American Honda saw sales rise throughout the month of October thanks to improved inventory and stable demand.
The automaker reported total sales of 108,088 units, comprised predominantly of trucks. The number represents a 32.6% increase over the previous year, one of the strongest post-pandemic recoveries seen from major car manufacturers. The brand’s Acura division accounted for roughly 10.3% of the brand’s monthly volume. So far, American Honda has sold 1,078,763 units across the U.S. in 2023, outpacing sales in 2022 by 33.2%.
However, the year-over-year improvements were unable to prevent a slight month-over-month slump. Compared to September, the automaker’s sales declined 6.4%. Although it has yet to release its global sales report, American Honda accounted for roughly 30.9% of the brand’s total sales heading into October.
Deliveries of hybrid, fuel-cell and electric vehicles were almost three times higher than last October. At 24,446 units, electrified sales accounted for over one-fifth of the brand’s total monthly volume.
Electric vehicles have become a hotly debated topic for industry insiders. Throughout October, a growing number of analysts and executives warned of slowing EV demand in the U.S., leading several OEMs, including Honda and General Motors, to postpone or even cancel projects that would have accelerated electrification. These concerns are somewhat supported by differences in American Honda’s September and October reports. The brand’s EV sales declined 10.9% month-over-month, compared to a 5% decrease in ICE sales.
However, while this may lend credence to the idea of an electric vehicle slowdown, most manufacturer reports indicate that demand has started to stagnate across all segments. As such, reductions in electric vehicle sales are possibly connected to deeper, industry-wide issues more than they are to weakening interest in zero-emission technology. Furthermore, the vast majority of Honda’s “EV” sales are comprised of hybrids, which should, in theory, be slightly insulated from issues affecting electric vehicles.
Regardless, American Honda continued to display strength throughout October. In 2022, the brand’s sales were heavily constrained by supply chain disruptions stemming from the COVID pandemic. Since 2020, work stoppages have disproportionately affected Japanese automakers, prolonging their subsequent recovery period. However, while all car manufacturers continue to lag behind their 2019 results, American Honda came surprisingly close to achieving a typical pre-pandemic sales month. In October 2019, the brand’s U.S. sales totaled 131,443 vehicles, only 23,355 or 21.6% more than its total this year. While substantial progress is still needed, the number underlines how far the brand has come in a relatively short time.