The latest Accord provides a strong challenge to traditional premium manufacturers with sportier styling, greater refinement, high specification and excellent driving dynamics. Find out more about the work and research that went into the new Accord in this video.
A number of years ago at Honda we began to move the brand further into the premium segment. That’s partly about product, it’s certainly about customer experience and we believe that actually, the UK consumer’s perception of what is premium is changing.
Traditionally, that has been about the value of possession. In the future, we think that it’ll actually be about the value of experience.
One of the prime reasons for that is whether it be watches, cars, furniture or clothing there’s less and less bad product. Therefore what I think the customer is now wanting to have is experience.
The brand stands for sporty, advanced and distinctive. But the way we deliver it is actually to engage the customer.
In the UK, the mass market is declining and the premium market is growing. And therefore it’s no surprise that every manufacturer is claiming that they are going to enter into that premium segment. But I think we’re different. We have credibility in making that statement. We’ve demonstrated over the last number of years that we can do that with Civic and we have done it with CR-V.
We’ve taken the average selling price of the CR-V from just over £18,000 to about £23,000 and in fact our dealers are comfortably selling diesel EX with advanced safety pack CR-Vs at around £28,000 and taking trade-ins from traditional premium brands.
And I think when you sit in the new car and feel the car and drive it, you can see that we have absolutely delivered on that premium aspect.
The customers we’re going to attract into this car will be coming from existing premium cars. The M Sport from BMW or the S-line from Audi.
One of the key measures of whether you’ve really made it in the premium sector or not is residual values. And I think Honda have done a fantastic job in recent years of building and protecting the residual values of this product. With the new Accord we set ourselves very ambitious targets for residual values we wanted to achieve 42%.
For our key grade which will be the diesel ES GT, we’ve achieved 43%. And 43% puts us right in the premium sector.
The marketplace is dominated as premium brands by black and silver and grey monotones, and actually Honda is about warmth and it’s about colour.
The perception of an Accord is going to be very, very enjoyable and the whole experience of ownership is going to be where we’re going to differentiate ourselves from other brands.
We have a great opportunity to actually differentiate ourselves from everyone else in the marketplace by providing a product sure that is absolutely up there with the traditional brands, but delivering a customer experience and a consistent customer experience across the country no matter where our consumer touches the Honda brand.
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