Published on August 16th, 2023 | by Subhash Nair


Why Was The Honda Accord Discontinued In Malaysia?

The Honda Accord has been discontinued in Malaysia after many decades of service.

At the launch of the 5th generation Honda City facelift model last week, Honda Malaysia announced they would not be introducing the 11th generation Honda Accord here. While the current 10th generation model is still on sale, it’s likely that 2023 will be the last year of its availability in Malaysia.

Honda Accord sedan 1976

The Honda Accord has been a mainstay of the company for decades and continues to be a best selling model in the USA. The nameplate revolutionized the segment back in 1976 as it was one of the earliest in its class to adopt a transversely-mounted engine and front-wheel drive for a more roomier interior.

In Malaysia, the 6th generation model was the first to be locally-assembled at Honda Malaysia’s plant in Melaka. This was followed by the 7th generation model, where the company tried a strategy we haven’t seen repeated since – they locally-assembled the 4-cylinder variants and fully-imported a 3.0L V6 flagship model.

While the Accord had a solid fanbase throughout the decades, Honda Malaysia’s arrival brought its popularity to new heights. So why has it been discontinued here? Well it comes down to low sales numbers for the current model, but that’s only part of the story. 

Honda Accord

All D-Segment Sedans Got Pricey

Today, the Honda Accord is priced from RM187,400 to RM197,400. Accords have been priced at around RM140K in the past, but that was a decade ago. With the poor currency exchange rates and rising global inflation the current pricing is understandable. That being said, it’s close to RM200,000 and that is quite the mental hurdle to overcome – especially when premium-badged offerings sit just past that mark.

Honda Accord

Dwindling Interest In Large Sedans

In the last couple of decades, the Malaysian market has come to be slowly pre-occupied with SUVs and crossovers. In just about every segment, the buying public has ‘voted’ for an equivalent SUV. The Accord is a fine enough product, but there just aren’t enough buyers for this type of vehicle anymore. And the enthusiasts who are still looking for a sedan can get the same engine for a lower price in the Civic or spend a little extra for a premium BMW 218i or Mercedes-Benz A200, which goes back to point number 1.

Dealing With Unfair Advantages

The Malaysian automotive landscape has changed drastically in the last couple of years. Proton now has 3 competitively priced, Chinese-engineered SUVs on sale. Chery Malaysia managed to get both of their products into our market within 5% of Proton’s pricing. EVs are allowed into the country with tax exemptions and Tesla Malaysia is coming in with the Model Y at the price of the Honda Accord. There is very little room to market a new Accord in these conditions, especially if the price of a new generation is only going to go up.

Doesn’t Look Great

I personally think the latest Accord is a great car to drive, but I just can’t get my head wrapped around its design. It 10th generation model is perhaps the most controversial looking of its entire lineage and it’s a shame that we won’t get to see if the 11th generation model can do a course correction.

Prioritising Based On What Sells

It’s easy to get mad at the decision to axe the Accord but at the end of the day Honda Malaysia is a business with opportunity costs and a factory to run. If they can’t make a business case out of the Accord, it would make sense to move their focus and limited resources elsewhere. With the discontinuation of the Accord also comes the introduction of the WR-V. Could Honda also be looking to introduce yet another new nameplate? Or perhaps something familiar but exotic, like a new Civic Type-R or an e:HEV version of the next-gen CR-V?

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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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