Honda Accord Celebrates 40th Birthday
A quick look back at the history of the ever-changing midsizer
It's hard to believe the Honda Accord is only 40 years old, given it's such a staple among mainstream car buyers in the U.S. Over the past 40 years, Honda has sold over 12.7 million copies of the Accord here.
The Accord first arrived in June 1976 as a three-door hatchback (pictured above), which incidentally, had a smaller wheelbase than today's subcompact Honda Fit. It wasn't until 1979 that the Accord sedan came to market. Three years later, the Accord began rolling off the production line at Honda's first U.S. plant. The new facility in Marysville, Ohio, made Honda the first Japanese automaker to build cars in the U.S.
Soon after, the Accord would also become the first U.S.-made car from a Japanese automaker to be exported overseas. In 1987, Honda shipped Ohio-made Accords to Taiwan. The next year, Honda began producing the Accord Coupe exclusively at the Ohio factory, exporting copies to Japan.
Other milestones followed in the coming years, including the addition of a V-6 Accord in 1994 and a new hybrid model in 2005. By 2014, Honda marked the 10-millionth Accord built at its Ohio facility. Today, Honda has produced more than 10.5 million Accords in the U.S. The model is now in its ninth generation.
The Accord was Honda's first step toward become a major full-line automaker and establishing a presence in the U.S., the automaker says. Although eclipsed by sales of the smaller Civic here, the Accord remains a top-seller. Through May, Honda sold 140,548 copies of the sedan, up significantly from last year. It's the fifth best-selling car so far this year (excluding trucks), with the top being the Toyota Camry with 167,199 units sold.
Honda says the Accord has remained the top-selling car in the U.S. for the past three years in terms of retail sales. It also says the Accord is the top-selling midsize car for buyers under 35 years old. Currently, more than 99 percent of all Honda vehicles sold in the U.S. are made in North America.
Check out the video and gallery below for more about the evolution of the Honda Accord.