Soichiro Honda started at the grassroots. He was a mechanic who used to tune cars and enter them into races. Honda motor company is Soichiro’s brainchild. Now it is the world’s eighth largest car producer in the world. Now we are here to tell you the 10 lesser known facts of one of its highly successful products in the US, The Accord.
- In the US, Accord was introduced in 1976 as a 3-door hatchback. Sort of stretched out civic, we could say. The sales numbers were limited close to 19000 in the first year, but during the oil crisis in the US, this car delivered 30-mpg of fuel efficiency, double the MPG average US car delivered.
- Back in the ’70s, Honda was planning to focus on motorcycles, and their final effort was to launch the Civic in 1972. When the Civic was a runaway success, the Honda introduced a much bigger and roomier sedan – The Accord.
- In 1977, Honda altered the design to create a four-door sedan we know it today. In the 80s Honda offered the iconic flip up headlights which became a benchmark for the design language. But in 1990, Honda discontinued the accord hatchback and got it replaced by more powerful 120-hp Honda accord sedan. Accord was first to get features like ABS, CD players (including a trunk-mounted, six-disc changer), security system and rear spoiler – but all as options.
- In 1989, the Honda Accord was the first foreign manufactured car that became a best-seller in the U.S. It was an important product for Honda as it paved a way for Honda to gain the household fame in the United States.
- Back in the ’90s, the fifth-generation Accord became the first-ever model to be manufactured and sold in the Philippines. This generation made a diversion in shape and structure, with a wider and much lower shoulder room compared to previous models.
- In 1994, Honda plonked a V6 in 5th gen. Accord which gained so much popularity and made it the most stolen cars in the US. But 4 years later, in 1998, due to frequent transmission failures, Honda faced a Lawsuit and it ultimately questioned the reliability of Honda cars.
- In 2006, Honda started to produce a Hybrid V6 rated for a 255 HP but it wasn’t as perfect enough as the Toyota Prius. But in 2008, the eighth-generation accord was made so large that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had to classify it as a full-size car.
- In 2013, the ninth generation’s standard 8-inch LCD screen, backup camera, Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic climate control and alloy wheels, smart safety features and optional navigation and touchscreen were made available but the increased efficiency and return to the midsize segment was well accepted by the public.
- The Honda Accord has been on the Car and Driver’s 10 Best Cars for 30 times. According to Jeff Conrad, senior vice president, and general manager of the American division of Honda Motor Co, Inc: “Do something special once, you might be called lucky. Do something special twice, you start to build some credibility. Do something special 30 times, and you’ve accomplished something truly extraordinary.
- The Accord is actually not Honda’s best-selling product for all time. It comes in third place, with present sales at around 221,000 units for 2017. Honda Civic remains the first and CR-V achieves second place.
Do you want to know about the reliability of a Honda Accord? Just ask Joe Cicero, owner of a 1997 Honda who clocked one-million miles with the original engine and transmission. According to Cicero, aside from checking fluids every week, he switched fluids seasonally and changed them every 5,000 miles. He also never allowed the oil levels to go below a quarter, and never let the fuel tank reach empty.
Feature image – Honda