Honda Finally Finds Its Sweet Spot: Discipline Wins

Jan 24, 2017 07:40 AM EST | Carl Anthony Teves

Honda recently mentioned that the company's success in 2016 U.S. sales was from discipline. As the industry groaned under pressure of having seventh straight annual sales boost, 0.3 percent this time and surprisingly grew 4.8 percent. In fact, the company has been confirmed as the fastest growing mainstream car brand in Europe for the year 2016.

Latest data from the European industry body ACEA revealed that total sales for the automaker in EU and EFTA countries in 2016 were 159,126 units until the end of December, a fast increase of 20.8 percent than 2015. Its significant growth surpasses the results for the EU passenger car market as a whole.

Jim Lake, dealer principal at Vern Eide in Sioux Falls, S.D. and current chairman of Honda's dealer advisory board said, "It's a great time to be a Honda dealer."  "The product lineup has never been like this ever, and the cadence that is happening has been phenomenal."

When the automaker introduced the redesigned Odyssey in Detroit this month, it was also celebrating its success as the North American Truck of the Year award for the 2017 Ridgeline midsize pickup. In addition, its also topped Google's ranking as the most-searched car brands in the United States and six Honda models were among the most-searched vehicles.

Today, the famous automaker can see itself with not only as a highly competitive lineup but also an excellent balance of cars and trucks and a manufacturing base that spread across North America. The company has three crossovers that target sweet spots of consumer demand, plus their midsize pickup and minivan.

However, the Takata airbag predicament is still a headache for the automaker, its dealers, and customers, and as Takata's biggest customer, the company has the widest bearing to repeated recalls. But the automaker announced that it will be moving all Acura MDX prolongation out of a Lincoln, Ala., plant and transfer it to East Liberty, Ohio, facility.

Company's executive vice president, John Mendel, stated that the company might hit another sales record for the year, even though the majority of the industry is preparing for a plateau. Still, he's calm to let other automakers such as Nissan, Ford, Hyundai and Kia chase outright sales number and market share.


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