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AUSTRALIA: Honda considers selling 'European' Accord alongside 'US' version - report

By just-auto.com editorial team | 23 October 2002

Honda Australia is considering selling both European and US versions of the 2003 Honda Accord to attract a wider spread of buyers, according to the website drive.com.au.

The website said that while Honda's Australian arm - whose entire range is imported - initially said it would bring in the US-designed Accord with its more angular body and unique mechanical package, it is now considering the smoother European version as well.

Drive.com.au said the problem with the European Accord is that it is not offered with the V6 that has proved popular with Australian buyers of the 1998-2002 model.

That line was originally sourced from the US but production was later switched to Thailand.

According to drive.com.au, the solution could be to sell the US Accord with the three-litre V6 and the European Accord with the 2.4-litre four-cylinder.

Honda Australia is considering selling
European-spec Accord (above)
alongside US version (below)

"The European Accord is still under consideration," Honda Australia managing director and chief executive Hiroshi Toda told drive.com.au.

"We have to make a decision pretty quickly ... but we cannot neglect two types of buyers."

The website said Honda Australia was aware of the possibility of customer confusion and the added infrastructure needed for spare parts, marketing and the like.

"If it happens, the cars could wear different badges ... that's something we're looking at," Honda product planning manager Justin Orr told drive.com.au.

"But if we brought in both cars there would have to be incremental sales growth rather than cannibalisation [of each other]."

Honda Australia told drive.com.au that the US Accord would definitely come to Australia, with the current debate centring on the viability of the European model. Customer research clinics were planned before making a decision.

Honda Australia has previously sold only the 'US' Accord. For the 1994-1998 line, the sedans were imported from Japan while the station wagon came from the US, the only country to make that derivative.

Honda Europe, which sold two unique generations of UK-built Accord lines for the 1993 through 2002 model years, supplemented those with US-built wagons and coupes for 1993-1998 and continued to import the US-made coupes for 1998-2002.

For the 2003 model year, Honda Europe is taking the line upmarket to compete with the likes of Volvo with a new range of sedans and wagons built in Japan.

It is this line which Honda Australia is considering selling alongside the range designed primarily for the US.