Honda sweetens lease deals, a little

Accord sales have been down and dealers have blamed a lack of competitive lease offers for its failure to keep pace with the updated Toyota Camry.

Honda dealer Rick Case thinks the Accord is “back in the ballgame” after the automaker trimmed $800 from the down payment on its 36-month lease deal.

Accord sales have been down for months, and dealers have pointed to a lack of competitive lease offers as one reason why the redesigned sedan is struggling to keep pace with the updated Toyota Camry. Honda had been pushing a national lease offer with a $249 monthly payment and $3,199 down on the LX, the base trim, for well-qualified customers.

But this month, Honda cut the down payment to $2,399, while keeping the $249 monthly payment.

This puts the Accord within striking distance of the Camry in strong lease markets such as California, Ohio and Florida. In Miami, one of Case’s home markets, the Accord undercuts the Camry LE’s $3,498 down payment by $1,099, though the Accord monthly payment is $50 more.

Case: “Back in the ballgame”

In Los Angeles, consumers can get the Camry LE for $199 per month with a $1,999 down payment. The higher-level SE trim is an extra $10 per month.

Case, who owns Honda stores in Davie, Fla., near Fort Lauderdale, and Euclid, Ohio, near Cleveland, says his stores experienced an immediate sales uptick when the new deal took effect. He added that the Civic, too, has been “doing unbelievably well” because would-be Accord buyers have been jumping to its smaller, less costly sibling.

“We feel a big difference already,” Case told Automotive News. “We had our first weekend. Our sales virtually doubled from what they were.”

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