RAC Cars News


Dropped In The UK

By raccars Published

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It's hard to admit defeat but brave companies know when to cut their losses. This can lead to certain models being axed in the UK, due to poor sales and, this time, it's the Honda Accord and Volkswagen Eos that are getting the chop. So if you're a fan of these models, you'll be restricted to the used market in future.

Honda claims that its customers are focusing on C segment, SUV and crossover models, of which the company has a healthy selection. The Accord also had to compete for space in a shrinking market segment, with some very high quality rivals in the form of the VW Passat and Ford Mondeo. Honda only sold 518 Accords in the UK last year.

Launched in 1976, the Accord has been through a number of redesigns over the last four decades and is a much more popular car in the US, where the Accord nameplate is worn by a completely different model from the European design.

This is the third model the Japanese company has withdrawn from the UK in 18 months, after removing the CR-Z and Insight models from its line up last year, apparently to allow it to focus on its range of diesel engines instead.

Volkswagen has also decided to throw in the towel with its Golf derived Eos coupe cabriolet model. Apparently, the company has decided to rationalise its line up and there is no longer a place for the Eos, with a model range including convertible Golfs and Beetles. The Eos arrived in the UK in 2006. Since then VW has sold 20,400 units. Last year, Eos sales in the UK fell to just 348 models, compared to 2,241 Golf cabriolets.

The Eos, which is in fact a rather smart and good looking car, has been a victim of changing trends in the auto industry. A decade ago, folding hard tops were very popular but have been in decline and soft tops have come back into favour, for reasons of both weight and style.

While these models may be missed, this is an example of a sensible trimming of fat for the greater good. When taken to extremes, model cutting can completely change the face of a company's image, as in the case of Renault in the UK, which chopped its model range and number of dealerships by about half in 2011. However, there's nothing that drastic going on for Honda and VW.

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