Honda Australia has confirmed that the new-generation Accord sedan - on sale in North America since October 2017 - will finally be launched locally in late 2019 armed with both turbo-petrol and hybrid drivetrains.
But while the new addition to the local Honda range will be welcome the brand has confirmed it won’t be a price-leading special, instead offered as a top-spec model with both turbo-petrol and hybrid drivetrains for buyers to choose from.
According to Stephen Collins, director of Honda Australia, the new 2020 model Accord will be the company's flagship passenger car.
“It certainly will not be priced at $29,990. The only way to import the car and for it to be profitable is to have it positioned as a top-spec model,” he said.
“The Accord is an iconic car for Honda in Australia and it would be a huge decision to walk away from a nameplate like that.”
But while the new Accord will be a breath of fresh product air in local showrooms, it isn’t expected to sell in huge numbers.
“We won’t be chasing significant volume with the new Accord,” said Mr Collins. “It’s well known that the medium segment is dying - especially with private buyers - but we feel that it’s important to still offer a sedan.”
Medium car sales in Australia continue to decline, with 7021 sales so far in 2019 - down 7.5 per cent on this time last year. Kia is reportedly considering stopping the sales of its Optima mid-sizer, while models such as the Mazda6 and Ford Mondeo aren’t yet confirmed to live beyond their current generations.
The new 2020 model Accord will be the company's flagship passenger car.
One might ponder why Honda Australia would bother importing the Accord locally, but according to Mr Collins, the brand’s very loyal ownership base is the reason.
“We still have a wide base of Accord owners in this country who are very loyal and we still want a product to offer them when they decide to upgrade their cars,” he said.
The new Accord will be a breath of fresh product air, but it isn’t expected to sell in huge numbers.
North American Accords are offered with three different engine choices: a 143kW/260Nm tune of the Civic and CR-V’s 1.5-litre turbo-petrol with either a six-speed manual or CVT automatic; a 188kW/370Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol with a six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic; and a 158kW 2.0-litre hybrid with a CVT.
We expect the larger petrol engine to be offered alongside the hybrid locally, with pricing and specifications will be confirmed closer to the new car's launch in late 2019.
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