Honda has had many brilliant models in its history of car making, but identifying their most critical model can be as divisive as selecting your favourite car of all time. But for the purposes of this subject, we take a look at the Honda Accord, one that will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
The introduction of the Accord brought significant impact towards many middle-class families around the world. After nine generations and millions of Accords sold worldwide, AutoBuzz.my pays tribute to this iconic Honda model by sharing five facts you may not know about it. The good news is, the Accordana will not be part of the story.
1. It began as a hatchback model
While we’re all familiar with the saloon-bodied Accord, it actually started as a modest three-door hatchback. The first-generation Accord was launched in 1976, and in a way it’s a larger version of the first-generation Civic hatchback. Just like the Civic, the Accord excelled in build quality, reliability and fuel economy. Those three attributes scored big sales in the United States during the oil crisis when gas guzzling American cars became left field choices.
The saloon model only began three years later in 1979.
2. It was the first Japanese car to be assembled in the United States
While Japanese cars in the United States are a norm nowadays, it wasn’t the case in the past where Americans (and their pride) perceived Japanese cars as inferior products. Things changed in 1982 when Honda opened its production facility Marysville, Ohio, and rolled the first ever American assembled Japanese car, the second-generation Accord.
The result? The plant, manned by Americans, produced over 10.5 million Accords, including the Accord coupe model that was exported to Japan.
3. The Accord learns from its failed predecessor, the 1300
Prior the Civic and the Accord, Honda had a rather blotchy history with its cars. In 1969, Honda launched its largest car back then, the 1300, in both saloon and coupe guises. Designed to compete against established competitors such as the Mitsubishi Gallant and Toyota Corona, the air-cooled Honda 1300 was plagued with issues relating to complex engineering and overambitious pricing. Needless to say, it was a flop.
Honda then restructured the company’s approach in making cars. In fact, click here to read in detail how and what they’ve learned from the 1300 episode. The changes were then applied to the process in making the Civic and Accord models. Suffice to say, the rest is history.
4. There are many variants of the Accord
Things changed during the development of the fifth-generation Accord where in 1993, the European Accord was introduced for the first time, while the Japanese and American Accords shared a similar model. Later in the sixth-generation, Honda decided to split the Accords into three separate models, one each for American, European and Japanese markets. Likewise in Malaysia, we’ve been receiving the American variant up till today.
The Accord expanded from a simple three-door hatchback to an estate, coupe, and even the hotter Accord Type R. The Type R was only limited to selected European markets and got involved in some touring car championships.
5. “The Cog” was produced to promote the European Accord
Honda has had a pretty good track record in televised commercials, but one that was exceptionally executed was The Cog aired in 2003. The 120-second commercial was an advertising genius, created to promote the seventh-generation European Honda Accord. In a way, it encapsulates Honda’s engineering aspirations so perfectly, we think even Soichiro Honda himself could not have been more proud.
As for now, Honda Malaysia is currently offering the ninth-generation Accord model (launched in 2013), so expect the facelift to arrive later this year. According to our friends at carlist.my, the locally assembled Honda Accord will arrive in September.
Meanwhile, here are some cool facts about the Accord in its four decades of existence.
2016 Honda Accord Facelift