Civic Selling Like Flapjacks, Could Outsell Accord For First TimeS

Holy gas prices, Batman! Automotive News is reporting this morning strong sales of the Honda's gas-sipping Civic were up 14.8% to 111,695 units through the first four months of the year, and appeared to be looking good for May. Although we'll find out what the fifth month had to say when sales numbers are released later today, for the moment, AN's Kathy Jackson is reporting that Dick Colliver, Honda America's sales chief claims he's expecting sales of 40,000 to 45,000 units during the month. That would be enough to top sales numbers of the Accord, the reigning sales champ from the number two super best awesome automaker from the land of the rising sun.

Despite still holding the title of Honda sales champ, the Accord's only sold 122,430 through the month of April. With Civic output up at all three of Honda's production centers — providing a total production run for the first four months of over 144,000 units — Honda's looking at a 48-day supply of the budget sedan, a position that's forcing a look at squeezing out as many of the little buggers as they possibly can. Given that growth curve, the Civic could very well pass the Accord this month or next in sales.

Which is funny to us, because it's not like the Civic sedan gets that much better gas mileage. We mean, this ain't the diesel Euro-spec Civic we played with back in February. No, the EPA numbers on the Civic are a mere 25/36 for city/highway. The Accord on the other hand has numbers of 21/31 for city/highway. While yes, that's a decent-sized difference, it's not enough to account for a 14.8% increase in sales on the Civic. Oh wait, we forgot — the Civic weighs in at a bargain-basement price of $15,645 for the four-banger with a five-speed slushbox. The Accord, with the same configuration, in comparison goes heavyweight on the price scale, selling for $20,995. Wethinks maybe this has as much to do with general economic fears as it has to do with specific economic fears on the price at the pump. It's a lot easier to pay off a car loan that's five grand cheaper when your house goes into foreclosure, ain't it?

Whatever the reason, we'll be watching for Honda's numbers later to see how the Civic fares, and whether it can beat it's big brother. Better yet for Honda, could the F-150 be much farther ahead (or behind)? [via Automotive News (sub. req.)]