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Honda dials back Accord and Civic production amid shifting demand

The production pause is temporary for now.

Honda still has faith in its midsize sedan, despite popular crossover models.

Jake Holmes/Roadshow

The market's unending appetite for crossovers, SUVs and pickup trucks is taking a toll even on some of the best-selling sedans in the US. To battle slumping Accord and Civic sales, Honda is set to temporarily suspend a second shift for the production line that cranks out the two sedans.

The Detroit Bureau first reported the production shifts on Monday, while Motor1 on Wednesday reported on the Accord and Civic specifically. Honda told Motor1 that production line one at its assembly plant in Marysville, Ohio is the target.

A Honda spokeswoman confirmed the production adjustment with Roadshow and clarified the company made the news official this past April. "This time will be used to update manufacturing capabilities to prepare for new technologies including electrification," it said in a statement. "While market demand continues to shift from sedans to light trucks, Honda remains committed to a robust sedan business as passenger cars remain popular, particularly among young and multicultural car buyers, who are critical to Honda's future."

While the line also builds the CR-V, ILX and TLX, Honda stated that the production shuffling "primarily affects" the Accord and Civic. CR-Vs that roll off the Marysville production line will now shift to the company's Indiana assembly plant, which already builds the crossover. Acura production, as of now, is not affected. 

Although the Accord and Civic remain popular models for the Japanese automaker, the CR-V has largely taken over bread-and-butter duties. Sales figures show the compact crossover is Honda's best-selling model in the US, with a 2.5% sales increase in July.

Honda's moves to reduce sedan production follow major shifts in the US auto market. Most recently, Ford opted to exit the passenger car market entirely, save for the Mustang. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles pared back its sedan offerings years ago and General Motors axed all but one mainstream sedan from its portfolio of brands.

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