(Repeats July 13 story with no changes)

By Nick Carey

DETROIT, July 13 (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co Ltd on
Friday will unveil its newest-generation Accord, one of four
re-engineered midsize sedans that Asian automakers are betting
on to win market share as Detroit automakers shift focus to
SUVs, crossovers and pickup trucks.

The new Accord, like rival Toyota Motor Corp’s
all-new Camry launching this month, is expected to offer major
improvements in fuel economy, technology, styling and safety,
according to Honda’s U.S. dealers.

Honda declined to discuss details ahead of Friday’s event in

The Accord and Camry are pillars of their manufacturers’
U.S. businesses, each selling well over 300,000 vehicles a year.
In the coming months, Nissan Motor Co Ltd is expected
to launch a new Altima midsize sedan, and Hyundai Motor Co

“There has been no new news on the midsize sedan side for
three years and we think this is a great opportunity to bring
attention back to the segment,” said Jack Hollis, Toyota’s head
of marketing for North America.

Year to date, U.S. passenger car sales are down 11.4 percent
and sales of midsize sedans are down 14.2 percent. Still,
Americans bought 7.1 million sedans in 2016. With General Motors
Co and Ford Motor Co cutting sedan production, and
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV abandoning the segment,
Honda and its Asian rivals could boost sales with updated
models, dealers said.

“They could take share from other brands, which is
traditionally what happens when a new product is launched,” said
Pete DeLongchamps, vice president for manufacturer relations at
Group 1 Automotive Inc, the third-largest U.S. auto
dealer group.


The Accord for years was Honda’s top-selling model in the
United States. Within the past year, U.S. sales of the Honda
CR-V compact utility vehicle have eclipsed the aging Accord as
Honda has expanded production capacity for the former.

Passenger car sales have steadily declined since 2012 when
they made up 51.2 percent of the U.S. market. Sedans have sagged
to a 38.1 percent share in the first half of this year. IHS
Markit said U.S. consumer loyalty to SUVs and pickup trucks has
risen since 2012, but declined for sedans. (For a graphic, see:

The new Accord and Camry “may stem the decline,” said IHS
Markit’s Tom Libby. “I don’t think they will cause a marked

Improvements to the Accord should boost sales at Galpin
Honda in San Fernando, California, general manager Ed Hartoonian
said. The dealership sells about 500 Accords and Civics,
combined, per month and Accord sales are up nearly 13 percent so
far this year, he said.

“As a dealer we can’t ask for much more.”

(Reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by Richard Chang)

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