Honda Motor Co. (HMC) unveiled the 10th generation of its Accord midsize family sedan in Detroit, an all-new model styled to emphasize flashy looks and perhaps bring attention to a model type that has been losing ground against crossovers and SUVs.
Last year, for the first time, Honda sold more CR-V crossovers than Accord or Civic sedans, symbolic of the growing consumer demand for multipurpose vehicles, which no longer compromise fuel efficiency and are styled more handsomely than ever. This year, Accord trails Toyota Motor Corp.'s (TM) Camry in the U.S. even while Toyota also is bringing a new highly stylized Camry.
"The Accord is Honda," said Michelle Krebs, analyst for Kelley Blue Book and kbb.com. Accord "was the building block for the company. The biggest challenge for the 10th generation Accord is that it is a midsize sedan. However, Accord likely will maintain its share in the shrinking segment." General Motors Co. (GM) , Ford Motor Co. (F) and Nissan Motor Corp. (NSANY) , all are searching for ways to tweak or refresh the appeal of their midsize sedans.
Honda executives aren't giving ground or apologizing for the new model's prospects when it goes on sale this fall. Jeff Conrad, a Honda senior vice president, said, "We all have this tendency to rush to one side of the boat and then back again as trends change. This is an exceptionally able vehicle."