Hide Iwata, president and chief executive officer of Honda of America Manufacturing, speaks to reporters at Honda's Marysville, Ohio, plant about the new model that is to go on sale next month. He said Monday that the Accord remains the industry benchmark in its segment.
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MARYSVILLE, Ohio -- The first mass-production version of the 2013 model year Honda Motor Co. Accord sedan, fully made over and the most important new vehicle for Honda this year in the U.S. market, rolled off an Ohio assembly line Monday, the company said.
The 2013 Accord will go on sale at U.S. dealerships next month. The 2012 Accord is the second-biggest-selling car in the United States so far this year, behind Toyota Motor Corp.'s Camry.
The Accord has been made at the plant northwest of Columbus since 1982, when Honda became the first Japanese automaker with a U.S. plant. Since then, more than 9 million Accords have been made at the plant.
"For 30 years, the Accord has been the signature vehicle from Honda, and it remains the industry benchmark in a very competitive segment," said Hide Iwata, president and chief executive officer of Honda of America Manufacturing.
Honda hopes that the full makeover of the Accord will help it keep pace or outsell Camry, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.'s Altima, Ford Motor Co.'s Fusion, General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet Malibu, and Hyundai's Sonata.
Sales generally spike when a model gets a makeover, and Honda expects that the ninth generation of the Accord will follow that trend. Sales for the 2012 Accord are up 28 percent from those of the 2011 model.
The midsize-sedan market is the most competitive in the United States. By year's end, most of the major competitors will be selling models that have been significantly updated in the past year.