Honda Accord Sales & Civic Sales Drop 80,000 In 2018



Published on January 5th, 2019 |
by Zachary Shahan

January 5th, 2019 by Zachary Shahan 

To start, let me just put this out here: I’m not claiming Honda’s car sales are collapsing solely because of the Model 3 (even though Tesla Model 3 sales totaled ~140,000 in the US in 2018 and two of the top models buyers were coming from were the Honda Accord and Honda Civic). There has to be more to it than that. Right?

I collect auto sales from all US automakers each month in order to put together auto sales reports that put Tesla’s rise into fun and interesting context, and to also put overall electric vehicle (EV) sales into context (but sales of the other models are depressing, not fun).

While doing so, I sometimes notice interesting things that I never would have run across if not scouring the data the automakers put out. This month, it was some Honda numbers that jumped out at me (rather than Toyota or BMW numbers).

Honda Accord sales were down ~30,000 in 2018 in the USA, and Civic sales were down ~50,000.


My first thought: perhaps Honda is actually hurting the most from the Model 3’s rise.

This is approximately the time people should be exploding with the 100% certain claim that Honda’s car sales are down because of a shift to crossovers and SUVs. (Remember, ignore the 140,000 Model 3 sales in the US.)

I do see a ton of Honda crossover ads, but I took a look at Honda “truck” sales and that didn’t resolve the equation. Its “truck” (crossover & SUV) sales were only up ~25,000 in 2018. That leaves another ~55,000 Accord and Civic sales that disappeared.

What’s going on? Is that more or less the chunk of otherwise expected sales that Honda has lost due to the Model 3? Or put another way, if a Model 3 was born in the forest, would Honda execs and dealers hear it?

I also took a close look at Toyota sales after noticing the shocking Honda drop.

Toyota Camry sales were down ~44,500, and Corolla sales down ~25,500. In total, all Toyota cars were down ~110,000.

However, Toyota “trucks” were up ~110,000. It was an almost perfect trade.

How about Lexus sales? Well, Lexus cars were down ~11,500 while Lexus “trucks” were up ~5,000. Certainly not good news for Lexus and Toyota, but not a dramatic change in the grand scheme of things.

We know that the Model 3 now competes with the Camry, Corolla, Accord, and Civic in the sales rankings, but it has long been expected that BMW, Audi, Mercedes, and Lexus faced the biggest threat from the Model 3. Perhaps it was underestimated how much the Model 3 would pull from average car owners who never felt compelled to spend money on luxury cars.


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Tags: EV sales, Honda, Honda Accord, Honda Accord sales, Honda Civic, Honda Civic sales, Honda Sales, Tesla Model 3 sales, Tesla sales

About the Author

Zachary Shahan Zach is tryin’ to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He’s also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada.

Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don’t jump to conclusions.

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