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New data shows Honda leads in retail sales

by Drew Johnson

Honda is tops when it comes to retail sales.

Registration data from R.L. Polk & Co. shows that Honda led all mainstream automakers in percentage of sales to retail buyers during the first five months of 2013.

According to R.L. Polk, 98 percent of all Hondas sold in the United States during the first five months of the year wound up in the driveways of retail buyers. That compares to about 80 percent, or lower, for other volume brands.

Honda, which doesn't even have a fleet sales division, cites higher residual values as one of the main reasons it avoids sales to fleet customers, such as daily rental firms.

"We're earning our sales growth on the strength of our products and the value they deliver to individual car buyers," said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Our strategy is unique among volume automakers, as we are focused on selling vehicles to individual car buyers and not corporate sales to fleets, which is why Honda vehicles have among the lowest cost of ownership and highest resale values in the industry."

According to the data, the Honda Accord, CR-V, Civic and Odyssey lead their respective segments in retail sales.

In particular, the Honda Accord is a standout in retail deliveries. The mid-size sedan is currently second in segment sales, but just 2 percent of all Accords wind up in fleets. In comparison, the segment-leading Toyota Camry is running at about 20 percent fleet sales, while the Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima are all running between 33 percent and 39 percent fleet sales.

Photo by Andrew Ganz.

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