Honda seeks to boost Gulf sales of Accord by 50%
Tokyo-based Honda Motor Company aims to boost GCC sales of its Accord premium sedan by more than 50 per cent next year.
The company recently launched the eighth generation of the Honda Accord at a ceremony in Dubai.
The Accord is Honda's best-selling model in the GCC with 23,000 units sold in the region last year - a figure it aims to boost to 35,000 in 2008.
The new-look model includes for the first time the option of a 3.5-litre V6 featuring Honda's variable cylinder management, a system which balances performance during acceleration with extra fuel efficiency at cruising speeds.
"A lot of people don't want to buy a V6 because they are concerned about fuel economy, especially in Saudi Arabia where people drive long distances and fuel economy is important to them," said Arijit Basu, assistant general manager at Honda Motor Company's Middle East office.
"The VCM gives power when it is required, while three cylinders shut off when they're not required."
Basu said Honda aims to widen the buyer profile for the Accord from predominantly UAE nationals to a wider mix of nationalities, as well as expand its market share within the premium sedan segment from 10 to 12 per cent.
"We want to place Honda as an alternative to classic premium brands such as Mercedes and BMW," he said.
Globally, Honda has sold more than 15 million Accords since the model was first unveiled in 1976. In 2006, the company sold 620,000 Accords in more than 160 countries. ( Gulf )