Honda did not sell any Accord Hybrid in FY2019 and in contrast, its chief rival Toyota Camry Hybrid garnered 407 units
Honda Cars India re-launched the Accord brand back in October 2016 at a price of Rs. 37 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi). The ninth-generation Accord is offered in the domestic market with a hybrid powertrain for the first time as its predecessor did not have one and is brought into the country via CBU route.
Even at the time of its launch, it was considered expensive compared to its executive sedan rivals. Two and half years on, the Accord hybrid currently costs Rs. 43.21 lakh (ex-showroom) and it could be the reason why no units were sold in the financial year 2018-19 as customers might prefer other choices.
The Japanese auto major did not dispatch a single unit of the Accord Hybrid in the period between April 2018 and March 2019. In contrast, its only direct rival, the Camry Hybrid achieved 407 units and other pure international combustion engined competitors retailed even more.
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Toyota introduced the eighth generation Camry in January 2019 and is based on the TNGA platform with heavily revised exterior and interior and a more fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain making it more attractive than the Accord Hybrid. The Camry costs Rs. 37.50 lakh (ex-showroom) and in comparison it undercuts the Accord by a whopping nearly Rs. 6 lakh.
The segment-leading Skoda Superb, on the other hand, managed to record 1,430 units in FY2019 while Volkswagen sold 705 units of the Passat during the same period. The Super is priced from Rs. 25.99 lakh (ex-showroom) making it a massive Rs. 17 lakh less expensive than the Accord Hybrid.
Currently, the Accord hybrid uses a 2.0-litre i-VTEC Atkinson cycle petrol engine of 143 hp capacity paired with two electric motors. The combined power output stands 215 hp and driver can choose between Hybrid Drive, EV and Engine Drive modes. It has claimed fuel economy of 23.1 kmpl.
If Honda has any new plans with the Accord hybrid, it’s important to introduce the tenth generation version that was released for ASEAN markets in March 2019 and here again the way it will be priced may make or break its existence.