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The Honda Accord has long been one of the best-selling cars in America. Even against SUVs’ rising popularity and the COVID-19 pandemic’s assault on the automotive industry, the Japanese auto giant has sold nearly 700,000 Accords since 2020. But August 2023 was a notable month for Honda’s midsize sedan. The Accord finally beat its longtime rival — America’s best-selling midsize sedan for the past 21 years, the Toyota Camry — in monthly sales.

The Honda Accord just outsold the Toyota Camry for the first time since 2020

Accord sales: A blue Honda Accord midsize sedan drives on the road. It just outsold the Toyota Camry in August 2023.
2023 Honda Accord | Honda

Honda sold 17,661 Accord models this past August, outpacing the Camry’s 16,638. August marks the first time the Accord has outsold the Camry in monthly sales since April 2020, when the entire automotive industry ground to a halt due to pandemic shutdowns.

Accord and Camry sales have been on the upswing this year, undoubtedly thanks to automotive supply chains improving. However, the Accord holds the edge in overall growth. Through August, the Accord’s year-to-date sales were up 36% over this time last year, while the Camry gained just 3%.

Still, Honda executives probably won’t be spraying champagne anytime soon, even if August is cause for celebration. The Camry is still outgunning the Accord in year-to-date sales, with 192,490 units sold through August versus 135,379 Accords moved, giving the Toyota sedan a nearly 30% lead in sales so far in 2023, GoodCarBadCar reports.

Why did Accord sales outpace the Camry in August?

One of the more apparent reasons the Honda Accord had a better August is that Camry sales were down a staggering 35% year-over-year. The Accord had less catching up to do, and its 52% year-over-year August growth helped cement its overtaking of Toyota’s sedan.

Non-number factors are also at play. Toyota released the 2024 Camry in July, and it stands to reason many buyers might have held off for the new model to arrive at dealerships, even if it’s almost completely unchanged from last year. Also, the Accord was fully revamped for the 2023 model year with new styling, a more hybridized lineup, additional rear legroom, and a tweaked suspension. Perhaps more buyers are drawn to the debut 11-generation Accord who might have otherwise driven off a Toyota lot in a new Camry.

It’s also worth considering Honda may have pulled out more incentives to sell its existing stock of 2023 Accords to make way for the 2024 model, potentially drawing buyers away from Toyota’s stable.

Of course, this is all speculatory, save for the Accord’s year-over-year August growth against the Camry’s declining sales over the summer month of 2022. Automotive sales naturally ebb and flow, and the numbers through the first eight months of 2023 show the Camry is far from losing its overall sales crown to Honda.

In the meantime, we’ll wait to see if August is a blip on the radar or a precursor to the Accord finally matching the sales pace of its Toyota rival.