Honda gave the 2013 Accord mid-size sedan a complete makeover and the public reaction has been better than even the most ardent Honda optimist could have hoped for: triple-digit sales growth through the end of July.
The Accord, in fact, displaced Toyota’s aging Camry for a top 10 spot among Canada’s best-selling passenger cars through the first seven months of 2013, according to the latest figures from DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.
“Honda’s facelift of the Accord (sales up 152.1 per cent) is resonating with consumers” with sales more than doubling over the same period in 2012, says DesRosiers in a note to clients. It is a similar story with the reinvented 2013 Ford Fusion, where sales are up 22.4 per cent on the year. This is not surprising. The newest, freshest models on the market almost always perform significantly better than older versions of even stalwarts.
Take the Toyota RAV4. It was re-engineered and re-styled this year and sales have jumped 34.7 per cent this year. The Ram pickup was also given a major makeover for 2013 and its sales are up nearly 20 per cent this year.
Of course for every rule there is an exception and to find one or two, look no further than the Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Jetta compact cars. Elantra sales are up 14.6 per cent and Jetta sales have jumped 21.4 per cent this year. Why? Discounting.
Hyundai would love to see its Elantra unseat the Honda Civic as Canada’s No. 1 selling passenger car, and is dealing to make that happen. Sales sweeteners are rich for what remains quite a good small car in the Elantra. Meanwhile at VW, a major price cut and some creative incentives have given the Jetta a whopping boost.
The moral of the story? If a particular make or model is hot, odds are it’s either been recently reinvented in successful ways, or it comes at an excellent price. That suggests that the ideal formula for moving the metal is to reinvent a vehicle and launch it without a price increase. A price cut is even better.
This brings us to the Santa Fe Sport. Hyundai did not increase the base price of the 2013 Santa Fe Sport versus the 2012, despite launching a reinvented 2013 version and adding content – content Hyundai officials have argued is significant. Now look at that; Santa Fe Sport sales are up nearly 13 per cent in 2013.
See – the car business is easy.
Here’s a look at Canada’s top 10 cars and light trucks through July 2013:
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
Source: DesRosiers Automotive Consultants
Correction: The charts above have been changed to correct the sales figures and per cent gain/loss of two cars and two trucks.
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