While U.S. automakers are rushing to develop new small cars to take advantage of the rapidly growing market, established players in the segment like Honda are having trouble keeping up with demand. Sales of the
in the U.S. have increased 14.8% in the past four months alone, and demand for the four-cylinder Accord is up by almost the same amount.
To meet this extra demand Honda needs to increase supply, and to do so it will add more shifts and overtime to its East Liberty plant in Ohio and Alliston plant in Ontario. These two plants are primarily responsible for the Civic sedan, which gets 25mpg in the city and 36mpg on the highway when equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission and sells for $15,645.
The four-cylinder Accord is produced at the Marysville plant, also in Ohio, and to boost capacity for this particular version Honda will move production of the V6 model to a plant in Lincoln, Alabama.
While demand for Honda’s four-cylinder sedans is up, the opposite is true for its Odyssey minivan and Pilot SUV. So far this year Honda has cut production of these two vehicles by 10,000 units per year, and there are plans to reduce them by an additional 22,000 units.
“We are trying to use our plant flexibility to minimize the effects of the market going down and satisfy our customers’ desire for more cars and fewer trucks,” Honda spokesman Ed Miller told the Detroit Free Press
So far this year, Honda has sold 313,032 Accords through the end of September - up 2.4% from the same period last year. Sales of the Honda Pilot, meanwhile, have decreased 16.8% through September to 79,430, while Odyssey sales declined 14% to 112,041.
2009 Honda Civic