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Honda Disputes Camry's 1997 Sales Crown

April 16, 1998|Denise Gellene

Will the real car of the year, er, drive up? American Honda Motors says that its Accord should share the limelight that went to the best-selling Toyota Camry. Honda says that when discounted fleet sales are excluded, the Accord comes out on top. Toyota in 1997 sold 380,744 Camrys, making it the best-selling car of the year. The Accord came in second, with total sales of 377,663. But when fleet sales are excluded from the totals, Honda sold 359,101 Accords to individual buyers. Toyota, meanwhile, sold 326,925 Camrys directly to consumers. Toyota's reaction? "The last time we checked, fleet sales were sales," Toyota spokesman Sam Butto said. The company has recently begun airing ads boasting about being 1997's best-selling car. Whether the title carries over into 1998 is in question. Accord is off to an early lead, based on sales from January through March. Its sales are 22% ahead of Camry's.

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