Japan’s earthquake and tsunami hindered Honda’s ability to manufacture and sell cars in North America, but devoid of those restrictions, Honda is on-track to have an impressive 2012. So much so, in fact, that the company reportedly upped its sales target by more than one quarter after seeing just how quickly its Civic and CR-V models have flown off dealer lots.
WardsAuto reports that Honda predicts it will sell some 1.3 million vehicles in the U.S. this year, up from its 1.02-million-unit prediction it made in January. That's an increase of some 27 percent, a not-insignificant number considering Honda was struggling to overcome the critically panned interior on the new Civic and back-to-back natural disasters threatened to flatline deliveries.
Honda admits that 2012 looks good in comparison to 2011, but that the brand's success is much more than merely being better than bad. "Month by month, we are posting our best results since 2007 and 2008," said Mike Accavitti, vice president of marketing for American Honda, said in an interview with WardsAuto.
He’s right: Honda sold 628,046 units in the first six months of this year, the highest since 2008, when it sold 720,444 units in its first six months. The CR-V, redesigned for this year, was up 32.3 percent through the end of June, and Honda claims that the new model is headed for an all-time sales record, passing the 219,000 units sold in 2007. The Civic, meanwhile, is holding on to its title as the best selling compact car on the market, with 162,582 cars finding new homes in the first half of this year--up 27.4 percent. The Accord fared nearly as well: up 22.1 percent in the first half of the year, selling 155,178 units.
Is Honda "back?" It's a tough call to make--cars like the Crosstour, CR-Z, Fit, and Insight are still in the red--but the Japanese automaker is certainly doing well going into its most important launch of the year, the new Accord mid-size sedan.