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Honda Sales Up For 2007... Acura Not So Much

Illustration for article titled Honda Sales Up For 2007... Acura Not So Much

Honda recorded it's 14th consecutive year-over-year sales increase after selling 1.55 million vehicles in 2007, up 2.5% over 2006. For the month of December, Honda's sales were up by 14 vehicles to 131,972 compared to 131,778 cars in the previous year. "We sold 14 more Fits, break out the bubbly!" The Accord saw a year-over-year sales increase of 10.3%, the Civic 4.2%, the CR-V 28.5% and the Fit 101.4% to 56,432 vehicles. Acura saw a year-over-year decrease of 10.8%, due in part to aging models and increased competition from Infiniti, Lexus and Cadillac. The only two Acura models to show increases in 2007 were the MDX (7.9%) and the RDX (154%), though the RDX didn't go on sale until late 2006. Overall hybrid sales for 2007 were down 4.5%, due primarily to the Accord Hybrid being dropped in September. Full press release below the jump.

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American Honda Posts 11th Consecutive Year of Record Sales in 2007

American Honda Motor Co., Inc., today announced record sales results for the 11th consecutive year. Sales from both Honda and Acura Divisions totaled 1,551,542 and pushed American Honda annual sales up 2.5 percent, based on the daily selling rate*. The results also mark the company's 14th consecutive year-over-year sales increase. American Honda's December sales totaled 131,792 vehicles, a slight increase versus December, 2006.

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2007 American Honda sales highlights:

* Record total vehicle sales of 1,551,542 (up 2.5 percent)
* 11th consecutive yearly sales record
* 14th consecutive year-over-year sales increase
* Record light-truck sales of 669,327 (up 0.3 percent), representing 43 percent of total vehicle sales
* Individual vehicle sales records for Honda CR-V, Fit, Civic Hybrid and Acura RDX

"This was definitely a challenging year to be in the car business, and 2008 isn't likely to be a piece of cake," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda. "Honda continues to benefit from its position as the most fuel-efficient car company in America**, and we have some great new products coming in the new year that will keep our momentum going."

Honda Division posted its 14th consecutive year-over-year sales increase, up 4.5 percent in 2007 to 1,371,438 vehicles. Annual Accord sales increased 10.3 percent to 392,231. CR-V annual sales of 219,160 increased 28.5 percent and set a fourth consecutive yearly record. Fit sales of 56,432 increased 101.4 percent. Civic Hybrid sales set an annual record for the sixth consecutive year with an increase of 3.9 percent to 32,575. Setting December monthly sales records were the CR-V, with sales of 18,659, up 7.6 percent; Civic with sales of 27,190, up 15.2 percent; Civic Hybrid, with sales of 3,223, up 33.8 percent; and Fit, with sales of 5,118, up 129.3 percent.
"The all-new Accord is off to a smoking start, and three Honda models set all-time records for 2007," said Colliver. "Offering fuel efficiency and value along with a fun driving experience continues to be a recipe for success."

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2007 Honda Division sales highlights:

* 12th consecutive record Honda Division sales of 1,371,438 (up 4.5 percent)
* 14th consecutive year-over-year sales increase
* Record full-year sales of CR-V, Fit and Civic Hybrid
* Accord sales increased 10.3 percent for the year, to 392,231 units

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2007 Acura total year end sales reached 180,104 vehicles, and for a second consecutive year, Acura light trucks posted record year-end sales, eclipsing 2006 by 29.1 percent. December sales of all Acura models rose dramatically over November with TL recording 5,988 sales, MDX posting 5,906 sales, TSX logging 2,838 vehicles and RDX posting 2,263 units for the month. [Source: Honda]

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DISCUSSION

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@skaz: Would you feel better or worse about owning a Ferrari F430 if it was marketed as the "Fiat F430" outside of North America?

By having a "Honda Legend" outside of North America, it devalues the "Acura Legend" in North America.

It also give makes like BMW and Mercedes ammunition when they say that Acura isn't a real luxury brand.

A BMW or a Mercedes is a BMW or Mercedes no matter where you go. An Acura just might be a lowly Honda depending on where you are.

Yeah to some it's just marketing. But every real luxury brand has a certain amount of snob appeal.

By having a "Honda Legend", Honda was shooting itself in the foot with its Acura brand because they were killing Acura's ability to build snob appeal.

Notice how you can't buy a "Toyota LS400", even though there is a Toyota model that the LS400 is based on... but has some differences to maintain the model's uniqueness.

A "Chrysler E320" is exactly what Mercedes was trying to avoid at all costs when the Chrysler 300 was introduced because they knew it would kill the carefully built up prestige of the Mercedes brand.

Reintroducing the Hemi was a brilliant way to help keep the differentiation. The Mercedes guys could keep their snob appeal because the Chrysler used a "low-tech" OHV engine.

The Mopar people were ecstatic that there was a new HEMI.

It's one thing to build an excellent car. But there a certain art to building brand prestige.