Will the Accord Soon Pass the Camry in Sales?
The battle for sales supremacy in the mid-size sedan segment is really heating up lately, with the champion reeling a little bit, and the challenger coming out of his corner revived, and looking for a knockout. I’m speaking, of course about the perennial sales champ of the mid-size sedan segment, the Toyota Camry, and the challenger, the Honda Accord.
The Camry has taken a body blow lately from Consumer Reports when that influential consumer magazine took the Camry off its recommended list. Instead of blowing over, the action by Consumer Reports seems to have emboldened other critics of the Camry’s quality issues, as well as the critics of the Camry in general.
The new Honda Accord, on the other hand, was greeted by shouts of hurrah when it debuted recently, with most automotive journalists stating that it has established a new benchmark of excellence in the mid-size segment.
I myself am not impartial in this contest; I have a considerable preference for the new Honda Accord over the Toyota Camry in terms of driving pleasure, whether it’s concerning either the 4-cylinder model or the V6 model in either sedan.
Quality? Honda wins, hands down, from my point of view. It’s not even close.
2008 Honda Accord
From a styling perspective, the four-door sedan models of both cars are amazingly dull to look at, so I’m calling that a tie. However, in their respective coupe models, the Honda Accord Coupe makes the Toyota Camry Solara look downright frumpy.
So, if I’m choosing between the new Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry, it’s a short thought process. I’m buying the Honda Accord.
The question for Toyota is how many regular Joes, that is, average consumers, will reach the same conclusion?
There is also the wild card of a new, very strong entrant in this segment called the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. If the new Malibu gets a considerable increase in sales in this segment over what they were able to get before (and I think they will), do those sales come from people new to the mid-size segment, or do they come from the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry? I think the answer is both, but I don’t know the percentages yet. If the Chevrolet Malibu takes sales from the Toyota Camry at a higher rate than the Honda Accord, and the Accord continues on its current upward sales trend, which is also (partially) at the expense of Camry sales, then there is a very real possibility that the Accord will overtake the Camry late in 2008 or early in 2009.
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