A New Direction For The Honda Accord

Honda puts the emphasis on style and panache for all new 2003 model

"Honda’s new generation Accord is set to rock the market to its roots, putting Honda in pole position in the premium D-sector." These are the words of David Strangeway, the newly appointed General Manager of Honda (UK)’s Car Division, and the man tasked with changing the image of Honda's mid range family saloon.

"The new Honda Accord will not be a direct replacement for the current model, rather it will be an altogether more distinctive, stylish and aspirational model in the quality upper-medium car sector. It will in effect replace both our existing Accord and Legend models, to become the new top model in our saloon car range," adds Strangeway.

"The current Accord is a good car, better than most in the ultra competitive, company car oriented D-sector market," continues the Honda (UK) car boss. "But it is competing in the fiercely competitive budget end of the market, where we don’t want to be. With the new car, which will not be offered as a five-door or with a sub 2.0 litre engine, we are aiming at the more discerning executive end of the market.

So the new car will be physically bigger than the old, will be fitted with more powerful engines, and will be trimmed and equipped to an altogether higher quality level. Its pricing position will reflect this, but it will nevertheless continue to offer excellent value relative to its competitors – otherwise it would not be a Honda!"

The European version of the all new Accord will make its world debut at this year’s Paris Show and UK debut at the British Motor Show in October, before going on sale in UK showrooms early next year. Like previous Accords, it will be a truly global car sold in different guises in all world markets (a little known fact is that the current Accord is actually the most popular mid-size family saloon on the planet!).

But unlike the current model, European versions will not be built at Swindon, instead they will be shipped from Japan. Despite this, the Accord will continue to be "localised" for Europe to the extent of having its own specification, trim and equipment – and in time the availability of Honda’s first own design diesel engine.

The 2003 Accord will appear at a crucial time in Honda (UK)’s history. The company is on track to record its best-ever year for British car sales, with a likely 75,000 total in reach. The Accord will become a natural stepping stone from the highly successful, locally built Civic range, as well as a saloon alternative to the new model CR-V.

Published 30 July 2002 Melanie Carter

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