Honda Accord squares up to rivals

Honda is rushing out its first British-designed Accord to make the marque more competitive with its former partner Rover and other European rivals.

The car is being positioned for the fleet sector and is pitting itself against the Ford Mondeo, the Vauxhall Vectra, the Peugeot 406 and the Audi A4.

Specifically designed for the British and European market, the new Accord has been introduced a year early – Honda usually adheres to a four-year model cycle. The early launch is designed to capitalise on the large volume increases expected over the next two years but also highlights the growing competition in the European small car sector.

The launch is being backed by an 8m multimedia drive through Collett Dickenson Pearce, Honda’s agency for the past two years.

Research showed that although motorists admired Honda for its characteristic Japanese engineering and attention to detail, they also said, among other things, that the car looked bland.

The new Accord has been re-designed to include more headroom, more chrome and new wheel covers.

Despite the redesign, the advertising concentrates on Honda’s existing reputation for build quality. The company claims the Accord is the benchmark for quality in the executive sector. It has developed its campaign theme around this, using the strap line “Built Without Compromise”.

The campaign breaks today (Wednesday) with a 60-second ad during News at Ten. A 40-second ad will run throughout April.

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