Honda Begins Early Selldown of 2015 Accord with Improved Incentives

By

Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - June 22, 2015

June is shaping up to be a great month for deals on midsize cars. If you're a lease shopper, there are at least five good cars at around the same payment and amount due at signing. That competition is good news for shoppers but is coming at a price for some automakers. Poor sales and an oversupply are forcing Honda to begin its selldown of the 2015 Accord months earlier than expected. However, the best deals aren't being advertised. Here's what you need to know.

Struggling

It's no secret- midsize cars have been struggling, with sales down 4% year over year in May. However, Honda has been feeling considerably more pain than others- sales of the Accord were down 18% last month versus the same time last year.

Inventory data tells a similar story. According to Automotive News, there were 61 days worth of supply on dealer lots as of June 1, notably higher than the industry average of 56 days.

Although a mild update is expected with the 2016 model due in September, Honda is wasting no time with a new selldown incentive meant to give an adrenaline shot to sagging sales.

Side-by-Side: Top Midsize Sedans>>

Deal overview

On June 19, Honda notified its dealers of a mid-month change to sales programs on the Accord. The unadvertised incentive, referred to as dealer cash, covers all Accord and Accord Hybrid models.

Unlike most rebates shoppers typically see, the incentive lets dealers use their discretion to pass along the savings or keep it as profit. Honda almost exclusively uses this tactic to protect resale values and maintain the image of a company that doesn't advertise big rebates.

The discounts, worth up to $1,500, are some of the best we've ever seen on the 2015 model. In particular, the LX, Sport, and EX sedans get the biggest increases- triple the modest $500 we saw earlier this month.

As a result, lease deals have gotten slightly better. The Accord LX with CVT can now be leased for $189 per month for 36 months and $1,999 due at signing. This equates to a $10 cut in payment. You can also choose a zero-down option for $240 per month.

Get a custom quote on the Honda Accord>>

Pick your flavor

This month we found that the $199 per month, $1,999 down lease had become the "price to beat" on a midsize car. In addition to the Accord, shoppers have outstanding alternatives like the Toyota Camry, Mazda Mazda6, Kia Optima, and Hyundai Sonata.

Leases on compact cars aren't far off- there's a price battle going on between the Subaru Impreza and Honda Civic with attractive lease payments starting under $150 per month.

See all of this month's best lease deals>>

Our take

This is clearly meant to give a short term lift to Accord sales and to make way for the 2016 model. The incentives are set to expire September 7, around the time that dealers have told us the 2016 model will become available.

Shoppers are likely to see more attractive prices in the months ahead. However, since not all dealers may use the incentives in the same way, we recommend getting quotes from multiple dealers.

It will be interesting to see what kind of effect this has on Accord sales. Based on what we're seeing, it's reasonable to expect deals on most 2015 models to be in a dead heat heading into Fall.

See more of the top sedan deals this month>>

Incentives listed here are based on a resident in Southern California. Lease offers are based on top-tier credit and exclude tax, license, title, registration, document fees and insurance. State-level incentives can vary, so please check with your CarsDirect Trusted Dealer to confirm all available offers in your region.

Visit our CarsDirect Pricing Insider page for pricing and deal analyses for over 300 models. Sign up for email alerts to have our analyses delivered straight to your inbox. Browse our Deals Articles for insider info on the latest new car incentives that can save you money.

, Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

Follow On: Google+ | Website