Redesigned Honda Accord to go on sale in U.S. September 19

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 05, 2012 8:00 AM
Redesigned Honda Accord to go on sale in U.S. September 19

(Reuters) - Honda Motor Co said on Wednesday the redesigned version of its critical Accord mid-sized sedan will go on sale in the U.S. market on Sept 19.

The Japanese automaker said the coupe version of the 2013 Accord will follow on October 15, while an all-new plug-in electric Accord is scheduled to debut in early 2013. A conventional hybrid model will go on sale in the summer of 2013.

The first version of the 2013 Accord rolled off an assembly line last month at a plant northwest of Columbus, Ohio, where it has been made since 1982 when Honda became the first Japanese automaker with a U.S. plant.

Honda, which has said the new model will provide more room inside while shortening the exterior, hopes that the full makeover will help it keep pace or outsell the likes of the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu and Hyundai Sonata.

Sales generally spike when a model gets a makeover, and Honda expects that the ninth generation of the Accord will follow that trend when it goes on sale. Sales for the current 2012 version of the Accord are up about 35 percent this year.

Analysts have said the new Accord needs to be a home run for Honda, whose 2012 Civic small car was panned by some critics. The success of the new Accord, which will include a new generation of engines and transmissions to boost fuel efficiency, is also critical for Honda's global sales ambitions.

The midsize sedan market is the most competitive in the United States. By year's end, most of the major competitors will be selling models that have been significantly updated in the past year.

(Reporting By Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)