3, it got better overall rating than honda Accord and Civic.
          mchica
          • 1 Year Ago
          @briang
          Wow, does this guy live in a trailer park?
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