Fleet News

Honda prepares for fleet boost with UK-built Accord hatchback

THE boom in Honda fleet sales looks set to continue with an all-new Accord hatchback which has started to come off the Swindon production line. Fleet sales are 28.09% up year on year at 10,701 out of total new car sales up 12.64% at 28,655, and Honda believes the September launch of the five-door model - a hatchback version of the second European Honda Accord - will continue its advance.

Total Accord sales are set to rise to about 25,000 units a year, with most purchased or leased by business users. The five-door is expected to account for about half of total Accord sales, with UK deliveries set to start in September. There is expected to be a slight price premium for the new car over the saloon, with prices ranging from £15,000 to £22,000. The five-door Accord is the fourth Honda in production at Swindon, joining the Accord four-door, Civic five-door and Civic Aerodeck.

Honda is part way through a £1.15billion investment in its UK manufacturing capability and product line. The current phase includes £240million on new models and the creation of a second car plant scheduled for the end of 2000 and costing £130million. Honda also has a second investment phase during which future spend on new vehicles looks set to be £200million by 2002.

Early next year, Honda will begin importing the Logo, a Japanese-made small car introduced in other European markets earlier this year. Provisional data gives a combined fuel economy figure of 41.5mpg and a CO2 emission rating of 160gm/km. A spokesman said it will be act as a 'stop-gap' in the B-segment market until an all-new small car is launched in 2002. Work is about to start on Honda's second European car plant at Swindon which will be the home of the new car.

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