Honda is building the new Accord at a record rate, with sales starting this week. Competition from Toyota, Nissan, and Ford will likely intensify, with midsize sedans becoming a main focus for manufacturers this year.

“Midsize sedans are where everyone is putting their resources right now,” said Michael Robinet, managing director for industry consultant IHS Automotive in a recent interview with Businessweek. “It’s a knockdown, drag-out battle in that segment.”

Output of LX, Sport and EX grades of Honda’s flagship sedan with four- and six-cylinder engines will continue to increase throughout the year at the Ohio Honda plant.