Over the past few days, numerous automakers have released their U.S. sales figures for 2023. The majority have seen sales increases, with several reporting significant double-digit growth. Notably, American Honda has achieved extraordinary success, selling over 1.3 million units in the year, marking a 33-percent increase compared to 2022. In the following discussion, we will analyze the factors behind American Honda’s success and explore its future strategies and plans.
2023 Honda CR-V
The Honda brand registered a 31.9-percent sales increase, while its premium Acura brand soared nearly 42 percent. Acura has benefitted from several new and updated models, most noticeably the Integra, which replaced the dated ILX.
Honda 2023 Sales
For Honda, the brand continues to enjoy stellar growth among its “truck” models, comprised almost entirely of crossover utility vehicles as well as the Odyssey minivan and the Ridgeline pickup truck. But it is the brand’s compact utility vehicle, the CR-V, which accounts for 31 percent of its sales. Specifically, Honda sold 361,457 CR-V units in 2023, adding 123,000 units for a whopping gain of 52.3 percent.
Up until a few years ago, Honda counted on three models to fuel its sales. Besides the CR-V, its compact Civic and midsize Accord car models comprised most of its success. But car sales are a smaller portion of that number, although the Accord (197,947 units) and the Civic (200,381 units) demonstrate that demand for cars is not dead.
One of the big surprises for Honda involved Odyssey sales. Last updated in 2018, the Odyssey dropped its base LX trim and added a mid-level Sport grade for 2023. With 74,738 units sold, that represented a 57.5-percent increase, outpacing all other Honda models. It should be noted that the minivan market has shrunk considerably to just four models available. Besides the Odyssey, consumers can choose the Chrysler Pacifica (120,554), Toyota Sienna (66,547), and the Kia Carnival (43,687), the latter marketed as a multi-purpose vehicle or MPV.
Most other Honda models experienced single-digit growth. An exception is the Ridgeline pickup truck. Last updated in 2017, Ridgeline sales increased by 22.3 percent in a segment that has seen a renewed interest over the past decade.
Acura 2023 Sales
Among luxury manufacturers, Acura continues to enjoy success. Its two most popular models are crossovers and represent nearly two-thirds of its sales. The MDX (57,599 units) and the RDX (39,228 units), gained 24.5 and 59.0 percent, respectively. The MDX is the newer of the two as it was overhauled in 2022. Meanwhile, the current RDX has been around since 2019.
2024 Acura Integra Type S
Acura has seen the end of several models over the past two years. As mentioned, the Integra replaced the ILX, while the RLX was discontinued. The marque also saw the end of its low-volume NSX sports car, a gap not likely to be filled anytime soon. In any case, Acura currently has just four models, but has managed to succeed with its current cohort.
Starting this year, significant transformations are in store for both Honda and Acura. These brands will introduce their first fully electric models with the launch of the Acura ZDX and the Honda Prologue. Constructed on GM’s Ultium platform, these vehicles are just the beginning, with additional new models planned to be built on the company’s e-Architecture platform. Next week, at CES 2024 in Las Vegas, Honda is set to unveil its brand-new global EV series. Looking ahead, the focus will likely shift further towards electrification, potentially including plug-in hybrid (PHEV) versions of current models during their updates.
Like the broader automotive sector, American Honda has navigated the challenges of the global pandemic and the associated chip shortage. There’s been an increase in consumer demand, though it’s anticipated there might be a slight decline this year due to ongoing higher interest rates and a dip in consumer confidence. Nonetheless, both Honda and Acura appear well-prepared to thrive in their respective markets, offering models that are both high in quality and offer good value.
See Also — Pending