Is the new, smaller US-built Accord a preview of the car for the rest of the world?

Is the new, smaller US-built Accord a preview of the car for the rest of the world?

A spokesperson for Honda has told just-auto that the firm's European division has "no immediate plans" to replace the Accord, despite a new model having been launched in North America earlier this month.

The company is in the process of launching the fourth generation CR-V in European markets, a crucial new model for Honda Europe, which has seen its sales decline dramatically in recent years. There are high hopes for the CR-V, which by contrast to North America and other regions, is Honda's priciest SUV in its European region.

As Accord sales have steadily fallen in Europe to the point where the car has become a niche model, replacing the model is not a priority. Honda's spokesperson told just-auto on the European markets CR-V media launch in Munich that for now, the emphasis is on rebuilding sales, led by the firm's new 1.6-litre 'i-DTEC' four-cylinder turbodiesel engine. This is now being fitted to the Civic and will be added to the new CR-V from the first quarter of 2013.

Honda Europe does not include Russia, with that market reporting directly into Japan. A sketch of an Accord sedan which appeared to be the same model that American Honda launched for its 2013 model year, was shown to journalists at last month's Moscow motor show. As also witnessed by the decision to launch Acura in Russia but not Europe, this adds to the evidence that Honda, unlike some rivals, treats Russia and Europe as separate regions.

The Accord for North America and some other markets has been a unique car - compared to the Accord 'Euro' in the last few generations (available V6, longer wheelbase), but the new, 2013MY sedan for the US is noticeably more compact than the former model. This has led to suggestions that Honda might well sell just one basic model for the whole world with this latest ninth generation car. That brings into doubt a replacement for the Accord wagon, which was designed for Europe, but which has not sold well. American Honda sells the new car as a sedan and a coupe.

News of the next Accord sedan for Europe, Japan, China and relevant Asia-Pacific markets is expected imminently. A car might appear at either the Sydney show in October or at AutoGuangzhou in November.

Author: Glenn Brooks